Cats have small sebaceous glands associated with hair follicles and larger sebaceous glands on the head and tail. These glands secrete oils. It is when these glands are overactive that cats can get what is known as cat acne.
In cases of acne the pores and hair follicles near the glands can become clogged with black sebaceous material, and form what is known as comedones. In the more severe cases these pores and follicles can get infected, irritated, and swollen. Cat acne is most commonly seen on the chin and this acne will look like the cat has black dirt on the chin that won’t wash off.
Symptoms to look for:
- Red swollen pores
- Black clogged pores
To properly treat acne you need to remove the excess sebum. If your cat does have acne or you suspect acne consult your vet. He may prescribe an antibacterial scrub, benzoyl peroxide shampoo, corticosteroids, or antibiotics (oral or topical) to clear up the acne. Note: Never give your cat any medication that is not prescribed by your vet or is meant to be given to a human.
Some cats seem to get acne in conjunction with an allergic reaction to plastic food bowls. If you suspect this you may want to switch to ceramic bowls and see if that clears the acne up.