Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:29 PM

Feline Acne

Have you ever wondered what those little bumps on your cat's chin are? They're acne pimples, and are a fairly common problem (dogs get them, too). If you notice bumps and dark debris similar to flea dirt, chances are that your cat has feline acne. What causes this problem?

This condition has been associated with allergies, specifically allergies to chemicals in plastic water and food bowls. Just as these nasty toxins leach into our food and drink from plastic bottles and packaging, they can also affect our pets. Immediately change to glass or stainless steel bowls, and keep them clean. I wouldn't suggest ceramic, since most of this comes from China now, and there have been cases of high levels of lead in these items.

Another problem may be contamination from the cans that are used to package your pet's wet food. Lead solder used in the seams can leach into the food once the can is opened, so put the remainder in another container before you refrigerate (by the way, this is true of human foods, as well). Your pet may also have an allergy to certain additives in his or her food, so if the above steps don't help, you may want to try another brand.

To heal the pimples while you are making these changes, wash the area with a mild soap or shampoo twice a day. Don't put any medication on the cat's chin, as it will probably make the situation worse. In a week or so, you should see improvement. If not, talk to your veterinarian, who may want to take a look. Sometimes, sores on an animal's chin turn out to be tooth abscesses, even when the animal seems to have no trouble eating.

Give your cat a supplement, since animals with allergies tend to be deficient in some nutrients. Look for a good general vitamin/mineral tablet, or give 1/10 of a natural adult multi per day. Giving a little extra vitamins A and D, perhaps as cod liver oil, is also a good idea (no more than one tsp. per week, though). Extra vitamins C and E are also good for allergies, and skin conditions, as well. I'll bet you'll see an improvement in general health in just a few weeks.
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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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