My cat has pimples? What is this?

Notmai Kitty has strange bumps on her lower jaw. It started with just a hard little bump on the tip of her chin. When I scratched her, she’d angle her head to make me scratch that spot. I felt it, and scraped it (a little) with my nail. A hard, black thing came out. It looked like a splinter. Ok, she’s an indoor/outdoor cat; I suppose it’s feasible that she could get a splinter. A couple of days later, I notice a bigger bump, which she has scratched open and bleeding. I wiped it with a paper towel, the scab came off, and inside the scab is a hard white knot.

Now, a week later, she has 5 or 6 of these bumps. The biggest one is about the size of a pea, cut in half. They are pink, almost hairless, and some of them have an opening – like a pore trying to open. I applied a little pressure to the side of one, and another hard white knot of what I suspect is sebaceous fluid came out. There are a couple other things that look like blackheads scattered around.

I got curious, and checked the lower jaws on the other cats, and the older ones have the little black dots, too.

I have made an appointment for Notmai Kitty to go to the vet. (She’s a mouser, and has gotten tapeworms…again. Sigh. :frowning: ) I am going to ask him about it, but meantime I am worried, and was hoping someone could explain to me why my 13 year old has pimples?! :confused:

My cat had a couple of these a few months ago. The vet just said to clean them with peroxide a couple times a day and they went away on their own. I think they are some kind of kitty acne, but I don’t remember if he said what caused it.

Do you use a plastic food or water dish? My old cat would get these chin pimples and I read that it an be caused by bacteria which can live in plastic which is slightly porous. It can often be fixed simply by changing to a food and water dish that is not plastic (hard ceramic or metal are both fine) or by washing the dishes you use daily in soap and hot water. When I switched from a plastic “cat food” bowl to an ordinary ceramic human food bowl, it worked for my kitty.

It must be going around. We just got through dealing with this for all 4 of our cats, a couple of whom had it pretty bad.

Yep, they were just pimples, nothing serious. PITA, though.

Squeezing as appropriate, if the cat lets you, plus hydrogen peroxide a couple times a day.

We were told to get rid of any plastic food/water bowls, as they cause/contribute to the bacteria causing the problem.

My cat used to get these a lot, but not anymore. He’s gone through a couple of food changes, and now eats only Wellness wet food, so that might have something to do with his acne clearing up. My vet gave me cat pimple cream one time, but I never really applied it consistently and the pimples always went away on their own.

Same all around here - cat got pimples, swapped out plastic dish for ceramic one on vet’s suggestion, pimples went away and never returned.

I had the same problem with an older cat. It was never bad, just one or two here and there. We had the plastic bowl thing too and when we went to stainless the problem went away.

Hrm, will have to find another dish for my kitty, maybe. She’s had what I’ve called a ‘freckle’ on her chin since we got her almost 4 years ago. It’s never changed, but I’ve always worried about it. This might be it!

Thank you all for your answers!

She had a the same separate (but matching) plastic food and water dishes for years, and we never had this problem. My boyfriend recently got out the old plastic food/water dish (attached bowls) that he had used for his cat, and wanted to use them. He had retired the bowls to the garage after his last cat got hit by a car. Now I’m wondering if he washed them, or if they just got rinsed or simply dusted. :dubious:

I’ll wash the bowls, and start the peroxide today. Thank you again.

If you have a bleach-based cleaner, spray the bowls good w/ it and leave it for 15-20 minutes kill time before washing them w/ soap and water.

My cat had the same bowls for years. Something about the increasing age of the cat or the increasing age of the bowls or both seemed to be what started a problem that had never existed before.

And it might not just be stuff growing in the bowl. It could also be something leaching out of the plastic.

I also had it come on when my cat was older, after having used the exact same dishes for years.

Note that if you continue to use the plastic bowls, you need to sanitize them every day, not just once. HOT water (dishwasher cycle) or bleach.

IMHO, it’s too much trouble when a cereal bowl fixes the problem; but hey it’s up to you.

3/4 cats have had this recently. The one that first got it was using metal, but I switched them all anyway. I’ve tried: isopropyl alcohol, benzoyl peroxide, and a washcloth with the tip dipped in hot water. She did not like the second, foamed at the mouth. The water seems the least invasive, but it cools off quick so I douse it 3-4 times.

I think, like humans, it is age related (teenagers!). The oldest cat hasn’t gotten it yet.

ETA: It’s not really harmful or dangerous. It can open up though, and besides being unsightly it could increase infection risk.

Yes, this is cat acne and the only permanent solution for it is to switch to glass, metal, or crockery bowls. If it is severe (as it was with one of our cats), you may have to switch bowls every day. Now, it’s just part of our routine that the cats get a fresh food and water bowl every day, and we use the same bowls as we would use for a bowl of soup for ourselves.

It can become severe and lead to infection. The last time, our vet suggested using the little acne pads on it to help it dry out.

I’ll start her on the peroxide treatment and disinfect the plastic bowls daily until it clears up, then go back to a once a week wash, since these are much newer bowls. I’ll switch to metal or crockery if the problem re-occurs. I’d like to be able to use the bowls since I think it’s helping my boyfriend heal from the loss of Furhead, but not at the expense of my cat!
Again, thank you for the advice.

My cat was quite young when she got acne. Her litter mate didn’t. The vet prescribed a course of oral antibiotics in addition to switching to stainless steel bowls.

I read that cats get acne on their lower jaws partly because their tongue does not reach there to clean.

It’s common and IMO it’s primarily due to dietary deficiencies. As is human acne.

Really? I know it contributes greatly to human acne, but what do you think she is missing? She gets Purina cat food, which I think is at least an ok brand, and she probably gets too many treats of the chicken, steak, and bologna variety. She doesn’t have a weight problem, so she usually gets several treats a day. I know “people food” is probably not good for her, but oh, she loves it so, and I am a “quality of life” kind of person. I figure what the hell, I eat bacon and occasionally drink to excess… she can have treats. I know tone is hard to read in texts, so please don’t read my answer as defensive, I’m truly curious as to what on earth that spoiled cat could be missing?!

Eh, I’ve had a few cats who had pimples and/or blackheads around the mouth. In every case, the problem was cleared up by CHANGING THE FOOD AND WATER BOWLS, not changing the food. Just get metal or stone bowls, not plastic ones.

Three out of my four cats are utterly convinced that they don’t get NEARLY enough turkey. The fourth one, the oddball, doesn’t like much in the way of people food, but he’s happy enough with crunchy kibble and the occasional treat of canned cat food. All four cats are unanimous that they don’t get enough tuna juice. So maybe your cat isn’t getting enough tuna juice and turkey? Ask her about it.