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Animal House: Of Acne And Allergies

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Acne is not just for teenagers.  It can develop on cats, as well.  It's a surprisingly common feline skin disorder that's a component of a much larger syndrome of complex feline allergic skin diseases, said  Dr. Matt Fraker from the Prairie Oak Veterinary Center in Normal.  

  • Look at your cat's chin and lower lip.  That's where acne can manifest as a kind of scaly, black debris residue.  Sometimes that can get inflamed, which calls for vet treatment.  Don't try to use humane acne medications on cats.
  • Sometimes it's a contact allergy.  If you're using plastic plates or bowls, that could be the cause of the problem.  Switch to glass or stainless steel and that could very well clear up the acne.
  • A food allergy or even an allergic reaction to the cat's own saliva can cause problems.   That allergy can cause ulcers that need a vet's treatment.
  • Fleas and mosquito bites can also be a cause.
  • Treatment includes judicious use of steroids.
  • There's also Atopic for feline allergies.
Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.