feline acne chin bumps

Feline Acne, Chin, Neck Bumps

Feline Acne is a condition that produces black debris that is usually confined to the chin. It results from the over secretion of certain glands near the face.

Chin Bumps in Cats


Hi Simba - My father-in-law has a 16 year-old cat.
Tom has been an outside cat all of his life and in the last 6 months has developed some bumps/black spots around his mouth and neck that have us worried. He also drools constantly. I'm worried that this might be cancer? The bumps do not seem to bother Tom at all, he is active, for an older cat, and eats like a pig.

My mother-in-law has a 3-month-old kitten, and we are worried that it might catch something. She tries to keep the two cats apart, but when she is not home, my father-in-law lets Tom in. Tom goes straight to the kitten's bowl to eat its food and drink water. I cannot think of any way to prevent this.

My father-in-law will NOT take Tom to the vet, and with Tom being his cat, I do not feel right taking him myself. What do you think this is, and if there is anything we can do? Also, how can we stop him from eating Elvis' food? Sarah
Dear Sarah,
I suspect that Tom has what is called 'Feline Acne.' This is a condition that produces black debris that is usually confined to the chin. It results from the over secretion of certain glands near the face. The secretions are used for territorial marking. As you know cats will repeatedly rub their chin, lips, temporal area and base of tail over certain objects. What happens it that these secretions build up on favorite marking objects and may be seen as black, greasy patches. Cats with severe cases may have inflammation and irritation in which the point of the chin is swollen and the lymph nodes of the head and neck are enlarged.

So what to do? An antibacterial surgical scrub can help out. It is important that Tom go to the vet so that he can be treated and thus avoid any secondary infections. This will help him continue to live the active life he is accustomed to. Also, be sure that Tom gets plenty of fatty acids, like those in fish oil, as these have a very significant impact on skin health. As for his drooling, it is probably associated with dental problems. Your vet can help him out.

About Elvis' food. The best thing to do is to get Elvis on a schedule for eating so that there is no food left out for Tom. Do make sure you keep water out 24/7. Keep me posted. Simba



Dear Simba
My Mom's 10 year old calico is an indoor cat and has not been exposed to any other cats. She is overweight but otherwise in shape according to the vet. Last week I noticed that under her chin she is losing her hair and it appears to be bumpy. I also noticed that she lost a big patch of her on one side. She does shed a lot but this is the first time I actually see her skin. Any suggestions on what this can be (acne, allergy or possibly a growth) would be appreciated. I do not want to bring her to the vet unless it is necessary because it stresses her so. Gina

Dear Gina,
Feline acne produces a black debris that is usually confined to the chin. It results from the over secretion of certain glands near the face area. Because of the hair loss I suspect something else is amiss. Have your vet check for mange. Mange mites can cause problems in pets with weakened immune systems. At 10 years of age, your mother's calico is considered a senior kitty and is more prone to these types of problems. Keep me posted. Simba