I got a new cat a couple weeks ago. She came from a shelter with a clean bill of health. Over the past few days, I've noticed that she's been developing some black spots on her chin that look a bit like acne. What's causing the spots? What can I do about it? Do I need to do anything about it?

I don't know if it matters, but she's an indoor cat now, being fed dry food. The shelter didn't know anything about her life before they got her.

The spots look pretty similar to the ones in this photo:

enter image description here

(Image source: http://www.felinesrule.blogspot.com)

  • See When are medical questions on-topic?; if you have an answer ready it could perhaps fit, but it is difficult. Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 19:01
  • 2
    @MartijnPieters I saw that post, but it seemed rather indecisive. The difference between the "good" and "bad" examples given there seem like they're mostly based on wording (i.e. "my cat" vs. "cats in general" or "a cat"), not content. Perhaps I'm just not seeing it because I'm not a vet?
    – Pops
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 20:02
  • I agree the wording there can do with some work still. :-) Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


This looks and sounds like something known as feline acne.

Basically, they're blackheads, or clogged pores.

We have one cat who suffers from this. She commonly gets black spots on her chin, lips, and muzzle, although the underneath of the chin is were we see most of them. The veterinarian identified the spots as acne, and suggested that we try switching from plastic bowls to metal or porcelain. He also suggested wiping them with a warm, wet rag, which generally seems to work.

I've seen some disagreement about exactly what causes this. Some suggested causes I've seen are stress, hormones, allergic reactions to plastic bowls, hygiene, or an overactive sebaceous gland.

Its definitely worth taking your cat to the veterinarian, for a professional opinion. Even if it is feline acne, the blackheads can become infected, or may be associated with other problems.

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    I have two black cats - I wonder if there is any way to detect this on them...
    – Lix
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 19:18
  • @Lix - the skin on a black cat is pale grey, so if you part the hair you might see them. If the situation gets worse, they form zits like on people that you can see, and when the cat scratches them, they bleed and scab. So you will know then.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 19:07

My cat has the same thing. My doctor told me to stop using plastic dishes and use porcelain or glass. My vet also said to use stridex pads for humans on his chin after he eats or at least once a day. If not cleared up in two weeks or looks considerably better make a vet appointment. Good luck ❤️

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