Is there such a thing as Cat Acne?


Turns out teenagers aren’t the only ones at risk for acne! Believe it or not, your furry feline friends can get it too. Cat acne is not dangerous but can require lifelong treatment to keep flare-ups under control. Here’s everything you need to know, straight from a vet.

What is cat acne?

Cat acne, also called chin acne, is just that. Acne. Just like the kind people get. It can appear as small blackheads on the chin called comedones or can progress into pimples that may or may not develop a whitehead or rupture. Some cats are unaffected by acne, meaning it doesn’t bother them at all or cause any pain, while others show obvious signs of itchiness or discomfort. There is no one specific cause, but cat acne can be triggered by several things. Stress (kenneling or a move), dirty food bowls, allergies, or oily skin are all known to cause acne flare-ups in cats.

Does my cat have chin acne?

No particular breed of cat is predisposed to chin acne. It is more visible in hairless cats and those with white or light colored coats, so it may be diagnosed more frequently on these types of felines.

Cat acne should be diagnosed by a veterinarian. Many skin conditions present with similar symptoms, and it’s important that your vet rule out more serious problems before prescribing medication or beginning treatment. Some medications, if used incorrectly, can exacerbate skin conditions, and some skin problems are symptoms of a more serious disease process at work. Veterinarians can perform different tests, looking at both skin cells and blood work, to determine if there is anything more serious to worry about.

How to prevent and treat cat acne

Once your veterinarian has diagnosed your cat’s chin acne, there are a few different things he or she may recommend to control and prevent future breakouts. Changing from plastic food bowls to ceramic or stainless steel is the simplest. Plastic bowls have a porous surface and harbor bacteria and dirt. Every time your cat eats or drinks, she recontaminates her skin. Stainless and ceramic bowls have solid surfaces, so they are much easier to clean and are more sanitary.

Your veterinarian will also recommend daily cleaning of the affected area with mild soap and warm water or an antimicrobial solution like betadine or chlorhexadine. Care must be taken using chlorhexadine near the eyes as it can cause severe ocular damage.
For more serious cases, antibiotics (oral, injectible, or topical) or corticosteroids might be used as an adjunct to other treatments.

If you suspect your pet has cat chin acne, make an appointment for a physical exam with your veterinarian before beginning treatment.

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Pet Dental Month


Poor dental health for your pet can lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease, common dental issues for your best friend. It is estimated that most pets show signs of periodontal disease as early as three years old. Regular checkups and good dental care can help to insure that your pet stays healthy, and keep you both smiling.

This past week we saw the crowning of a new champion at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Out of more than 2,800 dogs representing about 200 different breeds, a little Bichon Frise named “Flynn” pranced away with the Best In Show title. If you watched any of the judging on television you may have noticed that a judge would examine each contestant, beginning by pulling back its lips to check its teeth. In part, they compare the animal’s physical attributes to the standard for that dog’s particular breed, but they are also checking to confirm the dog’s age and health.

A pet’s teeth are a good indication of its general overall physical condition. While some ailments can cause dental problems, it’s very possible that poor dental health can cause internal disease affecting other parts of the animal’s body.

Dental issues usually result from a build-up of tartar, which begins in pets the same way it does in people, as food particles and other elements accumulate around the teeth. The teeth take on a brownish-yellow appearance and often the animal develops what many of us call “doggie breath”. That odor may be an indication that your pet has – or is developing – periodontal disease. As it progresses, periodontal disease can cause pain and discomfort for an animal. But untreated, infection in the gums could eventually spread to vital organs like the kidneys, heart and liver.

One way to keep your pet’s teeth healthier is have them checked by your veterinarian. The vet may recommend a teeth-cleaning procedure, which usually involves anesthesia, because most animals won’t sit still and open wide. Your vet may also recommend things you can do to help keep your best friend’s teeth, and its whole body, healthier.

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Is your cat sleeping too much?



Cats sleep for long hours and experts advise cat parents not to freak out until and unless they see some stark changes in the pattern.


Cats love alone-time and often get visibly annoyed with excessive attention, especially when they are resting. However, some cat parents stress out when their feline companions sleep too much.

In many animals, sleeping excessively can be a sign of some disease, stress or depression, but with cats, that is not the case.

Biologists say this habit of cats comes from two things. The first is their protein-rich diet, which needs long hours of rest to be fully digested. The second is their crepuscular predatory pattern, according to

Crepuscular creatures are those that are most active at dawn and dusk. Creatures with a crepuscular predatory pattern mostly hunt during dawn and dusk and rest in between.

According to experts, cats sleep around 15 hours a day and you need not be worried until and unless you notice a stark difference in the timing. You should also keep in mind that kittens and seniors tend to sleep more, around 18 hours a day.

Breed, temperament, and health are also a few factors that determine a cat’s sleeping pattern. These felines also tend to sleep more in winter, especially if they have a warm cozy place to snuggle.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica urge cat parents to keep a track of their pets’ sleeping pattern. During usual catnapping, a cat should be able to quickly react to stimuli, such as other people walking into the room or cat food being prepared. read more…



Rodent ulcer in cats


The patient was an eight-year-old white female shorthaired cat named Sweetie. Over the phone, Sweetie’s elderly owner told me that something was wrong with his cat’s face. As soon as I saw Sweetie, I knew what the problem was. Sweetie had a rodent ulcer.

Cat rodent ulcer, also referred to as indolent ulcer, is the common name used to describe one of the variants of the feline eosinophilic granuloma complex of diseases.

The label ‘cat rodent ulcer’ is a misnomer. Historically, the name was conceived by farmers whose cats developed facial ulcers after hunting rats. We now know that these ulcers have nothing whatsoever to do with rodents but the name has stuck.

The medical term eosinophilic granuloma complex more accurately describes the condition.

Eosinophils form part of the immune system. They are one of the types of white blood cells that moves around the body of the cat with the specific purpose of seeking out allergies or parasites.

When an allergen is detected, or a parasite invades the body of the cat, the cat’s immune system releases bio-chemical signals that eosinophils detect.

The allergy might be, for example, an allergy to fleas, plastic bowls, pollen, dust, mould and food, while the parasite might be, for example, tapeworms or roundworms. Either way, the eosinophils interpret them as a threat to the health of the cat and home in to the bio-chemical signal to attack the source of allergen or parasite. But sometimes, the eosinophil cells can go into overdrive.

Eosinophil cells may ‘over-react’ to a perceived threat, or the cat may have an auto-immune disease that makes the body attack itself.

Either way, the reaction of the body is highly visible. In some cases, the cells inflame to form a granuloma in the shape a lump, in others they may cause a rash-like reaction, and with the cat rodent ulcer variant, it forms a lesion.

The unfortunate aspect of the cat rodent ulcer is that it usually develops on the face of the cat and it has the potential to permanently disfigure the cat if not treated quickly enough.

The ulcer generally forms on the upper lip of the cat, though it has been known to affect the lower lip, tongue, or inside of the mouth as well. It starts as a yellowish pink spot located on one or both sides of the upper lip. It then develops into a clearly-defined, reddish-brown shiny sore without fur.

The ulcer does not weep or bleed but, as it advances, the lips soon start to look as if they have been gnawed off – hence the historical misconception of farmers.

In very serious cases, the ulcer advances so much that the cat loses its entire lips and nose, leaving the teeth, gums and nasal cavity exposed.

The disease affects mostly in young to middle-aged cats, and more female than male, but there is no specific breed that is more susceptible to the disease.

Perhaps the merciful aspect with this terrible affliction is that cat rodent ulcers are not painful and, while this complex of diseases is not yet fully understood, there have been advances in recent years that have helped veterinarians to control the condition.

Some studies have found that viral infections such as feline leukaemia virus, or genetic predisposition, might be a contributing factor. The important thing is that should your cat develop any unusual facial growth or start to behave differently, for example, all the time licking its nose, you should take your pet to the vet before any real damage is done.

You vet will start by examining the lesion and discussing your cat’s lifestyle and living environment. Depending upon the nature of the case, your vet may also opt to test for Felv/FIV, take a complete blood count, skin scrapings and fungal culture. The vet may additionally opt to take a biopsy or needle aspiration to rule out malignancy.

Treatment will depend upon the cause of the ulcer and may range from anti-flea treatment to food allergy diet trials among others.

Medication will be administered and prescribed to prevent further deterioration resulting from the ulcer. Reversal of the loss of lip flesh very much depends on how advanced the condition is. In its early stages, sufficient scar tissue can develop that restores the cat’s dignity. But when the condition is so advanced that erosion of the face is severe, there is not much that can be done to restore the face.

Sweetie’s condition was thankfully not too advanced and she was spared permanent disfigurement with timely intervention.

Her owner has taken steps to treat the house for the flea invasion that flared up during the warm summer months and he has promised to keep an eye on Sweetie. read more


A contagious #cat #virus is spreading among animal shelters


A contagious and sometimes fatal virus that infects cats has spread sporadically through North Carolina animal shelters this summer.

Feline panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper, causes diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and in some cases death, in cats.

“It’s sort of like the flu in people,” said Dr. Patricia Norris, director of the Animal Welfare Section at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Some years it’s bad and, some years it’s not so bad.”

The disease prompted the Cabarrus County Animal Shelter to announce Wednesday that it wouldn’t be accepting or adopting out cats through Friday, following an outbreak at the shelter. A representative from the shelter couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

In addition to Cabarrus County, feline distemper has affected shelters in Wake and Lincoln counties, among others, Norris said.

The state issued a statement in June that feline distemper had been appearing in more shelters than normal across the state this summer.

Norris said she isn’t sure what has caused the virus to be more widespread recently, but complimented the response of local shelters in containing the virus.

“This is not a disease because a particular shelter is dirty or is not keeping up with its sanitation,” Norris said. “This is a disease that is found out in the community cats.”

The disease is more commonplace in shelters than in vets’ offices, which rarely encounter the virus, she said. Shelters often deal with stray cats that haven’t had vaccinations, as well as younger and more stressed cats that are more susceptible to the disease, she said.

The state doesn’t have numbers on how many cats have been infected or died from feline distemper this summer, but Norris offered ways to help prevent the spread of the virus.

She urges pet owners to make sure their cats are up to date on vaccinations. Read more 

Shop your cat supplies here.


Salmon treats are a hit for our furry friends

1503703650904Demand for premium, New Zealand-made pet food at supermarket prices has seen rapid expansion for one Kiwi company.

After the successful launch of New Zealand King Salmon’s quality pet food range Omega Plus in the South Island late last year, the products are now also selling in North Island supermarkets.

The range, which includes wet and dry pet food as well as treats and dietary supplements, is completely natural and made up of sustainably sourced King salmon, which gives the products high levels of health beneficial omega-3 and protein.

But, according to division manager Simon Thomas, the health benefits for pets – including a shiny, soft coat and better joint mobility – are not the only reason the range has proven popular with pet owners.

“Omega Plus also appeals to the conscious consumer, as our range is made entirely in New Zealand from previously wasted material,” he said.

Mr Thomas said the range has had a great response from retailers keen to stock a first-class New Zealand product on their shelves in order to meet an ever-growing demand for quality pet food.

“Premium pet food is the fastest growing segment of this category and Omega Plus is perfectly positioned to offer retailers a product that fills this void,” he said.

Just as importantly, Omega Plus is appealing to pets too, with retailers reporting good consumer uptake and repeat purchasing of the range.

“The product is very palatable, so we’re seeing great acceptance of it from pets,” Mr Thomas said. “It’s great to see the response being so good, especially with traditionally fussy cats.”

Omega Plus is now aiming to reach more Kiwi cats and dogs through further distribution of the product in both the North and South Islands. Future plans for the range also include larger pack sizes in current variants and new variants of their dry cat and dog foods.

Omega Plus is currently stocked in New World and Pak ‘n Save supermarkets throughout New Zealand and is available online at

Omega Plus is a pet food, dietary supplement and treats range by Omega Innovations, a division of The New Zealand King Salmon Company, the country’s biggest salmon producer.

Using previously wasted material, Omega Innovations developed a range of wet and dry cat and dog food and treats where salmon is the #1 ingredient.

Omega Plus is a premium product, 100% NZ-made and is all natural. It is high in omega-3 and protein delivering a range of benefits including a healthy skin and coat, joint mobility, intestinal health and antioxidants.  read more…

Shop Best Treats for your Dog here…



Get used to the new term ‘Caturday’


Cats sat stoically in the grass on Boston Common Sunday morning, allowing themselves to be admired and photographed. Some people squealed “Kitty!” as if they’d never seen a cat before.

“This is the best day ever,” said Erin Curtin, 20, of Natick. “It is a beautiful morning and everybody is gathering as a community to pet cats. This is the epitome of positive experiences.”

It was Boston’s first “Caturday,” a popular cat meet-up that’s already arrived in other major cities, creating a communal space for feline aficionados. On Facebook, the event was called “a day to reclaim the glory of the outdoors for our feline friends.”

Beverly resident and local organizer Kristin Leigh Porcello, 24, said she plans to continue holding Caturdays on the first Saturday of each month on the Common.

“It really was a wonderful turnout,” Porcello said.

Leashes prevented run-ins with squirrels, while dog walkers did double takes as scores of people surrounded feline faces peeking out from carriers and purses. Gizmo the cat, just shy of 30 pounds, wore a tiny sparkling hat.

His owners were bemused at the attention.

“We went and bought one of these cat strollers,” said Kristin Mills, 18, from Bedford. “People are all over him. He’s a little different. He’s super, super obese.”

Lulu the cat was hiding in her owner’s armpit. Brighton residents Charlie, 28, and Jayda, 27, Siegler named her after the restaurant in the hotel where they stayed on their honeymoon.

Lulu, the couple said, acts more like a dog than a cat.

“I’m just trying to make sure she’s having a good time,” Charlie Siegler said.


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