There is one simple and straight answer to “can cats cause acne in humans?” and that is a clear NO! But your cat can get acne because of your actions.

I don’t know where this even comes from but a lot of people asked the same question so I felt the necessity to write this post. Since I already provided the answer to can cats cause acne in humans, let me give you a few extraordinary situations where you cat might contribute to your already developed acne and where you can cause your cat to get acne.

Can Cats Cause Acne in Humans or Make Them Worse?

Cats Causing Acne in Humans
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As mentioned before, cats can not give you acne although they, too can have it. According to Mayo Clinic there are four main causes of acne in humans which are:

  • Excess oil (sebum) production in skin
  • Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
  • Bacteria
  • Inflammation

None of these can be caused by your feline friends. There is only one situation where a cat may worsen your already developed acne is if you let it scratch or bite your acne which is not very likely if you know how to approach an aggressive cat. If you don’t know how to approach an aggressive cat, the solution is simple… Well, just don’t approach an aggressive cat or piss it off. 😹

Can Humans Cause Acne in Cats?

Most cats suffer from acne sometime in their lives but unlike humans, they generally get their acnes in their adulthood. The main causes of acne in cats can be categorized as follows:

  • Poor hygiene,
  • Dirty food or water bowls,
  • Plastic bowls,
  • Stress,
  • Hyperactive sebaceous glands,
  • Hormonal imbalances,
  • Infections (fungal, viral or bacterial).
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As you may have realized some of these causes can be prevented by the cat’s human. Even if you do everything right, your cat might still get cat acne but decreasing the possibility is in your hands. Plastic bowls are the most common cause so don’t use plastic bows, instead you can use metal or ceramic bowls.

Wash your cat’s bowls regularly. I know that cats can tolerate dirty dishes better than humans but just because they can tolerate it doesn’t mean they have to eat or drink from the same dirty bowl for a week. Please wash them everyday.

For other causes, how to diagnose cat acne and the simple solutions you may want to read our post on cat acne symptoms and treatment.

What To Do If the Cat Acne Gets Severe?

Some cases of cat acne or cat chin acne may get worse due to the conditions or the cat’s genetic heritage. Just like in humans, cat acne can, too can get so infected that a medical intervention may get necessary. On such cases your regular veterinarian may recommend using home remedies or prescribe some creams but as the severity of the case increases the intervention may start including:

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  • Systemic antibiotics such as capsules, liquids or injections,
  • Topical antibiotics such as creams or ointments,
  • Steroid tablets or injections,
  • Using antibacterial or antifungal products such as shampoos, wipes, etc.

Please always speak to your veterinarian before using any cat acne products or home remedies. You don’t want to make the case even worse while treating it.


Can cats cause acne in humans? No! Can humans cause their cats to get acne? Yes! So here, the responsibility is yours. Please be a responsible cat parent and take your cat to your veterinarian if you suspect it may have cat acne. Do not try to use cat acne products or home remedies unless directed by your veterinarian and definitely do not use acne products developed for human use. Remember, the structure of human skin and feline skin are very different and human products may harm them.

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Author Yusuf Can Ekinci

Father of two cats named Tzatziki & Ouzo. Our small family tries to live without harming any living being. I am a small time farmer who tries to apply natural farming methods. Favorite activities: watching wild life at nature, passing time at home with my cats...

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