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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21378
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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She has little black hairs? loose on her chin
, Lucy

Customer Question

Customer: She has little black hairs? loose on her chin
JA: Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. I have three cats myself, so I know how you must feel right now. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Lucy and she is about 8 years old. It only showed up recently.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lucy?
Customer: She is our only cat and never goes outside.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know?
Customer: Not really
JA: OK. Got it. Do you think this is urgent?
Customer: No but I was wondering about it.\
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two. I'll let you know when it is your turn. Interesting.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hello, and welcome!

I'm sorry Lucy has you worried!

The little black 'hairs' you see on her chin could be flea 'dirt' (excrement--resembles ground black pepper), flea larvae, which are tiny black worm-like things, or she could have feline acne, which is like human acne with blackheads occurring from blocked oil glands in that area.

Even if she doesn't go outside at all, cats can still get fleas, brought in on shoes/clothing of humans.

If this area doesn't seem to be bothering her, try to wipe it gently with a plain, damp, warmish cloth or paper towel. If you see the 'hairs' moving, you definitely are seeing flea larvae or some other kind of external parasite. If these particles look reddish-brown when they touch the wet cloth or paper, this is flea dirt. If nothing comes off, this might be feline acne.

If your result shows flea-related items, you will need to treat Lucy with a monthly topical flea treatment, sold by your vet, like Advantage, Frontline and others. Advantage and Frontline are now sold over the counter in some pet supply stores, but just make sure they are the right kind for her age and weight. Don't buy the dog ones by accident! Also, don't EVER use Hartz, Zodiac, Sergeant's or any other flea treatments sold in supermarkets or pet stores (except the two I mentioned), as fatal adverse reactions have been seen from these products.

If she may have feline acne (I would recommend a vet visit, to get a definite diagnosis after an in person exam), just keep the area clean and if she's eating from plastic or metal bowls, change to glass or ceramic. You can wash her chin once or twice daily, with a mild soap (plain baby shampoo), benzoyl peroxide, or chlorhexidine.

Here is more information:

I hope all will be well with Lucy and please let me know how she's doing and what the vet tells you. Thanks!

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, and I will be happy to continue.

Warmest regards,


Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?