WSU Extension


Tomato : Catface
(revision date: 6/6/2014)

Catface is a physiological problem affecting tomato fruit. Damage to blossoms, cold temperatures during fruit set, exposure to growth-hormone-type herbicides, and abnormal growing conditions are among the possible causes of catface. Affected fruits are mildly to severely misshapen and scarred at the blossom end. They appear puckered and lumpy. Catfaced fruit typically ripen unevenly and are of poor quality. Large-fruited varieties seem to be particularly susceptible.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Provide proper culture. Do not overfertilize, as high levels of nitrogen may increase the problem.
  • Catface may be limited to early fruit or fruit developing during cool periods. Fruits set later in the season should be normal.
  • Avoid cultivars prone to this problem, such as 'Oregon Spring'.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended

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Caption: Tomato catface on ripe fruit
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Tomato catface on green fruit
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Tomato catface severe damage
Photo by: R.S. Byther