Treatment and Removal of a Cat Cyst
"The appearance of a cat cyst is common. Cysts should be checked by a veterinarian to ensure that it is not malignant (cancerous) and at minimum to avoid infection from forming. Your veterinarian will take a sample (biopsy) to check the cyst and remove it in the office."
A feline cyst is a small bump that can be felt through the skin. Cysts can be caused by a number of things and are often harmless, but it’s best to have them checked out by your veterinarian to make sure.
They may develop as a result of an infection, a
clogged oil duct, or a foreign body in the skin (such as a splinter).
Cysts can be composed of dead cells, fluid, or semi-fluid matter.
Cysts go by several names although the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment is the same:
Sebaceous Cysts (epidermal inclusion cysts) - this is the most common type of cyst in cats and appears anywhere on your cat's body. The cysts can be up to 1 inch in size and needs drainage to avoid infection (it is filled with a something called sebum). They are usually benign (not cancerous).
Keratinous cysts – contains a grayish cheesy material
Follicular cysts – caused by retention of fluid or skin material
Pilar cysts (trichilemmal isthmus-catagne) – material from hair follicles
Dermoid cysts – Hereditary cysts
Apocrine cysts – multiple cysts that are adjacent (also called apocrine hamartomas or nevi)
A cyst is usually a small bump and may seem to
roll around under your touch like a small pea or marble. They are
generally slow-growing and smooth to the touch. They are usually
painless, unless they are infected. However, sometimes they will grow
fairly large and will become bothersome even if not infected. They can
occur on any part of the body. You are most likely to discover them
while petting your cat.
A cyst is easily diagnosed. If you find an odd
bump on your cat, visit your vet to get it checked out. Depending on
the location, shape, look, and feel of the bump, your vet may recommend
a biopsy or may simply diagnose a cyst on the spot. A biopsy involves
using a needle to remove some cells from the lump or cutting away a
small bit of skin from the lump to be examined by a pathologist. The
biopsy will determine if the lump is a cyst or some sort of tumor,
perhaps a form of cancer, and let your vet know what kind of treatment
is needed. Alternatively, your vet may opt to simply remove the lump
Treatment and Removal
If your vet determines that the lump is just a
fluid filled cat cyst and that it is not causing your pet any problems,
he or she may advise leaving it alone. Cysts will often rupture and
heal on their own without any treatment.
If there is an infection, the fluid will need to be drained or the cyst may need to be surgically removed. If the cyst is causing your pet discomfort, if will also need to be removed. If there is any question about the nature of the lump, it should also be removed in order to make sure it is not cancerous or otherwise harmful to your cat.
Procedures used to remove cysts include eletrocautery (process that uses heat generated by electricity) or cryotherapy (freezing). Your cat will need to be sedated to minimize movement during the procedure. You cat may require anesthesia.
If you find that cat is frequently developing
cysts you might want to consider supplementing your cats diet
with natural treatments. One approach is offered by
PetAlive which offers a product that uses a combination of
homeopathic ingredients to support the skin and coat.
Cutaneous Pseudo-Neoplasms in Dogs and Cats
D.N. Carlotti, DECVD
Cabinet de Dermatologie Vétérinaire