Care and Treatment of Feline Tumors

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Feline tumors are masses caused by abnormal cell growth. Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) and can appear in all parts of the body. Sometimes they are in places where they can be felt from the outside, most often when you are petting or grooming your cat. Other times, they are inside the body, and you will not be able to notice the tumor itself. You will have to rely on other symptoms to know that something is wrong that needs to be addressed.

Types of Feline Tumors:

There are many types of feline tumors including:

Cat Tumor Symptoms

Cat tumor symptoms include, of course, a mass that you can feel on your cat’s body. This may feel like a small lump or bump or a swollen place on your cat’s skin. But sometimes your cat may have a tumor that you can’t feel from the outside. There are other symptoms of cancer that you might notice in your cat. 

Feline tumor symptoms include:

If you notice these symptoms in your cat, or if you feel a lump on her body, you should take her to the vet for a check up.

Feline Tumors Diagnosis

If you bring your cat to the vet with signs of a feline tumor, the vet will do a very thorough physical exam, which will include feeling your cat’s body for any abnormal masses. If a mass can be felt, your veterinarian will x-ray that area of your cat’s body. Your vet may also do an ultrasound of the area, in order to get a better look.

You vet will do some other tests as well, such as blood tests and a urinalysis. That will tell the vet a lot about how your cat’s organs are functioning. For instance, your vet may not be able to feel a tumor on your cat’s liver, but if your cat has liver cancer, a blood test may indicate that the liver is not working properly. Based on that blood work, your vet may decide to do an ultrasound of the liver.

If your vet suspects a brain tumor, a CT scan or an MRI will be necessary in order to confirm the diagnosis. The skull is too thick for an x-ray.

Once a tumor is found, it’s important to know whether it is cancerous or not, and if so, what type of cancer it is. The answers to these questions will determine the appropriate treatment. The way to answer these questions is to do a biopsy. A small piece of the tumor is surgically removed and examined (biopsy).

Feline Tumors Treatment

There are several ways to treat feline tumors and new therapies being tested all of the time. Feline tumors can be treated surgically, with medication (chemotherapy), or with radiation. Often a combination of treatments is used. The appropriate treatment depends on the type of tumor, its size, and its location. It also depends on whether it has spread to other organs.  

You might also want to research supportive steps for a cat suffering from feline tumors such as natural dietary supplements such as the one offered by PetAlive C-Caps which is a formula designed for the prevention and treatment of cancer in cats. While this isn't a cure, developments in this area are worth watching.

Feline Tumor References:

Feline Tumor
Tess Thompson


Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook 

Primary and Secondary Bone Tumors in the Cat
M.H. Goldschmidt and D.E. Thrall

Advances in Feline Oncology
Barbara E. Kitchell DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Oral Cavity Tumors
Cornell Feline Health Center

Feline Lung Tumors
L. Johnson
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California

Feline Mammary Tumors: Current and Future Therapies
T.M. Fan
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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