Cancer in cats occurs when various cells grow out of control creating lumpy masses known as tumors. This condition can develop anywhere within the body, and there are basically two types of tumors: benign and malignant. Benign tumors are those that do not spread making them quite easy to treat. On the other hand, malignant tumors can spread throughout the cat’s body and are often fatal.
Most Common Types of Cat Cancer
Cat cancer is less common than dog cancer; however, when cats do happen to develop the condition, it tends to be of the malignant type. Lymphoma is one of the most common types of cancer in cats today. This type of cancer is typically associated with feline leukemia virus or exposure to the virus. Other types of cancer that cats may develop are as follows:
- Oral Squamous Carcinoma
- Fibrosarcoma (Soft Tissue Sarcoma)
- Lung and Brain Tumors
- Nasal and Liver Tumors
- Mammary Tumors
- Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)
Common Symptoms of Cancer in Cats
The symptoms of cancer in cats may vary depending on several factors including the type of cancer, its location in the body and how far it has progressed. However, there are some symptoms that are common to many types of cancer, and they are listed here:
- Vomiting and/or Diarrhea With or Without Blood
- Frequent Urination and/or Blood in Urine
- Loss of Appetite/Weight Loss
- Lethargy and/or Depression
- Unusual Lumps and/or Crusty Lesions
- Wounds That Heal Slowly
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
- Difficulty Breathing
Typical Treatments for Cat Cancer
The treatments for cancer in cats depends on the type of cancer, its location and its severity. However, surgery is one of the most common treatment methods for lumps that can be easily removed. For lumps that are in delicate locations or are too large to remove, treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy are often used.
The prognosis for cats with cancer varies depending on the factors mentioned previously. However, the prognosis for those with benign forms of cancer is quite good. Unfortunately, this is not so with pets that have developed malignant forms of the disease. In these cases, the survival rate is less than 50 percent.
Causes of Cat Cancer
Currently, it is not known what causes cancer to develop in our feline friends. There are many theories pertaining to the causes including heredity, carcinogens, various viruses and dietary factors. Nevertheless, there have been no significant findings to prove any of these theories.
Cancer can be a serious condition in cats, especially if it is the malignant type. While this condition is not widespread in felines, it is best to keep an eye out for any symptoms of cancer in cats. If your pet develops any of these symptoms, seeking out treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy can help extend its life. Learn here all about cancer in dogs.