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Cats can develop small bumps, known as papules, or large bumps, known as nodules, on their skin. If you hear the word “tumor,” this means your cat has an abnormal growth and tumors are often associated with some type of cancer. When you hear a cat has a “lump,” you may also immediately think cancer is the cause; however, there are many reasons your cat would develop these.
A cat abscess is essentially a bubble of pus on your cat which is resulting in a lump. An abscess in a cat is often caused as a result of a bite from another cat and indicates an infection is present. When you feel these, they will feel firm and you are often able to tell they are full of fluid. These vary in shape and size.
Symptoms which accompany a cat abscess include:
When you take your cat into the veterinarian, your veterinarian will analyze your cat’s history and will often needle aspirate the abscess.
Treatment for an abscess requires surgery. During surgery, the veterinarian will open the abscess, drain the abscess and clean the abscess. Following surgery, antibiotics will be prescribed.
Basal cell tumors are the most common skin tumor in cats. These tumors begin as benign tumors and may become cancerous if not taken care of.
Symptoms of a basal cell tumor in cats include:
Your veterinarian will perform a biopsy to ensure the tumor is not cancerous.
If the biopsy results indicate the tumor is cancerous, surgical removal is necessary. If the tumor is non-cancerous, surgical removal is optional and may or may not be recommended based on your cat’s age and history.
Although surprising, your cat may develop lumps and bumps from a bee, hornet or wasp sting. Skin reactions can vary from minor to major dependent upon how your cat’s body reacts.
Symptoms from a cat bee sting vary but often include one or all of the following:
Your cat’s history will be taken into consideration for the diagnosis. A physical examination will also be performed.
Treatment of a bee sting varies dependent upon the severity of the reaction. Antihistamines and/or steroids are the common treatment.
Feline acne can occur one time or multiple times. This is most commonly noticed in the chin area and can become severe if not recognized.
Symptoms of feline acne include:
A physical examination is necessary to diagnose feline acne to ensure there are no underlying medical problems. A skin biopsy is also often necessary.
Treatment of feline acne often includes some type of medical shampoo, Vitamin A to be placed topically on your cat’s skin and/or antibiotics.
Fibrosarcoma is an aggressive tumor which often occurs at the site of a vaccination or injection. This may be induced by FeLV. These tumors are rapidly growing.
Symptoms of fibrosarcoma in cats include:
In order to determine if your cat has fibrosarcoma, a biopsy is necessary.
If the results of the biopsy indicate your cat has fibrosarcoma, surgical removal may be recommended. Since the tumor is aggressive and invasive, a large area around the tumor must be removed as well. This sometimes takes a large portion of your cat’s muscle and/or bone. If the tumor is on the leg, amputation of the leg is often recommended. Chemotherapy and radiation may also be recommended.
Cat Mast cell tumors are common forms of cancer and are graded on a scale of 1-4. A one is a slow-growing tumor whereas a four is a rapidly forming, aggressive cancerous tumor. Most cats are found at grade 1.
Symptoms of a mast cell tumor include:
A biopsy is utilized to determine if the tumor is cancerous. If the tumor is cancerous, the veterinarian will then grade the tumor on a scale of 1-4.
Treatment varies based on the severity of the tumor. Surgical removal of the tumor and surrounding area is often the first step. Once the tumor is removed, chemotherapy and radiation may be necessary.