HEALTH & WELLNESS
AACL – Animal Anti-Cruelty League
We’re excited and honoured to feature South Africa’s second largest independent animal welfare organisation on PetlifeSA.
An Overview of Cancer in Cats
It’s unclear what causes most cancers in cats. Fortunately for cat owners, feline cancer is not as common as cancer in dogs.
Still, it’s good to be aware of the signs of cancer in cats because they can hide illness which can delay diagnosis and treatment. Also, cancer in cats tends to be more aggressive so early action is imperative.
COMMON CANCERS IN CATS
- Fibrosarcoma: A soft tissue tumour
- Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas: A malignant tumour; usually affects middle-aged to older cats
- Lymphoma: A very common malignant cancer of the lymphatic system (associated with feline leukemia virus for which there is a vaccine)
LESS COMMON CANCERS IN CATS
- Liver tumours
- Lung tumours
- Brain tumours
- Nasal tumours
- Mammary tumours (spaying has decreased incidence)
SYMPTOMS OF CANCER IN CATS
- Hiding more than usual
- Discharge from eyes or nose
- Pain or discomfort in general
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Loss of appetite or refusing to eat
- Skin changes including lumps and bumps
- Changes in the mouth could indicate oral cat cancer
- Breathing difficulty usually when cancer leads to fluid in the lungs
- Diarrhoea and vomiting are common with gastrointestinal lymphoma
When a cat is not thriving in general (sluggish, losing weight, poor coat conditions, etc.) he or she should see a veterinarian as soon as possible.