Cat Cancer

Cats are fluffy little companions who we learn to love and care for regardless of their attitude. When a cat is diagnosed with cancer, it can be devastating. Unfortunately, one in five cats gets cancer. However, some cancers are treatable if caught early. Hence, the importance of scheduling regular wellness visits to the veterinarian.

Cats tend to mask illness; therefore, it is crucial to check up for any symptoms related to cancer. Cat cancer symptoms are subtle, but the most common are lumps and bumps. There is not a determinate cause for cat cancer. However, like all cancers, it is believed to be a variety of toxins in the environment.

Veterinary placing a catheter

Types of Cat Cancer

Although cat cancer isn't as common as dog cancer, it still affects many felines. Cat cancer is also harder to detect due to subtle symptoms and cats' ability to hide illness. But, like other cancers, there is a bigger chance of survival and less costly treatments when diagnosed earlier.

Below is a list and a brief description of the most common cancers in cats. However, it is just an introduction and if you suspect your cat might have cancer, schedule a veterinarian appointment today.

The most common types of canine cancer are:

This condition affects cats of all ages but is most common in middle-aged to older cats. These small tumors are dark blue, brown, or black and are usually located in the external ear canal. It is thought to be congenital or degenerative.

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Symptoms and Signs of Cancer in Cats

As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to observe any changes in your cats' physical appearance and behavior. However, cat cancer symptoms are not always apparent right away, and they might develop over time when the cancer continues to grow or spread. Therefore, taking your cat to periodical checkups is crucial for early diagnosis.

tired sick cat

The following symptoms do not necessarily mean your cat has cancer. However, they are common in cats developing cancer, and you should go to a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis.

  • Soreness that does not heal
  • Lumps that change shape or size
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in bathroom habits
  • Difficulty urinating or defecating
  • Unexplained bleeding or discharge from the body
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing
  • Stiffness or lameness
  • Oral odor
  • Lethargy

What Do You Need to Know?

While there is no proven cause for cat cancer, many experts consider that the feline leukemia virus is an essential contributor. Luckily, there is a vaccine against the feline leukemia virus that can reduce the risk of cancer. This vaccine is highly recommended to cats that spend time outdoors.

Other factors that could increase a cat's risk of developing cancer are exposure to tobacco smoke, asbestos, prolonged sunlight, and lack of exercise. Although indoor cats tend to live three times longer than outdoor cats, it is still essential to practice a healthy lifestyle and maintain a preventative health care regimen. Cat cancer is not untreatable; however, the later it is diagnosed, the harder it gets to treat and cure.

Sick cat under the dropper

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Diagnosis and Treatment for Cat Cancer

Only a veterinarian can diagnose feline cancer. Hence the importance of scheduling periodic checkups. Here at Advanced Care, we begin a complete physical exam and run blood work. Then, we will perform radiographs, ultrasound, or a biopsy to determine the tumor type if necessary. None of these methods will cause pain to your cat and will help us accurately diagnose and start a treatment plan.

A treatment plan will consider all treatments options available according to your cats' health, life expectancy, cost, your expectations, possible lifestyle changes, and any possible side effect. Traditional cat cancer treatments involve:

  • Oral medication
  • Intravenous chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy 
  • Surgical reduction or removal of the tumor
  • Ancillary pain management
sick cat

There are more options to treat cat cancer now more than ever. It is essential to observe any changes in your cat's appearance or personality, make sure they maintain a healthy lifestyle and practice a preventative health care regimen to reduce the risk of cat cancer.

If you suspect cancer in your cat, the Advance Care Veterinary Hospital team is here to clear your doubts and make the process easy. contact us or call us to schedule a preventative visit for your cat today. We look forward to helping you ensure your pet remains happy and healthy!

Why Choose Advanced Care for Cat Veterinary Services?

Advanced Care is more than just a primary care hospital. Our patients and clients are special to us and are the reason why we always treat everyone who comes to visit as another member of our family each and every time they walk in our doors. We do not treat every patient the same because we understand that each one requires individualized care and attention.

Advanced Care is more than just a primary care hospital. Our patients and clients are special to us and are the reason why we always treat everyone who comes to visit as another member of our family each and every time they walk in our doors. We do not treat every patient the same because we understand that each one requires individualized care and attention.

Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital Hallway

Meet Our Doctors

Jennifer Patton
DVM, CVC, CCRT

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Dr. Patton’s decision to pursue veterinary medicine came after she realized that while education and teaching is her passion, it is not something she could do as a career. Veterinary medicine allowed her to combine her love of animals with her love of teaching.

After she graduated from Oklahoma State University with her Doctorate, she practiced in several high volume hospitals in the Tulsa area, developing medical skills with varied case loads and growing her leadership skills.

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Allissa Huckabay
DVM, CVA

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Dr. Huckabay’s love of science and animals naturally led her to a lifelong passion of veterinary medicine. She worked and volunteered at a local veterinary hospital before she furthered her education at Oklahoma State University, graduating in 2016 with her Doctorate.

Dr Huckabay immediately found her home at ACVH, where she is able to create a healthy bond with each of her patients as she experiences all stages of their care with their owners.

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Matt Sellers
DVM

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Matthew Sellers, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences, where he also attended his undergraduate studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Science. Dr. Sellers was on the Dean's list and Presidents Honor Roll during his time at OSU. After a year of general practice, Dr. Sellers began studying acupuncture through the Chi Institute and completed the course in December of 2016.

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Phillip Adolph
DVM

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Phillip Adolph, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences. He also attended OSU for his undergraduate studies where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Sciences. Dr. Adolph was on the President’s Honor Roll and was a member of the OSU jazz orchestra. He joined the Advanced Care team immediately upon his graduation in 2019 after doing 6 weeks of externships during his 4th year of veterinary school.

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