Skin Cancer in Cats: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention Recognize Early Signs to Provide Instant Tratement to Your Cat

Skin Cancer in Cats: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention Photo by Drift Shutterbug:

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Find out about the symptoms, causes, and current treatments for skin cancer in felines.

Tumors can either be benign, in which case they are not harmful, or malignant, in which case they are harmful and grow rapidly. Although learning that your cat has skin cancer can be devastating, many forms of the disease are highly treatable if detected in their earliest stages. 


If you find a lump or bump on your cat, you should get it checked out by a vet in case it is skin cancer. It's possible that even the most diligent pet owners, those who take their dog or cat on regular vet visits and make sure their pet gets plenty of fresh water and a balanced hills prescription diet, aren't aware that they need to take measures to protect their pet's skin.

What Causes Skin Cancer In Cats?

Sunlight is the primary culprit in the development of skin cancer in felines. White-furred, short-haired, and hairless cats like the Sphynx are especially vulnerable to sunburn. An increased risk of skin cancer in cats has also been linked to the behavior of compulsive licking, which damages the skin. Furthermore, some forms of skin cancer run in families. If you think your cat has sensitive skin, you need to be extra careful with your skin needs. Make sure you provide them with Purina pro plan sensitive skin and stomach diet and apply sunscreen.

Types of Skin Cancer in Cats

Cats are prone to developing one of three different forms of skin cancer.

Melanoma, Malignant

Cats can get malignant melanomas on any mucous membrane, but they most commonly appear in the mouth and nose because these tumors begin in the cells that produce melanin. This can also lead to a lack of appetite. So make sure you provide your cat with easily digestible cat food


Such tumors can occasionally manifest themselves topically. You can visit your vet and order the prescribed pet meds online. Rapid metastasis of this skin cancer to the lymph nodes and other organs is a common occurrence. This form may have a genetic basis.

Cancer Of The Squamous Cells

Because of their susceptibility to the sun, cats are more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, which initially manifests as solar dermatitis', or crusty, red areas, most commonly on the tips of their ears, eyelids, and nose. 


Scabbing can appear and disappear, and if left untreated, it can develop into cancer. Fortunately, this type is typically very slow to spread and rarely spreads before the later stages.

As their skin is more sensitive to UV light, white cats are at a much higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. Hence it is important to take care of their skin needs and, in case of any skin infection, take them to the vet, who will prescribe basic meds such as Atopica for cats. It will help heal the infection quickly and won’t grow into anything serious.  

Mast-Cell Tumors

Mast cell tumors, which originate in your cat's immune system's mast cells, manifest as a lump under the skin, most often in the cat's head or neck. This form of skin cancer can be triggered by a combination of hereditary factors, inflammation, and irritation. Siamese cats, in particular, are more vulnerable.

Causes And Signs Of Skin Cancer In Cats

Cat skin cancer symptoms vary from cancer type to cancer type, but there are some common warning signs you can look out for:

  • The development of scabs, most notably around the nose, eyes, and ears.

  • Crusty, blackened areas of skin.

  • Ruptured, irritated skin.

  • Acne-like bumps and redness on the skin.

  • Disabling wounds that refuse to mend.

  • Ulcers.

  • Depressed energy levels

Squamous cell carcinomas are skin cancers that tend to get worse in the summer and better in the winter. When you groom your cat on a regular basis, you can inspect its skin closely for any signs of abnormalities like lumps, bumps, or wounds. 

Getting your cat to the vet as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary is crucial if you want to give it the best chance of making a full recovery. If the vet says it is a benign skin infection, they will prescribe antibiotics for cats which will help your fur friend recover quickly.

Diagnosis Of Skin Cancer In A Cat

Needle aspiration is commonly used to diagnose skin cancer in cats; this entails removing cells from the affected area with a very small needle and then analyzing them under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous. It's possible that your cat will need to be sedated for a surgical biopsy to confirm cancer. A lymph node fluid sample and/or X-rays may also be performed.

Therapies For Feline Skin Cancer

Removal of the tumor typically necessitates surgical intervention. If the ears are affected, surgical removal (known as a penectomy) may be necessary; however, this will not result in any loss of hearing. 

Whether or not chemotherapy is suggested will be based on how far along the cancer is. Cryotherapy (where extreme cold is used to freeze and kill cancerous cells) and radiation therapy are two options if cancer cannot be surgically removed.

Skin cancer can only be cured by surgically removing the entire tumor, and even then, cancer may return. Make sure to give your cat proper food and nutrition, such as wellness cat food. It is important to take care of your pet’s overall health so they can develop immunity to fight against these diseases.

Preventing Skin Cancer in Cats

Avoiding breeding with susceptible cats is the only way to reduce the likelihood of passing on a genetic predisposition to cancer.

The sun's rays can cause some skin problems, but there are ways to deal with them. Daily application of a pet-friendly, water-resistant sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) is recommended if your cat has any exposed areas of pink skin. When temperatures rise, it's best to keep hairless and light-coated cats inside, especially in the middle of the day when the sun's rays are the strongest.

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