As a pet owner it is terrifying to find out that your cat has cancer. Not all cancers carry a poor prognosis however. Some solid tumors can be surgically removed and may be curative if diagnosed early. Other forms of cancer may not be diagnosed until they have spread.
Cancer can develop in any part of the body and is a condition that occurs when cells in your cat's body grow uncontrollably, often destroying healthy cells. A group of abnormal cells that consolidates into a mass is referred to as a tumor.
The most common cancers affecting cats are breast cancer, skin cancer, bone cancer, mouth cancer, and cancers of the connective and lymphatic tissues. Many appear as tumor that can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors can be treated or removed, while malignant tumors are more difficult to remove.
To identify cancer, watch for changes in your cat's behaviour as well as symptoms listed below. As a cat owner, you can take preventative steps to reduce your cat's risk of developing certain types of cancer. Spaying and neutering will drastically help reduce your pet's risk, in fact female cats spayed before their first heat rarely develop mammary cancer and those spayed after their first heat cycle are ten times less likely to get mammary cancer than those who are not. In males, neutering helps reduce the risk of testicular cancer.
- sudden abdominal swelling
- persistent sores
- unexplained bad breath
- dry cough
- weight loss
- reoccurring vomiting
- disinterest in physical activities
- unexplained bleeding from the mouth, nose, or genital areas
- lump or swollen lymph nodes
It is heartbreaking to find out that your pet has cancer and one often wonders what we can do to help our babies. It is important to maintain a good quality of life for your cat and to boost the weakened immune system as a strong immune system may help fight cancerous cells.
Never self diagnose your pet or administer any product without first consulting your vet. To support your pet’s recovery, always ensure they have a constant supply of fresh water and eat only high quality nourishing food.