Lumps and bumps of the skin are rather common in dogs, but did you know that cats can get them, too? There are several kinds of bumps and growths that may affect cats, and a variety of reasons as to why.
If you have a scrappy kitty that has a tendency to get into fights, you may notice a bump known as an abscess. Abscesses commonly form due to bites or scratches from other cats, and are most often found on the head, legs, or base of the tail. The initial scratch or bite wound puncture usually heals quickly, trapping bacteria under the skin, resulting in infection, pain, and swelling. Abscesses require medical care to drain and flush out the affected area, and antibiotics to treat the infection.
Other lumpy bumpy skin problems in cats are usually attributed to various cancers. Mast cell tumors may appear on the skin around your cat’s head or face, and may be red or itchy. These kinds of tumors are often diagnosed by analysis of a sample taken with a small needle.
This pretty kitty recently had a mast cell tumor removed by one of our talented doctors. Ima’s mom noticed a bump next to her ear that appeared somewhat suddenly, so Ima was brought in to see the doctor. Testing revealed it was a mast cell tumor, which we were able to remove the very next day! While Ima’s tumor turned out to be non-cancerous, other kitties with mast cell tumors are not so lucky. Because of this, removal of any growth is a good idea to prevent any potential cancer from worsening or spreading.
Mammary tumors are another common tumor that cats may develop. This kind of tumor is usually seen in older intact females, and cats that were spayed after their first heat cycle. (Spaying a cat before her first heat reduces her risk of mammary tumors by nearly 90%!) These breast cancer tumors may go unnoticed until they are quite large – at first, they may be about the size of a BB pellet. These and other kinds of tumors often require surgical removal, and laboratory analysis to determine the nature of the tumor and the best way to treat it.
Growths, bumps, or anything suspicious regarding your cat’s health is best addressed as soon as possible. The passage of a few months in kitty time is the same as a few years for humans, so regular annual vet visits are highly recommended to catch minor issues before they become major concerns. Help us help you to ensure the longest and healthiest life possible for your favorite feline friend!