Skin Tumors in Cats | Overview & Facts
PetWave | Dog & Cat Information

Skin Tumors in Cats: An Overview

Definition of Skin Tumors

Tumors, commonly called masses, cancers or neoplasms, are composed of new, abnormally fast-growing tissue that serves no useful purpose for the affected animal. Tumors of the skin (cutaneous) and subcutaneous soft tissue (between the outer layers of skin and the inner layers of muscle or bone) are visible lumps or bumps often seen or felt by owners. Skin tumors are the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer in companion cats.

How Skin Tumors Affect Cats

The effect of skin tumors on cats depends on the type of tumor, its size and location and its degree of aggressiveness. Normally, either the owner notices the tumor or it is discovered incidentally during a routine veterinary examination. Sometimes, skin tumors cause pruritis (itchiness), pain and/or self-trauma from scratching. Depending on their location, skin tumors can interfere with vision, smell or eating. They also can affect ambulation when located on the toes, paws or pads.

Causes of Feline Skin Tumors

The skin and underlying subcutaneous tissues are structurally complex and involve various layers and networks of skin, fibrous connective tissue, blood vessels, fat and nerves. Tumors of these areas are diverse and difficult to classify.

Neoplasms are caused by the progressive and uncontrolled growth of cells and tissue. In most cases, the precise cause of skin tumors is not known. Sometimes, they may be induced by trauma, viral infection, irritation, vaccinations and/or exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Certainly, hormones and genetics may also contribute to the development of skin masses.

Preventing Skin Tumors

Cats at risk for and previously affected by squamous cell carcinoma should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Discuss the possibility of vaccine-induced fibrosarcomas with your veterinarian. Most types of tumors cannot really be “prevented,” since their cause is unknown.

Special Notes

The prognosis for cats with skin tumors depends entirely upon the tumor type, size, location, aggressiveness and degree of differentiation. Cats with basal cell tumors have a good prognosis, as the tumors are usually solitary and benign, and when malignant are of low-grade and rarely metastasize. Cats with multicentric fibrosarcoma caused by the feline sarcoma virus have a poor prognosis, because surgical removal typically is not possible.

Source: PetWave


Liver Disease

Liver Disease in Cats Guide: Here you'll find in-depth information on Liver Disease in cats...


Deafness in Cats Guide: Here you'll find in-depth information on Deafness in cats including its...

Urinary Infections

Cat Urinary Infections Guide: Here you'll find in-depth information on Cat Urinary Infections including its...

Bone, Joint & Muscle

Bone, joint, and muscle disorders are often congenital or inherited, but can also be related...

Constipation in Cats

Constipation in Cats Guide: Here you'll find in-depth information on Constipation in cats including its...


Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

Ask a Vet

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Adoption | Cat Food & Diet

Advertise on - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter Email Friend about Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2015 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.