Cancer warning signs in cats, if you understand what to look for, could potentially save your pets life.
It was not that many years ago that if your cat was diagnosed with cancer it was usually an automatic death sentence for your loyal friend and companion.
However, there have been so many advancements, especially in feline cancer research, that if you can catch this killer of diseases early enough, the odds of your cat beating it improves dramatically.
Cancer is one of the most common diseases in cats, and it can occur in almost any location or any part of your cat’s body.
It can attack the skin, the stomach and the bowels, as well as your cat’s urinary system which includes the kidney and the bladder.
It can also attack your cat’s nervous system, the brain, as well as all of their bones.
The most troubling aspect about cancer is that in most cases no one, including your veterinarian, will ever know the actual cause.
As a result of this, it is very difficult to prevent as it still accounts for over fifty percent of all cat deaths over the age of ten years.
However, there are several warning signs that you can watch for with this beast.
Cancer warning signs in cats will depend on the type and the location of the cancer and how fast it is spreading.
There are numerous warning signs, but the following are the most common and can help to identify the vast majority of cancers in your cat.
Lumps or Growths
The first of the cancer warning signs in cats is a very sudden lump or growth development.
Skin growths are very common in cats and they are lumps of tissue that are either within their skin or under their skin.
A small lump is described as papules while a larger lump is referred to as a nodule. As your cat ages, these may be common occurrences.
Although a lump or a growth in almost always associated with cancer, there are several potential causes other than cancer.
It may be something as simple as an allergic reaction, or simply a cyst. However, it is also the first warning that you can visibly see that your cat may indeed have cancer.
If you do see any type of a newly developed lump of growth, do not wait, and error on the safe side.
If it is warm or painful, run; do not walk, to your veterinarian.
The next potential warning sign is a firm mass that has developed, especially if it is attached to underlying tissue.
An abnormal growth or mass can appear very quickly in your cat on their skin as well as under the surface of the skin.
They can be encapsulated or invasive and attached to an underlying structure.
In most all cases, a firm mass will be some type of a tumor. They can be either benign or malignant, but they are never a good sign to see in your cat.
If the mass becomes pigmented or changes its basic shape or character, it may be the first sign that you have that your cat has melanoma.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer that your cat will ever face, and this pigmentation is a warning sign that must be reacted to very quickly.
Sores or Wounds
Cancer warning signs in cats also include either a sore or a wound that will not heal. Your cats immune system is one of the most advanced systems that have ever been designed.
It will automatically begin to heal any type of a sore or a wound that they have suffered, unless there is an obstruction such as a growth or tumor that is interfering with the process.
Difficulty eating or swallowing
If your cat has a difficult time eating or swallowing, it may be caused by Dysphagia, which has several potential causes.
It may be the result of inflammation of the chewing muscles, weakness of the muscles, or even a dental disease.
However, in the vast majority of cases, it is the result of a foreign body, a mass, or a tumor in the mouth or the pharynx.
This is never a good sign in your cat as something is definitely not right.
As any cat owner can attest to, one of the last problems you ever have with your cat is them losing weight as it is almost always just the opposite.
For this reason, this is another one of the huge cancer warning signs in cats.
Weight loss may also be related to a poor absorption of nutrients, a poor digestion, or a metabolic disorder.
However, most of these will be gradual and occur over time. Cancer will also start out as gradual, but it will speed the weight loss as it intensifies.
All cats will vomit several times in their lifespan, but a very sudden bout of repeated vomiting is a sign that there is something very seriously wrong with your cat.
In most all cases, there is some kind of a blockage and that blockage is usually in the form of cancer.
Cancer warning signs in cats can never be discussed without coughing coming up. If your cat coughs, it should stop you dead in your tracks as it is that serious.
Coughing can be caused by heart-worms or heart failure developing, but the one of the most common causes is from lung tumors that are obstructing your cat’s windpipe.
All cats will naturally develop some type of a mild lameness at one time or another in their lives.
It is usually the result of a mild injury that has occurred and is very normal.
However, what is not normal is a very sudden and persistent lameness.
If this does occur, there is something causing it, and it is usually some type of a cancerous growth that has developed.
Cancer warning signs in cats will also include a loss of appetite, difficult or labored breathing, as well as a gradual and then persistent bloody urine.
Other warning signs will include a gradual loss of energy to the point of becoming lethargic, as well as a sudden development of both straining and a difficult time in defecating.
Cancer can successfully be treated if it is caught early enough in your cat. However, it still is one of the largest killers of cats worldwide.
Understanding some of the basic warning signs and than reacting very rapidly may result in precious time that may help save your cats life from this killer.