Eyelid Tumors in Cats
The first symptom will be a swelling or nodule on the surface of the eyelid

Eyelid tumors in cats do not occur quite as frequently as they do in dogs, but there is one major difference; in cats, they are almost always malignant.

There are several different types of tumors that can affect your cat’s eyelids and the actual damage to the eye or the body will depend on the type of tumor.

What is especially difficult with this condition is that there are several other conditions that are very similar.

However, all growths are potentially dangerous, and if it is a tumor, the real danger is that if not caught very early, they can easily spread to other parts of your pet’s body.

Their face and neck regions are the most prone to attack.


There are several different types of eyelid tumors in cats, but the most common is Squamous cell carcinoma, also referred to as SCC.

This form of cancer appears to attack white cats of any breed much more frequently, especially as they get older and spend a lot of time outdoors.

This tumor is also the one of most common forms of skin cancer in not only in cats, but dogs and humans as well.

A carcinoma that affects your cat’s eyelids can be characterized in two ways.

It is a situ, which means that it is confined to just the original site, or invasive, where in can and quite often does affect other organs.

These tumors are in most cases the result of exposure to sunlight and it is believed that white cats or very light colored cats are more at risk.

This form of tumor should be taken very seriously, as it can spread very easily to your cats head and their neck, where it is much more dangerous.

The next common forms of eyelid tumors in cats are from Lymphosarcoma and mast cell tumors.

is a neoplasm of malignant lymphocytes that usually affects the lymph nodes or bone marrow in your cat and it can first show up in the eyelids.

Hematopoietic tumors, which involve the process by which cellular elements of the blood are formed, are the most frequent of all tumors in cats.

They account for over thirty five percent of all tumors.


Lymphosarcoma accounts for over ninety percent of all hematopoietic tumors in cats, and these usually form between the ages of two and six.

These forms of eyelid tumors are also very dangerous, as they can also spread into your cat spleen, liver, or bone marrow, which is extremely dangerous.

Mast cell tumors are a type of tumor that consists of mast cells that originate from your cats bone marrow.

They are normal components of your pet’s immune system and release histamine as a response to an allergic reaction as well as responding to some type of a trauma.

Many veterinarians refer to mast cell tumors as the great pretenders simply because they have so many different forms. They can look like a wart, a soft lump, or an ulcerated skin mass.

They also can be hairless, ulcerated, or extremely itchy to your cat. But they all have one thing in common; they are raised lumps on their eyelids that should not be there.

Mean green eyesTearing in the eyes is the first real symptom of eyelid tumors in cats


There are several symptoms that you can watch for with eyelid tumors in cats that will signal you that something is wrong.

No one in this world will know your cats eyes better than you do, and the first symptom will be a swelling, a nodule, or small mass formation on either your cat’s eyelid surface or along the outlines of the eyelid.

The next symptom of eyelid tumors in cats to develop is usually an ulcerated or reddish area in the margin, which is the space directly above the eyelid.

Once these symptoms surface, look very close at your cats eyes.

The next symptom is usually a clouding affect that is starting to cover the eye as a result of the tumor.

It is usually a bluish film like haze that will stand out once examined.

By now your cat will be showing you additional symptoms.

Their eyes will start to tear up, and there is most likely mucous or pus like discharge starting to come from the eye itself.

This is now causing your cat to blink and squint as they are trying to see.

As the tumor becomes more invasive, your cat is now constantly pawing at the infected eye and it may start to slowly bleed as a result.


Eyelid tumors in cats are very difficult to identify, unless you really watch the symptoms and understand the growth formations.

There are several other eyelid infections that may affect your cat and are quite common.

is very easy to dismiss an actual tumor as one of the following lesser conditions.

Chalazion is a condition that affects your cat’s eyes that is a retention and accumulation of material within the glands of your pets eyelids.

The difference is that they remain smooth in shape and are light colored and will not cause any real irritation in your cat.

However, there are two types of fungal infections that are very similar to eyelid tumors in cats.

The first is fugal granuloma, which is an infection that causes small nodules in the margins, and ringworm fungal infection, that causes inflammation of the eyelids.

This infection will produce a crusty type of a lesion, but it is not a nodule or a mass growth, which most tumors are. 

Parasite infections caused by mites often lead to mange in your cat will also affect the eyelids, but these are also lesions rather than nodules.

Your cat’s eyelids can also be the target of fly larva.

The Cuterebra fly is notorious for laying their eggs along the eyelids of cats.

After the eggs hatch, the worms grow under your cats skin and a slow growing mass develops around the worm that lies beneath.

However, as gross as this is, it is not real dangerous and you will be able to see a small hole in this mass that this worm uses to breath.


Eyelid tumors in cats in most cases will become malignant tumors that will require surgery and other treatments for cancer.

Any growth or mass on your cat’s eyelid should be treated with a real sense of concern and urgency as it can and does spread.

If it does spread, it threatens a lot more than just your cat’s eyesight.

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