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Lump or bump on your cat’s skin, what does it mean?

by Twila Beasley on October 4, 2016

So you’re in enjoying a purrrfect cuddle session with your cat and noticed a pretty big lump on her belly, chin, tail, or somewhere else on her body. What could it be? Listed below are a few possibilities.  If you feel a lump you should have your vet check it out.

Mild Trauma

A small injury can cause a lump on your cat’s skin such as receiving a shot. These lumps usually go away on its own but can become infected. If the lump hasn’t gone away after a couple days, contact your vet.

Abscesses

This is a swollen area filled with puss, that comes from when your cat has been bitten or scratched. The swollen spot will be red and painful so much so that your cat may not let you touch it. If this is the case your cat may show symptoms of tiredness and lack of appetite. A warm compress usually helps in the meantime of scheduling that vet appointment. More than likely your vet will prescribe medication and trim the fur around the area to keep it clean. If the abscesses is deep surgery maybe needed.

Tumor

Fatty tumors, aka lipomas can take up residence any where on your cat’s body. The good news is these tumors aren’t cancerous but need to be removed, unless it’s not hindering your cat from getting around. Fatty tumors are usually common in older cats and/or cats that are overweight for their breed. The vet will make sure the tumor isn’t cancerous by taking needle samples. If it’s not cancerous the vet will suggest to leave it alone and watch it for changes. However if the tumor get larger or worse treatment will be needed.

Mast Cell Tumors

Will typically be found on your cat’s head or neck and can be itchy and red. Mast Cell Tumors are normally not cancerous but 10% are.

Fibrosarcomas

Are the cancerous tumors of the bunch. Fibrosarcomas can be found anywhere on the body but is usually the result of a side affect from a vaccine. However this is rare, but if you notice a lump at injection site tell your vet right away.

Breast Cancer

Is the most common type of cancer found in cats. These tumors form on the underside of the cat by her nipples and usually go unnoticed until it grows larger. These tumors start out the size of a BB pellet. Getting your cat spayed before going into heat can cut her chances of breast cancer by 90%. A veterinary oncologist will be needed to remove the tumors and tissues around it. In some cases radiation and chemo treatments maybe recommended.

Acne

Yep, just like people cats too can become victims to acne. If you notice  a small bump(s) on your cat’s face or chin, chances are its a pimple or black head. Have your vet confirm that your cat has acne before assuming that its no big deal. If your vet diagnose your cat with acne he or she will recommend a special facial wash or medication to remove excess oils.

Ticks

Once a tick has embedded itself in the skin it can feel like a lump or bump. Indoor cats can also become prey to ticks due to other pets or humans going back and forth between outdoor and indoor, ticks can catch a ride inside while you’re out. Never try to pull the tick out yourself, may lead to infections. Let your vet handle that. Your vet may also run test afterward to make sure your cat doesn’t have the kitty version of Lyme disease.

Bug Bites

Just like with humans, if a cat becomes bitten by an ant, spider, mosquito, or worse stung by a wasp can cause a bump. The site maybe red and itch a lot. bites on the nose or ears maybe worse. A cool compress can ease the itching feeling but if your pet has been stung, you will need your vet to properly remove the stinger. Some cats are highly allergic to flea bites and can break out in a rash so make sure to keep up with treatment.

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