Can cats get cancer? Most cat owners get astonished when their veterinarian tells them that their cats have cancer. The truth is cancer is not very common in cats as compared to dogs. But that doesn’t mean cats cannot get cancer.
A study conducted by the Animal Cancer Foundation revealed that out of every 5 cats, one will develop cancer before death. As a cat owner, you’ve probably noticed how difficult it is to detect illnesses.
Cats are masters in masking illnesses. When you find out about your cat’s illness, the disease will have progressed, and treating it will be very expensive. There are four common types of cat cancers. Let’s discuss them.
Among all the cancers, Lymphoma is the most common type of cancer in cats. It’s a blood cancer that makes lymphocytes multiply rapidly and in an uncontrolled manner. In every living organism, lymphocytes or white blood cells protect the body against infectious illnesses. When a cat has lymphoma, the intestines, lymph nodes, nasal cavity, liver, and the kidneys are highly likely to get affected.
What causes lymphoma? A recent study conducted by best paper writing service revealed that Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a leading cause of lymphoma in cats. This led to the development of the FeLV vaccine, which protects the cat against the virus and other different forms of lymphoma.
Apart from being preventable, lymphoma is also treatable cancer. The standard treatment for lymphoma is chemotherapy. After the treatment, cats usually have a pretty good life. Chemotherapy is a very effective way of treating and eliminating lymphoma because the virus responds well to it.
According to grademiners review, 75% of chemotherapy makes cats go into remission. If treated aggressively, only one third will do well for about two years. However, the duration of remission and response rate depending on the environment and breed of the cat.
2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The second common type of cat cancer is the Squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin cancer that usually develops on areas where the skin is exposed, such as the nose, eyelids, and ears.
This cancer is common with white cats in sunny weather. If identified and treated early, your cat’s life will be saved, and you won’t end up spending a lot of money on treatment. Cat owners can prevent their cats from getting this by reading easy essays and protecting their cats against the sun’s UV rays.
Squamous cell carcinoma can also develop in the mouth; however, this only accounts for 10% of cats. This type of cancer is aggressive. If you notice anything weird with your cat, consult your veterinarian right away.
Another aggressive cancer that can affect your cat is the Fibrosarcoma. It is a tumor that grows and affects the fibrous connective tissues of your cat. Fibrosarcoma can start developing at the site of injection when administering medications.
In most cases, it developed after cats were injected vaccines, antibiotics, subcutaneous fluids, and insulin, to name a few. This type of cancer is quite rare. In fact, a study conducted by the American Veterinary Association revealed that only one case appeared in about ten to thirty thousand vaccinations.
Your veterinarian can limit or reduce the vaccination frequency. He or she can also specify the injection site to reduce irritation and the risk of Fibrosarcoma. It’s been noted that vaccines that don’t contain aluminum will reduce irritation at the site of injection.
The three types of cancers are the most common types of cancer among cats. However, they are not the only ones. Your cat can develop other cancerous tumors in the liver, stomach, mammary glands, nasal cavities, and lungs.
It’s always important to be on the lookout since cats are masters of deceit. So, how will you know if your cat has developed cancer? Noting the signs and taking immediate action early enough will save your cat and your money. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms
Signs and Symptoms of Cat Cancer
- Loss of weight – Your cat will lose a lot of weight because most of its energy is being used to fight the virus in the body. Healthy cats maintain or increase weight gradually. If your cat starts losing weight gradually, it’s time for you to take him to the vet.
- Sores that don’t heal – If your cat has had a sore or an injury and it’s taking weeks to heal, you need to take him to the vet. Sores that don’t heal will definitely be an easy entry for bacteria and other dangerous viruses. Don’t let your cat roam around with open sores before they are treated.
- Loss of appetite – Just like human beings, cats will lose appetite when they have a serious health issue. If your cat refuses to eat what he loves, you should consult your vet right away. Do not change his diet quickly. Or if you do, let your vet know.
- Difficulty in eating and drinking – This one is different from the loss of appetite. With the loss of appetite, the cat ignores the food and sleeps or goes away. But in this case, the cat tries to eat or drink and fails. This could be due to painful sores in the mouth.
- Difficulty in breathing – Breathe affects everything your cat does. Your cat could be experiencing difficulty in breathing if you notice quick, shallow breaths. Always monitor the movement of his belly at rest. Again, he will probably spend a lot of time resting instead of playing.
- Lameness or laziness – Is your cat lazy? Most cats are usually happy and active. They love roaming around the house and hunting. If your cat starts being lazy or struggles to walk around, this is a symptom of something big. Consult your vet right away.
- Lumps and abnormal swellings – Spending time with your cat will help you detect any abnormal swellings. When playing, touch him everywhere. Lumps and swellings are not easy to detect because they are normally covered with fur. Through touch, you will easily detect them and take action.
What Happens When Your Cat Has Cancer?
The vet cannot tell if your cat has cancer by looking at him alone. He or she will need blood samples for screening. If the cancer is in its infant stage, it will be easier to treat. Your vet might also recommend further tests such as X-Rays and Ultrasound. These tests will not only help in the treatment of cancer alone but also detect other diseases that could be in your cat’s system. The tests will also show if your cat is fit to undergo surgery.
Cancer can be treated in its early stages. When cancer has spread inwards, it’s likely to affect important organs such as the kidney, lungs, stomach, and brain. In such a case, the treatment will depend on the type of cancer and its stage. If your cat is in severe pain and the vet finds it difficult to treat cancer, he or she might recommend euthanasia.
There are certain things you can do to prevent killer diseases from affecting your cat.
Caring For Your Pet
You can easily prevent dangerous diseases from catching your cat by:
- Regular visits to the vet – You should visit the vet with your cat regularly for a checkup. Most vets will give you tones of advice and proven methods that will help your cat stay strong, happy, and healthy. Plus, a vet can detect something serious early enough and treat it. Do not wait until your cat becomes sick to go to the vet. Even when he’s healthy, visit the vet. Always confirm the appointment dates with your vet to avoid inconveniences.
- Grooming – As a cat owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your cat and his environment clean and conducive. Your cat’s bath is just as necessary as yours. You don’t have to clean him every day. Once a week is good enough. Use pet cleaning products that your vet will recommend. Also, wash him gently. The cleaning products should not get into his eyes even if it does not have any effect.
- Playing with him – Playing with your cat and spending quality time with him will definitely strengthen your bond. You can play inside the house or take him out for a walk. Letting him play outside is good enough; however, you should be keen. Cats love hunting. To avoid any health complications, you should prevent him from eating rodents and other insects.
Your cat deserves all the attention he can get from you. It’s important to take some time every day to play or bond with your cat. Touching and grooming him regularly will drastically reduce the likelihood of your cat getting diseases.
Again, regular visits to the vet will keep your cat happy and healthy. If you notice any weird behavior with your cat, consult your vet right away. Most cat owners have waited thinking it will get better only for it to get worse. Cats are amazing animals. Most people cannot imagine losing their pets. Do everything you can to avoid seeing your cat suffer or die.