If only cats really had nine lives!
Unfortunately, cats are not immune to cancer. Much like humans, they can develop many types of tumors and cancers.
If you have just received the bad news that your cat is fighting cancer, know that we are very sorry and hope that this text will help you better understand the situation.
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This article has been put together to detail the causes of cancer in cats, the different types and symptoms. Read on to learn more about the natural treatments that exist to help cats fight this subtle demon.
What are the causes of cancer and tumors in cats?
You may already know that a tumor is a mass formed by the uncontrolled multiplication of a certain type of cell. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of cancer in cats, however, certain risk factors are known, such as obesity, second-hand smoke and some viruses.
We talk about cancer when a tumor is said to be malignant, that is to say that it grows quickly, tends to migrate through the bloodstream (metastases) and is at risk of recurrence. That said, cats can develop benign tumors, which are non-dangerous masses.
Risk factors for cancer in cats:
- Lack of physical exercise
- Secondary smoke
- Prolonged exposure to the sun
- Feline leukemia (leukosis) virus (FeLV)
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (F.I.V.) also known as cat AIDS
Since the latter two viruses are contracted through contact with other cats, it’s not wrong to say that letting a cat wander outside indirectly increases its risk of developing cancer.
How common is cancer in cats?
It is said that one in five cats will develop cancer in their lifetime.
Generally, older animals are at higher risk of developing cancer, however, in cats with viruses such as FeLV and F.I.V., they can develop cancers at a young age.
Among the most common cancers in cats, we find lymphoma and mammary tumors in females.
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How to detect a tumor in a cat?
Whether benign (harmless) or malignant (cancer), a tumor is detected most of the time by feeling a lump under the skin. Only a laboratory analysis of cells can confirm the nature of this.
Despite what you might think, a benign tumor can also sometimes cause symptoms. For example, a benign mass in the brain could put pressure on certain structures and thus lead to neurological signs.
That said, a tumor on an internal organ can be difficult to detect and that is why it is important to pay attention to the following signs.
What are the symptoms of cancer in cats?
As in humans, the signs of cancer vary depending on the system or organ affected by the tumor(s). As mentioned earlier, you might notice a lump under your cat's skin, which is a good indicator. Pet owners should also take particular note when animals change their normal habits.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of signs of a tumor in cats:
- Lump under the skin
- Abnormal odors
- Wounds that do not heal
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Cough or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue, lethargy
- Increased thirst
- More frequent urination
If your cat has any of these signs, we recommend that you consult a vet.
We invite you to learn more about these 10 signs of cancer in cats, because early detection can be the best way to save your beloved companion.
What are the most common types of cancer in cats?
Many cancers found in cats are also found in humans. They are mainly classified by the system in which the uncontrolled cells develop. Skin cancer, breast tumors and bone cancers are also found in cats.
Lymphoma in cats
Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymph cells of the cat, more specifically the lymphocytes (white blood cells). It is the most common cancer in cats and there are different forms, depending on the organ that is affected. This is because, in actuality, lymph is found throughout the body. It usually appears suddenly and is seen largely in older cats or those with the feline leukemia virus. The life expectancy of a cat with lymphoma is between two months and two years.
Skin cancer in cats (melanoma and malignant melanoma)
Melanomas (benign or malignant) are skin tumors. They generally develop on the cat's head (eyes and ears), its neck or hind limbs. Malignant melanomas are quite rare in cats, but unfortunately they are also aggressive. They tend to recur when removed surgically.
Bone cancer in cats (osteosarcoma)
There are different types of bone cancer, but osteosarcoma is the most common. This cancer is characterized by an uncontrolled multiplication of bone cells (often in the long bones) and usually causes pain, swelling and lameness. Life expectancy is more encouraging for this type of cancer in cats than in dogs.
Liver cancer in cats
Liver cancer affects this organ which is involved in the digestion process. A cat with this type of cancer may have digestive symptoms such as vomiting and loss of appetite. Not all masses in the liver are cancerous. An ultrasound and biopsy can therefore provide more information on the nature of a lump on the liver.
Bladder cancer in cats
Fortunately, this type of tumor is very rare in cats. However, if a cat shows symptoms of a major UTI without resolution after treatment, it would be important to do additional tests (such as an ultrasound) to rule out cancer. The symptoms are very similar.
Stomach cancer in cats
A tumor can develop in the stomach. There is also a type of lymphoma that affects the digestive system. In all cases, a cat with cancer in the stomach would show signs such as weight loss, vomiting (sometimes tinged with blood) and loss of appetite.
Bowel cancer in cats
When a tumor develops in the intestines of a cat, the cat may have symptoms such as diarrhea and pain upon touching its abdomen. If the tumor becomes large, it is even possible for it to block intestinal transit, which complicates the situation.
Oral (mouth) cancer in cats
The most common oral cancer in cats is squamous cell carcinoma.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in cats
Although theoretically a skin cancer, this type of cancer often develops in the oral cavity of the cat. It is also observed in the nose and ears. This disease is often fatal, as surgery is complicated due to its location, and its progression can interfere with the cat's ability to eat. This kind of tumor responds more or less to chemotherapy.
Lung cancer in cats
Lung cancer itself is quite rare in cats. However, several other types of cancer can migrate to the lungs (metastases). All respiratory symptoms in cats (coughing, difficulty breathing), especially in older cats, should be analyzed quickly by a vet, as the situation can change very rapidly and become serious.
Pancreatic cancer in cats
As the name suggests, pancreatic cancer attacks this organ which is involved in the digestion and production of certain hormones, such as insulin. There are different types of pancreatic cancer, depending on the type of cells that develop uncontrollably. Symptoms will often be digestive, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. The prognosis is generally poor, while the diagnosis is often made too late.
Breast or mammary cancer in cats (mammary gland carcinoma)
This type of cancer is very common in cats and affects its mammary glands. 85% of these tumors are reported to be malignant. It’s a very aggressive cancer that requires surgery from the start. As in dogs, this type of cancer is more often seen in non-sterilized females, although it is possible in sterilized females.
Leukemia (or leukosis) in cats
Feline leukemia is technically not a cancer in cats. It’s actually a viral infection that causes immunodeficiency and can cause cancer, such as lymphoma. In more severe cases, the virus can spread through the bloodstream to the bone marrow, white blood cells and blood platelets, making it look like human leukemia.
Fibrosarcoma in cats
Fibrosarcoma can appear anywhere, as it is a tumor that develops in the subcutaneous tissue and then in the muscles of the body. It does not usually cause pain on touching. This tumor tends to grow very quickly, to the point where it can ulcerate and become necrotic.
How to treat cancer in cats?
You are probably familiar with the conventional treatments used in humans, namely chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which are also an option for our feline companions. Read on for natural options to help your cat fight cancer, such as the PIPTOPET remedy and proper nutrition packed with antioxidants.
How to shrink a tumor in a cat?
Conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, are used to shrink the size of a tumor and kill the remaining cancerous cells after the surgical removal of a lump.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are invasive and attack both healthy and diseased cells. We suggest alternative natural remedies to optimize the fight against the cancerous cells, without impacting the healthy cells.
Surgery is often an option to consider. In fact, I personally assisted in a surgery to remove a lump the size of a tennis ball between the shoulder blades of a poor cat. This tumor had surprisingly grown in less than two months! The surgery was a success and was curative for this cat who is now in great shape.
Nevertheless, there are less invasive natural methods of treatment for feline cancer. See our suggestions below.
How to treat cat cancer naturally?
The following natural alternative treatments can be used alone or in combination with conventional treatments. In advanced cases where surgery is necessary, natural medicine is a good complement.
The normal action of the metabolism produces so-called free radicals, which are harmful to the body. These free radicals actually attack cells and can cause serious diseases, such as cancer. By having an antioxidant intake through food, we make sure we have control over these toxic molecules and therefore, we help prevent cancer.
It can therefore be a good idea to add certain sources of antioxidants to your cat's food, without drastically modifying its diet.
You could add a small amount of certain fruits and vegetables to its diet, such as broccoli, carrot and butternut squash. Be careful to cook them well beforehand.
A remedy made with natural ingredients
Perhaps you have consulted our last article on dog cancer and now know of birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus)?
This medicinal mushroom works miracles in the world of cancer. Our natural remedy PIPTOPET is mainly composed of this powerful ingredient.
The fungus, Piptoporus betulinus, helps get rid of cancer cells without harming healthy cells in the body.
The remedy can take a few weeks to take effect, and is particularly effective in the early stages of cancer. It is also a good tool even in advanced cancer, since it allows your pet to maintain good overall health by stimulating its immune system and protecting it from secondary infections.
In addition, this remedy promotes the shrinkage of tumors, which is a major advantage in the fight against cancer.
PIPTOPET is therefore safe and allows your pet to maintain a good quality of life even in difficult times of illness.
Check out our website for yourselves where you can read the comments of our customers satisfied with the success achieved with this remedy.
How to prevent cancer in cats?
Our natural remedy PIPTOPET, can be used for both preventive and curative measures.
It helps to ensure that your pet maintains good overall health and a strong immune system.
Keeping your cat indoors to prevent it from contracting viruses that can harm its immunity is also an effective strategy in preventing cancer.
Finally, sterilization at a young age helps prevent mammary gland cancer in females.
A battle against cancer is a daunting challenge. You are not alone in this ordeal. We and your veterinary team are here to support both you and your kitty.
Don’t give up hope if your cat is in this situation, many animals surprise us with their extreme resilience.
And who knows, maybe your cat really does have nine lives!