Understanding Cancer in Cats

According to the Smithsonian, humans have had domesticated pet cats for over 12,000 years. In that time, humans and cats have developed a strong relationship. They continue to quell anxieties, provide comfort, and catch pests, and we care for them, show them love, and make sure that they live healthy lives.

A cat will, on average, live for about 15 years, but even cats can succumb to diseases, including various forms of cancer. While cancer is more common in dogs, it can still be a prevalent disease in your favorite feline friends.

Cancer affects an estimated 6 million cats each year, and it is the leading cause of deaths in about 32 percent of cats. Let’s take a closer look at cat cancer in its different forms, its symptoms, and what you can do to treat or prevent cancer in your cats.

cat cancer

Possible Causes of Feline Cancer

Much like cancer in humans, feline cancer is hard to pin down. There isn’t any single known reason for a cat developing cancer. Many are caused by a mix of genetics and environmental factors that took effect years before the cat’s actual diagnosis.

Genetic mutations can be passed down, increasing a cat’s predisposition to growing certain tumors, but most mutations happen during a cat’s lifetime. Internal factors causing these mutations include exposure to certain hormones, while external factors include everything from tobacco smoke to sunlight.

However, there are some known factors that may contribute to an increased risk of cancer in cats. For example, cats that have been spayed after the age of six months are about seven times more likely to develop mammary tumors (which can point to mammary gland cancer) than cats spayed before six months. Studies also suggest an association between feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia and lymphoma.

causes of cat cancer

Cat Cancer Symptoms

Cats who may have cancer can exhibit a wide range of signs and symptoms, both physical and behavioral. Some common signs of cat cancer you should keep an eye out for include:



Enjoy this blog? Let's stay connected ;)