Pets are like family. If you’re a cat owner, your feline friends would mean the world to you. Their health is a priority. To begin with, learn the symptoms of cancer in cats. The risk for cancer increases with age. It affects two percent of the eighty million household cats in the United States.1
Cats can’t tell you when something is wrong. But, with your help, early detection equals early treatment, and a greater chance of recovery. It all depends on your care and attention.
Signs You Need To Look Out For
1. Poor Appetite
If your cat won’t eat, pay attention. It could be a sign of something serious. For example, oral cancer makes eating painful. A cat might refuse food to avoid pain.2 Sometimes, swallowing might be the issue, as seen in squamous cell carcinoma.3
Cats should be eating regularly and on a fixed routine – just like humans. A poor appetite warrants a trip to the vet.
2. Weight Loss
With poor appetite comes weight loss. After all, food is an important source of calories and nutrients. If your cat doesn’t eat, weight loss is inevitable.
However, weight loss could occur even if your cat eats regularly. Weight loss despite healthy eating could be a sign of a cancer in the gastrointestinal tract, where the body might have a hard time absorbing nutrients.4
3. Excessive Drooling
Don’t ignore excessive drooling. It’s a sign of squamous cell carcinoma, a common tumor that affects the mouth of cats.
Granted, it’s normal for pets to drool. You’re probably even used to it. Regardless, drooling more than usual is a bad sign.5
In humans, fatigue indicates that something is wrong. It’s no different with cats.
Is your furry friend less playful than usual? Is she always sleeping, or doesn’t want to be picked up? Talk to your vet – it could be a sign of cancer.
It might just be old age, but a general check-up is always helpful.
While cats like to relax, they’re also playful beings. Inactivity is worth noting.
Possible causes include fatigue, low-energy, or pain. The more severe a sickness is, the more inactive they’ll be.6
6. Poor Hygiene
Cats are all about self-care. They can spend all day grooming themselves! So when they stop, it’s a red flag.
Sick cats might not have the interest or energy to groom themselves. To ensure proper hygiene, you might need to help out.7
7. Bad Breath
Bad breath is a sign of squamous cell carcinoma in the mouth. Of course, a cat’s breath never smells like roses, but it also shouldn’t smell bad.8 Bad breath could also be the sign of an oral infection, but it’s always better to get it checked.
Mysterious lumps may be tumors. Yet, a cat can’t tell you about a lump on its body, so it’s up to you to check. Every week, simply run your hand across its body and check for masses and bumps.9
Pain is a clear sign of sickness. If your cat flinches when you pick it up, it could be due to pain. Additional signs include limping, crying, and hiding, while some cats could become more clingy.
If you notice these symptoms, don’t panic. These signs also overlap with other conditions. To be sure, visit your vet as soon as possible.