Cat Bladder Cancer

Cat bladder cancer is less frequent than other types of cancer. However, the most common bladder tumors in cats are carcinomas. The causes of bladder cancer are not known. Symptoms of cat bladder cancer may be identified and the tumor may be removed, provided it hasn't spread and it is located in an area of the bladder that can be operated on.

Causes of Cat Bladder Cancer

The precise causes of bladder tumors in dogs haven't been identified. The formation of tumors may be due to the repeated ingestion of food and water that contain carcinogens. After digestion, some of these carcinogens will be deposited in the bladder before being eliminated, and may affect the bladder lining or form tumors. Obesity may also be related to bladder cancer, as obese felines are more likely to be affected by a bladder tumor. The occurrence of bladder cancer is more common in female cats.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

A bladder tumor may be located in different areas of the bladder. Depending on the location of the tumor, the cat may or may not present symptoms.

The typical symptoms of bladder tumors include:

  • Painful urination, and the cat may be very vocal when urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Unusual odor of urine
  • More frequent episodes of urination
  • Spraying in different places of the home, the cat avoiding the litter box as he will associate the urination pain with the litter box
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Urinary obstruction, if the tumor blocks the urinary tract This can cause uremia, if the cat fails to urinate for more than 3 days.

These symptoms may also be present if the cat has a urinary infection, benign tumors, cysts or polyps, so a vet needs to diagnose the condition of the pet.

Diagnosing Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer can be diagnosed by performing a thorough examination of the cat. The vet will perform a few blood tests, x-rays and ultrasounds to detect the tumor and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. A biopsy will be performed to determine if the tumor is benign or malignant, or whether this is actually a polyp or a cyst. Typically, bladder tumors in cats are malignant.

Surgery for Bladder Tumors

Bladder tumors may be extracted through surgery, but the vet needs to establish the precise location of it. If the tumor is located in certain areas of the bladder, surgery may be dangerous and may damage the bladder. If the tumor has migrated to other areas of the cat's body, the surgery is not an effective course of treatment. If surgery is possible, the cat may receive chemotherapy to prevent the recurrence of cancerous cells. The cancer may reoccur, but there is also a chance that the cat will be completely cured.

Chemotherapy for Bladder Cancer

Chemotherapy is recommended after surgery or if surgery is not possible. The medication will stop the cancerous cells from spreading and will improve the cat's quality of life.