The Ten Most Common Cat Tumor Symptoms

A cat tumor can create a number of symptoms in your cat. Cats with cancerous tumors will show different symptoms depending on which part of the body is affected; some cancers can spread very quickly so it's important to educate yourself about the symptoms of cat tumors. Regularly grooming and stroking your cat can help you identify external tumors early on, but internal cat tumors may be harder to spot.

Common Tumor Symptoms in Cats

To take care of any cancer before it worsens, regularly watch your feline for the following tumor symptoms:

  • Swollen Lymph Nodes - Swollen lymph nodes are a sign of illness; they indicate that your cat's immune system is working overtime to fight off disease. Swollen lymph nodes may be a symptom of cancer or a symptom of some other illness. They are located around a cat's throat and beneath his legs, and if they are swollen, you should be able to feel the swelling by stroking your cat.
  • A Lump - A lump on or beneath the surface of your cat's skin may be a cancerous tumor, especially if it is growing.
  • A Distended Stomach - A distended or swollen abdomen may be a sign of cat liver tumor or other gastrointestinal tumor. A distended abdomen could be a symptom of diseases other than cancer, so your vet should investigate other potential causes.
  • Continuous Weight Loss - Continuous weight loss could be a symptom of other diseases as well, such as Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Continuous weight loss could even be a sign of parasitic infection. Again, other options should be ruled out first.
  • Chronic Vomiting and Diarrhea - Chronic vomiting and diarrhea could be a symptom of cat liver tumor, or of some other gastrointestinal disorder.
  • Ulcers That Do Not Heal - These are signs that your cat's immune system is weak.
  • Chronic Cough - A chronic cough could be a sign of lung cancer in cats. However, it could also be a symptom of asthma, bronchitis, Bordatella infection or even cardiomyopathy.
  • Change in Gait - A change in gait, especially accompanied by lameness or stiffness, could be a sign of feline bone cancer.
  • Difficulty Breathing, Urinating, Defecating, or Swallowing - All of these thing could be signs of tumors in cats. However, they could also be symptoms of non-cancerous illnesses.
  • A Foul Odor - If a very foul odor emanates from your cat's mouth or, especially, from open sores upon his body, this could be a symptom of cancer. However, bad breath alone isn't usually considered a symptom of cancer, but could still indicate gastrointestinal upset.