Feline Bladder Cancer Symptoms

Bladder cancer in cats is not very common, but may occur. The most common tumors affecting feline bladders include the transitional cell carcinomas. The bladder cancer symptoms may be visible starting from the early stages of the cancer, so it is possible to detect it and apply treatment in a timely manner to avoid severe complications.

Causes of Bladder Cancer

The causes of urinary bladder cancer in cats are idiopathic. However, there are a few factors that have been associated with bladder cancer. Carcinogens such as chemicals that are excreted through urine and move through the bladder may be a possible cause of bladder tumors. Females are more often affected by bladder cancer, and obese cats are more prone to developing a bladder tumor.

Bladder Cancer Symptoms

The bladder cancer symptoms can be manifested in the very early stages depending on the location of the tumor. The most common urinary bladder cancer symptoms include:

  • Pain when urinating or passing feces
  • Straining to urinate
  • More frequent urination, but elimination of smaller amounts of urine
  • Increased thirst, in some cases
  • Blood in the urine
  • Spraying even if the cat is neutered
  • Resistance to exercise
  • Coughing
  • General state of weakness
  • The cat can be vocal due to pain

The tumor may also develop and obstruct the urinary tract, preventing the cat from urinating. This can lead to complications such as uremia within 3 days.

These symptoms may also point to a urinary tract infection, but if the cat receives antibiotic medication and the condition doesn't seem to improve, additional tests should be performed to detect the problem.

Detection of Bladder Cancer

Urinary bladder tumors can be detected by performing x-rays and ultrasounds, which will show the size and the location of the tumor. Typically, bladder tumors are malignant, but the vet will perform a biopsy of the tumor cells, to establish the nature of the tumor. The vet may also perform a few blood tests and a urinalysis.

Treatment Options

Urinary bladder cancer is a severe condition that may be fatal if not detected early enough. A veterinary oncologist should be consulted for proper treatment administration.

If the tumor is small and its location has been detected, surgery will be possible. The surgery will be a delicate procedure that should to be performed by an experienced vet. There are areas of the urinary bladder that cannot be operated on and if the tumor is located on these areas, surgery won't be possible.

Cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy are other possible treatment options. Piroxicam has shown good results in bladder tumor control, inhibiting the growth of the tumor.

Identifying the bladder cancer symptoms as early as possible and the removal of the tumor through surgery can give a good prognosis for your cat. However, if the tumor extends affecting other organs as well, the prognosis may be poor.