Feline Bladder Cancer Treatments

Various bladder cancer treatments are available and may be applied according to the condition of the cat and the stage of the cancer. The bladder cancers are not very common, but can be deadly. Carcinomas are the most frequent bladder cancers affecting cats. The treatment may save the cat's life, or may only prolong it and offer him a better quality of living in the time he has left. Some treatments may only relieve pain.


Surgery is the number one treatment for feline cancer, but it may not always be possible. The surgery is only possible if the tumor is small, conveniently located and it is not expanded to other zones in the cat's body.

The bladder is a large organ but may be difficult to operate on, as the surgery may involve the risk of permanently damaging or breaking the bladder. However, if the tumor is located on a small area of the bladder and it is not spread over other internal organs, the vet will recommend surgery. A number of tests should be performed before starting the surgery. The vet will establish the size of the tumor, the nature of the tumor and whether there are other zones affected by cancerous cells.

The surgery will be performed under general anesthesia and the surgeon will make sure to remove the entire tumor, plus some neighboring cells, which may be affected by cancerous cells as well. The results of surgery cannot be predicted. In some felines, the tumor never grows back, while in others the tumor may be recurrent and may also affect other areas. For this reason, the vet will recommend periodic x-rays and ultrasounds to monitor the disease.

The surgery may be accompanied by chemotherapy, which is meant to stop the development of malignant cells.


Chemotherapy is often combined with several other treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy as a sole treatment will not cure bladder cancer, but the drugs will slow down the development of the cells and may prevent other cancerous cells from forming. When applied after surgery, chemotherapy may prevent the recurrence of tumors, but cannot guarantee this.

The chemotherapy may be applied for several weeks and there are different drugs that may be used. The main disadvantage of chemotherapy is the cost, which can be high and may not be within the budget of all pet owners. Many owners that have a cat with bladder cancer may refuse chemotherapy due to the price.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation treatment is not a cure for feline bladder cancer, but may be used in pain management. The radiation will be applied periodically and will relieve the discomfort caused by cancer. Radiation treatment is often applied in felines in the terminal stages of cancer, when nothing else can be done, but the cat is in great pain.