Feline Lymphoma Life Expectancy

Feline lymphoma is a form of cancer that can affect any area of the cat’s body. Cats with the feline leukemia virus (FIV) develop lymphoma more often than healthy cats. The feline lymphoma life expectancy will depend on how soon the disease is detected, what treatment options the cat has or whether the cat is also affected by FIV.

Feline Lymphoma

Feline lymphoma can occur as tumors that are filled with lymphoid tissue. The tumors occur more frequently close to the lymph nodes, but may affect any area of the body.

Over 70% of cats with lymphoma have also been diagnosed with the feline leukemia virus.

Cats with lymphoma will display symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, pale gums, poor condition of the skin and coat, lumps and other symptoms that will be determined by the location of the tumor. If you notice a few of these symptoms you need to get a few tests done. The lymphoma in cats can be detected by performing blood tests but also x-rays and ultrasounds. A biopsy is necessary to determine if the tumor contains cancerous cells and if these cells are made up of lymphoid tissue.

Early Detection

The early detection of lymphoma can have a significant role in determining the life expectancy of the cat.

If caught early, lymphoma can be prevented from spreading and surgery may still be possible.

If detected in the more advanced phases, lymphoma may not be operable and may be spread in the cat’s body, leaving fewer treatment options available.

Lymphoma Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a cat with lymphoma will depend on a few factors including:

  • How early it is detected
  • What type of treatment does the cat receive
  • Whether the lymphoma can be surgically removed
  • The location of the lymphoma

In the best case scenario, the lymphoma can be surgically removed and will never grow back, so the cat can live a normal life. However, surgery is only possible in very few cases and the tumor can grow back.

If the lymphoma is not operable, a cat can live up to 2 or even years with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In some cases, chemotherapy can be successful and the cat can experience a full recovery. It is essential to seek the advice of a veterinary oncologist that is up to date with the latest discoveries in the field of cancer and chemotherapy to increase your pet’s survival chances.

If the cat doesn’t receive any treatment, the life expectancy cannot exceed 3 months and is 4 to 6 weeks on average. Also, if the lymphoma has spread to other organs and has affected the lungs, the prognosis is not good.

If the cat is affected also by the leukemia virus, the life expectancy can be of a few months. FIV is a fatal disease and lymphoma may only make the things worse.