Liver Cysts in Cats

Liver cysts in cats are small sac structures filled with liquid. Cysts are not cancerous and are not a health risk in most cases and don’t require treatment. There are a few cases that will require removal, if these cysts interfere with the cat’s normal functions.

Liver Cysts Causes

The cysts are filled with liquid or a mucous substance that may occur in different areas of the body, including the liver.

The liver cysts are usually not dangerous and they contain only benign cells.

The supposed causes of cyst formation in felines may include:

  • An unsuitable diet, rich in fats, carbohydrates and unhealthy foods
  • Aging
  • Increased amounts of toxins in the liver
  • Genetic predisposition

However, the clear causes of cyst formation are not known.

Symptoms of Liver Cysts in Cats

Cysts are typically harmless and a cat with liver cysts may not display any symptoms, but in some cases, the cysts may cause pain. Symptoms of liver cysts may include:

  • Excessive meowing, if the cysts are painful
  • Hiding behavior
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellow eye whites)

Detection of Liver Cysts

A liver cyst may pass unnoticed, as the symptoms may not always be obvious. However, a CAT scan or an ultrasound may help identifying the presence of a liver cyst.

The vet may perform a cell biopsy, to ensure the growth is not malignant.

Treatment Options

The cysts may be left untreated, as they don’t pose a health risk, however the vet may choose to monitor the cysts. In rare cases, cysts may turn into malignant growths. If this is the case, the cat has high chances of survival, as the cancer will be detected at an early stage and surgery may be possible.

If the cyst is located on the liver grows larger and interferes with the normal functions of the cat’s body, the vet will decide to perform surgery to remove the cysts.

The liver cysts may disappear without any treatment.

Also, the cat may develop other cysts, which may be located in the liver area or other areas of the body.

Preventing Liver Cysts

Since the clear causes of liver cysts are not known, the prevention of these cysts may not always be possible.

However, you may keep your cat’s liver healthy by feeding him a diet that has only the required amounts of fat. Talk to your vet to recommend a suitable fat intake, according to your pet’s age, size and breed.

You may also opt for a few supplements that keep the liver healthy, preventing liver damage:

  • Flax seed oil
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium

A liver cleansing diet may also be recommended once per year to allow the liver cells to regenerate. The liver can regenerate periodically, but with aging, the capacity of the liver to produce new, healthy cells will be diminished.