Meningioma in Cats

Meningioma in cats is a type of brain tumor. The meninges is the lining of the brain and spinal cord and may be affected by various infections and tumors, especially in older felines. Meningioma is typically benign, but it may also be malignant. If malignant, the tumor should be discovered as early as possible, so that it can be surgically removed and the cat’s life can be extended.

Meningioma Causes in Cats

The causes of meningioma are unknown. The occurrence of tumors on the meninges is often associated with exposure to a toxic environment or trauma. The condition is more common in certain feline breeds and over the age of 9.

Cat Symptoms of Meningioma

Meningioma is a condition that manifests through the occurrence of tumors. The tumors affect the meninges, which is present in the brain or the spine. Most commonly, the tumors will be located in the brain, but spine tumors have also been reported. The symptoms of meningioma will include:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of vision
  • Seizures

The symptoms may be more severe if the tumors are larger. If the tumors are small, the cat may not display any symptoms.

Diagnosing Meningioma in a Cat

The diagnosis will require blood tests, MRI and CT scans. Meningioma in cats is often a benign tumor, but there are exceptions also. The vet will have to biopsy the tumor and take a look at the cells that make up the tumor. This diagnosis will be essential in establishing the best course of treatment.

Treatment Options for Cat Meningioma

The treatment of meningioma will vary according to a few factors such as:

  • The type of tumor – if malignant, surgery should be performed, but only if the stage of the cancer allows (in stage 3 and 4, the tumor may be extended and inoperable)
  • The size of the tumor – if it is small and benign, the vet will not remove it. If the tumor is larger and benign or malignant, the vet will recommend surgery

The vet may also recommend anti inflammatory drugs or steroids, which can be used to manage the condition if surgery is not performed. If the tumor is malignant, chemotherapy and radiation therapy will also be on the list of treatment options.

Meningioma Prognosis for Cats

If the tumor is benign, the cat can live a normal life and the tumor may not grow further. However, the tumor may become malignant and start growing, so this can be potentially dangerous for the cat’s life. If the tumor is malignant, the cat will have a more positive prognosis if the tumor is surgically removed. With chemotherapy, the cat has high chances of survival and he may even live a normal life, provided that the tumor won’t return. If the tumor is not operable, the cancer will advance and the cat may die within 2 to 6 months, even if under chemo treatment.