Skin Tags on Cats

Skin tags are common skin growths in felines. Skin tags can have various causes and can manifest as small flat black or fleshy spots on the cat’s skin. Generally these growths are of benign nature. In rare cases they can be cancerous, so you should check with your vet if you find an abnormal skin growth. 

Skin Tags on Cats

Skin tags appear frequently in cats and are small, flat, black or fleshy spots which appear on the cat’s epidermis. Generally they are quite small, but they can grow to the size of a grape. Some skin tags grow rapidly, within a few weeks after you spot one, while others may never grow or grow very slowly. Most skin tags do not contain any liquid, but they might also look like small pustules filled with pus.

Most skin tags are harmless. Benign skin tags can be left alone if they do not cause any discomfort in the cat. Skin tags can cause itches or pain and, in some cases, they can bleed and get infected. If a skin tag gets infected, you need to get treatment. Depending on the type of skin tag and the severity of the infection, your veterinarian will prescribe the best course of treatment. If the skin tags are located in an area where they are most likely to get infected, or may hinder certain functions of the cat, the veterinarian might consider removing the skin tags. Malignant skin tags require treatment as soon as possible. Generally, malignant skin tumors are pink and raised. However, they can also be mistaken for skin tags.

It is important to constantly check your cat’s skin. The sooner you notice any possible abnormality, the better the chances of recovery for your pet.

Most Common Locations for Cat Skin Tags

Skin tags generally form around the areas where the cat’s skin folds: the neck, on the upper part of the legs near the abdomen. They are also common around the lips, eyelids and ears.

Causes of Skin Tags in Cats

While the exact causes of skin tags are not known, the occurrence of these growth are associated with:

  • Fungal or parasitic infections
  • Dermatitis
  • Freckles
  • Tumors

Diagnosis of Skin Tags in Cats

In order to determine the benign or malignant nature of the skin tag, your veterinarian will need to perform a biopsy. This consists of taking a very small sample of the skin tag and analyzing it. The biopsy is performed with local anesthesia.

Treatment of Cat Skin Tags

If the skin tag is benignant and does not bother the cat in any way, it can be left alone without any treatment. You should constantly check it to notice any possible changes. If the skin tag is infected, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to deal with the infection. Skin tags removal is required if they bother the cat or if there is the risk getting infected. The removal is performed through cauterization or freezing. Cauterization consists of destroying the tissue through burning. The other removal procedure consists of freezing the skin tags by using liquid nitrogen. Afterwards skin tags fall off.