During the course of grooming, playing with
or handling your cat, you may discover a lump
or bump or or beneath the skin. To learn what it may be, see this table on lumps or bumps on
or beneath the skin.
Abscess: A painful collection of pus at the site of a bite or puncture
wound. Frequently found after cat fights. Forms a firm swelling that becomes
soft with time. Purulent discharge.
Cancer: A lump that indicates cancer is characterized by rapid enlargement;
appears hard or fixed to surrounding tissue; any lump growing from bone; a lump
that starts to bleed; a mole that begins to spread or ulcerate; an unexplained
open sore that does not heal, especially on the feet or legs. The only way to
tell for sure is to remove and study the lump under a microscope. Better to
check out a benign lump than to miss a malignant one.
Epidermal inclusion cyst: A firm, smooth lump beneath the skin. May grow
slowly. May discharge cheesy material and become infected. Otherwise, not
Grubs/Cuterebra: Inch-long fly larvae that form cystlike lumps beneath the
skin with a hole in the center for the insect to breathe. Often found beneath
the chin, on the neck, or along the abdomen.
Hematoma: A collection of clotted blood beneath the skin; often involves
the ears. Caused by trauma. May be painful.
Mycetoma: Mass or nodule beneath the skin with an open tract to the surface
draining a granular material. Caused by a fungus.
Skin papilloma: These grow out from the skin and may look like a wart or a
piece of chewing gum stuck to the skin. Not painful or dangerous.
nodule with overlying hair loss and wet
surface of pus at the site of a puncture wound or break in the skin. Caused by
Any sort of lump, bump, or growth found on or beneath the skin is, by
definition, a tumor, which literally
means a swelling. Tumors are classified as benign when they are not cancer, and
malignant when they are.
The condition of your cat’s skin is an indication of her overall health. When a skin problem occurs, your cat may respond with excessive scratching, chewing and/or licking. A wide range of causes-from external parasites and allergies to seasonal changes and stress, or a combination of these-may be affecting your cat’s skin and should be investigated. Skin problems are one of the most common reasons pet parents seek veterinary care.