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Skin Lumps or Bumps in Cats

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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 painful.
  • 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.
  • Sporotrichosis: Skin nodule with overlying hair loss and wet surface of pus at the site of a puncture wound or break in the skin. Caused by a fungus.

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.

Recommended Related to Cats

Skin Problems in Cats

 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.

Read the Skin Problems in Cats article > >

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