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.
Most housecats—although they’re much safer inside from disease and danger—tend to be overweight and underactive. Cats, like people and dogs, benefit from keeping fit and active, both mentally and physically. Exercise is essential for your cat’s mental and physical health because it relieves stress and boredom, improves circulation, builds muscle tone and can prevent or reduce behavioral problems.
So, we need to get our cats up and moving, and there’s no better way to coax out their natural instincts...