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.
Weaning is the process of transitioning kittens from mother’s milk to solid food. During weaning, kittens gradually progress from dependence on a mother’s care to social independence. Ideally, weaning is handled entirely by the mother cat. However, if the kitten in your care has been separated from his mother or if you are fostering a litter or a pregnant cat about to give birth, seeing the young ones through a successful weaning process may be up to you.