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Healthy Cats

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Skin Lumps and Bumps in Cats

You're enjoying a bonding moment with your kitty, and as you're petting her, you notice a lump on her skin. It may be small and your cat may seem fine, but even so, you should have a veterinarian check it out. There's no way for you to know what's going on by just feeling it. Your feline friend could have an infection, a parasite, or a more serious problem.

These are the common causes of lumps on a cat's skin:

Mild Trauma

A minor injury can cause a bump. It may heal on its own, but it could get infected. A cat that’s been given a shot may have a lump for a few days, too. But if it doesn’t go away after that, call the vet.


An abscess is a pus-filled, swollen spot on the skin that sometimes forms where your cat has been bitten or scratched. They're often red and painful, so your cat may shy away from your touch. She might seem more tired than usual and may not be that interested in eating. A warm compress may bring her some relief.

To treat the abscess, your vet may give your cat medicine. He may also trim the hair around the bump to keep the wound clean. If the abscess is deep, she may need surgery.


Fatty tumors, called lipomas, may show up anywhere on a cat’s body. They aren’t cancerous and don’t need to be removed unless they keep your cat from getting around well. They’re seen more often in older or overweight cats.

To check a lump for cancer, your vet will use a needle to get a sample. If it’s just a fatty tumor, he may suggest to do nothing and watch the tumor. If it changes or gets bigger, he may suggest a treatment.

Mast cell tumors can also appear on the cat’s skin, usually on the head or neck. They may be itchy or red. Most of these tumors aren’t cancerous, but about 10% are.

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