Cancer in Cats: Types, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment
WebMD veterinary expert answers commonly asked questions about cancer in cats.
A: Probably $500 to $1,000 to do the initial diagnostic testing. Then it
costs anywhere from $800 to $2,000 for surgical approaches. Chemotherapy is
$2,000 to $3,000, and then radiation can be $5,000 or $6,000. (Note: These are
costs for treatment at a specialist. Prices at a general veterinary practice
may be much less. Costs may also vary a lot depending on where you live.)
Q: If treated, what’s the cure rate for cats with cancer?
A: That’s hard to say because there are so many different types of cancers
and so many variables. But I would say overall the survival rate for cats, if
we’re including every type of malignancy, is probably less than 50%. But it all
depends on the tumor type, when it is found, and how it is treated.
I would recommend, whenever an animal is diagnosed with cancer, that the
owner consult with a veterinary oncologist. Things are changing so fast, not
just in terms of treatments but also clinical trials or novel treatments, that
there may be treatments available that most veterinarians aren’t aware of. You
may think there’s nothing that can be done, but things are changing all the
Q: What can I do to prevent my cat from getting cancer?
A: Spaying your cat will drastically reduce her chance of getting mammary
cancer. Preventing the development of feline leukemia, either through
vaccinations or making sure when you get a cat that the cat hasn’t been exposed
to feline leukemia, will decrease the likelihood of developing lymphoma.
But it’s so hard to say how to prevent something when you don’t know what
causes it most of the time. So early evaluation and detection is probably the
better approach in terms of improving outcome.