Can Cats Get Cancer? How to Prevent It

Can Cats Get Cancer? How to Prevent It

Cancer in cats is relatively less common compared to dogs, but it tends to be more aggressive, posing a greater threat to their lives. For example, approximately 80-83% of feline mammary tumors are malignant. Around 50% of feline tumors are blood-related, with over 50% of those being lymphomas.

Moreover, cats have a higher incidence of epithelial malignant tumors. Among them, squamous cell carcinoma accounts for 15-20% of feline skin tumors, with oral malignant tumors making up 65%. Mast cell tumors account for 2-15%.

Jaundice can result from various diseases, some of which are liver tumors, bile duct tumors, or pancreatic tumors.

The three most common types of cancer in cats are lymphoma, fibrosarcoma (site of injection sarcoma in cats), and squamous cell carcinoma.

Suspecting cancer in a cat requires confirming the affected area and conducting surgery or tissue biopsy to obtain tissue samples for histopathological examination to determine the type of cancer.

Vomiting is one of the signs of feline cancer. Do not overlook your cat's vomiting, especially if it happens regularly.

Preventing Cancer in Cats

  1. Spaying/Neutering: For cats not intended for breeding, spaying or neutering is recommended. For female cats, spaying at a young age significantly reduces the risk of mammary cancer or tumors. Ideally, a female cat should be spayed before her first estrus cycle, which almost eliminates the possibility of mammary cancer.

    If, unfortunately, a cat is diagnosed with mammary tumors, the best treatment option is surgical removal. If surgery is not feasible for the cat, medication can be considered. Traditional Chinese medicine can be a good choice to minimize harm to the cat's body, with options like Zhong Liang Tang (肿瘤快消) and Aixuanning (癌肿平) showing good inhibitory effects.

  2. High-Quality Diet: Providing cats with a balanced, high-quality diet has numerous benefits. It helps maintain their overall health and boosts their immune system, making them less susceptible to illnesses, including cancer. Studies suggest that certain fatty acids in the diet, such as EPA and DHA, may help prevent cancer and are suitable for feeding cats with cancer.

    While a scientific, balanced diet is essential, overfeeding should be avoided to prevent obesity in cats. Excess fat in a cat's body can affect hormone and substance secretion, leading to adverse effects, including increased inflammation. Obesity in cats increases the likelihood of cancer.

  3. Secondhand Smoke: Just like humans, secondhand smoke is a potential factor in causing cancer in cats. It's advisable to avoid exposing cats to environments where secondhand smoke is present. Quitting smoking benefits both cat owners and their feline companions.

  4. Chemical Agents: Chemical agents pose a fatal threat to cats. If cats frequently go outdoors, they may encounter grassy areas treated with chemical pesticides. Cats might chew on grass with pesticide residues or roll around in grass, getting their fur contaminated. When grooming themselves, they ingest the pesticides, many of which contain carcinogens.

    If you take your cat outside, try to avoid areas potentially treated with chemical agents.

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