My Cat Has a Lump Under Her Skin!

Every cat caregiver should take the time to feel their feline friend's body from head to toe when allowed. ;) Cats can sometimes develop skin lumps and the sooner they're caught and diagnosed, the better. Troyce B. writes:

I just discovered a golf ball size growth on Serbrena’s right side at the end of her rib cage. She seems to feel OK. She is about 15 years old and looks like a Maine Coon but she’s not as big. She lives Inside. What should I do?

Troyce, this can't be diagnosed without a hands-on exam. You should get Serbrena to her veterinarian as soon as you can. It's most likely a fatty tumor called a lipoma. Your vet will need to do a biopsy to find out if it's cancerous or not. About 10% are, so odds are she's in no real danger. You just need to get it checked out.

Many cats develop small lipomas that are completely benign. If they don't get in the cat's way, they usually don't need to be treated at all.

If it is cancerous, the mass will need to be surgically removed. The procedure is a simple one and can usually be handled on an outpatient basis. If the lump turns out to be cancerous, it will be very important to monitor Serbrena for additional lumps or the re-growth of this one.

There are literally dozens of other potential causes of skin lumps on cats. These include abcesses, infections, parasites, and even adverse reactions to injections, but most of these never develop into anything as large as a golf ball. Your veterinarian will be able to identify exactly what Serbrena has and recommend the best course of treatment.