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Lumps on cat's abdomen.

Species: Cat
Breed: tortie calico
Age: 8-11 years
Cubbie recently (1 week) developed two fibrous (?) lumps, one on each side of her lower abdomen. They appeared at the same time, and suddenly. She has had no trauma that I know of. She is an unspayed indoor cat. I thought the lumps were just fatty lumps, but they can be recessed back into the chest cavity with a simple push of the finger. I have been reading up on feline hernias.

Cubbie is in no obvious pain (I know some cats don't show pain as much as we do). She is eating and drinking, urinating, defecating normally. She jumps up on counters and sleeps with me in bed, as always. No pain on palpation. I am taking her to the vet this Tuesday but I wondered if you had any thoughts on the condition. Is surgery always done on hernias? DO you think that is likely her problem? My vet does offer a payment plan, so it can be done. I just am curious what will need to be done. Thanks so much.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a tough question to answer without being able to see and touch these lumps, but I can give you a few of my thoughts as to what might be going on.

My first concern would be that these could be some type of mammary tumors. However, it's a little bit odd to have two pop up at the same time. Mammary tumors can be hard to diagnose on a cat. They don't tend to shed cells easily so we can't do the normal type of test where we put a needle into the lump and look at the cells. If your vet suspects a mammary tumor then they will likely recommend surgery to remove them. If they are larger than 1/4 inch or and they do turn out to be cancer then sometimes these can be hard to successfully treat. But, if they are small, then having them removed should cure the problem.

Now, if these are large and soft lumps, they still could be just fatty lumps called lipomas. These are nothing to worry about. I would say that most of the time when a client sees big lumps on the abdomen of a cat they end up being benign fatty lumps.

Hernias would be quite unlikely in a cat of this age, especially if there is no trauma.

An abscess could cause a lump but it would be unlikely to be 2 lumps and it should be a little painful.

I think that the vet visit is a good idea. If these are lipomas then a fine needle aspirate which is quite a simple test should give you the answer.

I hope things are alright!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.