Even with nine lives, cat skin cancer can adversely affect your beloved feline companion's quality of life.
You must be very vigilant about feline skin cancer for the simple reason that it is easier to prevent than to treat the disease, both on your cat and on your wallet.
Nine Lives Are No More
Let's assume that your cat has nine lives. Out of those nine lives, you can bet your bottom dollar that the last one may very well be given up to cat skin cancer. This is because of two interconnected reasons.
First, the skin is the second most commonly affected area for feline tumors.
Second, skin tumors in domestic cats are many times more likely to be malignant than those found in dogs. Add the two together and you have reason to be concerned about your cat finally losing its nine lives.
Risk Factors to Think About
Unlike in dogs, researchers have yet to discover the specific feline breeds that have higher risks and incidences for skin cancer.
However, as with dogs, sun exposure is one of the identified main culprits behind the disease particularly where squamous cell carcinoma ( squamous cell skin cancer ) and hemangioma are concerned.
Both of these skin cancers are potentially life-threatening. You will not want your beloved kitty to suffer from these diseases, ever, if you can help it.
Also, cats with light-colored to white hair appear to have higher risks for squamous cell carcinoma, no thanks to the very thin protection against the sun offered by the ultraviolet-absorbent fur.
And with parts of the cat's body bearing little to no fur like the nose, eyelids and ears, the dangers are almost doubled.
If your pet has the feline immunodeficiency virus, you should beware as it can lead to higher risks for cat skin cancer. The mechanism may not be clear today but a link has been established and for many pet owners, it should serve as a warning.
Extend Those Nine Lives
There are many things that you can do as a responsible, loving pet owner to protect your cats against skin cancer. Don't worry because you do not need to be a vet to apply these things.
Just tweak what you do for your own sun protection and apply it on your cats. Your cat will probably love the sunshine's warmth and will stay outside 24/7 given the opportunity. Well, don't give them the opportunities, pure and simple.
You should keep your cat indoors during the sun's strongest times (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) by offering motivations to stay inside the house.
Besides, your cat will be protected from cars, abusive humans and other animals when it stays indoors. If it must sunbathe, then you have to spray pet-friendly sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB uv protection. Focus on more vulnerable areas like the ears and nose.
You must also regularly check your cat for signs of skin cancer. These symptoms can include skin redness, crusty sores and slight swelling although only the vet can determine if it is, indeed, cancer through a series of tests.
And if you do notice these symptoms of cat skin cancer , do not adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Get your cat to the vet now for proper diagnosis and treatment. And that is how you make your cat's nine lives matter!
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