If you notice a cyst on your cat, this could result from infection or a clogged duct, and in some cases, they can be harmless and don't require treatment, as these can be absorbed back into the body or remain unchanged.
There are occasions when you want to get your cat checked out, and this is if the cyst is infected or causes pain and discomfort to your cat, in which case, it will have to be drained by your veterinarian.
So if you need to go down this route, let's discuss what this procedure looks like, which you can find below.
What Kind Of Mass Is It?
This can be pretty scary to consider, but any bumps that appear on your cat can come under two main categories; Benign masses are tumors that don't spread, and malignant tumors can be cancerous and attack surrounding tissue and spread as a result.
This is why it's essential to check over your cat regularly by grooming or petting them so you can identify any lump and get it looked at as soon as possible, as if left, they could cause further pain and restrict their movement if the lump grows.
So if the lump does not reduce in size on its own after a week, it changes color and grows large quickly, or your cat is visibly bothered by it, you should schedule an appointment with your vet to be able to diagnose and treat it.
What Is The Drainage Procedure Like?
A procedure like this is an option for when other medications and treatments don't work on the cyst and involves making an incision, then inserting a drain, which is likely to be a surgical tube, and leaving it in place so the cyst can drain continually.
This allows the wound to heal correctly by clearing itself of all the fluid and tissue that forms the cyst. If an infection is present, you will be prescribed antibiotics, painkillers, or anti-inflammatories when needed.
For this treatment, your cat will need to be put under anesthetic, and an exam will be done to determine if any conditions may make the use of anesthetic an issue, and your cat will have to fast before the procedure.
If the nature of the cyst isn't fully known, the veterinarian may want to take a biopsy to see if there are any cancerous cells inside, which could be a cause for concern in the future.
What Does The Recovery Look Like?
Once your cat is back to its old self and the proper medication is prescribed, you'll have to administer this while keeping an eye on them, so they don’t bite or lick the area where the incision was made.
In some cases, the drain will be left on your cat while in recovery, which is why it's essential to make sure the drain is clean and isn't blocked, and if your cat is eager to go outside, put them in a cage so you can limit their activity as much as possible and they can rest as well.
If you're worried about how to use medication with a cat that may be fussy, you can mix it with a bit of its food, and your cat can eat it without having any leftovers.
Avoid crushing any pills into food or water as this can taste bitter to your cat, and you want them to get the full dosage.
Can I Prevent Cysts With My Cat?
Not all cysts are avoidable, as they can appear quite quickly, and the cause can be unknown, but sebaceous cysts are the most common type in cats, especially older ones, as hair and these follicles can get blocked up.
You can lower the risk this poses to your cat by having a clean environment around them and giving them baths if there is dirt that the cat can't remove itself, and this way, you can have a healthy cat that can move around freely.
While grooming and playing with your cat, you can notice when these lumps appear, and then you can get them checked over, as there is a chance that the cyst can become infected and cause more complications and invasive surgeries.
What If My Cat's Cyst Is Malignant?
This is relatively rare, but it is still something you can look out for, and you won't know for definite if the lump is cancerous unless you get it seen by a veterinarian.
To help determine this, you may be asked about any changes in your cat, such as eating and drinking habits, how often they go outside, activity levels, and any changes in temperament or behavior.
If you make sure that your cat has its vaccinations if it's at risk of developing certain cancers, spaying a female cat at an early age, and keeping lighter-skinned cats out of direct sunlight as much as possible are some measures you can take.
For example, suppose your cat suddenly starts to lose interest in its food. In that case, this may indicate another issue, including kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or pancreatitis, and you want to keep on top of this as your cat ages.
There are other kinds of lumps that you can find on cats, and these may resemble warts that can be spread by a virus that can come from bedding, toys, or carpets, so it's a good idea to keep these areas clean as your cat can wander anywhere.
Mostly, the more severe types of growth are rare, but if your cat has a history of illness, it's a good idea to keep on top of its health as illnesses and cancers can return and be more severe, and you want your cat to live a long and happy life.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.