Signs of Cancer in Cats

©Science Photo Library | Getty Images
Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Nicole Cosgrove

Approximately 33% of cats will develop feline skin cancer and feline leukemia, among other cancers.

Pet food company Blue Buffalo, which has helped raise more than $30 million to support critical pet cancer research funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, offers the following signs of cancer in cats, courtesy of Dr. Victoria Carmella, director of veterinary scientific affairs:

  • Growing or changing lumps
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Stomach distension (swelling)
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Cough
  • Lameness (limping)
  • Straining to urinate
  • Mouth odor
©Blue Valentines | Getty Images

About the Author

Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown

Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 20 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry. She is contributing writer for National Geographic’s Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness: The Veterinarian’s Approach to At-Home Animal Care (April 2019) and author of the book It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: Making Sense of Animal Phrases (Lumina Press, 2006). Jackie is a regular contributor to pet and veterinary industry media and is the former editor of numerous pet magazines, including Dog World, Natural Dog, Puppies 101, Kittens 101 and the Popular Cats Series. Prior to starting her career in publishing, Jackie spent eight years working in veterinary hospitals where she assisted veterinarians as they treated dogs, cats, rabbits, pocket pets, reptiles, birds and one memorable lion cub. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons and miniature poodle Jäger. Reach her at

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