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Cat Lipomas

Veterinarian Reviewed on April 2, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford

Cat Lipomas

Lipomas are benign tumors that pop up in older cats. Usually soft and well defined; they are right under the skin. They can appear anywhere on a cat’s body, but more frequently beneath the abdomen and chest. There are no breed specifics for a lipoma. However, they are less common in cats than in dogs.

There is always the possibility that the tumors can become infiltrative and involve other layers of tissue. They can go so far as between the muscle fibers. Those that involve the deeper tissue will be harder and less defined. On occasion in cats, they can cause pain. The occurrence of infiltrative lipomas is not frequent.


As with any change in your cat’s condition, the initial signs will depend on the owner. Any swelling in the skin or the appearance of lumps should be investigated, especially if the lumps are considered to be Cat Cancer Lumps. Most of them will be oval or spherical.

Your veterinarian may perform needle aspiration. This is the removal of tissue cells for laboratory analysis. If the aspiration is inconclusive, your vet may choose to perform a biopsy. Either of these tests will be done under sedation.


Many of these tumors are slow growing and require no treatment. If they become invasive, there are several options. It the tumor is causing discomfort it may be removed to increase their mobility and improve the life of your cat. If they are infiltrative, it will require the wide and more extensive surgical removal. Often there will be cells left in the body, but with a slow growing tumor, no further treatment may become necessary.

Cat Radiation Therapy is another consideration for invasive tumors that cannot be surgically removed. The infiltrative tumors do require aggressive treatment to preserve the life style of your cat.

Before surgical removal the standard blood tests and chemical profiles will be done routinely.

At home care

Keeping your cat comfortable is important. If there are any changes in your cat’s conditions, your vet should be notified. Once the tumor is removed the usual precautions should take place. Any redness, swelling or discharge should be noted. Your cat should not be allowed to lick or chew the area. Often an Elizabethan collar will be used to prevent the cat from accessing the area.

Sutures will remain in place for 7-10 days. Treatment will be easier after this occurs. Keep your cat free from pain from the surgery. The proper administration of pain medication will also help to relax your cat and prevent extreme rejection of the Elizabethan collar. You need to be strong and not give in to your cat wanting to have it off. Keep your cat comfortable and aid in their recovery.


There are no known preventions for lipomas. Early removal is advised. If you see a lump or bump on your cat’s body, you should consult with your vet. Often the lipoma will be observed over a long period of time unless it appears to be inhibiting your cat from its normal activities.

Additional Cat Cancer Pages

Cat Cancer | Cat Skin Cancer | Cat Lung Cancer | Cat Pancreatic Cancer | Cat Cancer Prevention | Cat Cancer Diagnosis | Cat Gastric Cancer | Cat Lymphoma Cancer | Cat Squamous Cell Carcinoma | Cat Mouth Cancer | Cat Brain Tumor | Cat Palliative Cancer Care

Read also: Cat Ovarian Tumors
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Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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