Skin Cancer in Siamese Cats

Have you ever seen a cat with eyes like mine?

Have you ever seen a cat with eyes like mine?

Your Siamese cat looks like a living work of art, with his beautiful colorpoint coat and bright blue eyes. There is something that can mar that beauty—skin cancer. Since the breed is prone to these cancers, check your kitty regularly for signs of skin irregularities.

Mast Cell Tumors

Mast cell tumors occur fairly often in Siamese cats, affecting males and females. If your cat develops raised, round lumps in his skin, call your vet. If the disease has spread, your cat may stop eating, throw up and suffer from abdominal pain. His poop might be black and tar-like, because of internal bleeding. Your vet diagnoses the disease by extracting cells through a needle and examining them under a microscope, or via a biopsy. Surgical removal of the tumors often results in a cure, if the disease has not spread.

Histiocytic Mast Cell Tumor

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the histiocytic type of feline cutaneous mast cell tumor is primarily found in Siamese cats over 4 years old. Lesions may appear anywhere on the cat's body, usually as numerous small, firm nodules under the skin. Generally, older cats have fewer lesions than young ones. The good news is that these types of tumors usually disappear on their own, so treatment isn't required. If you find these bumps on your cat, you should still have the vet check them out.

Basal Cell Tumors

Although basal cell skin tumors are often found in the Siamese, they're generally not a big problem. These tumors usually show up on the head, chest and back. They consist of many bumps under the skin that are connected to each other. Fortunately, basal cell skin tumors rarely metastasize, or spread. Your vet can remove the tumors with surgery.

Other Cancers

Skin cancer isn't the only type of cancer frequently found in the Siamese. Female Siamese cats are disproportionately likely to develop mammary cancer, which is similar to breast cancer in humans. They also tend to develop mammary tumors at a younger age than other cats. One way to protect your cat from this disease is to have her spayed before the age of 2. The risk reduction for female cats spayed after this age is negligible.

 

About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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