If your cat has been acting strangely lately, it might be time to take them to the vet.
It could be something as simple as a cold or more serious, like a brain tumor.
Brain tumors are relatively rare in cats, but they can occur.
Here’s what you need to know about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of brain tumors in cats.
Brain Tumors In Cats
While brain tumors are relatively rare in cats, they can occur.
If your cat has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, it’s essential to learn about it.
This will help you work with your veterinarian to provide the best possible care for your cat.
Brain tumors are growths of abnormal cells in the brain.
They can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Benign tumors grow slowly and do not spread to other body parts.
Malignant tumors grow quickly and can spread to other parts of the body.
There are many different types of brain tumors.
The type of tumor will determine the symptoms your cat experiences and the treatment options available.
Brain tumors can be caused by several different things, including cancer cells that spread from another part of the body, exposure to certain toxins or viruses, or genetic abnormalities.
In most cases, the cause is unknown.
Brain tumors can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on their size and location.
Common symptoms include seizures, blindness, balance problems, head tilt, circling, vomiting, and personality changes.
The treatment options for brain tumors depend on the type of tumor, its location, and your cat’s overall health.
Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
In some cases, palliative care (symptom management) may be all that is possible.
With proper treatment, many cats with brain tumors can enjoy a good quality of life for months or even years.
What Are Brain Tumors In Cats?
Brain tumors are abnormal growths of cells within the brain or central nervous system.
These growths can occur in cats and dogs but are much less common in felines than in canines.
Types of brain tumors include primary tumors originating in the brain, and secondary tumors, which develop from metastatic cancer elsewhere in the body.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), primary brain tumors make up about 2 percent of all tumors diagnosed in cats each year.
The most common type of primary brain tumor in cats is meningioma, which is a tumor that originates in the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Other types of primary brain tumors include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, ependymomas, and medulloblastomas.
Secondary brain tumors are much more common than primary brain tumors in cats.
These tumors develop when cancer cells from another body part spread (metastasize) to the brain.
The most common type of metastatic brain tumor in cats is lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).
In addition, breast and skin cancer are also known to spread to cats’ brains.
Causes Of Brain Tumors
The cause of brain tumors in cats is not known.
One theory is that they may be caused by exposure to certain viruses or chemicals.
Brain tumors are more common in older cats, and Siamese cats seem at higher risk.
Symptoms of brain tumors in cats can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor. See below:
Symptoms Of A Brain Tumor
The most common symptom of a cat’s brain tumor is a sudden onset of seizures.
However, because seizures can have many other causes, they do not necessarily indicate a brain tumor.
Other symptoms that may be seen with a brain tumor include:
- Behavioral changes
- Loss of appetite
- Poor grooming habits
- Head tilt
- Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement)
- Ataxia (uncoordinated movement)
- Brain Tumor In Cats Treatment
Several types of brain tumors can occur in cats, and the treatment will depend on the type of tumor.
The most common type of brain tumor in cats is meningioma, a tumor of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Meningiomas are usually benign (non-cancerous) and can be treated with surgery.
Other brain tumors, such as gliomas and schwannomas, are more challenging to treat and may require radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Brain tumors can also be metastatic, meaning they have spread from another part of the body.
Metastatic brain tumors are usually not curable, and treatment aims to extend the cat’s life and improve its quality of life.
Symptoms of a brain tumor in cats can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor.
However, many cats will show neurological problems, such as weakness, seizures, head tilt, or paralysis.
Treatment for a brain tumor will also vary depending on the symptoms but may include medications to control seizures or steroids to reduce inflammation.
Surgery is often necessary to remove the tumor, but this is not always possible.
Radiation therapy or chemotherapy may also be recommended in some cases.
Final Thoughts, Brain Tumors In Cats
To conclude, brain tumors in cats can be caused by various things, including viruses, genetic predisposition, and exposure to certain chemicals.
Symptoms can vary depending on the location and size of the tumor but may include seizures, changes in behavior, and paralysis.
Treatment options vary depending on the type of tumor and the stage of its development but may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
How long will a cat live with a brain tumor?
There is no one answer to this question, as it depends on several factors, including the size and location of the tumor, the cat’s overall health, and whether or not the tumor is malignant.
However, cats with brain tumors typically have a life expectancy of around six months.
How long can a cat live with a brain tumor without treatment?
It depends on several factors, including the size and location of the tumor, the cat’s overall health, and whether the tumor is causing any symptoms.
However, with proper treatment, cats with brain tumors can live for several months to a few years.
Are brain tumors in cats treatable?
Yes, brain tumors in cats are treatable.
The most common treatment is surgery, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
What are the signs of a cat with a brain tumor?
A few signs may indicate a cat has a brain tumor, including changes in behavior (such as increased aggression or lethargy), seizures, difficulty walking, and head tilt.
If you notice any of these signs in your cat, you must take them to the vet for an examination.
Do brain tumors hurt cats?
Cats with brain tumors may experience a variety of symptoms, including pain.
The pain’s severity depends on the tumor’s size and location.
Treatment options can help manage brain tumors’ pain and other symptoms.
How common are brain tumors in cats?
Brain tumors are relatively rare in cats, with an estimated incidence of 1-2 per 10,000 cats.
However, certain breeds of cats (such as Siamese and Himalayan cats) may be at increased risk.
Symptoms of brain tumors in cats can include seizures, head tilt, circling, incoordination, and blindness.
If you suspect your cat may have a brain tumor, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.