Where We Care About Pets

Can Cats Get Warts: What Pet Owners Need to Know



Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Cats, like humans and other animals, can experience a variety of skin issues, some of which may be easily mistaken for warts. One might wonder if cats can actually get warts, and if so, are they the same as human warts? In this article, we’ll explore the topic of warts in cats, what causes them, and how they can be treated.

First, let’s address the question at hand: can cats get warts? The answer is yes, they can, but it’s not very common. Warts are caused by specific strains of the papillomavirus, which affects different species separately. While a human wart-causing virus won’t affect a cat, cats can still contract feline-specific forms of the virus and develop warts.

Now that we know cats can get warts, it’s important to understand the difference between these growths and other skin conditions frequently found in felines. Keep reading as we delve into identifying warts, distinguishing them from other skin issues, and discussing appropriate treatment options for your furry friend.

Can Cats Get Warts TL;DR: Cats can get warts, but it’s uncommon. Warts are caused by feline-specific strains of the papillomavirus. It’s essential to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment if you notice any abnormal skin growths on your cat. To maintain your cat’s skin health, keep them clean, provide a balanced diet, and schedule regular check-ups with the veterinarian.

Identifying Warts in Cats

Detecting warts in our feline friends can be quite challenging. However, it’s essential for our cats’ health to know what to look for. We’ll discuss several factors to consider when identifying warts in cats.

Location is crucial when determining if it’s a wart or another skin issue. Warts in cats often appear around the eyes, mouth, and even on their paws. However, they can also be found on other parts of their bodies. It’s essential to examine your cat frequently to spot any abnormalities.

The appearance of warts can vary in cats, but there are common characteristics. They’re typically flesh-colored, have a rough surface, and can be flat or raised. Some warts may have surrounding redness, and they might be circular, irregular, or filamentous. If you notice any of the following features on your cat’s skin, it could be a wart:

  • Flesh-colored
  • Rough surface
  • Flat or raised
  • Circular, irregular, or filamentous shape

Size and number of warts can differ between cats. Some cats may only have one small wart, while others might have multiple warts in various sizes. Keep in mind that most feline warts are benign, but it’s still important to monitor them for changes.

Paying attention to your cat’s behavior can help identify if the wart is causing discomfort. If you see your cat repeatedly scratching, licking or biting the wart, it’s possible the wart is causing irritation or pain. Noticing such behaviors is a good indication that it’s time to consult with your veterinarian.

Not all skin lumps and bumps are warts, though. There are a few similar skin conditions that need to be ruled out:

  • Acne
  • Insect bites
  • Skin tags
  • Tumors

To be sure about the diagnosis, always consult with a veterinarian. They can take a sample of the affected area and examine it under a microscope to confirm if it is indeed a wart or another skin issue.

In summary, to identify warts in cats, observe the location, appearance, size, and number of warts, and pay attention to your cat’s behavior. Don’t forget to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and further guidance on the best course of action.

Causes of Warts in Felines

Warts in felines, also known as papillomas, are rare but not unheard of. There are several factors and causes behind warts developing on your cat’s skin. We’ll break down these causes for a better understanding of this unusual condition.

Viral Infections

Perhaps the most common cause of warts in cats can be traced back to viral infections. Here are some of the prevalent viruses responsible for warts in felines:

  • Feline Papillomavirus: This virus primarily causes warts around the head, neck, and body.
  • Feline Calicivirus: It’s responsible for more severe warts, usually causing inflammation and pain.

Weakened Immune Systems

Cats with weakened immune systems are more prone to developing warts. A weakened immune system can result from factors such as:

  • Old age
  • Chronic stress
  • Malnutrition
  • Underlying medical conditions

External Factors

Some environmental factors can also lead to the development of warts in felines:

  • Allergies: Skin allergies can result in itching and irritation, which may cause warts.
  • Trauma: Skin injuries, burns, or bites can lead to warts forming around the affected area.


Although rare, certain breeds of cats may be predisposed to warts due to genetic factors.

It’s essential to have your cat examined by a veterinarian if you notice any warts or unusual skin growths, especially if they appear inflamed or painful. By identifying the cause early on, appropriate treatment can be prescribed to lessen your cat’s discomfort and address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the development of warts.

The Difference Between Warts and Skin Growths

When it comes to identifying skin issues on our feline friends, it’s important to understand the difference between warts and other skin growths. While they might look similar, the causes and treatments can be quite different. In this section, we’ll discuss the key differences between warts and skin growths on cats.

Warts are small growths caused by a viral infection. They are typically non-cancerous and can appear anywhere on a cat’s body. The papillomavirus is the common culprit behind warts in animals. Some examples of warts found in cats include:

  • Cutaneous papillomas
  • Fibropapillomas
  • Oral papillomas

Though relatively rare, these warts can potentially spread to other areas of your cat’s body or even to other animals in contact with an infected cat.

On the other hand, skin growths encompass a wider range of skin issues, including benign and malignant tumors. While some of these growths are harmless and may resolve on their own, others might need veterinary intervention for removal or treatment. Some common skin growths found on cats include:

  • Sebaceous adenomas
  • Lipomas
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

When identifying skin growths, it’s essential to monitor any changes to their size, shape, or appearance. Any unusual changes should be noted and communicated to your veterinarian.

One way to distinguish warts from skin growths is through their physical appearance. Warts typically exhibit these characteristics:

  • Small and round
  • Rough, cauliflower-like surface
  • Color may vary from skin-tone to slightly darker

In contrast, skin growths can display a broader range of appearances, including:

  • Varying sizes and shapes
  • Smooth or bumpy texture
  • Different colors, including white, pink, or even dark brown

The growth rate is another key difference between warts and skin growths. Warts often grow slowly over time, whereas some skin growths, especially malignant tumors, can develop more rapidly.

Ultimately, it’s critical to consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis of either warts or skin growths on your cat. They may perform a physical examination, biopsy, or fine needle aspiration to determine the cause and best course of treatment.

How Warts Can Affect Your Cat’s Health

You may wonder if cats can get warts and how they might impact their health. Warts are uncommon in cats but can still occur. They’re usually caused by the feline papillomavirus and can appear as small bumps on your cat’s skin. These bumps might not seem like a major issue, but they can sometimes lead to complications and health problems for your furry friend.

It’s essential to monitor the development of any skin abnormalities on your cat. A sudden increase in the number or size of warts might indicate a more significant health issue. Some potential complications related to warts on cats include:

  • Infection: Warts can become infected if your cat scratches or bites at them, causing swelling and pain. If left untreated, an infection could spread and lead to more severe health problems.
  • Bleeding: Cats with warts may experience bleeding if the wart becomes irritated or injured. Excessive bleeding can lead to anemia and require veterinary intervention.
  • Hindered mobility: Warts that grow in areas like the paws, mouth, or near the eyes can cause discomfort and difficulty for your cat when eating, grooming, or walking.

It’s important to consult a veterinarian if you notice warts on your cat. A professional examination can help rule out other health issues and determine the best course of action. Some possible treatments for warts in cats include:

  • Topical treatments: Your vet might recommend the use of creams or ointments containing salicylic acid or imiquimod to promote wart regression.
  • Cryotherapy: This method involves freezing the wart to remove it. While effective for smaller warts, it may not be suitable for warts in sensitive areas like the face.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgical removal of the wart might be necessary, particularly if the wart is significantly affecting your cat’s quality of life or causing persistent problems.

While warts in cats are relatively rare, it’s essential to be aware of their potential impact on your cat’s health. Keep a close eye on any skin abnormalities and consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns. Early detection and treatment can help prevent any of the complications mentioned above and keep your feline friend in tip-top shape.

When to Consult Your Vet

It’s important to know when it’s time to consult your vet about your cat’s health. While warts aren’t common in cats, they can still develop and cause concern for pet owners. We’ll guide you through some signs and symptoms that may indicate it’s time to reach out to your veterinarian.

Cats can develop various skin issues that may resemble warts. Some common causes of skin growths in cats include:

  • Viral papillomas
  • Skin tags
  • Insect bites
  • Sebaceous gland adenomas
  • Squamous cell carcinomas

If you’re worried about your cat’s skin growths, here are some factors to consider before contacting your vet:

  1. Location and Appearance: Take note of where the growth is and what it looks like. If it’s located in a sensitive area, such as near the eyes, mouth, or paws, it’s best to consult your vet promptly.
  2. Growth Rate: Monitor how quickly the growth is expanding. Rapid growth may require a vet’s evaluation.
  3. Colors and Textures: Changes in color and texture can be indicators of something more serious, necessitating a veterinary visit.
  4. Behavioral Changes: Observe your cat’s behavior. If they show signs of discomfort or irritation, such as excessive licking, scratching or becoming agitated, it’s time to consult a vet.
  5. Size and Number of Growths: Document the size and number of growths present. Multiple growths or significant enlargement might signal the need for a vet appointment.

It’s essential to consult your veterinarian if you’re concerned about your cat’s overall health. While most skin growths turn out to be benign, we recommend scheduling a visit to your vet in the following situations:

  • The growth is rapidly expanding.
  • Your cat is showing signs of pain or discomfort.
  • There’s a change in color, texture, or appearance of the growth.
  • The growth is in a sensitive area, such as near the eyes, mouth, or paws.

In the end, it’s always better to be safe and have your cat examined by a professional. Your vet can provide you with valuable information, determine if further testing is needed, and recommend an appropriate course of action to ensure your feline friend’s health and well-being.

Diagnosing Warts in Cats

If you suspect that your cat might have warts, it’s essential to seek veterinary advice for proper diagnosis and treatment. While warts in cats are less common than in dogs, they do occur and can require medical intervention. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the most common methods veterinarians use to diagnose warts in cats.

Physical examination is often the first step in diagnosing warts. Your veterinarian will carefully examine your cat’s skin, looking for any unusual growths, lesions, or bumps. If a growth is found, they will take note of its size, shape, location, and appearance. However, visual examination alone may not be enough to confirm the presence of a wart, and additional tests may be necessary.

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a procedure where a thin, sterile needle is used to collect cells from the suspicious growth. This technique is minimally invasive and usually doesn’t require sedation, making it a popular choice for initial diagnostics. The collected cells are then examined under a microscope to determine if they show signs of abnormal growth.

Some common findings during microscopic examination are:

  • Swollen or broken blood vessels
  • Abnormal cell shapes and patterns
  • Presence of virus-induced changes

Histopathology may be recommended if the FNA results are inconclusive or if your veterinarian suspects a more aggressive growth. In this procedure, a small sample or the entire growth is removed and examined by a pathologist. This helps determine if the growth is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) and aids in planning a suitable treatment.

Virus isolation can also be performed to identify the presence of any viruses, such as the feline papillomavirus, which is known to cause warts in cats. This test can be crucial in determining if the growth is a wart or another type of skin lesion.

The table below provides a brief overview of the diagnostic methods:

Diagnostic MethodDescription
Physical ExaminationVisual inspection of the cat’s skin and growths
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)Collection and examination of cells from the growth
HistopathologyExamination of a tissue sample to determine benign or malignant growth
Virus IsolationTesting for the presence of viruses, such as feline papillomavirus

If your cat is diagnosed with warts, the veterinarian will discuss the best treatment options based on the wart’s location, size, and other factors. Always consult with your veterinarian to ensure the safe and effective treatment of warts in your furry friend.

Treatment Options for Feline Warts

When it comes to treating warts in our feline friends, various options may be considered. It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate course of action. Some warts may resolve on their own, while others may require more aggressive treatments. Here are some common treatment options that might be suggested:

  1. Monitoring and Observation: Many times, warts in cats are harmless and may resolve on their own. In these cases, we’ll likely monitor them closely under the guidance of a vet and intervene only if they become bothersome or negatively impact our cat’s quality of life.
  2. Topical Ointments: In some situations, we may apply topical ointments or creams prescribed by a vet to treat warts. These can help diminish their size and ultimately promote faster healing. Remember to follow the vet’s instructions closely when using these medications.
  3. Cryotherapy: For warts that do not respond to conservative treatments, cryotherapy may be an option. This process involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen in an attempt to remove it. It’s essential to have this procedure performed by a qualified professional, as improper use of cryotherapy can lead to skin damage or infection.
  4. Surgical Removal: In cases where warts become problematic or cause discomfort to our cat, surgical removal may be recommended. This procedure involves the use of a scalpel, laser, or cautery device to remove the growth, often under general anesthesia. As with any surgery, there are associated risks, such as infection or complications from anesthesia.
  5. Alternative Treatments: Some cat owners may consider exploring alternative treatment options, such as homeopathic remedies or natural supplements. It’s crucial, however, to consult a veterinarian before attempting any alternative treatments to ensure our cat’s safety and well-being.

When considering treatment for feline warts, always keep the following points in mind:

  • Regularly monitor any wart-like growths and report any changes to a veterinarian
  • Do not attempt to remove a wart at home, as this can lead to complications, such as infection or scarring
  • Follow all prescribed medication instructions closely and consult with a veterinarian if any concerns arise

In conclusion, while warts in cats can be concerning, there are several possible treatment options available. It’s important to collaborate with a veterinarian to determine the safest and most effective course of action to ensure our cat’s well-being.

Preventing Warts in Cats

Preventing warts in cats is essential for their overall health and comfort. By following these guidelines, we can minimize the risk of our feline friends developing warts:

  • Vaccinate your cat: Vaccines can help protect your cat from viruses that may cause warts, such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Be sure to consult with your veterinarian about which vaccines are appropriate for your cat’s age, breed, and lifestyle.
  • Regularly groom and check your cat: Maintain a consistent grooming routine, and carefully inspect your cat’s skin for any abnormalities. This enables you to detect any potential issues early on and seek appropriate treatment promptly.
  • Maintain a clean living environment: Disinfect your cat’s bedding, litter box, toys, and dishes regularly to reduce the likelihood of viral or bacterial exposures. Encourage healthy habits by providing ample opportunities for exercise, mental stimulation, and scratching (to help shed old skin).
  • Avoid contact with infected animals: If you know a cat who has warts, it’s best to avoid letting your cat interact with them until the infection has cleared.

While these steps can help to prevent warts from developing, it’s important to recognize that some warts may still form despite our preventive measures. If a wart does develop, don’t panic! Consulting with your veterinarian is the best course of action to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Here are some common treatments suggested by veterinarians once a wart is detected:

  • Monitoring: Some warts may not require immediate intervention and may resolve on their own. Regular observation is necessary to track any changes.
  • Topical medications: Depending on the cause and severity of the wart, your veterinarian may prescribe a medicated ointment or cream to apply directly to the affected area.
  • Cryotherapy: For persistent or problematic warts, cryotherapy (freezing) can be a highly effective treatment option.

Remember, prevention is key to keeping our cats wart-free. By staying vigilant and adopting good practices, we can maximize our feline friends’ health and happiness.

Common Misconceptions About Warts in Cats

There’s often confusion surrounding warts in cats, and we’re here to help dispel some of the common myths. Let’s dive into the misconceptions and clarify the facts about feline warts.

Myth 1: Cats can’t get warts
This simply isn’t true. Cats, just like any other species, can develop warts. While they’re less common compared to dogs, warts can still appear on felines. They’re caused by the Papillomavirus, and can be harmless or potentially harmful, depending on the type.

Myth 2: All warts look the same
Warts can vary in appearance. Some might look like small, raised bumps, while others may be flat or appear in clusters. Since other skin conditions can resemble warts, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

Myth 3: Warts aren’t contagious
Although most warts in cats aren’t contagious to other cats or humans, it’s still important to remember that some strains of the Papillomavirus are contagious. Practicing good hygiene, keeping a close eye on your pet, and regular veterinarian check-ups can help prevent the spread of contagious warts.

Myth 4: Warts don’t need treatment
It’s not always true that warts don’t require treatment. While some might vanish on their own, others may grow, worsen, or become infected. It’s best to consult a veterinarian for proper guidance and treatment options, including the potential surgical removal of the wart.

To further clarify information about warts in cats, here’s a quick summary:

Fact vs. MythStatement
FactCats can develop warts
MythAll warts look the same
FactWarts can be contagious
MythWarts don’t need treatment

Keep in mind, proper knowledge and communication with your veterinarian is the key to caring for your feline friend. Regular check-ups can help detect and identify potential health issues, including warts, and allow for accurate diagnosis and timely treatment options.

Can Cats Get Warts and final thoughts 💭

We’ve thoroughly explored whether cats can get warts and we’d like to summarize our findings. As we mentioned earlier, feline warts are uncommon compared to similar skin growths in other animals. Nonetheless, we can’t rule out the possibility completely.

Cats may develop growths that resemble warts, but most of these cases are benign (non-cancerous) in nature. It’s crucial to consult a veterinarian if you observe any abnormal skin growths on your cat, to properly diagnose the condition and determine the necessary treatment. Some common reasons for skin growths in cats include:

  • Feline Papillomas
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Cutaneous Horns

Taking proper precautions can help reduce the risk of skin growths. Here are some tips to maintain your cat’s skin health:

  • Keeping your pet clean by using cat-safe grooming supplies
  • Providing a balanced diet with essential nutrients for a healthy skin and coat
  • Scheduling regular check-ups with the veterinarian for timely detection and treatment of any issues

In conclusion, while feline warts aren’t a prevalent condition, it remains crucial to monitor your cat’s skin and consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. We hope this discussion has been helpful to cat owners, as understanding these conditions plays a vital role in ensuring our feline friends’ overall well-being.

About the author