Brain Tumors Average Cost

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What are Brain Tumors?

Tumors are a collection of cells that grow in an abnormal way. Veterinarians place brain tumors into two different categories. If a tumor originates in the cat’s brain and its membranes, it is known as a primary tumor. Tumors that begin elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain are known as secondary tumors. 

Cats can develop medical conditions similar to humans. While most cats are generally healthy, there are some conditions that can pose a threat to their health. Brain tumors are such a condition. While this type of cancer is more common in dogs than cats, cats can still develop tumors that can be cancerous.

Symptoms of Brain Tumors in Cats

Cats that develop brain tumors can exhibit a variety of symptoms. Below are some of the most common symptoms seen in domestic cats:

  • Sudden onset of seizures
  • Head tilt
  • Pacing
  • Circling or chasing the tail
  • Increased or diminished hunger
  • Increased or diminished thirst
  • Pressing the head into the floor or furniture
  • Decreased sensation on one side of the body
  • Diminished vision
  • Staggering
  • Drunk appearance
  • Vomiting
  • Problems swallowing
  • Tremors
  • Swaying of the body
  • Inability to move the eyes
  • Increased vocal sounds

Causes of Brain Tumors in Cats

While some brain tumors occur with no known cause, veterinarians believe there are certain factors that place cats at an increased risk of developing them. Some conditions that are believed to contribute to brain tumors include:

  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Environmental factors
  • Chemical exposure
  • Taking certain medications

Diagnosis of Brain Tumors in Cats

In order to diagnose brain tumors in cats, doctors take a detailed history from the cat’s owner. This questionnaire includes information such as unusual birth history, pre-existing conditions and when symptoms first appeared. After taking a medical history, the doctor will examine the cat thoroughly. He will observe the cat’s gait, demeanor and motor skills. Most veterinarians suspect brain tumors in cats over five years of age if they exhibit neurological symptoms. 

A sample of blood will be taken from the cat and examined for any abnormalities. Routine tests such as a biochemical profile and a CBC, or complete blood count, are performed. A urinalysis will also be performed and examined. Doctors typically take an X-ray of the head to see if a tumor is visible. However, many tumors are difficult to see on routine X-ray films. Additional images may be taken of the chest and abdomen to see if cancer has spread to any vital organs. If additional images of the brain are necessary, doctors may order an MRI or CT scan to help confirm the diagnosis. Doctors often perform a biopsy of the tumor if possible to determine if it is malignant. 

Treatment of Brain Tumors in Cats

The treatment recommended for brain tumors in cats depends on several factors, such as the location and type of the tumor. If the veterinarian feels the tumor can be successfully removed, he may perform surgery. Meningiomas are the easiest type of tumor to remove and typically offer the best outcome for the pet. Gliomas are the most problematic, because they often lie deep within the tissues of the brain. 

Radiation and chemotherapy can also be performed in an attempt to treat brain tumors in pets. Again, the type of tumor dictates the outcome of the treatment. Typically, cats that have advanced symptoms will not have as favorable an outcome as those who just began exhibiting symptoms. Larger tumors also have a reduced success rate. In cats that are very ill, doctors may opt to use palliative care to keep the symptoms under control. This may include medications to control seizures or administering steroids. Palliative care does not provide a cure, it merely keeps the cat comfortable and gives him time with his owners.

Recovery of Brain Tumors in Cats

The recovery of this condition depends on the placement of the tumor, the health of the cat and whether it is benign or malignant. If caught early and the cat is young, treatment may have a favorable outcome. Cats that are older or in poor health, often do not recover as well from this type of condition. In some cases, veterinarians may recommend euthanasia as the most humane way to treat very sick animals. While this is not the desired outcome, it keeps owners from watching their beloved pet suffer from an incurable condition.

Brain Tumors Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Jon Snow
Snowshoe Siamese
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Excessive Saliva
Increased thirst

My cat has recently started having seizures. We immediately went to the vet and they are running a full blood pan on viral diseases. He is showing signs of feline leukemia but also showing signs of a brain tumor, He is usually very disoriented and has been losing weight rapidly and drinking more water than usual. His seizures last from 1-3 minutes and have progressively been getting worse. My instinct is telling me it's leukemia, but could it possibly be a brain tumor?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. He is young to have a brain tumor, but it isn't impossible. You'll know more once you get the test results back. I hope that he recovers from this sad problem.

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12 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Blind, staggering, falling over

My 11 year old Persian likely has a brain tumor. Over about a 3 week span, it appears he’s gone completely blind. His eyes are working, but he can’t see. He sneezes, staggers, and misses jumps. He trips on things and runs into things. All f his blood work was gone and his X-ray looked good. When I initially took him to the vet, his eyes were not dialating the same in sunlight. The vet saw something in his eye and flushed it out. The pupils went back to normal, but it still didn’t get better. He seemed to lose vision every day. They confirmed the initial eye issue he went in for 3 weeks ago was likely an injury from the blindness he has begun suffering, not vice versa. If they can and I opt for surgery, will his quality of life be worthwhile? Will he still stagger, sway and lose balance or will he regain mobility? I’m afraid he will hurt himself jumping and falling. Tough choices ahead either way. Thank you for helping me make a more informed choice for me sweet pet.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1978 Recommendations
If Andy has a brain tumour, surgery may be restrictive in efficacy and may not be feasible depending on the location of the suspected tumour; I would suggest having a CT or MRI performed to determine whether there is a tumour present or not. As for quality of life, recovery from this type of surgery may be long and unrewarding and without knowing any specific details I cannot give you an informed answer. If you are having thoughts, I would suggest visiting another Veterinarian in your area for a second opinion. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jay Climes
Domestic shorthair
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

drunk apperence
lack of appetite
Lack Of Coordination

I recently noticed that my cat has not been eating or talking and he was looking lethargic. I took him to the animal hospital and the vet said he didn't seem to have any serious disease. After going home, he still was not eating and last night he fainted. We rushed him to the emergency room and they gave him some fluids and sent him home. After coming home from the hospital, he was looking confused by his surroundings, collapse a few times and he wasn't responding to his name. I went back to the hospital and they said it is possible that he could have a tumor. He is only 5 years old can it really be a tumor? And could it be something else?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, without examining Jay Climes, it is difficult for me to comment on what might be going on with him. He seems to need further testing to find out what is going on with him. I'm not sure when they thought he might have a tumor, where that tumor might be? He is quite young to have a tumor, although it isn't impossible. Since I can't see him, it would be best to follow up with your veterinarian, or get a second opinion, to try and find out what is going on with him. I hope that he is okay.

They said it might be a brain tumor and what test would u recommend get done?

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18 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Low appetite
loud meow
bloody boogers

Medication Used


I believe my 18 year old short haired male cat might have a brain tumor. A while back he had what seemed to be a seizure, lasted about a minute and a half long, uncontrollable shaking. Afterward he ate a large amount of food, contrary to how he wasn't eating very well. He has lost a lot of weight, and I believe he is blind in one eye or partially blind in both. He stumbles, scared to go outside even though he used to love it, he meows extremely loud a few times a day. He also started sneezing very green boogers that are long and his nose is also runny. Sometimes there is a tiny amount of blood in the boogers coming out of his nose. I cannot afford to take him in to get checked. What can I do to help him? Is there anywere I can bring him where they will verify that he has a brain tumor for less than $30? Can the humane society check him for free?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1978 Recommendations

Unfortunately I cannot think of anywhere that would be able to confirm a brain tumour diagnosis for less than $30; a standard consultation with no tests is $50 or more. The symptoms you are describing may be caused by a brain tumour, poisoning, head trauma, liver or kidney disease. Blood tests would be recommended in a cat Tigger’s age as well; call the Humane Society and Charity Clinics in your area to see if they are able to help you. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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13 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

behavior change,

My 13yr DSH cat attacked my 90lb dog. Last month, the cat ate some of my little dog's food. The 90lb dog is part of a herding breed so protective of the little dog & she & the cat got into a fight. The next day the cat was making growling noises, actively stalking the 90lb dog & attacking the 90lb dog. After a stay in the emergency clinic & $1500, it was decided the cat had subdural emphysema (air) & went home with meds. Now, every time we leave the house the cat & dog get locked up in separate rooms. This weekend, the cat attacked the dog on several occasions & growled at her but it wasn't constant. The cat would smell the dog, walk up to her, around her & be fine. They even slept on the sofa together at one point. But then an hour later the cat would be growling & going after the dog. Yesterday, the cat bit through my husband's thumb as he was breaking up the attack. The cat is self feeding but we haven't noticed any change in her water or food habits. The cat doesn't growl at me, my husband or the little dog. The cat has been pacing but not in a circle,more like stalking, looking for something, no seizures, no head pressing & she only stumbled the one time we gave her gabipentin, no head tilt. Our family vet says initial x-rays don't show any air in the cat this time.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1978 Recommendations
This is unusual for a cat to be actively stalking a 90lb dog which an hour earlier were curled up together resting; it is possible that there something going on with the brain whether it is a tumour, swelling or bleeding which is leading to these symptoms. I don’t have any real useful advice apart from having a CT or MRI scan done of Natasha’s brain to look for any anomalies; the first fight may have caused some injury to Natasha’s brain which may be leading to these changes in behaviour. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Domestic Short Hair
11 Years
Has Symptoms
Sways While Walking. Trips. Lost Sense Of Balance.
Staring At The Ground
Circular Walk
Sudden Onset Head Tilt Primarily To The Right
Head Tilt
Separation Anxiety
Head Pressing
One morning in Dec. 2015, I noticed that Vegas, our 11.5 year old tuxedo cat, was acting strangely. While waiting for me to serve his breakfast, I saw he was pacing and walking around and around the kitchen island in clockwise circles. He was kind of staggering around looking drunk, then when I sat him down in his cat bed, he just sat there rigidly, staring at the back of the couch. It was very obvious that something was very wrong, so we took him to the vet specialist (VCA in Gaithersburg, MD) right away. The doctor gave Vegas a cursory exam and listened to his list of symptoms, then said that he either had a seizure or has a brain tumor, but the only sure way to know is an MRI scan. After Vegas's initial MRI test (about $2,400), we learned he had a brain tumor. We elected to proceed with surgery (about $10,000 including hospital stay) to remove the tumor, which turned out to be cancer, but the doctor was able to remove it with "good margins". Because the tumor was cancerous, after a 6-week recovery period Vegas began a 9-month course of chemotherapy treatment, which consisted of monthly visits to the neurologist ($200 per visit) to check his reflexes and receive the chemo pill, followed by a visit to his regular vet ($65 per visit) for blood tests two weeks after each chemo dose. After his chemo treatment was complete, Vegas had one last MRI ($1,800) to look for any signs of cancer, and was finally declared cancer-free! Vegas's recovery from the surgery and year of chemo was nothing short of miraculous, and we are incredibly thankful for such a positive outcome. Through the skill of the surgeon and VCA staff, and by the grace of God, Vegas just turned 13 years old and is still his normal ornery, yet super friendly and outgoing self. Along with our three other cats, Blackjack, Joker, and Lucky, Vegas is enjoying the life of a spoiled, pampered, and beloved house cat. =^-.-^=