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What is Fatty Tissue Tumor?

Fatty tissue tumors are defined as infiltrative or non-infiltrative. Non-infiltrative tumors remain only within fatty tissue. Infiltrative fatty tissue tumors can spread into connective tissue or muscle. They are usually not so well-defined as non-infiltrative tumors.

Fatty tissue tumors are called lipomas. They are usually benign, made of fat and grow slowly. They feel like soft, round masses below the skin, and can occur as single or multiple tumors. 

Fatty Tissue Tumor Average Cost

From 508 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Fatty Tissue Tumor in Cats

A lump on the smooth surface of the cat's skin is the most common symptom. The bump can be oval or rounded with a slight definition. The animal may not show any signs of discomfort, and the tumors are usually found on the abdominal area.

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Causes of Fatty Tissue Tumor in Cats

There are multiple causes of skin masses in cats, so it is necessary to determine the underlying origin of the tumor. 

Common causes of fatty tissue tumor include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Sun exposure
  • Aging
  • Viruses
  • Chemical exposure
  • Obesity
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Diagnosis of Fatty Tissue Tumor in Cats

Even though most fatty tissue tumors are benign, a lipoma should always be biopsied. This is because other tumors, such as infiltrative lipoma, a more invasive tumor, may feel like a benign, fatty lump to the touch. A lipoma biopsy is made by inserting a thin needle into the tumor and aspirating a tiny sample of the tissue. The tissue is placed under a microscope to determine whether the sample is benign or malignant. The vet may perform a complete blood count, a chemical blood profile, an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis. The blood and urine analysis plus biopsy will predict treatment options.

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Treatment of Fatty Tissue Tumor in Cats

Lipomas in fatty tissue often grow slowly. Some pet owners may opt not to do anything about the tumor if it is not large or bothersome. Sometimes the tumor will continue to grow and become troublesome because it may infiltrate other bodily structures and impede normal function. Even if fatty tissue tumors are benign, a veterinarian may suggest removal, because they are rare in cats and are not easily distinguished from infiltrative lipomas.

The pet must be given no food or water in preparation for the surgery. The surgeon will need to record what medications the animal is currently receiving. The cat will be given a sedative right before the surgery, intravenous medications, and anesthesia. The surgical site will be shaved. The surgeon will remove the fatty tissue of the tumor and some of the tissue around it to ensure the most beneficial outcome.

If a hollow place is left where the tumor originated, a drain may be placed to prevent fluid buildup in the space. 

When the surgery is completed the cat will be given medications to relieve pain. These will be a combination of anti-inflammatory anesthetics and narcotics. Fluids will be administered intravenously to promote proper hydration. 

If a more invasive surgery was performed for a larger tumor, the pet may be required to spend the night in the hospital to make sure pain is controlled.

It is rare for a simple lipoma to recur after surgical removal. Infiltrative lipoma is infrequently found in cats, but requires very aggressive removal. They are found within muscle groups and can return. Sometimes followup treatment with radiation will be recommended for infiltrative lipoma. Another variant of infiltrative lipoma may be cancerous and is caused by feline leukemia viral infection. These tumors are also capable of returning, so follow-up radiation treatment is necessary.

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Recovery of Fatty Tissue Tumor in Cats

At home, the cat should be monitored and the surgery site checked for infection. A collar can be placed around the animal's neck to prevent interference with the surgical site. If this is not done, the cat may open the sutures and cause an infection. Licking will impede the healing process because of bacteria transferred from the mouth.

The animal should be restricted from much exercise for three or four weeks after the surgery is performed. This may mean that food, water and litter box must be placed in an easily accessible area for recovery time.

Cats may not have much appetite after surgery, and refusing food for the first day or two after surgery is normal. Stomach upset after surgery may cause vomiting, as well. Make sure that plenty of water is available. If appetite continues to be low, smelly, canned foods may perk interest. Strained meats for babies can be inviting, also. If the cat still refuses to eat, a small amount of strained food administered into the mouth with a syringe may be effective. The food may be warmed a bit in a microwave to enhance the smell, but make sure it is not too hot. Petting and stroking may also stimulate the appetite.

If the cat attempts to hide or cries in pain, consult the vet for remedy. Do not give over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen to a cat, as cats cannot metabolize the drug and may die.

Completing follow-up visits to the veterinarian is very important after a surgical procedure to monitor healing and general health.

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Fatty Tissue Tumor Average Cost

From 508 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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Fatty Tissue Tumor Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Zeus

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domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

17 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Lump
Hard Lump On Back
Hard Lump On Rib
Movable Lumps

My 17 year old cat was recently seen by the vet for a lump on his back by his spine. He is eating fine, drinking fine, still playing. He is 8 lbs due to old age and arthritis but there are no noted changes in behaviors. I told my vet about the side of his rib also feeling a lump starting. All he did was a complete blood which showed slightly decreased kidney function, no thyroid issues, and is otherwise fine for a 17 year old. Zeus's back lump is about the size of a nickel but round and movable. His rib is about the size of a dime but round and movable. He lets me touch and move both. I am worried because they seem to be growing (or he is getting skinnier) and the vet never did an aspiration and told us not to worry. I am worried that this is the end of his life... and the other vet we go to at the practice is out... what should I be looking for?!

July 9, 2018

Zeus' Owner

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0 Recommendations

If your Veterinarian suspects that they are lipomas, I would keep an eye on them as they are free moving masses; whilst they normally grow slowly they may appear to be growing fast due to weight loss. Without examining Zeus myself I cannot confirm whether I believe they are lipomas or due to another cause, if you’re not confident in the diagnosis I would recommend you return when the other Veterinarian is back or visit another practice. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 10, 2018

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Pandora

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domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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Fair severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lump On My Cats Belly

I took my cat to the vet, after I felt a lump on her belly. She is not in pain, and vet told that is not a hernia from her spaying surgery and it is probably a fat lump. She didn’t do a biopsy or any tests, told that she would monitor and if it grows will consider removing. Should I get a second opnion?

June 7, 2018

Pandora's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Depending on the location of the mass and the presentation, some lumps are easier than others to diagnose. If you are not sure of the diagnosis, it never hurts to get a second opinion, just to make sure.

June 7, 2018

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Panky

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Tabb

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2 Years

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Critical severity

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Hard Lump In Stomach
Hard Lump By Stomach Area

My cat has a hard lump inside by his stomach he also hasn’t use the bathroom in three days . Won’t eat or drink water and is basically moving from one spot to the next to sleep.

June 3, 2018

Panky's Owner


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0 Recommendations

Without examining Panky, it is difficult to say what the possible cause of the lump may be; this is something you should visit your Veterinarian about Monday morning especially if there is constipation and/or urine retention. Your Veterinarian will have a good feel of the abdomen and may require x-rays or ultrasound to help narrow in on a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 3, 2018

I took my cat to the vet, after I felt a lump on her belly. She is not in pain, and vet told that is not a hernia from her spaying surgery and it is probably a fat lump. She didn’t do a biopsy or any tests, told that she would monitor and if it grows will consider removing. Should I get a second opnion?

June 7, 2018

Rafael Q.

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Leo

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tabby

dog-age-icon

15 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Fatty Tumor

My cat Leo currently has 2 of these fatty tumors one on each side of his body. The vet did aspirate one of them and told me it was benign and not to worry about it. Well it's gotten bigger over the years and I assumed the other is the same. He's not getting any younger so I wonder if they bother him. He is very vocal and purrs all the time. He is no longer able to jump onto the couch but every once in awhile he acts like a kitten running through the house. Do you think I have anything to worry about in his elder years or just let him be and live his life out?

June 3, 2018

Leo's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Fatty tumors are often fine left alone, but they can sometimes become quite large and interfere with mobility. Without seeing Leo, I can't comment on whether the tumors bother him or whether they should be removed at his age, but it might be a good idea to have him examined by a veterinarian to see if the size and location of the tumors are okay or whether removal at this time would be best, given his age and health status.

June 3, 2018

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Sadie

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tabby

dog-age-icon

5 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Irritable

My cat has very large fat deposits on her abdomin and is very sensitive about touching them (will bite/scratch) she doesn’t show any signs of it bothering her. I just bought her from a shelter and would think they would check her out to see what it is, but either way I’m wondering if I should take her to the vet and see what it is, if surgery is the best option or if we should leave them? And what would a vet have to do to determine what should be done?

April 24, 2018

Sadie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Since we don't know what type of tumors these lumps are, or if they are anything to worry about, it would be best to have Sadie examined by a veterinarian. They will be able to test the tumors with a simple test, examine her, and advise you as to whether taking them off is the best course of action. If they are lipomas, we do often remove these if they are large or growing.

April 24, 2018

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Eclipse

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Domestic long hair

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Large, Soft Bulge On His Side

Hello. I just found a large, soft bulge on my cat's side. It seems to be at the tissue level, well below his skin, and about the size of my hand. I don't see any sign of an infection, but he is an outdoor cat. Could this have something to do with the lump? He may also be walking more slowly. He doesn't complain when I touch the bulge, but he mewed in pain when I picked him up--which is unusual for him. .

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Trina

dog-breed-icon

Simease

dog-age-icon

14 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

I adopted a 14 yr old Katrina Flood kitty whose owner passed away. She was very healthy and had her thryoid radiated about 11/2 years ago. Trina developed a lump on her hind leg that was causing her difficulties with walking. After a biopsy I was told it was some type of cyst. The vet drained it. It got bigger with more fluid. It’s been drained 3 times and now it’s filled up again and her leg down to her toes is swollen. I’m told they can’t remove it because it’s so large and she is only 5 lbs therefore they would need to remove her leg. Is there any other options for this poor girl? I hate the thought of putting her down.

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Tipsy

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long haired cat

dog-age-icon

17 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

N/A

My cat is named tipsy and I found her as a newborn kitten almost 17 years ago. She is a very active cat. And always very affectionate and happy cat. I took her to the vet a year and a half ago when I noticed a grape size moveable bump around the back of her neck area. Her vet said it was a harmless lipoma tumor and cuz of her age it was not a good idea to remove it. Her tumor is now the size of a softball. Is there any natural remedies to help shrink in. I have read iodine or apple cidar vinegar. Plz help me. I just need to know it is safe to put iodine on the tumor.

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Milk

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Short hair cross

dog-age-icon

One Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Obesity
Saggy Belly
Lump In Jaw

My cat is a about a year and a half old. He is an indoor cat with not much room to play although I give him toys and things to keep him occupied, along with occasional kitty play dates with my friends cat. I went away for the summer and he was at 15 lbs before I left, i asked my mom to switch his diet from dry food to wet food where he is in need of loosing weight. I came back after two months and he now weights 17lbs and has a giant lump in his throat.. im scared it may be cancerous and im taking him to the vet asap, but in the mean time I was hoping for maybe a bit of reassurance that he could be fine.. but any information is better than none even if it's not what i want to hear. He has had half his Vaccines and was supposed to go back to the vet to get the other half, but that was before i left. He was supposed to go back to the vet the week after i left but my mom forgot to bring him back and he is still yet to receive them. He is pooping just fine, and seems to be just as playful as before i even left. Is it possible that this is just a fatty tumor? I dont know what Id do without My little Milk meowing at the door everyday I come home after school:(

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Smoki

dog-breed-icon

Calico and bangle mix

dog-age-icon

12 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Lymph Node

Just noticed My 12 week old kittens right lymph node is swollen. I see her all the time and for it to be as big as it is I would’ve noticed sooner so it must of happened quick. Haven’t noticed any change in appetite or behavior. Haven’t had vaccines yet appointment is this week. Just started her on new treats. Has recently been around another kitten and when we rescued her she was living with multiple other kittens as well and wasn’t taken care of the best. Also noticed she seems to be staring off into space not sure if that means anything or not.

Fatty Tissue Tumor Average Cost

From 508 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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