Jump to section

What is Kidney Cancer?

Older cats are more susceptible to developing cancers of the kidney. The older the cat, the harder it is to recover from treatment. Most tumors that grow in or on the kidneys are malignant (cancerous). All renal cancers are highly invasive to the body, and over 50% of cases spread quickly. The list of organs and body parts that cancer of the kidneys can spread to is long, including blood, lymph nodes, lungs, brain and spinal cord. Because renal cancer is so aggressive, by the time symptoms have manifested the cancer has already taken hold of the patient. This is a good reason to have routine or annual blood work performed on your cat.

Renal (kidney) cancer is generally rare in cats. Of the cancers that do develop in the kidneys, lymphoma is the most common type to appear, followed by renal cell carcinoma. All renal cancer is very dangerous, requiring immediate treatment. Often, cancer found in the kidneys has metastasized (spread) from elsewhere in the body, making the condition even more serious.  

Kidney Cancer Average Cost

From 432 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $10,000

Average Cost

$6,500

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer in Cats

The symptoms of renal cancer often are shared with other urinary tract problems. If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, it is best to have a vet examine them immediately. Symptoms are as follows:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Polyuria (frequent urination)
  • Blood in urine
  • Polydipsia (increased thirst)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Behavioral changes
  • Pale gums
  • Dull coat
  • Poor skin condition
  • Bad breath
  • Anemia
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Kidney Cancer in Cats

Not all renal cancers have an understood cause. It seems that many senior cats eventually develop severe kidney problems. Possible causes include:

  • Severe UTI (urinary tract infection) left untreated
  • Ingestion of toxins
  • Environmental exposure to toxins
  • Interaction with a cat who has Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV is present in almost 50% of renal cancer cases)

A cat's kidneys do not have the tendency to repair well, leading to potential allowances of cancerous irregularities to flourish.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer in Cats

Upon arrival at a veterinary clinic or animal hospital, the veterinarian will request your cat's complete medical history to look for any relative problems. Then, a physical examination and evaluation will take place. All other kidney and liver problems have to be ruled, out as many express the same symptoms. An X-ray or abdominal ultrasound is generally the first thing required to confirm the presence of tumors or irregularities in the kidneys.

If tumors or growths are found, a needle aspiration or biopsy will be needed to examine the properties of said tumors and determine if cancer is present. Extensive blood work will be needed, including a complete blood count and a biochemical profile looking for enzymes with elevated levels. Blood work will also show if the cat is a good surgical candidate or not. Urinalysis will be performed to look for blood traces, high white blood cell numbers, proteins, and even bacteria that could be exacerbating the renal situation. A kidney function test may also be suggested. After all of these tests, an MRI or CT scan will be requested to see if surgery is viable, and if so what the best course of action will be.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Kidney Cancer in Cats

Many treatment options are available to cats facing renal cancer. Determining the right treatment will be based on the cancer's progression, the strength of the cat and the type of cancer that is present.

Surgery 

If only one kidney is affected by the cancer, often removal of the entire kidney is advised. This is a high-risk surgery, but offers the best chance of survival if the cancer has not yet metastasized to other parts of the body. The cat will be put under general anesthetic to undergo the surgery. A strict, at-home care regime will need to be administered if the surgery is successful.

Chemotherapy 

This treatment can be lengthy and expensive. Medications that combat cancerous cells will be given to the cat on a regular basis. If the renal cancer present is not lymphoma, chemotherapy may have no significant effect as a treatment.

Radiation Therapy 

This often includes a vigorous schedule of vet administered treatments that can last for weeks on end. It may be used in addition to surgery.

Antibiotics 

After surgery is complete, and if an infection was present at the time of blood work, antibiotics will be prescribed to remove bacteria.

Supportive Care 

In patients that do not qualify for surgery, often general, life assisting care is recommended. This, in turn, becomes palliative treatment to keep the cat comfortable in its last days.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Kidney Cancer in Cats

Kidney cancer usually carries an overall poor prognosis in cats. Survival may only be increased by months even after vigorous treatments have been applied. The earlier the cancer is discovered, the better, as this increases the chance of removal before spreading has occurred. There is a very high rate of relapse in renal cancer.

If the cancer is only present in one kidney and has not developed in any other area of the body, and surgical removal of that kidney has taken place successfully, a full recovery is sometimes possible. Extensive at-home care will be required, including a close monitoring of the incision site for possible infection. Later X-rays will be needed to ensure no other cancer is growing, and that the remaining kidney is functioning at an optimum level. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Kidney Cancer Average Cost

From 432 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $10,000

Average Cost

$6,500

arrow-up-icon

Top

Kidney Cancer Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

Dolce

dog-breed-icon

long hair

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Fever

My 3 year old indoor cat develop a fever around mid July. It was notice that her bottom of her paws were hot. I just took it that it was hot because of the summer heat. About 1 month later she stopped eating her dry cat food. since then, she acts hungry but becomes uninterested with her wet food after a few bits. My Vet referred me to a Speciality Vet. Nothing shows up abnormal on my cat's blood test.In fact the Vet said it was quite good. No blood in her urine or stools. The Vet found a 2 1/2 mm mass near her left kidney. They did a fine needle aspiration and submitted for culture & cytology. The culture showed no infection. She has been on 3 antibiotics and with no results. The cytology showed "concerning cells". They said it could be cancer. The Vet commented that it's very rare for a 3 year old cat to have kidney cancer. But, the only way to be certain it to remove her kidney.....$4000!!! (She said nothing about surgically removing the mass, only.) The Speciality Vet didn't think the mass was attached to the kidney at the time of the sonogram. But, now she thinks it probably is attached. My question, if it was kidney cancer, wouldn't ANY of the tests (blood & urine) have some indication? UPDATE-9/19/18. Just came back from the Speciality Vet. The mass grew about 1mm since last visit(8/22/19). An ultrasound was done & now the vet sees,it is attached to the kidney. The culture taken on the last visit showed carcinoma cells. My cat has gained a few ounces. Still doesn't show any sign of pain when I put on her stomach. No blood in her urine. And still very active. My question...If I let them remove her kidney, what are her chances of living a fairly normal long life. She is still very young. Is this form of cancer treatable? Is this form of cancer treatable?

Sept. 19, 2018

Dolce's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Dolce

dog-breed-icon

Domestic long hair

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Fever

My 3 year old indoor cat develop a fever about 6 weeks ago. It was notice that her bottom of her paws were hot. I just took it that it was hot because of the summer heat. About 1 month ago her stopped eating her dry cat food. since then, she acts hungry but becomes uninterested with her wet food after a few bits. My Vet referred me to a Speciality Vet. Nothing shows up abnormal on my cat's blood test.In fact the Vet said it was quite good. No blood in her urine or stools. The Vet found a 2 1/2 mm mass near her left kidney. They did a fine needle aspiration and submitted for culture & cytology. The culture showed no infection. She has been on 3 antibiotics and with no results. The cytology showed "concerning cells". They said it could be cancer. The Vet commented that it's very rare for a 3 year old cat to have kidney cancer. But, the only way to be certain it to remove her kidney.....$4000!!! (She said nothing about surgically removing the mass, only.) The Speciality Vet didn't think the mass was attached to the kidney at the time of the sonogram. But, now she thinks it probably is attached. My question, if it was kidney cancer, wouldn't ANY of the tests (blood & urine) have some indication? I'm thinking about going back to her regular vet, and see if they would surgically remover the mass.

Aug. 29, 2018

Dolce's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Sophia

dog-breed-icon

Persian

dog-age-icon

6 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Growls When Carried. Blood In Urine

My cat has a mass in/on her kidney. The doctor needs to run more tests. She has always been a healthy cat but has had urinary tract infection a few times. I’m hoping that it can be removed. She’s still active and showing no symptoms. I am not sure if she’s in pain. The mass is big and she’s a skinny cat. Please advise.

Aug. 19, 2018

Sophia's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Without examining Sophia and possibly doing an ultrasound, it is difficult to say whether the kidney can be removed or not; blood tests will be taken to check kidney and liver function prior to any surgery and Sophia will need to be on a special renal diet for the rest of her life to not stress the remaining kidney. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 19, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Loki

dog-breed-icon

Tabby Cat

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lymphoma, Lethargy, Not Eating

My cat Loki (2,5) is unfortunately felv positive. Underwent a full mouth extraction and after being healed from that slowly started to stop eating, with an increase of drinking. After a ultrasound we saw that his spleen was covered in holes cause by the felv. Both his kidneys had fluid around them and were swollen. The vet did a biopsy in both kidneys and found leucemia cells in both of them. He is on Ceremia, dexoral daily and eating and drinking again. But without medication he really becomes sick. I wanted to do Chemo on him but the vet said kidneys invested with leucemia cells are a bad sign and prognosis isnt looking too great. I just hope i am not making a bad decision to put him down after days of quality time. Would anyone be so kind to explain why the prognosis is so bad with2 kidneys with leucemia cells and no chemo was suggested ?

July 26, 2018

Loki's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

The decision to go through with chemotherapy is down to your Veterinarian, in severe cases of renal lymphoma it may not be beneficial to put a cat through chemotherapy since the prognosis is poor to grave even with chemotherapy; you need to remember that chemotherapy isn’t a ‘cure-all’ and is not always suitable for every case. If you’re not happy with the decision of your Veterinarian, you may submit the medical records to a telemedicine company like PetRays for a board certified Oncologist to review. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://petrays.com/services/oncology/

July 27, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Tamtam

dog-breed-icon

Persian

dog-age-icon

14 Years

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomitting

The results of my cat fine needle aspiration is as follows The cytologies observed show different lesion patterns. An inflamatory population of neutrophils and macrophages, indicative of a chronic and purulent inflammatory/ infectious process, is observed, and there is another population of epithelial cells, organized in nests, with marked cytonuclear atypia. The overall images suggests a pulmonary adenocarcinoma with associated inflammation. What should i do. Is chemo therapy helping

June 10, 2018

Tamtam's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Whilst you have copied in your cytology report, there is no frame of reference for me to know whether chemotherapy is helping or not and you didn’t mention where the fine needle aspirate was taken from; however pulmonary adenocarcinoma generally has a poor response to chemotherapy. Your Veterinarian would be able to advise you better as Tamtam is under their care. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 11, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Tiggi

dog-breed-icon

Stray cat

dog-age-icon

15 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Lethargy Depression
Lethargy Depression Didnt Eat

My cat was a very healthy outside living cat. That changed when she started to refuse eating. Of course i took her to the vet and he immediatly felt her big kidneys. Both kidneys had increased in size, so surgery was not an option. It was clear that she would die soon. The vet told me to make her drink alot and put her under a kidney diet. For the coming week she really got better and was more active but that changed after. She got depressed again and sat lethargily on the ground the whole day. She only eat a tiny piece. She continued to loose weight and didnt do much the coming weeks. She never expressed any pain when i pet her. One day she started to look for strange hiding places. That was the signal for me that she searched for a dying place. I knew she was ready to die, so i took her to vet and he euthanized her. I didnt want her to die in great pain. After the diagnosis she remained alive for 6 weeks. Since she used to be healthy i didnt take her to the vet very often. That is why the cancer could grow without being noticed. By the time my cat started to show symptoms the cancer already destroyed about 70% of both kidneys. My advice: even if your old cat is healthy, take it to the vet and let them watch their kidneys.

dog-name-icon

Lucy

dog-breed-icon

Long haired mix

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Loss Of Appetite
Loss Of Consciousness

My Lucy stopped eating one day in October of 2019 I took her to Vet and bloodwork and upon X-ray huge mass on her kidney.....she was only 3 1/2 so hard to believe. I could not euthanize so I made the decision for surgery I wanted them to see and when they performed the surgery they removed entire kidney then could not visually see anything else Lucy came home after a day and did amazing I had to slow her down she was eating and within a week and bit was back to fetching her bird and living life...the mass was sent away for diagnosis and came back transitional cell carcinoma....terrible news but I remained hopeful because she was doing so well! January she started refusing food slowly would eat small amounts and then the vomiting started so never a problem with her remaining kidney or any issues.... we went back for more bloodwork and xrays could not find anything Lucy fought hard but could not get her appetite back and was slowly starving I tried everything the cancer had to be back in some form...the hard part is she was only 3 1/2 today she was euthanized I am glad I did the surgery and we had 3 great months she was a great cat and I will miss her so...

dog-name-icon

Yowie

dog-breed-icon

Domest

dog-age-icon

17 Years

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Abdomen

I have a 17 year old neutered male that has previously been diagnosed with only having one kidney working. He recently sustained a big bump into a door frame ( I was carrying him and my FIL and I both went to work through a door at the same time -me and puss came off worse). Since then we noticed Yowie's belly got very firm and tbh i didn't put two and two together. I took him to the vet fearing the worse (ie Tumour) and the vet agreed with my suspected diagnosis.We didn't go down the exploratory road as she didn't feel it was going to change the outcome and could prove quite expensive. I had completely forgotten about the bump on the door and didn't mention it to them. The vet has prescribed pain meds and support for the kidneys which she suspects the tumour is on, however now I'm wondering if it may be something else. Yowie is still eating and drinking and making his way up and down the stairs to toilet etc? Im heading back to the vet today to have a chat but thought Id share as others may have had similar experiences. Any thoughts? I will get back to you with further deets. Michelle

dog-name-icon

Lilly

dog-breed-icon

short haired

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Sensitive Skin
Blood In Stool
Bloating

My cat Lilly had in the past 6 months has issues with bloating and sensitive skin. The vet thought she had an allergy so I changed her food and her skin started to get better along with the bloating. However the past couple of weeks she was suffering with diahrea and sore skin, I took her back and she got steroids, antibiotics and probiotics. She seemed to improve slightly but the diahrea was still an issue. She went missing for 2 days and I was so worried about her. She came home last night and I could tell she wasn't right. She was walking strange. I rushed her to the emergency vets and they discovered that she had a very large tumour on her kidney and that she was extremely poorly. I had to make the heart breaking decision to have her put to sleep to stop her suffering. She was only 9 and I'd had her since a kitten, I take comfort in knowing she came back to me so I could help her and cuddle her to the very end

dog-name-icon

Dr Sunaj

dog-breed-icon

Kidne

dog-age-icon

1 Month

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Kidney Do

Hi, We're looking for kidney donors We are located in Indian, Canada, UK, Turkey, USA, Malaysia, South Africa,Jordan etc Very urgently. B+ve , O+ve and A+ve with India passports/ Voters card or Pan-card and age should be more than 19 years. Interested person's should contact us via Email: sunajkidneyfundation@gmail.com Whataspp: +917204719376 Whataspp: +917204719376 Whataspp: +917204719376 sunajkidneyfundation@gmail.com Dr Sunaj Thank You.

Kidney Cancer Average Cost

From 432 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $10,000

Average Cost

$6,500

How can we help your pet?