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What are Wart Virus?

While the warts are not-life-threatening in their own right, the danger with leaving wart virus untreated in your cat is that the growths can evolve into cancerous tumors over time. 

Wart growth in cats, or papillomatosis, is a condition in which raised growths of tissue occur in various areas on your cat. These growths are typically benign, or non-cancerous, and can occur in any bodily location on your pet. The most common locations you would find papillomatosis growths would be around the eyes, mouth and nose, due to the increased moisture and potential for transference of viral cells to these areas. 

Wart Virus Average Cost

From 348 quotes ranging from $500 - $1,500

Average Cost

$750

Symptoms of Wart Virus in Cats

Wart virus, or papillomavirus, in cats typically presents with raised growths and a variety of other related symptoms. Here are some of the items to watch for if you suspect wart virus, or papillomatosis in your cat:

  • Raised bumps or warts focused around lips, mouth, eyelids, eyes and ears
  • Bumps may be white, dark or skin colored
  • Warts may bleed or cause your cat irritation
  • Warts may become infected or inflamed
  • Poor grooming or hygiene due to pain caused by warts 
  • Reduced appetite from pain or discomfort from warts
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Causes of Wart Virus in Cats

As “wart virus” is a phrase used to describe numerous sporadic growths in cats, there is not a single identified cause. There are several viruses that cause the formation of warts and several known causes of infection with papillomavirus and spontaneous growth of warts.

  • Spread of Infection from Other Cats:

    Wart viruses can be spread from one affected pet to another. Direct contact from outdoor cats with a variety of wild and domesticated animals can contribute to cross species or interspecies contamination with the virus.

  • Weakened Immune System:

    Some commonly occurring viruses can cause warts when your cat’s immune system becomes suppressed due to underlying sickness or old age.

  • Precancerous and Cancerous Conditions:

    Some types of cancer can originally manifest as warts in cats which will initially appear as benign growths. Over time, these growths can multiply and spread, becoming cancerous and life-threatening lesions. 

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Diagnosis of Wart Virus in Cats

As with many conditions, it will be important to provide your veterinarian with documentation regarding your cat’s warts or growths. Information such as date of first appearance of the wart, rate of growth of the wart and any resulting inflammation, infection, bleeding or other related conditions will be vital to eliminate similar conditions.

Your veterinarian may recommend a biopsy of all or a portion of the area affected by the wart virus. This will not only eliminate or identify the potential for cancer in your pet, but may also eliminate the growth and prevent future spread, infection or related conditions. This can be especially helpful for lesions or warts that are interfering with the daily life or your cat, such as those around the lips or mouth.

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Treatment of Wart Virus in Cats

There are several courses of treatment that your veterinarian may choose to take in order to cure your cat of papillomatosis.

Medication

There are various types of anti-inflammatory, antiviral or antifungal medications that your vet may prescribe. The exact type of medication used will depend on the results of the biopsy or other tests conducted during the initial vet visit and subsequent diagnostic procedures.

Freezing 

In the case of diagnosis of the wart virus as benign, your veterinarian may choose to freeze the warts in order to encourage the growth to reduce in size or fall off. Freezing the warts in sensitive areas on your cat will help alleviate symptoms such as loss of appetite, lethargy or general discomfort. Freezing may also be a viable alternative to surgical procedures which may cause significant damage to surrounding tissues.

Surgical Removal

In some cases, surgical removal of warts and surrounding tissues may provide the best course of treatment for your cat. Your vet may take this course of action in situations where the wart is suspected of being cancerous or will not respond well to freezing or medications. When removing via surgical methods, your vet may perform additional tests on the removed tissues to ensure clean margins, which would indicate that all infected or diseased tissue has been removed.

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Recovery of Wart Virus in Cats

With property veterinary treatment, recovery of your cat after treatment from wart virus will be good. Warts that are eliminated via surgical methods or from medication will generally not return. On occasion, warts that have been frozen off have the potential for regrowth if the entirety of their structure was not impacted by the initial procedure.

Since most wart virus conditions are caused by a naturally occurring or otherwise contagious virus for which there is no cure, warts may recur in the same or different areas of your cat. Proper immune support for your cat will be important to reduce the possibility of recurrence. Overall, wart virus in cats is not a life threatening condition and, if treated properly, can still allow your cat to lead a long and healthy life.

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Wart Virus Average Cost

From 348 quotes ranging from $500 - $1,500

Average Cost

$750

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Wart Virus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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sphinx

dog-age-icon

Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Wart On Skin

my cat has wart on his skin, he used to have it before but he scratched it off and it was fine and then on winter time it stars to grow again probably because he used to sit by the fireplace and now its growing again because he is going outside and its sunny ... i dont want to go to the vet as they charge crazy prices but i am pretty sure there is some hemp or cbd can help,i just want to figure it out whats exactly. appreciate if u can help

July 11, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without seeing him, I can't comment on what might help with the growth, unfortunately, as I don't know what it is. If it something that doesn't grow quickly, and seems to resolve occasionally, it may be a benign growth that is not worrisome. Most veterinary clinics have a reasonable initial examination fee, and that would let a veterinarian look at the lump and let you know if it is anything to worry about. I hope that all goes well for him.

July 11, 2020

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Tiger

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Unknown

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10 Years

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Fair severity

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4 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Wart

My 10 year old cat appeared with his first wart. He has been healthy his whole life besides his overweight issue. It doesn’t seem to bother him and his lifestyle has not changed since it has appeared. Do you think I should worry and take him to a vet?

Aug. 23, 2018

Tiger's Owner

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4 Recommendations

If you’ve found a single wart/mass, I would keep an eye on it for the time being and bring it up with your Veterinarian to be on the safe side since I cannot say for certain what the cause is without an examination. It may be an innocent benign wart or it may be something more serious which is why a check with your Veterinarian is best. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 23, 2018

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Keoki

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American long hair

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Wart On UpperLip/Whiskers

My cat got out (in a bad neighborhood too) about 4 years ago for two months. She came back (Thank Heavens) but with what Appears to be a Wart on her upper lip by her Whiskers. I mentioned it to the Vet last year and it was really kind of Looked Over, Side Noted,Not an Issue. Shes been suddenly sneezing alot these last few weeks, with absolutely no other symptoms of any kind, perfectly healthy cat. I could just be freaking myself but the wart looks Slightly Bigger than it Did to Start With, its Right next to a Whisker. Is this making her Sneeze? Should I bring her in?

Aug. 22, 2018

Keoki's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

It seems unlikely that the wart is making Keoki sneeze, but she may be having a little viral infection. If she is eating and drinking normally, you should be okay to monitor her for a few days and see if things get better. If she continues to sneeze, or isn't eating, or seems lethargic, then it would be a good idea to have her examined by a veterinarian, and mention the wart as well.

Aug. 22, 2018

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Prince

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tabby

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13 Weeks

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Wart

Hi my kitten was born with a wart/mole type of growth on his cheek and mouth area. It’s got bigger in the last few weeks. Two vets have failed to diagnose this . It’s raised . The two “growths” are starting to connect making one . We love prince so much. He’s such a good kitten. So we want to help and find out what it could be. Best wishes , nav

July 3, 2018

Prince's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Without examining Prince, it is difficult to say what the specific cause may be; masses are generally uncommon in a kitten this young. If your Veterinarian’s cannot determine the cause, cytology may be done to see what types of cells are present which may aid in the diagnosis; or alternatively visit another practice for a second opinion. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 4, 2018

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Joey

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Blue tabby

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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

Fair severity

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

My cat has a strange tiny white ball by his mouth area. It is left of his nose and on his right side of his face. Right by his whiskers. His mouth area is white so that’s possibly why it’s been hidden. We’re not sure how long it’s been there. He’s not acting different or throwing up. He’s able to eat and drink, which he does a lot but that’s been normal for him. We also have three other cats (who he knows and grew up with). They don’t have any problems Besides from the wart, he’s normal.

June 14, 2018

Joey's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Without examining Joey it is difficult to say what the specific cause of this lump is, you should take him for an examination with your Veterinarian to be on the safe side as insect bites, trauma, infections, tumours among other causes may lead to swellings, lumps and bumps. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 15, 2018

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Gizmo

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Cat

dog-age-icon

15 Years

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

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None - Cat Is Happy

Today I found what looks like a wart on cat's hind paw between toes, and protrudes out just beyond the claw bed. My cat is a purebreed Ragdoll Persian of approx. 15 years old. I feel like this has occurred fairly recently but does not seem to be bothering him much. He is eating/drinking fine, he is active and can jump up and bear weight on the paw fine and he seems fine in himself. The bump is not huge but of noticeable size, cannot be removed (we thought it might be a well-attached tick at first but we saw it had fur on it, so I tried to gently cut away the fur around the area to see what it was but the scissors nicked it and it bled). It doesn't look infected in any way, just a hard bump with a crusty texture on the top of it.

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cheeky chops (cheeky)

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Unknown

dog-age-icon

10 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

Wart/Growth On Left Eyelid

my cat developed a small growth on his left eyelid over a year ago, as it was so small and he scraps a lot we first thought it was something due to a fight but over a few months it began to grow. we took him to the vets and they first told us with it changing to keep an eye on it but as it didn't bother him the vet wasn't worried but still felt the a test would be ideal in case of it being cancer, this was in December 2018. we took him back in January to have the test but first as they hadn't seen him for a bit they did a check up this time with a different vet who seemed less worried about it being cancer at all and basically told us it was probably just a growth or wart like thing and that she understands why we would want to test for cancer but as it seemed show no signs and to be growing away from his eye she didn't push it. we decided to do the test to be safe but it didn't really help they couldn't tell use if it would be cancerous or not nor if it was even a wart. the growth continues to grow almost faster now after the test and all the vets tell us to keep an eye and that if it does start to distort hi vision that the only option we have is to remove his healthy eye. i just want to know if this really is our only option. the wart is now growing slightly inwards towards his eye and over the year has changed colour from pink skin to dark like his other eyelid. p.s. he is adopted which is why we don't know his actual age. 8/10+ years

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Sophia

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Short Haired Mix

dog-age-icon

5 Years

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Skin Colored Wart By Her Eye

My 5 year old cat developed a small wart about 2 years ago and i took her to the vet and he said it's small and most likely not a big deal. However, 2 years down the line and the wart has increased in size and is right be her eye! I took her to another vet and they said the only thing we could do is surgically remove it however I'm afraid to do so because it is so close to her eye. I'm scared something will go wrong/it will hurt her vision. Has anyone had experience with their cat having a wart by their eye and what did you do?

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Max

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Manx

dog-age-icon

4 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

Dark Color

My 4 year old Manx Cat has a diagnosed papilloma virus (wart) on his forehead, in front of his ear. It was surgically removed about 2 1/2 years ago to the tune of $2,500. Since then, it has come back. I tried freezing several times over about 4 months with liquid nitrogen purchased at the drug store in a spray can. It has gotten bigger. I have tried applying Grapefruit Seed Oil several times a day and using a cone on his head so he doesn't lick it off. To no avail. It is still about the size of a grape. I don't want to spend another $2,500 for it to come back. Would Compond W be effective in it's removal? How does that work for a cat?

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Clair

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Unknown

dog-age-icon

16 Years

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Flick Her Ears, Scratch Them Seems

Our cat has had warts removed three times from her ears. This last time there was a large one filled with blood and pus, the rest were hard. The vet said they would come back and there is nothing that can cure them.

Wart Virus Average Cost

From 348 quotes ranging from $500 - $1,500

Average Cost

$750

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