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petdrz, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 7244
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My 15 year old cat has been acting older than usual for a couple

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My 15 year old cat has been acting older than usual for a couple of weeks. Tonight I felt a very hard mass far back in her abdomen on the left side. It was not attached to the skin. It appears to be round and about the size of a smaller grape. I would say it is attached to something. It does not pain her for me to mess with it. I couldn't tell if it was near a nipple. She is still eating and drinking - maybe not as well as in the past, but she has some arthritis and aging so it can be difficult to tell what is causing her to eat more or less. She will still play and purrs. As far as I know she is still using the litter box fine. We took her in because she lost a tooth a month or two ago and they did blood work which came back fine. She had lost 1 lb in a year and were concerned. She had a well cat visit at that time but they didn't, as far as I know, find anything in her abdomen then. It was not hard to find. We will take her to the vet this week but I am wondering
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Zia today. I am a veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you.

It is always concerning when you find a mass on your pet, no matter where it is. You are very right however that it can be difficult, when dealing with older pets, to know what symptoms is caused by what ailment. A cat of her age would be expected to slow down some, but the weight loss is a bigger concern.

The fact that she had normal bloodwork is not too comforting as many cancers can lead to a normal blood panel and we have to look harder to find the disease as it can hide well. Your best course of action is to have her examined thoroughly and have the mass evaluated and staged. There is a test called a fine needle aspirate (FNA) which can be performed by collecting a sample of cells from the mass with a needle and then examining under the microscope. This can usually be done right in the clinic. It is not always definitive enough to let you know the exact cause of the lump, but it may help to make the decision of if anything else needs to be done, like surgical removal. Some growths are easily identified as benign and that is all that needs to be done unless the growth is of a size to be bothering her.

I hope this is helpful. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done. Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Dr Z

petdrz and 4 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would a tumor make her sleep more? That is the biggest change we've noticed in her.

It is possible but when dealing with a skin tumor, not likely. If it is a more serious type cancer, like a possible mammary tumor, it has the potential to spread to other organ systems and that can affect their overall metabolism such that they experience negative energy.

I will say however that many 15 year old cats sleep a lot, so it may be nothing.

Good luck and please keep me posted as to how things progress.

Thank you kindly for the positive rating. It is truly appreciated.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I feel certain it is probably cancer but I'm trying not to put her in the grave prematurely. She is my sweet shoulder baby and it will be horrible when I lose her. I know what to expect now - probably the fna.


Thank you.

You are welcome and please let me know what they find.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Lymphoma. The tumor is very large. She had lost 1.5 lbs since April. The lump I found was not there any more. She says she thought it was a lymph node I felt last night. It was not there today. We're doing pred to see if it makes her feel better.


We will now just do everything we can to enjoy her as long as we have her and make her remaining time as pleasant for her as possible.

That sounds like a good plan. Pred will most likely make her feel better and you will be able to have some good quality time with her. I went through this with my own pet and see this situation quite frequently.

If you have any questions in the future that I may help you with, ask for Dr Z in the question title or see my profile to request me. You can save my profile to your browser favorites with this link:

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