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Firm lump under the skin over the belly of an otherwise healthy young cat

Customer's question: My 7-month-old, indoor/outdoor cat has developed a big lump under the skin along his belly within the past couple of days. He's not acting sick in any other way. What could this be?

Veterinarian's answer: Dangerous tumors are not at all common in cats this young, so it's much more likely this is the result of some type of injury. One of the most common things to cause a lump like this is a bite wound from another cat that's trapped some infection under the skin and is forming an abscess. Abscesses can end up making a cat pretty sick and even rupture and drain. It's important to take your cat to the vet so you can find out what this is. Expect your vet to do a thorough physical, ask about your vaccination history, and use a needle to collect some cells or fluid from the lump in order to determine what's going on. Then they'll be able to tell you what kind of treatment is necessary.

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Resolved Question:

I have a male cat about 7 months old. Noticed a hard lump in his abdomen last night. He is still eating ok but it is apparently painful to touch the lump. It has only formed in the last day or so

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the cat's name?

Boogie

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Boogie?

He is healthy otherwise

Submitted: 5 months ago.
Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/10/2018
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3,480
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
Verified

Hello,
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm a licensed veterinarian with more than twenty years of experience. I'm here to help with your question about Boogie. I'm so sorry you are having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. To start with, I want to let you know that it's very rare for a young cat to have a painful lump on his abdomen that's anything serious. Most of the time, it's a developing abscess from some type of bite wound.

You may join the conversation at any time by typing in ,what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided. I'll do my best to earn your good rating, because that's the only way I receive any compensation for helping you.

In the meantime, in order to help me help you better, I'll need some more information. To start with, can you please tell me:

  • Where exactly is this lump?
  • Are you able to upload a photo?

I'll be standing by and awaiting your reply. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
It feels like it is on the left side about in the middle section
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I don't think it will show up in a picture

I understand.

Does the skin over it look completely normal? Or is it bruised and red?

Does the skin move freely across the top of it?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The skin looks normal and moves across the mass...but he bites me every time I touch him there

I'm curious to know if you can find a spot similar to this on one the other side.

The most common thing that would fit with what you're describing would be the top of a "floating rib".
It's a normal structure, but he wouldn't like you touching it, and it wouldn't be unusual for you to not notice it before now.

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Nope. Never mind about the rib. This is clearly something different.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
It is hard and kinda round in shape

What I'm seeing in the photo is quite large, yes? Big enough to fill the palm of your hand?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
it is more in the center than on the left side. It feels like it is the size of a large gumball you would get out of those big machines
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Not as big as a golf ball though

Yes, I can see the lump much better in the second picture.

I'm glad to hear he's continuing to eat and act otherwise okay. That has me hoping this might not be anything too serious.

It's still possible this is nothing more than an abscess developing.

The only way to know what it is for sure is to collect (aspirate) some cells or fluid out of it an examine that under a microscope. I'm afraid this isn't something you'll be able to diagnose at home.
I wish I had better news for you.

At least, as long as he's eating and acting okay, it isn't necessarily an emergency. It can wait until Monday.

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Does he go outside or have the opportunity to get into fights? If he does, an abscess is much more likely.

Also, skin tumors are exceptionally rare in young cats.
Other types of injuries can also create hard, painful lumps, but an abscess is what's most common.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ok. Thank you for your help. He seems normal other than the lump being painful. I will take him to the vet monday

Sounds like a good plan.

If there's anything else I can help you with, please let me know. If that's it for now, please take a moment to rate my response 5 STARS so I may receive credit for helping you today.

Thank you for using our website.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
He does go outside but he has never been in a fight...and he doesn't stray away from the house

Good. That's much safer for him. I'll remain hopeful this turns out to be only a minor thing that he heals up from quickly.

Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3,480
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
Verified
Dr. Jo and 87 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thanks for your help. You kinda put my daughter's worries at ease for now
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
How do I go to the rating thing?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Nevermind I found it at the top of the screen. Have a great weekend
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