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Why Are There Lumps and Bumps On My Cat’s Skin? (Vet Answer)

Dr. Lauren Demos (Vet)

By Dr. Lauren Demos (Vet)

kitten with lump on skin

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Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo

Written by

Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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It is not uncommon to find lumps and bumps on the skin of cats of all ages. Cats are curious creatures that definitely get into all sorts of adventures—some of which can cause them lumps and bumps along the way. Further, as cats get older, the occurrence of some lumps and bumps can become more common.

The good news is that lumps and bumps on your cat’s skin are generally not an emergency, unless you have other concerns, or if your cat otherwise seems unwell.

Read on to learn more about some common causes of lumps and bumps on cats’ skin.

Allergies

Allergies can cause small lumps on the skin of your cat. These lumps can be raised—similar to hives in people—or they can be scabbed.

Common allergies that cats can have include fleas, mosquitos, and various types of food.

close up of a cat with small lump on skin
Image Credit: sophiecat, Shutterstock

Fatty Nasses (Lipomas)

Sometimes, fatty deposits just under a cat’s skin can make it feel like the skin has a bump. This is called a lipoma.

Lumps and bumps caused by lipoma can occur anywhere, but they are generally not of concern. They do not cause pain or discomfort to your cat, nor do they bleed or get infected. They are just there, for the most part

Skin Cancers

Various skin cancers in cats can present as lumps and bumps, including mast cell tumors.

Nipples

Both male and female cats have—you guessed it—nipples. Eight, to be exact. So, if you are feeling small bumps on the skin on the chest and abdomen, that are symmetrically placed with four on either side, consider the possibility that they may actually just be nipples!

Other Causes of Lumps and Bumps

Cats have small whisker pads behind their wrists and ankles that often feel like odd bumps! Have a look at your cat and see if you can find these:

  • Bony prominences, like vertebrae, especially in the tail and hips, can feel like bumps in the skin—even moreso if your cat is on the skinny side.
  • Ticks. Believe it or not, these blood suckers actually attach to the skin long enough that they sometimes look and feel like a bump—moreso, if there are multiple ticks present.
  • A cat fight abscess. An abscess generally appears as only a single bump. But it is a bump, nonetheless.
  • Hair follicle cyst Cysts can appear in the skin, from blocked or overexuberant hair follicles. This can present as lumps all over the skin.
  • Chin acne. Generally localized to the chin of a cat, acne can present as small black bumps, larger white bumps, as well as

What To Do if You Find a Lump or Bump on Your Cat’s Skin?

First, try to get a photo of the lump itself, if possible. This will make it easier to show your vet when you get to the clinic—as lumps and bumps have a tendency to magically disappear, especially if they are low in numbers.

Sometimes a vet can even look at a photo and tell you right away that the lump is actually normal—which can save both you and your cat a trip in.

Skin lumps and bumps can be relatively common in cats of all ages, but the good news is that, in many cases, they are generally not an emergency or life-threatening. Most lumps and bumps are often treatable, or can simply be monitored at home, depending on the underlying cause.


Featured Image Credit: Mironmax Studio, Shutterstock

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