Lipoma or fat ball in cats: symptoms, treatment and prevention


Lipoma is uncommon in cats, and it is especially the older ones who can present this kind of benign tumor. Let’s take stock of this ball of fat which, depending on its location, can be very annoying for the animal but does not represent any particular danger.

What is a lipoma?

The term lipoma denotes a mass of fatty tissue, that is, a ball of fat. The adipose cells that are used to store fat in the body sometimes proliferate very locally to the point of forming this benign tumor. The lipoma does not therefore endanger the life of the animal but it sometimes causes a discomfort because of its positioning. In fact, it can be placed anywhere, but it is when it is located in the thorax, in the abdomen or even in the heart of the muscle fibers that it is the most troublesome. figures are relatively rare, however.

Lipoma in cats: symptoms that should alert

Typically, a cat that develops one or more lipomas has the following symptoms:

  • A ball oval or round in shape and with a good consistency flexible,
  • A mass is noticeable on palpation, in the subcutaneous layer, which can be confused with simple swelling, especially in short-haired cats,

Lameness if the fat ball is in a paw and is putting pressure on a nerve. When it compresses vessels and disrupts lymphatic circulation, the master may notice a swollen area.

The animal does not feel no pain, at most he can be hampered by some sort of tugging depending on the location of the lipoma. It is necessary to consult the veterinarian when one suspects the presence of one or more lipomas in his cat.

My cat has a fat ball: is it a lipoma? Diagnosis and treatment

The cat is first auscultated, and on palpation the vet can already spot some typical features of lipoma. However, its diagnosis can only be confirmed following additional examinations because the clinical examination alone is not sufficient to ensure that the cat has a simple ball of fat. It is necessary to take a sample using a needle. It’s about a biopsy. The sample of cells thus taken is then analyzed under a microscope. The diagnosis is then confirmed if the lump consists of fat. And when the cat presents multiple lipomas, the vet then talks about lipomatosis.

No drug treatment does not reabsorb a lipoma. The veterinarian may decide to use a surgical intervention if the fat mass is misplaced and causes discomfort for the cat. If this is not the case, the practitioner may very well judge that it is unnecessary to operate at the moment, but wait for the lipoma to grow, which may take time because its growth is slow. Surgical removal of a lipoma is also undesirable if the anesthesia poses the least risk to the cat. Of course, cats at the end of their life are not operated on for lipoma either.

There is no no solution for prevent the appearance of lipomas. But what is important is to consult as soon as you perceive a lump while stroking your cat because it can be a fatty lump, completely harmless, but unfortunately it can also be a malignant tumor beyond measure with lipoma. A diagnostic must therefore always be carried out as early as possible. If it reveals a malignant tumor, the cat can be treated quickly and the chances of saving it will be much greater.

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