Among the types of skin cancer commonly found in cats, mast cell tumors are the second most common. These tumors affect the connective tissue present throughout the cat's body but is most prevalent in the skin and the respiratory and digestive tracts.
Cancerous growth of this tissue typically manifests as a hard, hairless bump on the skin. These bumps are most often white but may be pink and may rapidly change size, even after lengthy periods of little to no growth. Most cases manifest with a single tumor, though approximately 20 percent of cats will present with multiple masses.
Mast cell tumors most often appear on the head or neck of an affected cat. It is also possible for these tumors to develop on the trunk, limbs, or internal organs, the latter of which may cause weight loss or gastrointestinal distress.
Most mast cell tumors have a low likelihood of metastasis and are prime candidates for removal. More extensive cases may require more intensive surgical intervention. More than 75 percent of cats experience no local recurrence of the tumor, while only 22 percent will suffer spreading of the tumor.