Oral squamous cell carcinoma, also known as gingiva squamous cell carcinoma, stands out as the most commonly diagnosed oral growth in cats today. It is extremely invasive and spreads quickly to proximate tissue and bone, though rarely to other organs within the body.
Most common in older cats around the age of 10, squamous cell carcinomas can cause drooling, bad breath, and bloody oral discharge. Owners may also notice that the cat has bad breath and has trouble eating. In some cases, the mass develops far enough toward the front of the mouth for the owner to be able to see it.
Unfortunately, because oral squamous cell carcinoma is so aggressive, most cats have an advanced form of the disease by the time it makes itself known. Even with treatment, tumors tend to re-grow quickly and interfere with quality of life. Pain medication may help to reduce discomfort.