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Intestinal tumor


Savannah Super Cat
My 2 year old F2 male has an intestinal tumor. In the last couple of months, he has gone from 10.5lbs to 8lbs. He does not want to eat much, sometimes throws up and only passes a small amount of watery stool. We took him to the vet, who sent us to the specialist. He had x-ray and ultrasound done, and fine needle aspirate. There is a mass that you can feel, it is seen on x-ray and ultrasound. They said his lymph nodes and spleen are swollen. But the cytology result from the aspirate was inconclusive - they want to do surgery to find out what it is. I am looking for suggestions because what already has been done has cost a ton of money and I don't know if I should do the surgery or not. Is there a chance that it could be benign, and the cat would recover if the tumor was removed? Or do they most often die anyway?
Right now we are trying to find things he will eat and can keep down. Sometimes he eats cooked turkey or chicken with supplements (vitamins, calcium, taurine) and sometimes he steals the food from the other cat and throws it up.


Staff member
Pickerz…I'm very sorry that you are faced with this dilemma. Sounds to me that he is going to die if you do nothing. If there is a chance the surgery will not only confirm a diagnosis but possibly save his life, I would do it. Sending healing thoughts to you and your fur kid.

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
I am so sorry, Pickerz. I agree with Deborah. If you do nothing he will die, slowly and possibly painfully since he is losing weight and having a hard time keeping food down :(

What does your vet feel the mass might be...and his chances of survival? Have you thought of getting a second opinion...perhaps from a university with a vet department?

Keep us posted, and I will keep you and your kitty in my thoughts and prayers....


Staff member
I would do the surgery...I am so sorry to hear this...I agree with the they have him on any kind of meds for his nausea and possibly pain? does depend on the diagnosis...

I have had two surgeries done in the on my rescue boy and one on Taj, my Savannah, and both times I was so glad I had done so. They both got well...

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
So very sorry, Pickerz :-(

Ask the vet what the surgery might tell you. Those very questions on whether the tumor could possibly be benign or if the only outcome is bad for your boy. your vet should be able to give you the options...and if he can't then definitely get that second opinion!

Intestinal lymphoma is a very common cancer in cats...of all breeds. BUT, I well remember my vet telling me that he'd been to a continuing education seminar where they talked about how easy it was to misdiagnose. That the inflammatory cells that can appear to be a lymphoma can alternatively be due to a partial obstruction and the inflammatory event that can surround that. That even radiologists can sometimes be fooled by the appearance.

I'm not the right person to advise you on whether you should be expending more money for your cat. Last September we spent $15,000 to save my Zari, who all the vets consulted at the time were certain she was FeLV positive, only one specialist said no... so we fought for her. She's seemingly healthy now and has tested negative with every test since that first one. When I looked into her eyes, she didn't want to die... and to me that is key. I've looked into other cats' eyes and they were ready to go, and so I made a different decision. Your cat can't talk, but he can communicate...look into his eyes and see what he wants to do.

As to his eating, I agree with Paige, medications for nausea and appetite are a good idea here. Don't worry about supplements right now, give him the chicken or's bland... but with a sick cat, offer them whatever they seem to want and don't stress so much about it being balanced or a good diet. With my older F2 boy during his numerous setbacks, there were times when all he would eat was that disgusting Meow Mix wet food... but if that was what he would eat, I would let him.


Reincarnated cat Moderator
So sorry, Pickerz. I have no advise. All I can do is send love and prayers. But I would have the surgery done.

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
We had a cat years ago that had an intestinal blockage. He was older and was so weak once we had the diagnosis that the vet said he was very unlikely to survive anesthesia and surgery. We made the hard decision to let him go. And, as Brigitte says, looking into his eyes and paying attention to what he wanted helped us come to this decision.

Rosie had what appeared to be an intestinal blockage and we elected to operate. Surgery led to an early diagnosis of FIP. She survived about a month, and broke my heart.

Ziggy ate something he shouldn't have before we got him, and he had a $5k operation to remove the object. He's fine, with a scar you can feel but not see, but he didn't learn his lesson. We still have to be careful with strings and toys once they're damaged.

Best wishes to you. I know you'll make the right decision and we will support you no matter the outcome.


Savannah Super Cat
Thank you all for your replies. The place we had the ultrasound done has sent the information back to our regular vet, I hope to speak with him tomorrow. The cat is doing OK today, he's hungry and giving head butts to the other cats. He spent the morning in the window watching the birds and squirrels.


Staff member
I'm so sorry to hear about your boy. I don't have much to add to what the others have said, but I do understand how difficult it is to make those tough decisions. As with the others, if I felt there was a possibility of saving him I would go with the surgery... but I think asking for a second opinion before proceeding is also a really reasonable request.


Savannah Super Cat
It's been a while since I have been on here. Our boy lost his fight with cancer last month. It was very hard but we had to let him go, it was time. He was my little buddy and I miss him so much, but I am at peace knowing he is no longer suffering. I am very grateful for the two years I was able to spend with him.