Is Your Older Cat Developing Small Bumps On Their Skin? Here's What You Need To Know About Sebaceous Cysts


If you have an older cat that's developing small bumps on their head, back, or face, the bumps may be sebaceous cysts. They're caused when a cat's hair follicles become blocked and trap oil underneath the skin, which causes inflammation. They're common in older cats, and they don't pose a serious health problem.

However, a sebaceous cyst can be itchy, and your cat may rupture it if they scratch it. A ruptured sebaceous cyst can lead to infection, so a sebaceous cyst that's causing discomfort to your cat may need to be removed. To learn more about sebaceous cysts in cats and what you should do if you think your cat has one, read on.

What Are Sebaceous Cysts?

Cats have glands located underneath the skin called sebaceous glands. They produce oil that helps keep skin from drying out. They're located next to the base of the hair follicle under the skin, so the oil they produce can become trapped there and start building up. The trapped oil causes a bump on the skin, and it also leads to inflammation that can make the cyst itchy.

What Should You Do if You Think Your Cat Has a Sebaceous Cyst?

If you think that your cat has a sebaceous cyst, you should schedule an appointment with a veterinarian at an animal hospital. While sebaceous cysts don't cause health problems, they can be mistaken for a more serious illness called sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma, which is a cancer of the sebaceous glands.

Your veterinarian can take a sample of the bump on your cat's skin using a needle, and they can send the sample to a laboratory to have it tested. If the bump is only a sebaceous cyst, then you can leave it untreated as long as it's not causing your cat discomfort. If it's sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma, your cat will need treatment to prevent it from spreading. An animal hospital can remove the adenocarcinoma and use treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy to make sure all of the cancerous tissue is gone.

How Are Sebaceous Cysts in Cats Treated?

When your cat is scratching at their sebaceous cyst or if it's in a place that causes discomfort like their eyelids, it's usually best to remove the cyst. Cryotherapy is a common treatment for sebaceous cysts since it's quick and effective. This procedure uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the cyst, causing the cells inside to burst and die. After cryotherapy, the dead cyst will slowly shrink and go away.

If you notice a bump on your cat's skin, take them to an animal hospital for a thorough examination. All of the sebaceous cysts on your cat's skin will be tested for cancer to make sure that they're not potentially deadly, and you can speak to a veterinarian about your treatment options based on the laboratory results. If your cat has bothersome sebaceous cysts, you can have them quickly and easily removed using cryotherapy.

For more information, contact an animal hospital such as South Seattle Veterinary Hospital.


28 April 2023

Talking About Vet Services

Hello, I’m Manuel. I would like to discuss the various services offered by veterinarians. Animals are creatures that do not always clearly convey when they are sick or in pain. Regular vet visits can ensure your pets are not quietly suffering from a medical condition without showing signs of a problem. Vets check the pet’s vitals and check for subtle signs of a problem to determine if additional diagnostic tests are required. I will explore the diagnostic process vets use for each health condition or injury. My site will also cover information about common treatments used for pets. Please visit again soon.