Most commonly associated with witches and toads, the reality is that warts can afflict several species including humans and cats. Cat warts, which appear as an abnormality of the skin on your cat, can be confused with other lumps and masses. While not necessarily dangerous, they do need medical attention if the lump lingers. Here’s what you need to know about cat warts!
Finding a lump on your cat is a fairly common occurrence. Bug bites, fatty tumors and abscesses are the usual culprits. Less frequently the lump, or a raised scaly abnormal area on the skin, can be a wart. Cat warts, like all warts, stem from one of the papilloma viruses. The virus is ubiquitous but manifesting physical symptoms is not always the case.
If you find an abnormality on your cat’s skin it’s important to monitor it for a few days. Your cat’s immune system may fight it off. However, if any skin abnormality persists, your cat needs to go to the veterinarian.
Cats contract the papilloma viruses through direct contact from another animal or the pet’s environment — bedding, bowls and toys, etc.
While cat warts are rare, they do occur. As with any medical issue, there are a few important factors to keep in mind!
According to the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases, there is no specified treatment to permanently cure cat warts. However, if a lesion persists, depending on the location, removing it is the best course of action. This is not something that you can do at home! Do not try to remove cat warts with any human-based over-the-counter wart medications. Your cat needs to have the wart removed by your veterinarian. He needs to be anesthetized, so the procedure often requires an overnight stay at the vet’s office.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! There are few best practices to ensure your cat is free of any worrisome warts.
While your cat may never develop a wart, taking the proper precautions to prevent them, and the right steps to correct them if he does, is all part of keeping your cat happy and healthy for his entire lifetime.
Thumbnail: Photography by Nikolay Bassov | Shutterstock.
Denise LeBeau is a writer, editor and photographer with almost 20 years of experience of creating content for animal-related issues, endeavors and events. She worked at Best Friends Animal Society for 12 years where she had two columns in the Best Friends Magazine, and held multiple content creation roles including web managing editor and outreach campaign editor. Denise has been an ongoing contributor to Catster since 2014, writing for the magazine and website. The self-professed poet laureate of the pet set is currently the manager of development for an animal welfare agency, where she works with a team to create content across media platforms. She lives in Hampton Bays with her two rescue Siamese mixes – Flipper and Slayer, and her LBD (little brown dog), Zephyrella.