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Lymphoma in cats is also commonly referred to as feline lymphosarcoma. This type of cancer affects one of the immune system's most important cells, the lymphocytes. These cells are found all over the body, so a range of organs can be affected including the kidneys, skin, gastrointestinal system, and bone marrow to name a few.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Cats infected with the leukemia virus are known to develop feline lymphoma sometimes. This normally occurs with younger felines. Older cats can also develop the condition, but the cancer isn't usually brought on by the leukemia virus with them.

As you have already learned, lymphosarcoma in cats can affect virtually any body part. The specific areas that are affected will determine what symptoms your cat experiences. Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of weight and appetite are common signs when the digestive system is affected. If the chest and lymph nodes are affected, then felines will typically have a hard time breathing.

The kidneys are commonly affected to, bringing on signs such as appetite loss and increased urination and thirst. Some cats are unfortunate enough to have problems with the spine, which usually results in weakness and paralysis in some cases.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

To diagnose feline lymphoma, the vet will need to examine a sample of the affected cells under a microscope or perform a biopsy. Since so many different organs can possibly be affected, a slew of tests will likely need to be performed too. Some of the tests that your cat may need to undergo include an x-ray, ultrasound, urinalysis, and complete blood count. Vets may also test for the leukemia or immunodeficiency virus since they commonly occur with this disease.

Lymphoma in cats tends to be fatal, at least over time. Chemotherapy is the main method of treatment for cat lymphoma. Radiation is also a treatment option, although it's typically reserved for certain types of this cancer.

Cats will almost certainly die if treatment isn't provided. They can have an increased life span with a significant remission time with appropriate treatment, especially if major organs aren't affected. The best prognosis is provided for cats with gastrointestinal, nasal, or chest problems.

Unfortunately though, not all felines respond to chemotherapy treatment. It is very expensive too. That's why owners will usually have a major decision to make. Chemotherapy usually produces noticeable results within two to three weeks. If your cat doesn't respond by that time, then you may want to discuss euthanization with your vet.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
Updated: February 24, 2017 — 5:55 pm

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