Cats are graceful, quirky and have fancy coats.
But just like humans ourselves, our feline friends can develop skin problems that affect their health. A common question asked by cat owners is whether cats will develop skin tags – those microscopic, benign lesions that can be a source of concern.
But fret not – you aren’t alone in wondering if your cat has susceptibility to these nasty bumps! This blog discusses skin tags in cats and what you should know about them.
So grab a cup of tea (or some catnip) and join me as we reveal the real truth behind these microscopic bumps.
Is It Normal For Cats To Get Skin Tags?
Don’t panic – it’s probably just a skin tag. Although they may sound alarming, skin tags are actually quite common in cats and are usually harmless. But you have to know why they form and the way to monitor them for your cat’s health.
Cat skin tags are benign lesions that sometimes appear on the skin of cats, called acrochordons. Often mistaken for warts or moles, they are actually abnormally enlarged clusters of skin cells. They can be 2-5mm in size and could be found someplace on the body but are mostly found near the head and neck.
Cat skin tags are a complicated disease with unknown cause, but likely caused by both genetic factors and environmental factors. The skin elasticity of older cats tends to change, causing more likely skin tags to develop. Some breeds, including Persian and Siamese cats, are also genetically more susceptible to skin tags.
Skin tags can also be caused by obesity in cats. Weight can compress the skin and pull it back up, forming skin tags.
Should you be concerned?
Cat skin tags are usually harmless and do not cause any discomfort. But if constant rubbing or scratching causes them to become irritated or infected, a veterinarian may have to remove them.
Cat owners should be vigilant about any changes in their cat’s skin. If a skin tag seems to be growing quickly, changing shape or causing your cat pain, you should see a vet for evaluation. These may be symptoms of a much more serious ailment – including cancer of the skin.
There is no known treatment to prevent skin tags from developing in cats. But keeping your cat at a healthy weight and brushing them regularly can minimize the risk of skin irritation and eventual skin tag development. Properly cleaning your cat’s environment of potential allergens can also prevent skin tags from developing.
The Prevalence of Skin Tags in Cats
As a cat owner, you may have noticed microscopic lesions on your cat and wondered in case they were dangerous. One of the most common skin diseases in cats are these growths, called skin tags. This section will discuss the incidence of skin tags in cats and how it can differ by age range, breed and lifestyle.
Skin tags are small, harmless lesions that are often unnoticed or not reported. They’re among the most common lesions of cats based on research by the American Society of Feline Practitioners. However, the actual prevalence is poorly documented as many cases are unreported or unnoticed.
The prevalence of skin tags in cats is related to age. Skin tags are usually present in older cats. This is because the skin ages and the skin structure changes. They are also observed in younger cats, particularly those with underlying health problems that bring down the immune function.
Some breeds have a higher incidence of skin tag development than others. Cats such as Siamese and Himalayan have a genetic tendency to develop skin tags more frequently. If your cat falls into one of these breeds, then you definitely must be particularly cautious and check their skin frequently.
Skin tags also may be placed differently but are most common on the head, limbs, and neck. Environmental factors including UV rays and parasites can increase skin tag risk in outdoor cats.
Importantly, even though skin tags are common, they may also signal a more serious health issue. If you notice your cat has more skin tags or are getting bigger, see a vet immediately.
Causes of Skin Tags in Cats
Skin tags can leave many of us scratching our heads. These benign lesions can suddenly appear on the skin and leave us wondering what caused them. Expert: let me break down the possible causes of skin tags in cats and how knowing them can help with prevention and management.
Possible causes of skin tags in cats:
- Genetics: like humans, skin tags in cats can be hereditary; If your cat’s parents or siblings have them, they are more likely to have skin tags of their own.
- Uneven hormonal balances: Hormonal changes can also cause skin tags in cats. This is common in older cats or those who have health problems.
- Friction and irritation: Sporadic rubbing or scratching of one area of the skin can also cause skin tags to form. This is more common in obese or overweight cats who have large skin folds.
- Predisposition of the breed: Some cats, like Persians and Siamese, may have genetic predispositions to developing skin tags.
- Age: As cats age their skin becomes less elastic and more prone to lesions such As skin tags.
How to prevent and treat skin tags in your cat:
- Keep your cat at a healthy weight: Maintaining a healthy weight will prevent unnecessary friction and irritation that can cause skin tags.
- Check your cat’s skin regularly: Make it a practice to check out your cat’s skin for changes or growths, particularly if they’re older or susceptible to skin tags.
- Seek out advice from a veterinarian: In case your cat suddenly develops multiple skin tags, make sure to see a vet to rule out other health issues.
- Consider skin tag removal: While skin tags are generally harmless, they can become infected or irritated in areas with constant friction or moisture. In these cases, it is best to have them removed by a veterinarian.
Signs and Symptoms of Skin Tags in Cats
Cat owners are about keeping our pets happy and healthy. However, sometimes our cats may develop small growths on their skin that can cause us to worry. They are called skin tags and are common in cats, particularly in older cats. But what are skin tags – and how do we recognize them?
Appearance and Location
Skin tags are tiny soft lesions that could show up anywhere on the facial skin, neck, ears, and underarms. They can be slightly raised and range from light pink to dark brown. Some skin tags may appear as having a thin stalk attached to the skin surface and others may be more flat and dispersed over the skin surface. Cats can develop multiple skin tags at once and they can be clustered or isolated.
Size and Discomfort
Skin tags range in size from a pinhead to a grape. They are generally painless and do not bother cats. However in case they’re in an area where friction or rubbing is typical, they are able to get irritated and even hurt. Sometimes skin tags will become infected or bleed if scratched too much.
Causes and Related Risks
Cats can get skin tags at any age but they are more common in senior and middle-aged cats. Their cause is not known but certain factors can put a cat at risk for developing skin tags. These are genetics, hormonal problems, obesity and diseases like diabetes or Cushing’s disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Some other symptoms of skin tags in cats include too much grooming or scratching on the location of the tag, bleeding or oozing out of the tag, or perhaps a gradual change in the look or consistency of the tag. Note that not all feline skin growths are skin tags. Some are warts, cysts, or other tumors. Any unusual growths should always be evaluated by a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.