Can cats get warts?
Yes, they can! Cat warts are fairly uncommon, but do crop up (literally) from time to time. They are often referred to as papillomas and manifest as a benign tumor that is found on the surface of the skin.
In this article, we will be discussing warts on cats, giving their causes, symptoms, prognosis, and treatment.
Cat warts are most often due to a virus called papillomavirus. It is often characterized by a small growth that is raised and wart-like, and which has an open pore in its central surface.
While warts are not generally life-threatening, it is important to have them examined by an expert. Sometimes, leaving the wart virus in cats untreated can lead to further complications. The tumors or growths may become cancerous over time.
The papillomas are most commonly found around the mouth, eyes, or nose. This is because of the increased humidity and probability of transmission of the viral cells in these areas.
In the following video, Dr. Karen Becker discusses warts in dogs, but the information and advice apply to cat warts as well.
Causes of cat warts
The papillomavirus is transmitted from another animal that has the virus to another. It can be transferred through the mouth when cats lick each other, or through insect bites, scrapes, and cuts. Catfights can also spread the virus.
There are reasons why one cat will pick it up over another, however. A weak or immature immune system may fail to fight off the virus, leading to warts. Younger or older cats can be more vulnerable to the disease.
If your pet is on immunosuppressant for allergies or other issues, this can also make them more susceptible to the wart virus. Vaccines can also cause a wart outbreak.
There can also be other reasons for feline warts. Some kinds of cancer may initially manifest as a wart virus in cats. Over a period of time, these tumors can spread and multiply, thus becoming life-threatening and cancerous lesions.
Symptoms of warts on cats
Besides warts, there are some other symptoms that may come with the papillomavirus in cats.
Here they are:
- Less appetite
- Different colored bumps
- Poor hygiene or grooming
- Warts may become inflamed or infected
- Warts might bleed
What to do about cat warts
If your cat’s behavior has changed significantly, make sure you take him to the vet for a check-up. The cat wart may need a biopsy to identify or eliminate the possibility of cancer.
However, many animals will naturally get over the virus on their own. Their immune system will overcome the virus, and they will get better over the course of a few months. If not, here are some of the treatments your vet may consider.
Treatments for feline warts
Here are some of the treatments your vet may consider for treating pussy warts. Most likely, your vet will only ‘do something’ if the warts are negatively affecting your cat’s wellbeing.
There are different kinds of antiviral, anti-inflammatory, or antifungal medications, which the vet might prescribe. The medication your pet is given will depend on its breed, sex, age, and size.
In case the diagnosis of wart virus is benign, the vet might choose to freeze warts off the cat. Freezing these warts in different sensitive areas on the cat may help in alleviating the symptoms, like lethargy, the loss of appetite, or overall discomfort.
In some instances, your vet may surgically remove the wart on cat. This course of action is most likely if the wart is thought to be cancerous, or if it may not respond well to medication or freezing.
Things to keep in mind:
- Keep your cat separate from other cats and dogs to prevent spreading the virus further
- Most warts are non-cancerous and treatment is not always necessary
- Warts are a good indication of an animals immune strength
- Feed your cat the best food to help boost their immune system
- If in doubt about a diagnosis, seek multiple vet’s opinions
The cat wart virus doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Monitor your puss, and she should come right fairly quickly. As we’ve mentioned, get help from a good vet when unsure or worried about anything.
Please leave any comments or questions down below!