Feebee cat in blue chair

While cancer in cats is not as common as it in dogs, it is still one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States along. And because cats are masters at masking illness, it is often harder to detect.

Cancer used to be a death sentence for cats, but recent advances in feline cancer research have made treatment possible in many cases. Just like with human cancers, early detection is key to successful treatment.

Treatment options for cats are almost as varied as treatment options for human cancers, and will depend on the type of cancer. Surgery is the most common treatment for any lumps or growths that need to be removed. In some cases, surgery can be curative. Other cancers may require chemotherapy or radiation.

How chemotherapy works

Chemotherapy uses drugs with the objective to kill cancer cells with the least possible amount of damage to normal, healthy cells. In human medicine, the goal of chemotherapy is to achieve a cure. In cats, chemotherapy is aimed at controlling the disease and achieving a period of remission for the cat. Chemotherapy is typically used for cancers that affect multiple sites. Lymphoma is the most common form of feline cancer that is treated with chemotherapy. The drugs used in veterinary chemotherapy are frequently the same drugs used in human medicine.

Most cats tolerate chemotherapy well

Most cats tolerate chemotherapy well. Some cats may experience side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea or poor appetite, but these side effects are usually mild and can be managed with supportive care. Only a very small number of cats on chemotherapy will require hospitalization due to the side effects of chemotherapy. Unlike humans, cats will not lose all their hair. Most cats will lose their whiskers, and shaved hair will be slow to grow back, but substantial hair loss is uncommon.

Support your cat’s immune system

It is important to support your cat’s immune system while she is undergoing chemotherapy. One of the foundations of a healthy immune system is diet. Typically, veterinarians recommend a high protein, low carb, moderate fat diet for pets with cancer. A high quality grain-free canned diet will probably be your best choice for your feline cancer patient.

Even though I’m a proponent of raw feeding, I’m on the fence as to whether raw diets are appropriate for cats with cancer. On the one hand, there are numerous anecdotal reports of miracle cures when pets with cancer were fed a raw diet, on the other hand, I don’t know whether feeding a raw diet to an immunocompromised pet is necessarily a good idea. Check with a veterinarian who is familiar with raw feeding whether a raw diet is appropriate for your cat while she is undergoing chemotherapy.

Supplements and herbs

Supplements and herbs can provide immune system support during treatment. Probiotics not only help maintain a healthy gut flora, but also boost the immune system. Anti-oxidants and increased amounts of omega-3-fatty acids may also be indicated. Check with your veterinarian to determine which supplements are indicated for your cat.

Supportive therapies such as acupuncture, Reiki or other forms of energy healing can support your cat through her treatment. These therapies will not interfere with conventional medical treatment.

How will you know whether chemotherapy was successful?

A cat in remission doesn’t look any different from a cancer-free cat. Typically, a successful remission means that lymphnodes will go down to normal size, and if there were any signs of illness that were related to the cancer, they will disappear. Remission can last anywhere from weeks to months, and for some lucky cats, even several years.

My personal experience with feline cancer

My first cat, Feebee, was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma when he was 15 years old. He tolerated his chemotherapy protocol of a combination of Vincristine injections and oral Cytoxan and prednisone well. He would be a little subdued for about 24 hours following treatment. His appetite wasn’t that great during that period, and he slept a lot more than usual, but the rest of the time, his quality of life was good.

After seven months, he stopped responding to the chemotherapy. My vet gave me the option of continuing with more aggressive drugs with the potential for more severe side effects. I elected euthanasia. My little man confirmed that I made the right decision: he died in my arms while my vet was on the way to my house.

Being faced with a cancer diagnosis is a devastating blow for cat parents. Making a decision about treatment is as individual as the affected cat and her human. There are no hard and fast rules. The ultimate goal of any decision is to provide good quality of life for the cat for as long as possible.

Have any of your cats undergone chemotherapy? What was your experience?

Photo ©Ingrid King

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929 Comments on Chemotherapy for Cats

  1. We rescued a senior persian last year that was living in a shed in NY. I drove over 2 hours to pick up this little precious girl. She was 13 and fairly healthy aside from the teeth they removed due to an infection. I brought her to my vet for a wellness check and at the time her blood work came back “perfect.” This was in July of last year.
    Before we rescued her, the foster lady took her to the vet to get shaved since she was matted. When we got her she was growing back little by little. We have 2 other cats so my little Raine kept to herself and always loved to surprise us by jumping onto our laps or on the bed when the other two weren’t around. Raine always had an appetite, she would eat her food and the others with no hesitation. As her fur grew back we didn’t know that she was getting bigger and bigger, since she doesn’t let us pick her up (never did.) We assumed she was putting on some weight since she ate so much.
    Well, come March of 2019, I bring her to a specialist to get the lion cut. I didn’t want to sedate her (like the vet previously did) for her haircut.
    The Groomer specializes in seniors that require special care. After Raine’s haircut, we noticed that her abdomen was larger than usual. After one week, it got bigger.
    I immediately brought her to the vet where they did blood work and noticed a high white blood cell count. They suggested xrays which we did and that showed large masses and fluid. The vet sent her to then get an ultrasound which revealed irregular soft tissue density in the omentum along the mesenteric border, echogenic peritoneal effusion and an overall concern for carcinomatosis or other neoplastic.
    During that visit, I asked the vet what she would do if this was her cat. She suggested that we drain the fluid to allow her more comfort and also a fluid analysis. They drained 400cc’s from her that day and sent her fluid to an oncologist. The results came back inconclusive so we were still unsure what type of cancer she had. They sent her home with gabapentin for the pain. The following week we had another 400ccs of fluid drained from her belly. During this time, she was still happy and eating just as much as she always did.
    I followed up with an internal specialist and oncologist. They said they can only treat the cancer when they know exactly what type of cancer she has. They then drained another 600ccs of fluid and tested her fluid with a needle.
    The results came back, a dreading diagnoses of carcinomatosis. Our options were to continue draining her fluids every week and letting nature take its course, or attempt chemo to stop the cancer from spreading.
    We opted for chemo because I had to try, I couldn’t just let my baby go without trying.
    The chemo they gave her was carboplatin (directly injected in the belly.) After we brought her home, she seemed fine, same as always.
    The next day she ate a little bit less than usual and the 3rd day she completely stopped eating. She was vomitting and not making it to litter box in time. I called the vet and they gave us cerina and metronidazole. I attempted to give her the pills but its very difficult. She is very thin and seems fragile. We finally gave her both pills and it helped for a day. I can’t imagine having to force these pills down her throat every single day, it seems like torture. I have purchased every type of wet food out there and she doesn’t seem too interested. She has another round of chemo scheduled in 3 weeks but im not sure what to do. Is the chemo causing this? Is it even worth continuing ? Has anyone experienced this? I have been a mess this past month traveling to every vet in the state and spending thousands to help my little girl. 🙁

    • So very sorry for all your going through, especially your precious kitty. My cat, Boots has small T cell lymphoma. After being on chemo and prednisolone for 4 months after 6 prior months of tests, biopsies, exploratory surgery that found the cancer, I have stopped the chemo, it was chlorambucil caps, his red cell count started dropping, vet wanted to keep chemo going,I said NO, why so he gets so anemic, he will need other medications and will feel bad. So now I give him prednisolone liquid in his food every other evening. He is gaining his weight back, and is not lethargic like he was. I DO NOT feed him any cat food that contains CARRAGEENAN or SOY. I research alot as I had bilateral breast cancer 10 years ago, so I read labels all the time.. CARRAGEENAN causes cancer and gastric, intestinal problems.
      And cats do not digest soy… Since your kitty is not eating much, here is what I found that Boots will eat and if he does not feel like eating it all he does lick all the juice which does have vitamins in it.. I buy it at Petsmart. It’s in a little packet .The name is NATURAL BALANCE LIMITED INGREDIENT DIETS HIGH PROTEIN 91% IN BROTH. CHICKEN FORMULA.GRAIN FREE. THERE ARE TWO OTHER FLAVORS, ONE WITH TUNA TOO.THE DRY FOOD I FEED MY CATS IS NUTRO GRAIN FREE DUCK AND POTATO RECEIPE, also at Petsmart. So I hope this might help your kitty, Try the Packets, at least you will know that even licking the broth will help her feel better and give you some peace in your heart. Your a great mom and she knows it..

    • I forgot, to also suggest, pill pockets, they are soft treats with a hole for the pill. Cats only smell the chicken flavor of the pill pocket. Also can the pill medications be formulated into liquid form. Try calling a compounding vet pharmacy and ask. Here is the name and number of the one I have used in the past. Diamond Back / Wedgewood Pharmacy 1 866 578 4420 or 1 866 646 2223. I have both those numbers written down, can’t remember which one was the one to ask about compounding medications. I’m sure they can get you to the right person to answer your questions. Sending lots of positive energy and Love to your kitty to feel better.

      • Thank you. We lost my Raine last night. There was no beating this cancer. We tried everything❤️

        • I am heartbroken for you and what you and your precious Raine has gone through. Even though she now is at peace, it’s still so very sad. Our pets are our family, losing them hurts deeply. I am so sorry. God Bless you!

        • fly free Raine – you were so very loved. LK – thank you for trying. Your love for this beautiful girl is what will live on. It sounded like a particularly aggressive and nasty form of cancer – sometimes we can fight and have some wins, sometimes we get dealt a very bad hand, I grieve with you {{hugs}}

          • I am beating myself up over this. The vet diagnosed her with carcinamotosis a few weeks ago. We started chemo and she seemed to be doing better. Then out of nowhere she took a turn for the worse. We had her on anti nausea and anti diarrhea meds along with her Gabbapentin. She hated it. The day she passed we brought her to the emergency because her eye had this nasty discharge. They said to monitor her since her temp was low. I went home and a few hours later she went downhill. I am blaming myself for not getting her back to the vet in time. She was acting strange and breathing weird later that night. I rushed her to hospital and it was too late. They had her hooked up to an incubator because there was a heart beat but no brain activity. I know she didn’t have much time left but I keep telling myself it’s my fault she’s not here. We knew the prognosis but it just doesn’t feel real. You think that some miracle will happen but here I am crying like a baby. I’m sorry to vent to you I just can’t stop beating myself up over this.

          • First off I want to say I am so so sorry you went through that. Cancer is such an awful thing to deal with.

            I know how hard it is to struggle to find the right path, to do the right thing, and feel like you’re doing it all wrong. But hun, please don’t blame yourself. I know that’s easier said than done, and I know I would feel the same way myself, but none of it is your fault.

            I know that doesn’t even make it remotely better, but you loved her. She knew that. You did what you could for her and I hope you can take comfort in that and the memories of her. My girl has intestinal lymphoma. It has been an awful, stressful battle so we know the uncertainty and fear of doing what’s best for our furbabies. But we do all this out of love for them.

            I wish you peace and comfort. Take care of yourself. <3

  2. Boofy St Marie – a long story and now the final chapter. Small T cell intestinal lymphoma.

    Boof was looking a bit down and starting to lose weight so off the vet. A big fluffy ginger, it was hard to tell but down nearly a kilo. Her gums looked pale and the vet thought a bit yellow – jaundice. He reminded me that almost to the day three years ago we had the first ‘official’ diagnosis of small T cell lymphoma. He took bloods which came back with high liver enzymes across the board. Her liver has always been involved and last August for the first time the enzymes were all normal.

    Boofy had an ultrasound today and her liver is enlarged, there are numerous ‘voids’ and where one would expect a gallbladder, just a huge black hole – not the sort of cauliflower shape one expects with gallbladder cancer. Numerous lymph nodes in the abdomen are enlarged – some up to 3cm. Cancer came back with a vengeance.

    Without treatment, we may have a week. With treatment me may have a week but she would be very uncomfortable. Small small chance it would extend her life a bit, but probably not by much.

    She’s had her miracles already – having reached remission twice. We’ve brought her home with some Hills AD, prednisolone and gabba pentin. It’s the Wednesday before Easter, we’ve brought her home to try and give her the nicest most loving Easter weekend and hope we get that far. Our regular vet is out of town for the holidays. The plan has always been for the vet to come to our home when the time comes and the idea of putting her into a crate and taking her to a stranger in a strange place for her last moments with us is just too much for me.

    I will say this – the decline did come about quickly. The three extra years for doing chemotherapy – well worth the effort. This message board was an absolute lifeline for us and I’ve tried to keep Boofy’s story going so others can benefit from her journey. If anyone reads this and previous chapters of our story and takes comfort then this sweet, beautiful ginger I’ve shared the last 17 years with, will live on in memories. I wish you all love and peace.

    • My heart goes out to you, Jeanette. Thank you for sharing Boofy St. Marie’s and your journey with us. I’m so glad that this forum was so helpful to you. May you and Boofy have a peaceful weekend together and a peaceful passage when the time comes.

    • My heart goes out to you and Boofy during this difficult time. Even with the “extra” time from the remissions, I know first hand how hard it is to say goodbye. <3

    • I am so sorry to hear this. I wish Boof a peaceful passing when it happens. I hope she’s comfy and you have her through the holiday. Love her every moment you have with her.

  3. My beautiful Milas rescused from Turkey 13 years ago has been diagnosed with multicentric Lymphoma. He started COP and went into remission 3 cycles in. But he also then stopped eating for 4 days, we had to put a feeding tube in. We have tried to give drugs on separate days but he continues to suffer with nausea, I’m so devastated he’s having this side effect, can anyone offer any advice? Should we switch to different treatment, he’s otherwise well she responding to treatment.

    • I hope someone with experience hops on here to help you out. We’ve never had this problem but have seen others discuss anti-nausea meds. I’m sure you’ve asked your vet for advice – always ask for more info and ask them the same questions you ask here. Although I don’t have advice for you, I wanted to post and let you know that the boards here are slow and it can take days until the right person reads and answers. Don’t despair, just keep researching. {{hugs}} all the best to you both.

      • Thank you so much everyone for your kind comments and the well wishes. We saw our vet today and we are going to try a few combinations of anti nausea medication during and after our next chemo infusion- fingers crossed this assortment will block all nausea signalling pathways.
        I would also not object getting some holistic advice, being a oncologist myself I know the scientific purpose of chemo and it definitely has a place but I would be happy to look at other ways to replenish the body. Is there any supplements that can be suggested to replenish the GI tract and reduce nausea?

        • To Izbel: My cat now weighs 6.5 lbs. My vet suspects her colitis has developed into GI lymphoma. She only eats Hill’s Z/D which is hydrolyzed protein, which should be more easily absorbed. I give her B-12 shots and the vet gives her B-complex injections. I also give her two multi-vitamin formulations, Pet-Tinic which is a liquid and Vetriscience NuCat chews. Hope this is helpful. I’m really glad to find this “forum” as I may have some tough decisions ahead.

    • I’m going to echo what dovemck said: if you haven’t already discussed anti-nausea meds with your vet, please do so. Cerenia is one of the most popular and effective drugs, others that are used for cats include Zofran and Reglan. Slippery Elm can also be helpful, but please discuss any supplements with your vet before giving.

    • Dear Izbel,

      I am very sorry to hear about your kitty Milas. Although cancer can be scary it’s so important to keep a positive outlook. I have confidence that you can get your kitty strong and healthy again. Please read the comments that I have posted on this page. I have told my story and my journey through chemotherapy after my one year old cat C was diagnosed with lymphoma. After 3 months of chemo (CHOP Protocol) and months of research I choose to go holistic. Holistic medicine heals the whole body therefore allowing it to heal itself. Just like how our body heals itself when we get a cut or a broken bone, we have this innate healing ability and so do kitty’s. C has now been cancer free for 5 months and better than ever. Please don’t let the oncologist and veternarians scare you into thinking you have no other options because you do. I would highly recommend a holistic veterinarian in your area. I have a series called the Truth about Pet Cancer. I’d love to share a copy with you if you are interested. It speaks about all the possible ways your Milas could have got cancer in the first place. One major culprit is cat food. Most of the vets in the film recommend a meat based diet. Cats can eat buffalo, beef, chicken & turkey amongst other meats & fish. The holistiic veterinarian compares dry food to pizza and beer nutrient value. We now give my cat C a grain free holistic wet food, the brand is called Halo. If you can do the meat diet the next best thing is grain free wet food. She also gets CBD oil which has been shown to not only prevent but slow tumor growth. CBD oil would be excellent to help with Milas nausea. I’d love to answer any questions you may have. I love to help people who are in a similar situation because I know how scary It can be. The most important thing to do is make Milas body strong again. Chemo does the complete opposite of that.

      • Hi Jacklyn,

        My 16 year old kitty has been diagnosed with small cell lymphoma. We are not sure we want to put him through chemo, he has had radiation in the past for hyperthyroid and really has going to the vet. I think the stress of chemo will be to much for him. We are looking at holistic treatment. I would love to see the information you have on cat food. can you share with me? I am glad to hear your kitty is cancer free. Thank you

      • Hi Jaclyn. I would love to see the series called the Truth about Pet Cancer. I’d also like to know specifically which CBD oil you recommend and how to purchase it. My cat throws up a lot. She is 6.5 lbs and I’m afraid my vet is going to recommend surgical biopsy and then possibly chemo. I’m scared to put her through all that, so want to explore every possible alternative. Anything you can share would be helpful. Thanks!!

        • Hi Deborah,
          What is your email? I will send you the code that you can type in on thetruthaboutpetcancer.com. Then youll get acess to all the videos. They are extremely helpful. Right now, I use Endoca CBD oil. My little cat C had lymphoma last August & now has been cancer free for almost a year. She’s also on Milk Thistle & LIfe Gold. Going to the holistic vet was extremely important for her as she is on herbs on a daily basis.

  4. I’m at a crossroads with my 11 year old cat, Holly. At her 6 month check up with discovered she had lost 2 lbs. Labs showed that she had a high white blood cell count and is anemic. Other labs confirmed no pancreatitis or IBD. Urinalysis and other blood tests normal. Ultrasound showed issues in her GI, vet guessing lymphocytic lymphoma. He consulted with internist who agrees it’s 90% likely. We hesitate to do a biopsy because she is so thin now and don’t want to put her through that. Vet has prescribed a chew version of Chlorambucil. I’m hesitant to give her this without 100% confirmation. We’ve been monitoring her weight with a baby scale and she hasn’t lost in 3 weeks. She has no other symptoms. I just don’t know if I should start giving her the chemo or continue to wait and monitor. I don’t want to wait too long to decide on the chance it is lymphoma. It’s so hard because there is no clear cut answer.

    • Dear Anne and Holly

      I’ve gone through this 3+ years ago. I waited -hating the idea of starting on Chlorambucil. It was – in my mind – admitting the dreaded C word existed.

      You will have researched by now and know that caught early, intestinal lymphoma is VERY treatable.

      You probably have also learned that chemo is tolerated well by most cats and it’s NOT like human chemo. Cancer is cancer. The goal in humans is to cure it, eradicate it. In our cats the goal is to get into remission. For people, an extra three years is precious little time. In the lifespan of a cat – YOUR cat Holly, it’s more than a quarter of the life she has already lived.

      You say you don’t want to do biopsies – in that case you’re only ever going to be able to guess what type of cancer it is. Often it’s intestinal lymphoma and if it’s small cell, the drug of choice is Chlorambucil and cats tolerate it well. if it’s large cell then a stronger drug might be better, but you can’t tell without the biopsy.

      So the real question here is – WHY are you hesitating? Is it possible you’re never going to treat? (then forget the Chlorambucil and get her on steroids which will make the decline more tolerable.) Are you afraid the Chlorambucil will make her ill? (Holly is already ill – and most cats tolerate the drugs very well and if there’s a bad reaction you can stop). Or maybe you’re like I was and feel if you start the drugs then you’re admitting that it really is cancer. We chose to face it and start the fight early.

      We are now living with cancer for 3+ years. We are lucky. It’s been pretty hectic (with all the blood test and checkups) but they’ve also been healthy and wonderful years. Boofy is still purring and enjoying life. We treated early. Knowing what I do now, there is no way I would hesitate to go Chlorambucil if we have another cancer diagnosis in our pride of kitties.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful response and the wonderful news about how well your kitty has done. Yes, more research has been completed and we have an appointment with an oncologist tomorrow. We are ready to give her chemo, but want to be guided by an oncologist to help with potential side effects, etc. Also learned that a biopsy is not feasible since Holly has been on Pred for years for allergies. She would need to be off for 6 weeks to get a proper biopsy result. So, yes, we are forging ahead. Learned some things about IBD also and if that is what she has, this would be the same treatment. I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in March of 2018 and had mastectomy and reconstruction in May of 2018. So, I’m not a stranger to cancer and treating it early. I think I just needed more information (I’m a research geek) and I feel good about the decision. Again, thank you for your encouragement.

        • Dear Anne & Holly,
          I read your post and felt the need to reach out. Please check out my post and story about my cat “C” a few posts down. At one month past one-year-old, she was diagnosed with lymphoma and given 4 weeks to live unless we started chemo immediately. She was given 2 years at absolute best to live with chemo. This was terrifying for me and my family. Best case scenario, she would not live to see her 4th birthday. About a month into the chemo treatment I realized that I was doing her a disservice. She was lethargic and withdrawn. She slept all day and seemed to be declining rapidly. The life that chemo gave her was no life at all. I knew that there had to be an alternative. I went down the chemo route and came out on the other side to discover all of the natural options there are that can help get your kitty into remission. C is now on a purely holistic protocol and has been cancer free since October. I have some tips from holistic veterinarians that I’d love to share as well as a documentary that I purchased called “The Truth about Pet Cancer.” CBD oil is excellent in stopping the progression of tumours. Life Gold Cat Cancer support is excellent for all around immune system health. I’d love to answer any questions that you may have. After being given a second chance with my kitty, I feel the need to share her story in the hopes that it can reach someone in need. <3

        • Excellent Anne – glad you and Holly found our little spot on the ‘net during your research. Believe it or not, your all too intimate knowledge about cancer will help with Holly’s treatment and I’m guessing and hoping that you will be jealous at how easy her treatments go. We look forward to hearing about Holly’s progress. Being a research geek, you’ll know how important it is to leave your record here for others that will follow.

          • We saw the oncologist this morning and she examined Holly. She said my vet did very comprehensive testing and was in agreement that it’s most likely IBD or small cell lymphoma. We will be treating her with Chlorambucil and Prednisone. She said Holly’s labs were not normal, but also not alarming. She’s seen much worse. So if she tolerates the chemo and gains her weight back, we could have her another year or two if we’re lucky. We are feeling positive today. I’ll update on our progress. Thank you!

      • Does your Kitty have to have the chemotherapy drug for the rest of her life to stay in remission?I’m going through that with my 12 year old kitty too. He is on Chlorambucil and prednisolone for small t cell lymphoma.

        • Boofy came out of remission and we did another round of Chlorambucil which didn’t seem effective. We moved on to the stronger drug Cyclonex and recent blood tests are inconclusive, sometimes we’re ‘status quo’ other times no signs of lymphoma. We’re sticking with the one pill every three weeks as palliative assuming she will be on them until the end along with daily prednisolone. She hasn’t lost any weight but the arthritis is getting very bad. She may well run out of quality os life from that rather than lymphoma. We’re 3+ years now and loving every extra moment that veterinary has given us so far.

    • I have a 14 year old cat Oreo and she has mammary gland cancer. I did do the surgery and they removed the tumor and chain of margins. She recovered very well after the surgery. They got it all. Now they want to do chemotherapy and I am very hesitant because of the side effects but even more the cardiac (heart could be affected). I made two appointments to get the chemo and cancelled them. I am still trying to figure out what to do. She is eating very well, she plays at night, she drinks water, poops and urinates. Oreo has what they call Mammary Adencarcinoma grade 2-3 with lymphatic invasion per the pathology report. If I do the chemo she could live up to a 1 year and if I do not do it her life span is 6 months. The chemo is 5 times every three weeks. So basically she would be on chemo for 5 months. Whats is your opinion? Thank you,
      Please let me know your thoughts

      • Hi Donna,

        I literally just wrote out close to a 3 page letter to you because I’m so upset with the situation I just dealt with. I figured, maybe it would be a little much and I could just sort of sum it up for you a little bit. My Kai (11 y/o male cat) was diagnosed with lymphoma two and a half weeks ago. I decided to go through with chemo, but my oncologist, which I had just started seeing for him outside of my regular vet, who also had all of his previous records, neglected to look at the fact that he had a heart murmur, which has never affected him before. She (oncologist) put him on prednisone and Kai went into heart failure three days after. She and the rest of the staff went on to say that they had never heard one, “sometimes it’s hard to hear a murmur”, whatever they could say to cover themselves, even though I knew and told them, countless times, that he had one. The only cancer symptoms Kai showed before his diagnosis was that he started looking a little thin and on the initial visit to my vet, they ended up finding a mass in his belly. He was still eating, drinking water and acting like himself. He even gained 1.5 pounds during his testing to see what was wrong with him. My little guy passed away exactly a week ago from a mass that formed in his heart from heart failure, directly from the steroids that were prescribed and him having a heart murmur. I legitimately have not been able to stop thinking about the fact, that with all the crazy research I have done for lymphoma, I never came across something saying that it could be more deadly to take steroids for a cat with I minor heart condition than the cancer itself.
        I’m saying this to you, because the way I saw Kai was terrible and I never want anyone to have to deal with this. I know your situation may be different than mine, but I just think, that if you have any concern, you should know the risks from all sides. That said, I have spent more time researching Kai’s condition with cancer than I have on most other things recently. I don’t know if you have ever heard of Life Gold for cats with cancer or CBD oil (Ellevet Feline oil has been involved with a couple well known medical research studies) , but I wish that I had given him those and a few other things, rather then taking him down the path I did.
        I’m sorry if this is too heavy, I’m just still really upset. My email address is Ashley.pilla@gmail.com if you would like to talk. I also have the Life Gold and a few other things that I ordered for him that I didn’t have a chance to actual have him start taking and I would like to find someone else to give them to that needs it. I’m also here to talk about anything, he went through a million tests for two months and I feel like I have gotten a fairly good grasp on some of these things.

        Hope your Oreo is doing okay,

        Ashley

        PS sorry for any grammatical errors, I just can’t read over this thing too many times

        • I’m so sorry about your little guy, Ashley. What a gross oversight on the oncologist’s part. Thank you for sharing your experience so others may benefit, that couldn’t have been easy for you to do. I so appreciate it, as well as everyone else who shares their experiences here.

  5. Update… my girl, July, started chlorambucil last week at 0.5ml every other day. She has IBD and they determined in Dec with an ultrasound likely intestinal lymphoma. First week she did okay, but week 2 isn’t good. Yesterday and today (minus a tiny bit of eating in the evening yesterday) she has not eaten, thrown up a tiny bit of phlegm off and on, and her BM’s have had blood or there were just mucus-y bits of blood.

    She had very minor now and again twitches, too. I’m worrying it’s more of a side effect like the wbc or something.. or this just isn’t working for her. She’s also close to maybe needing another injectable steroid. I wonder if that can be the problem?

    We talked to the vet and will be getting her over there tomorrow when we can call him.

    I honestly just don’t know what it is all related to right now. I’ve read week 2 can be rough, but I’m feeling really upset about this, sad and worried for her, and a bit defeated.

      • Thank you! Our vet had stopped it back in Jan and we did a variety of things some of which did and didn’t help. She had a shot of the steroid depo twice but we’ll be going back to pred tomorrow and will more than likely start up the chlorambucil again. We didn’t do a biopsy but the vet agrees it is very probable it’s lymphoma. So fingers crossed. It is so hard watching her have bad days.

  6. Hi everyone. Wanted to post this here with the hopes it can reach someone in need.
    My one-year-old cat “C” was diagnosed with lymphoma one month after her first birthday. She was initially treated with chemo & the CHOP protocol. After doing extensive research, I discovered that if I wanted my kitty to survive, thrive and go into remission, chemo was not the way. It helped initially and she responded to it immediately, but it took away her quality of life. She was lethargic 24/7. The oncologist wanted her on chemo for three years. This is something she would have not survived and would have costed around $90,000. Regardless of the cost, I would do anything to save my baby’s life. I am happy to announce that after 2 1/2 months of chemo and then switching to a purely holistic regiment, she is both cancer and chemo free. She is seeing a homoeopathic vet. This type of vet uses her own body and immune system to regain her health. They also use herbs and vitamins. What I’ve learned is that one of the MOST important things is diet!! I have so many different things that I’d love to recommend as an alternative to chemo. I have a few tips on how to strengthen your cats immune system. If you think about it, it doesn’t make much sense to innodate your pet with chemo (which actually can cause new types of cancer to develop). The chemo takes a huge toll on their health and immune system. In order to fight this and to truly thrive, your kitty needs the strongest immune system possible. Both chemo and prednisolone supress this vital system. Some of the products that I use are: Life Gold Cancer Support, Milk Thistle (this makes their body alkaline (cancer thrives in an acidic environment), CBD oil, two herbal medications to treat her lymphoma & CBD treats. She has even more energy than she did before cancer. I also give her filtered water. Cats are very sensitive to the chemicals in tap water. Even though all of those I previously mentioned are excellent and highly recommended, the most important thing is the diet. The oncologist that we no longer see said that diet is “not important, if she likes dry food, let her enjoy it.” This could not be more incorrect. My homoeopathic veterinarian related giving a kitty dry food to the nutritional value of us eating pizza & drinking beer. Cat’s should be given wet food, grain free. If you want to go an extra step, you can start giving your kitty cooked beef, chicken or turkey. This diet is called the 50/50. Half meat half pureed vegetables. I would be more than happy to send you more information on this. I hope everyone going through a cancer diagnosis with their pet will see this comment. Good luck to all of you I wish everyone the best of luck. Cancer is not a death sentence. With the right protocol, your kitty can beat this!!

  7. I wanted to update and also have a question in regards to my kitty, July, with IBD and suspected intestinal lymphoma. She had an injectable steroid on Dec 27 and just started chlorambucil.. 0.5ml every 2 days. Her first dose was Mon. I’m completely weirded out by side effects, but haven’t seen much of anything. I had asked the pharmacist and he said she might feel a little nauseous or lethargic for a day or so.

    Lethargy is hard to tell with her.. she’s a pretty sleepy girl. I saw nothing though this am she had a BM that wasn’t in her box and threw up. It didn’t seem to odd as she was fine after and ate like normal.

    I guess my question is… is it normal to not have side effects right away? Saw a few places that it might start a week in. She’s due her second dose tonight. Also would it make a difference that they compounded it into a liquid? She seems pretty normal minus her weird thing of going into a room and giving a loud plaintive wail like she wants attention or something.

    I certainly don’t want her to have side effects.. but I just feel lost as what to expect. I’m just hoping that means she’s tolerating it well. I just wondered about others’ experiences.

    • Here in Australia our protocol is a bit different – she would get two chlorambucil pills a day for 4 days running and then at the end of three weeks a blood test and start again. During that time you wouldn’t even KNOW she was on chemo unless someone told you. There were no visible side effects at all. Forward in time – now three years later, we’ve come out of remission and are now on a drug called Cyclonex. She gets one pill every three weeks. During that week her appetite isn’t that great and her fur looks a bit ragged – maybe something in her saliva that causes the fur to not lay right? She still enjoys time lying on the couch with us at night watching television, still purring and meeting me in the kitchen at meal times.

      After she had an exploratory surgery, her fur was a bit slow to grow back – but it did and as thick as ever. The throwing up – something that happened occasionally before treatment, actually lessened over time. I’ve only had to clean that up perhaps once in the last year. I’ve invested in a pack of puppy pads because there are more litterbox accidents, but I chalk that up to the worsening arthritis – she’s 17 this year and a big girl – still 7kg.

      Hope all continues to go well with July’s treatment.

      • Thank you! It certainly helps to hear others experiences. She got a little sick again last night, but happened once. She seems a little subdued, but that’s probably to be expected.

    • It can be normal to see no side effects. As it was explained to me by our vet, today, vets often issue dosages that are low, with fewer side effects, because treating pets is about quality of life, not a cure. The opposite is true in humans where treatments are aggressive as the goal is a full “cure” and side effects are far more common. There are also several options for treatment – for Jada, she started on a weekly chemo schedule that rotated 3 different drugs. She had minimal side effects and responded well, but going in weekly for her was stressful. We changed to a different protocol that has been equally effective and only requires us to go in every three weeks. She’s not had any noticeable side effects with this treatment option. So, if you find an option that your kitty tolerates, that’s wonderful! If not, there may be other options that meet your kitties needs that also meet her lifestyle.

      I think every kitty responds a bit differently so it’s hard to say. For Jada, most of the time, she experienced little to no side effects. When she did experience side effects, the most common one was nausea, vomiting or dizziness. With nausea, this was usually just for a day or two and resolved quickly (our treatments were every 3 weeks). Vomiting was usually one or two times within a day or two and then she’d be better – this one is harder to judge because our kitty throws up fairly regularly due to over indulgence or eating too much grass. For dizziness, this one we saw a handful of times over the last year and she’d just be a little wobbly getting up a day or two after treatment but it didn’t prevent her from being active or doing any of her normal activities. While we saw these occasionally, I do want to point out that Jada had far more treatments with no side effects and substantially more days where she was happy than days she didn’t feel well.

      Hopefully this helps! I know how hard these decisions are and I can relate to feeling lost as it’s all really overwhelming. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask away.

      • Thank you, Nicole! She threw up last night 3 doses in. Half the time I’m not sure if it’s due to the med or begging for and eating food all the time. We try to keep it in small doses but it’s throughout the day. She seems a bit subdued and occasionally acts like she wants to drink water, but doesn’t.

        So much of all of this is hard to figure out. She’s more obsessed with food than anything, seems overly tired in the evening when on the sofa with us (which makes sense).

        She seems normal and then a little off!

  8. Hi Folks – I wanted to say that this thread has been the single most important with regards to helpful information and emotional support from the time my husband and I discovered that our kitty was diagnosed with aggressive large cell lymphoma of the colon last year at this time.

    I wanted to take a moment to share our experience as hopefully it will provide some hope and helpful information. Our cat, Jada, had diarrhea that escalated quickly while we were traveling over a holiday weekend last year. When we came home, we had gone all over the room that had her little box and was struggling to get anything out. We immediately took her to our 24/7 emergency vet where they discovered a mass in her belly. The next day, she had an ultrasound and biopsy that confirmed that the mass was an aggressive cancer.

    We were scheduled with an oncologist appointment for a few days later (this all happened right before New Years and the oncologist was traveling). Waiting to be seen was extremely hard as Jada was declining every day. During this time, I read this post along with other helpful resources to learn about treatment options from prednilasone, surgery and chemotherapy. This time allowed my husband and I to discuss what we would/wouldn’t do for treatment ahead of our oncology appointment.

    We decided that Jada’s quality of life was most important. That we would hear the doctor’s recommendations but not let our own emotions get in the way of Jada’s comfort and happiness. We were as ready as we could be to say goodbye, if that was best.

    The oncologist spent 1.5 hours with us discussing our options. He recommended prednisalone daily in addition to a weekly schedule of chemotherapy. He stated that the hospital goals of treating a pet with chemo is quality of life vs. curing cancer, that they use much lower dosages than in humans and that it is well tolerated without major side effects.

    Based on his recommendations, we agreed to try chemo/prednisalone for one week to see how she did before deciding next steps and that we would take it one week at a time.

    Immediately, Jada responded well. She began eating again, wasn’t struggling to use the litter box and was beginning to seek out affection again. It was truly miraculous and gave us hope. We noticed minimal side effects for the next several weeks and every day, Jada continued to improve and returned back to her old self – getting into everything and following us wherever we went.

    Six months later, with her ultrasound re-check, the oncologist let us know that all signs of cancer were gone. I was in complete disbelief and cried the happiest tears of my life. My husband and I both hoped for a few more happy months but never thought that we’d get such great news. We moved Jada to an every three week chemo plan to maintain and we re-check her every 3-6 months to see if the cancer is returning. It is expected to, at some point, but here we are 12 months later and we still have a happy, loving kitty.

    I just wanted to share our story so far as I know how heartbreaking the news of cancer is and I had nearly given up. While I know not every story has an outcome like ours has, there is hope and modern pet medicine has evolved tremendously to balance treatment with quality of life. Sending love to all of you during this difficult time, and if you have any questions on our experience, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    • Dear Nicole,

      I am very happy to hear that your cat is doing well! My comment is actually right below yours. My one-year-old kitty was diagnosed with lymphoma one month after her first birthday. She was initially treated with chemo & the CHOP protocol. After doing extensive research, I discovered that if I wanted my cat to actually survive and go into remission, chemo was not the way. It helped initially and she responded to it immediately, but it took away her quality of life. Now she is both cancer and chemo free. She is seeing a homoeopathic vet. This type of vet uses her own body and immune system to regain her health. One of the MOST important things is diet!! I have so many different things that I’d love to recommend to keep the cancer from ever returning to your kitty. Some of the products I used are: Life Gold Cancer Support, Milk Thistle (this makes their body alkaline (cancer thrives in an acidic environment), CBD oil, two herbal medications to treat her lymphoma & CBD treats. She has even more energy than she did before cancer. Even though all of those I previously mentioned are excellent and highly recommended, the most important thing is the diet. The oncologist that we no longer see said that diet is “not important, if she likes dry food, let her enjoy it” This could not be more incorrect. My homoeopathic veterinarian related giving a kitty dry food to the nutritional value of us eating pizza & drinking beer. Cat’s should be given wet food, grain free. If you want to go an extra step, you can start giving your kitty cooked beef, chicken or turkey. This diet is called the 50/50. Half meat half pureed vegetables. I would be more than happy to send you more information on this. I hope everyone going through a cancer diagnosis with their pet will see this comment.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Nicole. That’s wonderful that Jada responded so well to treatment!

      I don’t jump into this thread very often, but it always makes me feel good to hear that this post and the many many comments are helping others who are going through dealing with a cancer diagnosis for their beloved cats. Thank you to all of you who are contributing and sharing your stories so others can benefit.

      • <3 I'm just trying to pay it forward for all of those who took the time to help when I was in the same situation!

    • This almost made me cry. We started battling with IBD a number of years ago and this year things went downhill. We didn’t do a biopsy but the ultrasound vet said things have progressed and believes it’s intestinal lymphoma. Prednisone seemed to stop working for her, so he gave her an injection of another and she started gaining again. And he said it’s perfectly reasonable to do chlorambucil for her. I’m hoping and praying she does well with this. I would never want her to suffer needlessly, but I don’t want to say goodbye yet.

      Thank you for sharing. I’m scared, but still have some hope. I’m happy Jada is well.

      • Hi Meghan! I am so sorry to hear about your kitty with IBD. I just wanted to let you know that when my Bailey had cancer we also did prednisolone and chlorambucil. We originally started with melphalan but after a month results suggested it wasn’t working so we switched. I wanted to let you know that Bailey did not appear to be uncomfortable taking chemo. I know that cats hide pain very well, however he was eating, using the liter, interacting with us more which were all signs that he was feeling better. We did have an issue with low WBC, so we ended up having to stop treatment but he had multiple myeloma with severe bone marrow necrosis which may have caused all this issues. One thing I am happy I did was really spend time with my boy. We got videos and pictures and created lots of beautiful memories. Sending you positive vibes!

        • Thank you, Tia. ❤ I appreciate hearing others experiences and that your Bailey wasn’t uncomfortable with it. She might be starting the chlorambucil tomorrow and hoping for the best.

      • Hi Meghan,

        I’m so sorry to hear that you have a loved kitty that is battling cancer as well. It’s so difficult and you clearly love your kitty. I was also very scared and didn’t want to make the wrong decision as Jada’s comfort and quality of life are our #1 priority. Our Jada has tolerated chemotherapy very well and improved quickly. While there are occasional side effects, none have impacted her ability to be happy or live a fulfilled life so far so it’s been the right decision for us. Every kitty is different so we take any treatment one day at a time and work hard to make every decision based on Jada’s comfort and happiness vs. what we want and that has helped us navigate the harder times. I remember being in your same position and having to make the hard call of whether or not we tried a treatment or didn’t. For me, the turning point was seeing Jada suddenly have curiosity in the vet office we were in, walking around, exploring – like we hadn’t seen in weeks. It helped me decide that she still had interest in life and that trying one week of treatment was worth it as she hadn’t completely given up. Our vet gave great advice, stats and great hope that also made us feel comfortable with the decision to try one week at a time. If Jada went down hill, we would stop treatment, if she improved, we’d continue and we take every day one day at a time balancing if it’s mostly good or mostly bad. I sincerely wish you the very best and my heart goes out to you as I know how hard this is.

        • Thank you so much, Nicole. ❤ I love my cat.. July.. so much. She’s been a wonderful cat and a comfort when my dad passed 4 years ago. I hate seeing her go through this. She’s been very up and down but the vet thinks is a reasonable choice to make which helps. She’s still mostly affectionate and is eating and going to the bathroom. But she just isn’t quite the same so I hope starting this tomorrow helps and makes a difference. She likes to be petted but has been laying in a bed behind the Christmas tree quite a bit. She usually ends up coming on the sofa with me for a bit at least, though. I hope we see more interest in things.. like bird watching!

    • I had the same experience, Nicole. We chose not to give up on our Lily either. She was diagnosed with high grade multicentric lymphoma at 12 and was given pretty much no hope. The first round of chemo was rough. (We did a milder modified combo because we were afraid to do a more aggressive approach. CHOP without the H.) No serious side effects, just lack of appetite for two days. I was a mess thinking I had made a mistake.

      The next round they tweaked things because it was all about quality of life. This time, she ate! Her only issues throughout chemo was fickle taste and a sore that developed because of her immune system. I think the latter was because I have always suspected she had herpes. My solutions were A. Keep switching up the food. The most important thing is that they eat. B. L-lysine took care of her sore. Partial remission came after the third round. Full remission after the fourth. After she finished protocol, she remained in full remission. The only requirement was return visits monthly. Then every two months. Then every six months. At the vet hospital, she was considered the miracle kitty. I would love to touch base, as it’s been four years since they have seen her.

      Five years after initial diagnosis, and she is alive and thriving still with no signs of lymphoma. She is almost 18. Our current vet didn’t believe the story. “She had lymphoma.” “No, she didn’t.” “Yes. She did.” “Wow. She has used up a few lives. Incredible.” I am not saying this is the norm but, if I hadn’t listened to my daughter asking me not to just give up, she wouldn’t be here.

      • What an incredible story and such wonderful news! I’m so happy your kitty responded well and you got so much wonderful time. <3

        • I want to give hope. I know every case is different. I don’t think I cried so hard when we found out the diagnosis and the prognosis. She is the sweetest, most compliant kitty. Never a swat or bite …a lot of the vet students picked her name when they knew she was coming. I am blessed each day she is with us.

          • I feel the exact same way and want to provide hope as well. I know exactly what you mean when you say you’d never cried so hard. My little Jada sounds so similar to your kitty – the sweetest, most loving, trusting and kind kitty. To hear the prognosis and not be able to explain to them what’s happening and that you’re trying to make them as happy/comfortable as possible is heartbreaking. I love that your kitty has responded so well and, like you, I’m blessed with every day that my Jada is happy. <3

          • I know all cats are wonderful, but there is something about the sweet, mellow ones that you feel so protective of. And, yes! I hated it. When she would come out of chemo with the little bandage on her leg, I hated it. I’m glad it’s a distant memory. When we got the all clear, I avoided the vet for a good two years. I didn’t want her to go through the stress. She is 100% indoors so I didn’t feel guilty about no immunizations. She recently had to go in six months ago for cystitis. Of course, I was nervous but it was cleared up.

            We try so hard to do the right thing. So much responsibility in our hands. I wish good health to Jada! <3

      • Hi Wendy,

        Thank you so much for your story about Lily. I’m at the beginning of the treatment journey with my 10-year-old boy Marmalade, and it’s encouraging to hear other people’s stories. The past month has been a complete blur. In early May, I noticed Marmalade seemed a bit wobbly on his feet… so subtle that people who didn’t spend all day with him wouldn’t notice it. I called the vet and they took a couple days to get back to me, but finally his doctor got in touch with me and asked if I’d get it on video for her and email it. So I did that over the weekend and emailed a couple videos on Monday. That Wednesday night I was waiting to hear back when Marmalade sort of fell over when I picked him up and set him down by his food bowl. I called the vet and they said to bring him in right away. They suspected an inner ear infection and we went home with an antibiotic he was going to need for three months.

        Over the next week the wobbliness improved somewhat but his breathing started to become labored. Exactly one week after he’d seen the vet, the labored breathing got so noticeable that I called them back, and he was back in there, this time getting fluid drained from his chest. The vet had now suspected heart disease or possible cancer because of the combo of balance issues and pleural effusion, and we scheduled a meeting with the cardiologist for the following morning.

        It was at the cardiologist appointment that they found a mass in his chest. The cardiologist didn’t think it resembled lymphoma based on the echo, and he also wasn’t sure if trying to test the sample would even yield usable results. They were basically telling me we would *try* testing the sample to see if we did get anything back or move toward palliative care. I didn’t want to give up on him without trying every possible option, so I said to test the sample. I thought it would at least help me determine whether chemotherapy were even a viable option to consider.

        We got the results back a few days later, and my vet was pleased to see that it did come back consistent with lymphoma. I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Rarely is lymphoma good news, but I had been afraid he might not even live through the weekend. That was a Monday, and we scheduled bloodwork for him on the Wednesday at his regular vet while I was supposed to go ahead and call veterinary hospitals that offered oncology.

        So he went in for his bloodwork on Wednesday, but I asked them while we were there if they could check out his breathing for me. His oncology consultation was scheduled for the following Tuesday, almost a week out, and I was worried about the pleural effusion returning. They determined that he did need to have fluid drained again, and a quick vet-tech bloodwork visit turned into him seeing a doctor at the vet right away. That doctor recommended I take him to the emergency room at his hospital where he’d be going for oncology rather than having them drain his fluid right at his regular vet. He said that getting him into their ER would help him get his cancer treatment started asap instead of waiting a week. So we did that, and right on that day after they drained his fluid again they started him on l-spar and sent me home with prednisolone.

        This past Tuesday was his first “official” oncology appointment. They are going to try to submit the tissue sample for testing again to try to determine whether it’s lymphoma or thymoma, because I guess they can often look similar but are treated very differently (lymphoma with chemo, thymoma with surgery if it’s possible and radiation). In the meantime we were going to start treating as if it were lymphoma since that was the likely result. So he got his first dose of I think vincristine.

        Like I said, it’s really early in the process… he’s had l-spar and the vincristine. It seems to be going ok. He has seemed fine the day of both times but becomes very lethargic and doesn’t want to eat around the second day. He hasn’t vomited (well, he did once on the l-spar, but I think it was because he was playing in the backyard and ate some grass, which always makes him vomit, and it was an isolated incident). He had diarrhea on the l-spar too but I haven’t noticed that yet this week. It’s just his low energy and loss of appetite during the worst of this cycle that is a little hard. Even before the vincristine, he had started with anything crunchy (treats or dry food) sort of chewing it into smaller bits that he spit out and then would then go back for when they were smaller and/or softer. And he’d lick up the gravy in his wet food and do the same chew-to-smaller-pieces with the meat chunks. I’ve given him some baby food (chicken and turkey) and tried low-fat cottage cheese. He’s eaten both but since he started all of this treatment has been more of a grazer with eating than inhaling all at once like he used to. He has anti-nausea medication and the appetite stimulant, but during these rough 2nd and 3rd days post-treatment his appetite just isn’t there.

        So that’s where I am right now. He’s doing as well as can be expected but these midcycle days are still new to me and it’s hard when he just wants to go someplace quiet and sleep, even though I know he needs it to get better. Just a month ago he showed zero problems at all, so it’s just been nonstop. Thank you all for letting me vent.

        • Colleen,

          I am so glad I found your reply in all of these. I totally understand about Marmalade. We love them. We don’t want to give up on them, especially at such a young (in cat years) age! Yet, we don’t want them to suffer. Please keep us posted and feel free to vent. My Lily is now 18. (Lymphoma diagnosis in 2012–her new vet seemed dubious and now calls her miracle cat. When we first took her in to him he said, “No, she didn’t have it.” As if to say it wasn’t possible to survive. Now he has proof. She’s starting to slow down—my guess is CRF because of her age—but she is still spunky. And we got six extra years with her!! Stay strong.

          • Thank you so much! His appointments for the next few weeks are Tuesdays, so I should have some more info then. I really needed to vent today because it’s the third day post-chemo and he’s still feeling the worst of the lethargy and appetite loss. He’s such a good boy though. Very friendly and sweet, loves everyone he meets. He’s the type where even people who insist they “don’t like cats” love him. (My other little guy Oskar is much more shy around loud people and has weird habits like hiding from snowstorms and the garbage truck, haha. I love them both equally obviously but just in very different and special ways.)

          • Definitely keep us posted. They get in our hearts. Your vet will definitely aim for quality of life—less days of nausea. Keep fighting!

    • Hi Nicole,

      I was just wondering which kind of chemo you ended up bringing your Jada into receive? My cat(Kai) was just diagnosed with large cell lymphoma last week. It took a month and a half worth of tests to finally get the results back and figure out what was wrong with him. Initially, the only reason I brought him to the vet was because he looked like he lost some weight, I never in a million years thought he would have lymphoma. He we still acting the same, eating like crazy, etc. When he was finally diagnosed I was given three treatment options : CHOP chemo (described as the most effective), CCNU (3-6 month survival, but was also told it could similar results to CHOP, but since it is a newer treatment, there isn’t as much data) or prednisolone on its own, which doesn’t actually treat cancer, just helps with inflammation, appetite, etc.

      I wanted to choose the CHOP chemo as a treatment, but was quoted at $13,000 to $15,000 for six months of treatment?! This was after I had already spent $7,000, of which I definitely do not have, on getting tests, trying to get him diagnosed. I chose the second option (CCNU), “only” $3,600 for 6 months of treatment. After this they decided to also put him on prednisone. He has had a mild heart murmur for awhile and with the amount of research I have done, I should have know that putting him on a steroid would not be a good idea for him. Two days later he looked like he was having a hard time breathing, I brought him to the vet and 10 hours later and an additional $2000 it was determined that it was not caused by the lymphoma or chemo, but because he was put on a medication that he should never have been out put on and now I’m supposed to bring him into an additional specialist for a heart condition he may have that he never had before the medication.

      Anyway, sorry for the long rundown, I have talked to 5 different doctors/specialists (all at the same place) and I feel like they are just giving me answers from a script. The place is owned by a corporation and I feel like they were all just talking to me in legal terms, eapecially after the new heart condition came up. I think I am being taken advantage of financially, when I should be worrying about my cat’s health. And now when I tell them I can’t afford to see a cardiologist with all the other money I’m spending, my vet doesn’t offer any kind of sympathy, she litterly told me that sometimes we have to make hard decisions.

      Kai is still running around, eating, has gained a pound and a half since he started talk probiotics and anti-nausea medicine and I’m just reaching out to see what someone else has done for their cat, because I feel like I honestly cannot trust my vet anymore and I have spent so much money that can’t afford to bring him somewhere else to get a second opinion. I’m also worried about him being out something else that could now affect his heart, I literally feel guilty every time I leave for work because I’m scared that I’m going to be coming home to him having heart failure again.

      Thanks for reading, if you got through it all. And I’m happy your cat is doing okay!

      • Hi Ashley,

        First, let me start by saying I’m so sorry that you’re having such a rough time with your vet. I can only imagine how hard it is when you’re just trying to do the best for your fur baby.

        I do think it’s a great thing that your Kai is still active, eating, is gaining weight, etc – these are all great signs! The way it’s been explained to me is that any cancer treatments are aimed at quality of life and not a cure so if a treatment isn’t working for your kitty and is making things worse, it’s likely not worth pursuing.

        For Jada, she’s done a few different treatments. She’s done really well on a steroid and has been on prednisalone (added to her wet food daily) for the entire duration of her treatment.

        For chemotherapy, she started on a weekly treatment that rotated through three types of chemo drugs (one each week): vincristine, cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin. She did this for the first 6 months of treatment and tolerated them all fairly well (more good days than bad). This combo of drugs sent her into remission. That said, Jada doesn’t do well at the vet and taking her in weekly was making her anxious every morning. Once she hit remission, we elected to change to a different protocol that would allow us to bring her in one time every three weeks. The new drug is a pill called Lomustine. She’s done well on this drug for the last 6 months or so and the schedule and price is much easier on everyone.

        That all said, her cancer is slowly starting to come back. This is likely not due to the drug change (according to her doctor) but instead, that this is an aggressive cancer that begins to develop immunity to any drug over time. She’s still doing very well with the combo of Lomustine and a steroid so we’ll continue that while her quality of life is still good and re-evaluate based on her and our doctor’s recommendation when needed.

        My best advice – and please take this with a grain of salt because you know your baby better than anyone – is to focus on quality of life and addressing the things that seem to impact Kai’s day to day vs. the things that may have always been there and may not bother him. If he doesn’t tolerate the steroids, don’t use them. If his heart problem hasn’t caused him any issues, but the cancer is, then I’d focus on the cancer and leave the heart be for now. That said, it’s all what you feel is best for him to help him be happy and comfortable. I know the treatments can be crazy expensive and I’m so sorry that your vet hasn’t earned your trust. I’m not sure how feasible it is, but is there a different vet you can consult in your area? Ours has been so wonderful at providing options that meet Jada’s needs/tolerance levels as well as our financial needs. There are SO many treatments out there that help extend or provide quality of life that also meet your financial needs or your pet’s preference as well.

        I hope this helps or gives guidance in any way. If you have any questions or want to chat more, I’m more than happy to. My heart goes our to you and your kitty!

      • Dear Ashley & Kai,

        I received your email in my inbox and felt like I needed to reach out. I know you didn’t write to me directly, but I read your story and would like to help in any way I can. My cat “C” was diagnosed with lymphoma 1 month after her first birthday. She was immediately put onto the CHOP protocol and we were told that we were lucky that she was even alive. The oncologist told us that she had 4 weeks to live without chemo and 2 years at absolute best with chemo. This was devastating and unbelievable. The protocols expected cost was around $90,000. After seeing how sick the chemo made her, I knew that there had to be another way. To only get 2 years and live to the age of 3 was just not an option for me. So I started researching. And what I found was tons and tons of valuable information that not only put her in remission but have now given her a better quality of life than she had pre-chemo. Her energy is endless. I would love to be able to help you and Kai in any way I can. I have a lot of different things that we used and still use to keep her body in balance. CBD oil is absolutely excellent. It not only slows the progression of tumour growth but can stop it completely. Life Gold Cancer Support is another excellent supplement you can give your kitty. Do not let the veterinarians scare you into thinking chemo is your only option. Because I have experienced first hand that that simply is not true. I feel very passionate about helping others after being given the chance to apply what I have learned to my kitty with success. I have purchased a series called the “Truth about Pet Cancer” and have copies to share. I would love to send you this if you are interested so you can see what the best route to take to get Kai back in balance is. One of the biggest misunderstandings with cancer is that it is a fight, a battle. Rather than “killing cancer”, we must get our kitty’s bodies back into balance. This requires a look at what you are feeding your kitty, the water he is drinking and what medicine he is taking. I have some diet tips I’d love to share, recommended by a holistic veterinarian. Incorporating both grain free wet food with a protein source like chicken or turkey is a great way to boost your kitty’s immune response. Also, if you’d like I can try and help you find a holistic veterinarian in your area. The difference between a holistic vet and conventional vet are like night and day. I hope this information provides you with some peace of mind. Just know that you and Kai can beat this. My email is jderosa1723@gmail.com. You can email me at any time If you any questions or concerns. After “C” was given a second chance at life, I feel compelled to share her story with anyone I can in the hopes that it can save you just like it saved us. <3

      • Hi Ashley,
        First, I’m so sorry that your going through all of this. I know how stressful it is and how difficult the decisions are to make. It sounds like you’re a wonderful cat mom and doing your very best for little Kai.
        For Jada, we’ve done a few things for her treatment over the course of the last year. We started with predisalone daily (steroid) + a chemo protocol that rotated through three drugs over the course of three weeks:
        – Week 1: Vincristine
        – Week 2: Cyclophosphamide
        – Week 3: Doxorubicin
        We did this cycle for 6 months and it ultimately sent her into remission. While she did have periodic side effects for a day or two following some treatments (very periodic nausea or vomiting), she tolerated this quite well. That said, she REALLY doesn’t do well going to the vet and the weekly visits were making her very anxious in the mornings. Once she reached remission, we were advised to continue treatments (it’s an aggressive cancer that comes back quickly). That said, we wanted to balance precaution with her comfort so under the recommendation of the vet, we moved her to a new chemo protocol that only required a visit once every 3 weeks. We kept her on prednisolone (steroid) because this helped and she tolerates it very well and moved her to the chemo drug Lomustine. She’s done well on this.
        There have been a few times where we’ve taken breaks from the treatment: Once she had low blood counts for a few months so we stopped chemo until they bounced back and more recently she had an upper respiratory infection that was really bad (for almost two months) that we needed to treat before starting chemo again. Her cancer appears to be coming back but we’re back to Lomustine every three weeks and she’s responding well again so we’re taking it one day at a time.
        In your case, are there any other oncology vets that you can seek advise from in your area that aren’t at the clinic you’ve been going to? I feel so bad that you’ve been taken through the ringer and can say that a good vet will work with you to treat the things that are making your kitty feel the worst while working within your financial means as well. Our doctor has said there are many, many treatment options out there to meet kitty needs and at different price points. Given Kai’s heart, I’m sure that there is something that can be done with cancer treatment that doesn’t make his heart problem worse and that also is more cost effective.
        Another piece of advice our oncologist has given that may be of help is to treat the thing(s) that are causing major quality of life issues and don’t worry about the rest. The goal of treatment in cats is comfort and happiness vs. a cure. If Kai’s heart problem isn’t slowing him down, and there are cancer treatments that can help him have move good days than bad that don’t impact his heart, that may be the best course of action vs. trying to treat everything. You know your baby best so go with your gut.
        I’m not sure if this helped at all but if you have any other questions or just want to chat (I know how very hard and stressful this is), please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m sending you and Kai positive thoughts and hoping for the very best for you both! <3

  9. Hi everyone
    My one year old cat “C” was diagnosed with lymphoma one month after her first birthday. It has been extremely difficult to come to terms with this. She is currently getting chemo treatments and the oncologists want to keep her on them for 2 years. A vet had wanted to keep her on chemo for 3 years. This seems like way too long to me. Has anyone had any experience taking their cats off of chemo and how did you know when the right time was? She is only 1, so I want to damage her organs as little as possible. This is truly heartbreaking but I have a optimistic outlook on this. She’s a strong little kitty and I know she will get through this. She is also taking Life Gold and CBD treats.

  10. Hello, cat lovers! I just learned that my cat, a long haired calico domestic who is about 9 years old, has a carcinoma. The vet found lumps on her lymph node and and a couple other places near her neck. He did a needle biopsy and told me the results showed “carcinoma.” I don’t know if this is just a general name for all cancers or a specific type. We have an appointment with an oncologist in a few day. I’m so scared we’re too late. Her symptoms were only that she slowed down, slept more. Only once that I know of threw up a little bile. She has continued to eat, though maybe not as much. She lost three pounds between November and this month. Any information about carcinomas and chances of remission will be appreciated.

    She’s the prettiest, sweetest little cat ever. I’m heartbroken at the thought of losing her. She was living in the woods behind my house, and gradually became less wary of me and would eat at the door to the garage. A couple of months after I first saw her, she had kittens, and she brought them to a shelter I built closer to my house. Over the summer, the kittens became more familiar with me and finally when they were about two and a half months old, I brought them in. Two weeks later I got Cali (my girl) to come in. It’s been wonderful having this little family with me for seven years. Her boys love her and still cuddle with her, and she is definitely the matriarch. I used to just call her “Cali” when she was outside, because she is a calico, but when she came into the house, I decided she deserved a more special name, so her name is “Calisticat Fluffheart, Princess of the Pines.” (Calista Flockhart went to the local high school.)

    Thank you for listening. I hope to hear encouraging news.

    • your cat sounds absolutely beautiful and I am sorry for your news. I note from the date that is now nearly 3 months on. How are things going?

      • Hi, Penny, I’m sorry to say that my sweet Calisticat has passed. The surgical biopsy showed numerous tumors on her neck area. They started her on prednisone and a cancer drug, but after a week, she was not eating and had become so thin that I felt like I was watching her starve to death. Because I knew that she could not survive the metastatic carcinoma, and she was wasting away, I decided it was best to let her go. I miss her so much. It’s as if all the flowers died at once. She was always the bright spot in my house and made it a special place to everyone who met her. This was so unexpected. I was more concerned that I should be sure there was someone who would take care of my cats if I died, since I’m 74. She was only about 8 years old. Anyway, her two boys are still here with me and I know she is glad of that. Thank you for asking.

        • I’m so sorry, Rita. “It’s as if all the flowers died at once.” That’s one of the most poignant ways I ever heard of describing what it feels like to lose a beloved cat. My heart goes out to you.

  11. I have a 14 year old cat who has been sick since November but also had good days. She had chronic hairballs (three times a month) and a few vomiting episodes. Went to see a new vet in January and she referred us to a specialist, she had blood test done, and ultrasound. The ultrasound showed thickened bowels so she was scheduled to have a surgical biopsy done once the vet returned so he could continue with her care. Unfortunately she got extremely sick and needed to be hospitalized due to not eating at all and vomiting. They decided to get the surgical biopsy done that day. Lymph node smear was normal but within 3 days we got the results back that is was small cell cancer. The vet said it was the type to possibly change to high grade? Not sure if that’s possible? Right now she’s on a different protocol with chemo and prednisole every day 1mls. It’s flavored medicine which is good she likes them and today will be the second day. I know the chemo can affect people with weak immune system but would it also happen if you are wearing gloves to? I have quite a weak immune system (fibro, cfs) and when I gave her the first treatment I did feel a bit unwell even with gloves on. Hoping it’s just because it was the first treatment so hell of a time to give to her lol. She is getting B12 shots as her b12 was 184. She is a sweet girl who doesn’t look like she has cancer but she has lost weight (from 11.5 early this month down to 10.2) and seems to be in pain at nights. Worried about my girl that’s for sure.

    • Hi. My cat, Charlie, who turns 12 in April, was just diagnosed with small cell lymphoma 3 weeks ago. He had an abdominal explore in which multiple biopsies were taken. He is currently on an unusual protocol of 1.1 mg Chlorambucil daily (oncologist protocol chosen) as well as 5mg Prednisilone daily. He has been on the steroid for 2 weeks now, with no episodes of vomiting (his major symptom the last year or two). He started his chemo pill on Friday, and he has not shown any side effects. In fact, he has gained over a pound since surgery 5 weeks ago. I pray every day that I can give him a Chicago summer to chase butterflies in the garden. Caring for a pet that has cancer is not easy, but I take it very seriously.

      • Hi Lisa & Charlie. Our stories sound rather similar.We’re 2+ years since the diagnosis. Our protocol is different 2 chlorambucil a day for four days repeating every 3 weeks, 2.5 mg prednisolone everyday. We were in remission for just over a year and on our second round of treatment and doing well. We’re hoping you get to spend a lovely summer together. Best wishes -dovemck & Boofy StMarie.

  12. My 11 year old cat has a mass that keeps coming back and has had 4 surgeries to have it removed each time it rears its ugly head. And each time, the mass is bigger. This been going on for 3 to 4 years. Now the vet wants me to give her chemo pills & steroid pills 3 times a week along with blood work being done weekly and then eventually wind it down to maybe yearly. My problem is that my cat is semi-feral and hates being given these meds so often. She even bit me and left a deep puncture wound in my finger. Not only is this going to cost me a fortune, but my cat won.t even let me come near her. I am a retired senior citizen and to try to catch her is not easy for me. Confining her to an area where I can get to her will not work. There would be no quality of life for her if that is the case. What can I do? I’m seriously thinking of stopping the treatments and let nature take its course. I have 7 other cats and most would work with me on the pill deal, but not this one. Is it wrong for me to give up on her? I am at a loss. HELP!!!

    • If the stress of treatment (for both cat and human) outweigh any potential benefits, that doesn’t sound like good quality of life to me. I would discuss this with your vet. If “letting nature take its course” doesn’t cause your cat any pain, then that, or palliative care, may be an option, otherwise, you may need to consider euthanasia.

    • It’s not giving up – it’s acknowledging that your animal is in pain / doesn’t have the right quality of life and doing what you need to do. We took this decision for our poor boy a few months ago. It was the hardest thing we’ve ever done (he was only 6), but our vet summarised this to us very well… the day after your cat is diagnosed and onwards, there is no right or wrong day to do it. You can do it early, you can drag it on forever, but it will happen and from that moment their quality of life is not the same.

      I hope you find peace with your decision, whatever it may be.

    • Dear Ingrid and Jack, thank you for your advice and support. I did try something different when giving Jingles her pills today. Since she bit me last time, this time I took the end of the towel I had her in and pryed her mouth open and dropped each pill in along with giving her a small amount of water with a dropper so she would swallow it. Then I left her in the enclosed room for 15 minutes to make sure she didn’t spit the pills out. I also threw her some treats. I think it worked, even though she didn’t eat the treats. This is not going to be an easy ride, though. She’s a very smart cat and can’t be outfoxed easily. Catching her is still hard for me, though. I might have to batten down all the hatches so she doesn’t have much elsewhere to go. Nothing for her to run behind or under. Hopefully that will work. I will keep you posted on the progress. Again, thanks so much ~~~

  13. Haven’t been here for a while but needed to catch up on others’ experiences and maybe some advice. It’s been 17 months since my Eloise was diagnosed w/small cell lymphoma after intestinal surgery. With prednisolone (transdermal) and chlorambucile every other day, she has enjoyed life. Sad to say, within those 17 months, she lost her two feline friends, Maxine and Gilda, to cancer that came on quickly and w/o warning. Eloise got over the loss and was acting herself until past month. Her appetite became very poor, and she poops maybe every other day. Mystery is that her all blood levels are excellent, per Vet. Stumped why not eating. Said maybe another ultrsasound to see if anything growing. If there is… I don’t want any more surgeries. Eloise was terrified last time, being away from home 3 nites. Any ideas for appetite stimulant? No more pills for her. Hard enough getting her to swallow the tiny chemo pill. 🙁

    • I’m sorry to hear your kitty is not eating. Mine has a B-cell cancer and we are doing both chemo and alternative Chinese medicine. We drove all the way to Michigan to meet with one of the top oncologists that has been studying Chinese medicine on cancer in dogs and cats. He’s only been on the herbs for 4 weeks so we don’t know if it’s helping yet and this week we had to pause chemo due to low WBC. The thing that helps him eat the best was that she prescribed HempRX a THC free CBD oil. We give him 3 drops in the morning and another 3 in the evening and he’s been eating like a champ. He’s also on 7.5 mg prednisolone two times a day. We also have him on mercola probiotics to help with tummy issues as both chemo and prednisolone is hard on his gut. I also grew some grass from a mixture or organic seed, barley, rye and wheat grass and he chows it. I think it makes his belly feel better plus he has fresh catnip to eat. Occasionally I put home made chicken broth in a syringe and he will lick it down. Good luck!

  14. Update on Bailey Bill and Bcell cancer. 6 weeks ago we started him on Melphalan .57 mg every day for 1 week and then went to every other day. After the first two weeks his platelets shot up to 160,000. He was doing well with his WBC level but his RBC’s have stayed the same with having anemia. On Monday I was devistated to find out his platelets dropped to 115,000 and his wbc fell to below 3000. The oncologist said for me to take a week break to see if it’s Just drug related bone Marrow suppression or if he’s not responding to chemo. This has been the hardest week waiting to see if he gets better from the break or if we have to switch chemo. I just want to see my baby happy again. Has anyone experienced bone marrow suppression with chemo and did taking a break help?

  15. I’d like to give you an update on the Boofy St Marie. When she was first diagnosed I found this site a thread of sanity when when everything seemed to be unraveling. I found comfort in seeing people posting over a period of years about their cats and I hope this helps someone else coming along after us.

    It started with our big fluffy girl losing weight and me thinking it was her teeth. Got a blood work up for the anesthesia and found out the bad news.

    Boofy was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma in November 2015 (aged ~13 1/2 years old) and our vet wasn’t hopeful. We switched vets – there’s no time for negativity and anything short of full-support. Best move EVER.

    New vet – we elected for surgery and full thickness biopsies. A couple of weeks later she developed muscle weakness due to the high levels of prednisolone and that resulted in hernia’s and more surgery.

    Finally we began our chemo journey in April 2016. Here in Aus the protocol is a three week cycle, 2 Chlorambucil for four days, blood test around day 18 and if all is good, start the cycle again on day 22. Prednisolone is given every day.

    She always had very high liver enzymes – 100X normal. This persisted for nearly 6 months. We tried some liver tonics with little result and in August of 2016 her levels just plummeted down to 10X normal. In September, they were just in the normal range and at the same time, it was determined she had reached remission.

    She endured all this with grace, purring and snoozing, one very happy cat.

    The blood test in October 2017 (13 months remission) her liver enzymes were up again. Even higher again in November and she also started to go off her food. We scheduled a ultra sound biopsy. Once they had her anesthetized, shaved and on the table they found a very unsatisfactory looking liver (with voids). Any attempt to put a needle in it could result in uncontrolled bleeding. We made the decision to go back in again.

    The vet found 2 very unhealthy looking liver lobes and removed them and took two biopsies from the remaining liver. A quick poke around they said everything else looked and felt ‘good’. My now 15 1/2 year old girl did not bounce back quickly from this surgery (who would after having a third of their liver removed??) The biopsy results were positive for T-cell lymphoma.

    Because it has been more than a year since the last treatment, our vet in consultation with the oncologist have decided we should use the same protocol as last time rather than going directly to ‘rescue’ and IV chemo drugs.

    We’ve at day 8 of our first 21 day cycle. There is a bit more vomiting this time. She likes small meals more often and if it’s too long before feedings she’ll get sick with just a bit of liquid coming up (not frothy, but clear). This of course is most often about half hour before the alarm goes off in the morning 🙂

    She has become even more loving than before. I often get the ‘paw of ownership’ like she always wants to be touching. She sleeps alongside me every night, all night long. Like last time, the oral chemo is a non-event. I’m hoping we can beat this again. If we don’t get a decent result (eating, gaining weight) in a few months time, we can move to the IV chemo rescue protocol.

    We are so happy we decided to pursue chemo and the YEARS we’ve gotten have been wonderful. We’re fighting the good fight again and living and loving every day. Fingers crossed we can hear the sweet word ‘remission’ again one day.

  16. First, thank you to the author of this post and everyone who has commented. It’s provided me with so much information, hope and courage. My 14 year old, loving, kitty Jada has been diagnosed lymphoma of the colon via an ultrasound and biopsy. We are awaiting the pathology results and have will speak to the oncologist on Tuesday. Our primary goal is quality of life for Jada regardless her time left. The posts about chemotherapy have been encouraging. We have her on pred now. She’s not eating much or drinking but I gave her a catnip toy that verify all of the life back into her for a few minutes and was then able to get her to eat a handful of treats. Thank you everyone who’s contributed and provided words of support and comfort to others in a heartbreaking situation. It’s helped me as I know it’s helped many others. Lots of love to all of you loving cat parents and your fur babies here and in heaven. ❤️

  17. My 7 year old cat has lymphoma tumor at the back of his throat, it’s blocking most of one nostril opening and part of the other. He got steroid shots before the endoscopy that worked for 2 months, then 2 weeks. I started him on oral prednisone last week – and it’s not helping at all. I just got the lomustine in the mail. He’s a bit miserable now and I’m just reluctant to put him through three days of feeling even worse for the long shot of remission. This thing grew fast and if it’s a matter of buying him 6 months or even a year I don’t know that it’s worth it. My question is – will his ability to swallow improve by taking the lomustine? will he get relief from it? Any advice?

    • Where / or thru whom did you get the Lomustine? CCNU protocol…? My cat has had his second treatment of same over 6 weeks. Blood work OK but tumor has not gone away, in fact getting bigger…. switching to vincristine now …

  18. I’m so glad I found this thread. I’ve just learned that my boy has nodules on his lungs from metastatic cancer. I’m taking him to specialist clinic tomorrow to find out more. My regular vet has said that steroids are not an option because he has feline herpes and is already prone to flare-ups.

    Here’s the thing: My boy is 16-17, maybe older (he was rescued from the streets). That is already quite old for a cat, and death at that age is perfectly natural. So I’m thinking that remission is not a realistic expectation, and that any treatments should be focused on giving him the most comfortable remaining time and a gentle passing. Do they do chemo for that? Does anyone have any experience with it?

    • My sweet boy also was just diagnosed with lung cancer. Surgery isn’t an option because there are multiple growths, but i have chosen to pursue chemotherapy for him because he is not displaying symptoms and is otherwise healthy. I hope the chemo will keep the tumors from growing which will keep him comfortable for as long as possible. Good luck with your kitty. <3

  19. Hi all, many thanks Ingrid, this is the best open source of information and support out there I’ve found, reading through other’s experiences.

    My mate, Floyd, long haired black & white 9.5 year old has an appointment tomorrow with oncologist. A few months ago he started vomiting (more frequently than the occasional hairball) and lost a bit of weight. I figured this was due to the recent diet change to control his weight. Floyd’s always been a bit large 6.5 kg (14 lbs). Vet checkup at this time he was in good health, I asked for a blood test for peace of mind and results were all good.

    The vomiting abated and returned several weeks later. A visit to a different vet clinic led to an ultrasound, as this vet was concerned about the feel of Floyd’s small intestine. U/S showed inflamed small intestine walls at 4.2mm thickness (normal is around 3mm) and enlarged lymph nodes. The next step, of course, was to determine the cause. IBD or lymphoma? I opted for the quickest and most effective method being exploratory abdominal surgery to gather tissue samples for biopsy. The initial pathology tests gave us a diagnosis of a mast cell tumor. Not common in cats, more so in dogs. This was devastating news for me and in the same phone conversation, my vet suggested euthanasia or specialist cancer clinic. I asked the vet to pursue treatment options and next day he contacted oncologist. While still poor prognosis, the oncologist said they’ve had good results with similar cases. I made the appointment, all the while wrestling with the ethical issues and trying to decide on what’s best for Floyd’s quality of life. He’s had a hard enough time recovering from the gastrointestinal surgery. In the meantime, my vet received further results from pathology, leaning more towards lymphoma. Great news, comparatively, but they can’t tell if it’s small cell or large cell lymphoma. At this stage, Floyd’s been on a daily dose of prednisolone for 6 days and he’s eating well, no vomiting. All the info has been forwarded to the oncologist and we will meet tomorrow.

    At the moment, my vet feels that there’s enough information for the oncologist to make a proper diagnosis without putting Floyd through any more tests. Hopefully it’s a “typical” diagnosis and chemo can begin asap.

    Positive thoughts and prayers appreciated.

    • Hope Floyd is doing better with chemo .
      Our girl Mimi is diagnosed with lymphoma an monthl ago and undergoing chemo . But she continues to have fever and poor appetite . Hospitalized twice .
      Doing all we can .
      Praying for Flyod with his chemo and enjoy a heathy life .

  20. Pepper was diagnosed with cutaneous lymphoma, an unusual cancer for cats in early August. We started him right away on Prednisolone and Loumustine which seemed to be working at first. Alas, that is no longer the case. The tumor on his foot is growing, and he is also throwing up a lot (likely a chemo side effect as his ultrasound was clear). I have an appointment next week to see about radiation. The tumor on his foot is an issue for quality of life as he likes to be outside, and does not do well with the cone. Surgery is not an option due to the location of the tumor, but radiation will probably be very expensive, with additional travel times to the cancer center. We can change the chemo to injectable to avoid his hurling, but that means weekly, all day long visits to the vet. I am considering maybe going a holistic way, alongside the chemo? I am changing his food to grain free, with a bit of omega-3 thrown in, and will start giving him Essiac tea. Has anyone else done well with a holistic regiment?

    • Hi Ilka,

      I am currently waiting on biopsy test results for my kitty. I too am interested in holistic treatment. If I’m able to get any information I will share it here.

      • Hi there. My two 17&19yo bff boy maine coon rescues decided to get different cancers at the same time this spring. One has lymphoma, the other has bladder cancer. Chemo was tolerated well by the 19yo but not at all by the 17yo, so I had no choice but to experiment holistically on him since he still looked quite good and was enjoying life.
        I’ve done in person and phone consults with more than 5 natural vets. Cancer can become resistant to drugs so one thing might work for a bit, then you have to mix it up.
        So far, I feel I’ve gotten the best results from artemisinin with butyrex as per the UW cancer research guidelines outlined by Path with Paws and Dr. Silver on his www. I also see them responding well to wheat grass and barley grass powder in food (<1/8tsp BID). If they like it. But my rule is more important the animal eats than I force them to eat bad tasting supplements. I take the supps out if anything bothers them. I gelcap the important stuff like artemisinin – it tastes AWFUL so never put that in their food. Also, Biopreparation F3+ is harmless and helpful.
        RxVitamins for Pets makes the best CBD hemp for pets. I give that which also helps with nausea, pain, appetite. Some cats don't agree with it, so watch carefully.
        Cerenia is not holistic but they feel good on it so I do it when vets say to. I see no side effects.
        Curcuvet is also great and mine eat it in food.
        B12 shots can help with appetite.
        Probiotics can support whatever they've got going on. I like Bacillus Coagulans and Vetriscience unflavored caps.
        Two of my vets suggested Orenda Ultimate Immune.
        Lastly, I have 2 vets to do TCM and they picked some things specific to my guys which you could see if anyone local does that.

        I would absolutely clear anything with your vet to rule out contraindications for your specific animal before starting.
        My rule is to only try things that the only risk factor is nothing happens, vs harming them. I wish I had never tried chemo, to be honest. Whatever benefits were outweighed by the side effects in retrospect, but my guys are pretty old and both hate the car and vets. One fared better than the other until mitoxantrone and his kidney values quadrupled.
        If I could go back in time, I'd start artemsinin right away.
        My lymphoma guy started playing again, way more active, eating better, and stayed that way for 4+ months. Vets said he's my miracle cat. His lymphoma is large cell and in 3 organs and he's now in month 6 with no chemo, not losing any weight. He's got diseases in every major system aside from neuro.
        My 19yo bladder boy seems to be rebounding off chemo, but I'm not too optimistic as his lab values are terrible and he keeps peeing pink pee from his tumor. He's been tested for UTI. He's on month #10 but TCC is a slower cancer than lymphoma.
        I try to reduce home stress and do what they love at this point so their final days are as fun as possible. Constipation is a daily thing to monitor as it seems to be the one thing that hurts them most.
        Best wishes!

  21. I just wanted to post a quick note for all those that worry about the stress of transportation. My Pepper was extremely nervous, not just on the ride, but also at the vet office. Our vet prescribed Trazodone which I give to him about an hour before. It works like a charm, he is cool as a cucumber.

  22. My 9 y.o. Flopsey was diagnosed in October with gastrointestinal lymphoma. He was treated for about 6 weeks for colitis due to the symptoms he was having (mucousy diarrhea). We went through a course of Clavamox, Metronidazole and Tylan before the doctor suggested an U/S and biopsy which would confirm either IBD or Lymphoma. Unfortunately, it was lymphoma. Adding to the mix is the fact that he is diabetic.
    After meeting with the oncologist, we decided to do chemo. He just had his third round on Friday. He seems to be tolerating it well, but he does have better days than others. It gets a little hard because he loved to eat, he was a fatty at 13 lbs; he now weights 10.9. I know he has the desire to eat, but the Dr. likened it to feeling full all the time which is why his appetite isn’t great. She says he’s heading in the right direction, that the tumors and shrinking and that in a few weeks he should be feeling more like his old self. It’s what I’m hoping for.
    What tips can anyone give on making food more appealing? It seems what he likes for one or two days can’t stoke his interest on the third day. I have read that some drugs, like Cytoxan, can alter taste. He really seems to like snacks, I mean who doesn’t, but those aren’t great for him because of his diabetes. That and that fact that he’s on prednisone makes for a difficult time of trying to figure out insulin doses. He’s been getting 3 units twice a day for 4 years. Now it’s half doses when he doesn’t eat, full doses at other times. He’s also on Pepcid 5 mg twice a day to help with the nausea. It’s new territory for all of us.
    Thank you for listening and I appreciate any input anyone can give. Thank you.

    • My cat was diagnosed in February with large cell lymphoma. I did steroid and holistic. He developed diabetes from the steroids. I have chosen holistic and we started pulse dosing leukeran. I am also using Xanax as appetite stimulant. That has been a miracle for us. He is maintaining his weight. Drs. Are amazed he is still here but I am so thankful for every day.

      • Hi Lori, can you share what you did holistically? I am interested in this approach as well. We’re meeting with an oncologist next week for the first time and I’m hoping he is open to this method of treatment.
        Thank you.

        • Hi, I am interested in the pulse dosing Leukeran. Can you share more about this also? My 12 year old has small T cell Lymphoma and next week is her last and 7th week of chemo. She hardly eats and all she does is sleep. She is down to 5.5 pounds while she was never a big cat, this is really scary for me to see her like this. We are trying to decide next steps after a 2 week rest from all the chemo. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Sharon,

      Our internist vet recommended Entyce (which is newer) and mirtazapine for my kitty with large cell abdominal lymphoma. Both stimulate appetite. I haven’t tried either yet as I was able to get her to eat by switching foods. I know mirtazipine has some side effects, such as loopiness, but your vet may have more insights.
      Good luck. 🙂

    • Hi Sharon,

      Our internist vet recommended Entyce (which is newer) and mirtazapine for my kitty with large cell abdominal lymphoma. Both stimulate appetite. I haven’t tried either yet as I was able to get her to eat by switching foods. I know mirtazipine has some side effects, such as loopiness, but your vet may have more insights.
      Good luck. 🙂

      • Crumbling freeze dried meats on top, FortiFlora,immersion blending pate canned food to baby food consistency, pumpkin if they like it, taking out any bad tasting supplements, warming it slightly, putting it on a spoon or your finger sometimes works, trying cerenia if you cat’s not already on it. Changing foods, or mixing in a/d. I also like RxVitamins Hemp for pets, medical cat weed but mine don’t like the taste, so I put it in gelcaps with their other meds so I minimize the times I’m putting things in their mouths.

  23. Jeff, I hope you see this. The thread is so long I have lost track of it all. Please feel to contact me somehow. Can you be more specific about the lymphoma? I know it was explained it was the fastest moving.

    The reason I ask is my Lily, who was 12 at the time, was diagnosed with large cell multicentric lymphoma. It is also fast growing. My daughter implored that she couldn’t just watch her die, and that she at least wanted to try. Chemo for cats isn’t the same as human chemo. First round Lily didn’t eat for three days. I panicked that we had made the wrong decision. They adjusted the second round and she ate soon after that dosing. (We chose a slightly less aggressive course. It still had two of the three medicines, and I wish I could tell you which. It’s been awhile.) The only issue we had was having to switch her food every round! She would get so picky. 🙂 The chemo had started in November. She achieved partial remission in December 2013 and full remission in January. The vet hospital was amazed at her progress. She was the miracle kitty. Apparently, most people don’t take this route. Mostly with dogs. So they had no statistics on its effectiveness really. They were thinking it wouldn’t last and she would take a dive again (which can happen, I’m not going to lie to you.) She finished her rounds in March 2014, still in full remission.

    Flash forward. It’s 2017. Lily is still with us and hasn’t shown any signs of the lymphoma returning after four years. She is 16, and spry and frisky. I thank God every day that we tried.

    • That’s amazing – good for you!! I wish my guy had tolerated chemo for his GI spleen and liver large cell lymphoma, but it almost killed him, so we are just doing artemisinin and other holistic things. We’ve had a great 6 months but he’s not feeling as good now. Liver isn’t happy. Congrats to you, though! Good to hear a full remission like that.

  24. My baby siamese kitten, just one year old has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. She has a mass in her chest that is 5cm by 3cm. Her prognosis is very poor. I have been given the option of steroids only, multidrug chemotherapy (once a week) or single agent chemotherapy (once every 3 weeks). I don’t think the multi drug chemotherapy is a good option for her as she gets so stressed about leaving the house, so im thinking of opting for the single agent chemotherapy. Has anyone else opted for this and did it impact your cats quality of life much? As you can imagine I am totally devastated
    :((((((((

    • My sweet boy, Oliver, is 7 years old. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in the tissue surrounding his eyes in June. It was high grade, very aggressive and the cancer cells had completely grown over his eyes. I started him on the Lomustine every three weeks. He responded well at first, but the cells did not shrink enough to be able to take his safety collar off (he would scratch his eyes and the tissue would bleed). The second treatment shrunk the cells even more, but still not enough to take that collar off.. All Icould think was “am I doing the right thing.. he really couldn’t even do much because of the collar and even had to be monitored to eat while it was off.. I felt selfish and doubted his quality of life” … but I decided to give him one more treatment.. it shrunk enough to take the collar off!! My happy cat was back (being able to jump and play). He is now two weeks into his fourth treatment and I can see his beautiful eyes again! The only struggle right now is some weight loss, which I am looking into supplements for. Over, this is truly helping my Oliver.

  25. Hi everyone – first time posting here. Looking for some advice please. Our cat is 6 years old and over the last week he has been diagnosed with Lymphoma, the worse type out of the two types. Oncologist is saying that with chemo we should be able to give him another 6 months or so (on average), but then the cancer will come back and there will be nothing we can do.

    For this type of cancer the chemo will consist of a weekly injection (not just a normal injection, one via a ‘line’) and blood tests, then eventually might move to two-weekly.

    If we don’t give him chemo he will pass away within 3-4 weeks.

    Money is not an issue as he is fully insured. My worry is that is it fair to take him to the animal hospital (30 mins each way) every week and put him through all these injections and stresses? He is generally OK with being at the vets although he hates being in the car.

    Essentially we have a choice between one month or six months and I just don’t know if taking the six month option is selfish on our part because we don’t want to lose him.

    How do you make this decision?

    • So sorry you and your kitty is having to deal with this. It is never an easy decision.

      One thought is that if there is a mobile vet in your area that could give the injections, that might make things a little less stressful on everyone.

      In March of this year, our 5-year-old kitty, Poppy, was diagnosed with FELV and we tried the T-Cyte treatments. She seemed to respond well at first but then we found out that she also had lymphoma and the docs said with chemo she might have one more year. Her quality of life was going downhill fast so we had to let her go.

      Although we didn’t want to stop treatment, in the end we had to make the decision that was best for her. It still hurts.

      • Hi Carolyn,

        Thank you so much for your thoughts. I am sorry about your Poppy – terrible thing. I just said to my wife a moment ago, that maybe this happens to us because we are the ones who will give him the best care when he needs it most.

        Since my last post we just found out he has lung cancer as well (previously they only scanned the kidneys – today they scanned the chest just in case).

        Our options are steriods which may last 2-3 months, in some cases 4-5 months. Or Chemo which may give him up to 6 months but could just as easily be 3 months too, all depending on how he reacts to it.

        I am leaning towards no chemo… since the timelines could be very similar in either case, with steroids he will never have to leave the home again, will never be in any pain and we won’t risk breaking our bond. I can’t stand the thought of putting him through all the chemo just to try and get an extra 1-2 months for him, of which there is no guarantee. If we had longer timelines it would be different… i.e. steroids up to 4 months, chemo up to 18 months that would be a no brainer.

        Am I making a good decision, or just selling it to myself?

        About Kitty – we lost our fist cat 6 years ago and it still hurts today, but no-where near as much. I had a good cry about a year later and then just felt happy about his memories since then. March is still very raw for you – it’ll come.

        • I know first hand how hard it was to hear about the lung cancer diagnosis, as if lymphoma alone wasn’t bad enough.

          With Poppy we thought we had a slim chance with the T-Cyte treatment for the FELV, but then along came the lymphoma diagnosis and that was it. She was not able to fight both.

          It sounds like the steroid treatment is be the best solution for your boy, and probably for your family also. Knowing that he isn’t in pain and is able to stay at home with the family should be comforting to all.

          As you already know, no matter what you decide, it will be hard.

          I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t get so attached to my ‘fur babies’ but I guess we all do that.

          Take care

        • I don’t mean to keep posting the same thing over and over again. But I keep ending up in the wrong thread, and I’m not sure Jeff is seeing my response.

          I hope you see this. The thread is so long I have lost track of it all. Please feel to contact me somehow. Can you be more specific about the lymphoma? I know it was explained it was the fastest moving.

          The reason I ask is my Lily, who was 12 at the time, was diagnosed with large cell multicentric lymphoma. It is also fast growing. My daughter implored that she couldn’t just watch her die, and that she at least wanted to try. Chemo for cats isn’t the same as human chemo. First round Lily didn’t eat for three days. I panicked that we had made the wrong decision. They adjusted the second round and she ate soon after that dosing. (We chose a slightly less aggressive course. It still had two of the three medicines, and I wish I could tell you which. It’s been awhile.) The only issue we had was having to switch her food every round! She would get so picky. The chemo had started in November. She achieved partial remission in December 2013 and full remission in January. The vet hospital was amazed at her progress. She was the miracle kitty. Apparently, most people don’t take this route. Mostly with dogs. So they had no statistics on its effectiveness really. They were thinking it wouldn’t last and she would take a dive again (which can happen, I’m not going to lie to you.) She finished her rounds in March 2014, still in full remission.

          Flash forward. It’s 2017. Lily is still with us and hasn’t shown any signs of the lymphoma returning after four years. She is 16, and spry and frisky. I thank God every day that we tried.

        • Jeff, I am so sorry about the additional diagnosis. I did not see that post until after I posted mine. Now I feel insensitive. I know you’ll make the right decision.

          Wendy

          • Hi Wendy,

            Thank you for your posts. No worries – I know you are just trying to help and coming from a good place.

            After the additional diagnosis and a second opinion with our local vet we decided against Chemo and are going with Steroids. There will always be Ifs and Buts whichever way you go, we just have to hope we made the right call for Axel and make sure he has the best quality of life until the end from now.

            All the best to you and your animals.

            Jeff

    • Hi Jeff, so sorry to have to make your acquaintance under these circumstances.

      Just a few thoughts –

      Have you sought a second opinion from an oncologist / specialist? Here in Aus there seems to be different drugs and regimes based on the specialist. You may get a different opinion or you may get confirmation. Either way it may help you to make a decision.

      Second – my cat ‘hates’ the car. Hides when she sees the cage, howls and pants…but I’m always forgiven quickly afterwards. Generally cats dislike riding, but is it really hate or just the normal stress like other cats?

      Chemo is generally better tolerated by cats than humans. Be sure in your mind that you know that and aren’t assuming the human experience will happen to your cat. Having said that – the IV chemo can have some diabolical side effects. Know what they are and how they manifest and decide if / when you will discontinue if they happen.

      You can always start chemo and if it doesn’t show benefits, your cat doesn’t tolerate it or the car rides are too much, you can then drop back to just steroids.

      I didn’t take my first vets diagnosis and found a second opinion which included chemo, was closer to home saving on the howling rides and had more modern equipment and labs. My girl Boofy had a different more treatable cancer than yours but the second opinion saved her life.

      No one knows your cat better than you, and it’s a fair question if a possible couple of extra weeks or months are worth it. Just having been here on the boards for nearly 2 years and my personal experience with feline oral chemo, I’ve found that if there are no side effects during treatment, then cats tend to have a period of being their same old self and stay that way until a fairly quick downhill at the end. They don’t linger suffering. This is a generalization and there are counter examples – I wish you the best of luck and enjoy lots of love and purring.

    • She would get so picky. The chemo had started in November. She achieved partial remission in December 2013 and full remission in January. The vet hospital was amazed at her progress. She was the miracle kitty. Apparently, most people don’t take this route. Mostly with dogs. So they had no statistics on its effectiveness really. They were thinking it wouldn’t last and she would take a dive again (which can happen, I’m not going to lie to you.) She finished her rounds in March 2014, still in full remission.

      Flash forward. It’s 2017. Lily is still with us and hasn’t shown any signs of the lymphoma returning after four years. She is 16, and spry and frisky. I thank God every day that we tried.

  26. My 11 year old Maine Coon was diagnosed with lymphoma. It was 2cm by the time the vet saw the tumor, but I had him in the vets office 10 days before and he showed no signs. He has had GI issues since birth and always on medication to control loose, smelly stools. We did decide to try chemo, and since I have had sarcoma, I was especially concerned. We do have other pets, but the oncologist indicated they would be safe. I did not let him lick me, and every time I touched him or fed him I would run and wash my hands. I don’t want to treat him differently as I read the key to success is a loving nurturing relationship. Has anyone been through this, and could comment?

    • I’m so sorry to hear that your baby has lymphoma. On April 20, 2017, I lost my baby Hunter to the same thing. He kept on throwing up, so in January of this year, I took him to the regular vets and had everything looked at, but nothing showed up. My vet suggested I take him to a specialist for an ultrasound, which is where the lymphoma was detected. That was on February 18, 2017. Luckily I had pet insurance (Trupanion-they’re awesome), so I decided to fight it with everything we could. The oncologist tried about 6 or 7 different types of chemo (you have to keep changing the meds because it becomes resistant to the same treatment). Unfortunately, it didn’t work. My baby Hunter was 12 years old when he died. But I say if you can afford it, TRY EVERYTHING YOU CAN because the alternative is death. I will pray for you – best of luck!!

    • Oh, Cathy, I know what you’re going thru, and I’m still at it, almost 1 year since my Eloise’s surgery (tumor/lymphoma). So far, her treatment of chemo (chlorambucile every 48 hours) and prednisolone transdermal (ear tip) have kept her going and acting herself. Good days when she eats a lot and is active, the bad days when she is just moody. Bloodwork every 5-6 weeks to monitor… takes its toll on me, but not Eloise, so we keep going. As for running to wash my hands… I gave that up many months ago. I had family members with cancer and I gave them many, many hugs before, during and after treatments. Ditto my Eloise. Don’t be afraid to touch her. Do wear gloves when giving meds, but don’t be overly concerned unless your own immune systems isn’t strong. All the best. The fight is worth it.

      • Hi All, My Cat Mia has suspected Lymphoma, most likely small cell type. A background, Mia is at least 7.5 years old and I have had her for nearly two years. She is a precious part of my household and she belongs here, if you know what I mean. I noticed from the start that she had soft, squishy and smelly stool (November 2015). I went online to read about that and found posts indicating this might be a sensitive stomach and the recommendation was switching to a diet. I did that and it did seem to make things better. Otherwise she was a happy and affectionate cat, very much the one to wake everyone up in the middle of the night to get her share of attention as needed. She always had a healthy appetite and even got a little chubby. In about May of 2017 we noticed she seemed thinner and I brought her to the VET in June. Some bloodwork, ultrasound and aspirates came back showing problems but nothing definitive – suspected IBD or Lymphoma was top of the list. Her local Vet suggested an internist that I met with in late July. He also ran some blood work, aspirate and ultrasound and said he felt it was likely to be intestinal small cell lymphoma but he said the only way to find out was to get a biopsy that would cost about $5,000.00. At that point my cat was painfully thin and not eating much at all, and was starting to vomit daily as well. He said that even though we did not do the biopsy, we could try her on prednisone (once a day for 2 weeks to start) and chlorambucil (three times a week to start). Otherwise because she was no longer able to eat she would be gone with a two weeks or so. I decided try that and got the prednisone first. It seemed by the next day my cat felt better, and for the next three days she got better and better. Started eating a lot, no vomiting, started seeking attention, more purring, etc. On the 4th day I got the chlorambucil and gave it to her. By Sunday I noticed when I found her sleeping she was drooling a bit which I had never seen before. As that day wore on I noticed she was not eating as much and was sleeping more and was sneezing occasionally and that trend continued in to Monday. I gave her the second dose of chlorambucil on Monday. Tuesday was more of the same. Today – Wednesday – she was due for another dose of chlorambucil however she vomited this morning and has not eaten much all day so I called the Internist and he said to hold off on giving her any more until we have our check in tomorrow. She still likes it when I pet her, but there is no purring. She still likes to go outside and sit on the deck to watch birds, but is very lethargic. Not sure if there is a secondary infection going on, a reaction to the chlorambucil or to the prednisone or if she is just too sick. I think I will give her one more dose of prednisone tonight because she seemed to do so well when she was just on that, but then wait and see what the Vet says tomorrow. it is all so complicated and yes distressing and expensive. I would put her before money if I really felt she could be saved and like everyone else I don’t want her to suffer, I want this to be for HER and not for me. When I adopted her from my local Humane society back in 2015 I was told that her previous owners gave her up because she wanted too much attention and that they had found her stray 5 years before that. So I feel like she was just really wanted until she came to this house. Here she is wanted and has her place. She used to push right past my beloved and needy dog to get to me, quite a brave little girl. This is so sad. If anyone has any insights please let me know… Blessings to All.

        • My Ben had the same symptoms. He was diagnosed with Stomach cancer. He was treated with Chemo for 1 year and is still going strong. Its been 11 months since his last chemo and still looks good. If I would you, I would find a new Vet Oncologist. Someone who specializes in cancer in pets. Also, I don’t know where you live, but the 5k fee for biopsy was really high. Prednesone is only a very temporary solution to help with nausea to get kitty eating again.

          • Nora,
            Our experience was positive as well. I find vet schools are great places for care, as well. They enjoy the learning, the research side of it, the positive feedback. Don’t get discouraged, Kathy. (Don’t know exactly where things are right now. These threads are a mess.) My Lily
            is still frisky four years after her diagnosis at 12.

          • Wow!! Wendy, what a fantastic result. I hope my Ben stays well for a long time. Your story gives me hope.

      • Sounds like your kitty might be having some side effects of chlorambucil. My dvm oncologists both seemed to say that the full surgical biopsy was not totally conclusive like the fine needle aspirate for my guy. So I did not do it.
        Also some cats can get congestive heart failure on pred so not s bad idea to observe their breathing and ask your vet if they’ve checked for that. Mine stopped purring on pred and he was one of the rare ones to get congestive heart failure so we tapered the pred right away. That was 6 weeks ago and he’s had terrible reactions to every chemo drug so we decided to let him be and just do all the natural things I can. Curcuvet stopped his vomiting so I’m going to keep him on that, along with a big list of supplements as long as he’s tolerating them in his food. Best wishes!

        • (Apparently all that happened to my sweet big guy is incredibly rare but I like to ask questions at the vet. Not trying to scare anyone. )

          • My girl Boofy (small cell lymphoma) is now 1 year after treatment with Chlorambucill ended and blood test was all clear. Treatment was 10 months so she’s nearly two years post-diagnosis. She did have a bad reaction to prednisolone at high doses and her belly muscles separated and wound up with a hernia less than two weeks after the exploratory surgery. We weaned off as quickly as possible and she’s now on half a tab a day. I was so worried about the effects of the chemo drug I was taken by surprise by the steroid reaction. Best of luck everyone and keep fighting the good fight.

    • I am new to this site but my boy Eddie is not even 4 years old yet and is having chemotherapy. I worry every day that he is in pain. His kidneys were very swollen but have gone down since starting treatment as has the tumor. My main worry is he has lost his purrs! He used to purr very loudly and all the time and now it is minimal and quiet. I miss my fussy purr boy and just hope we are doing the right thing by him.

      • My lil’ Eddie Vedder is 6 yrs old and was diagnosed with gastric lymphosaroma on 4/4/17. The tumor was in his stomach lining and was the size of a grapefruit. He’s had 10 rounds of chemo and since his last. He had full ultrasound Saturday and it revealed the tumor is completely gone but the cancer spread to his lymph nodes. He too doesn’t purr like he used to and has been pretty quiet. I too wonder if I am doing the right thing for him. It’s so heartbreaking and stressful. Hugs

        • I have just found this site and while it gave me a good cry it also warmed my heart to hear about all the love that is there for those lucky cats. My sweet companion Caley, 13 years old, had an ultrasound on Friday and she has an enlarged spleen and thickened bowel. I am waiting to hear the results from her needle aspirate. I am fortunate to live near some of the best feline oncologists but I am wanting to find that balance between keeping her alive and giving her a good quality of life. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experience. It has made me hopeful that she will be eith me for a while yet.

  27. Has anyone had the experience of having a kitty be diagnosed first with feline leukemia and then lymphoma?

    On March 1, I had started my 5-year-old kitty, Poppy, on the t-Cyte treatment for the FELV, only to have the lymphoma diagnosis this week. She was actually starting to show some slight improvement and then everything turned. That’s when we got the second diagnosis. That was the second punch in the stomach.

    I just don’t see how she can tolerate having both issues handled. One vet says that with chemo for the lymphoma, she might have a year. At the same time, what it going on with the FELV?

    Right now she is alert and loves to sit in the sun on the back patio. The down side is that I cannot get her to eat anything, even her favorite treats. i have not yet come to terms with having to put her down, although I am seeing that getting closer and closer.

    • Fist, I am SO sorry to hear about your baby. I know just what you are going through. My baby (12 yr. old cat) was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He’s been on a multi-drug treatment since February and is doing better. He’s not eating like he used to, but still eating. And yes, I tried to feed him everything and anything he will eat. In addition to cat food, he’s liked turkey breast, steamed shrimp (I tried without the spice, but he likes it cooked with the old bay and then I rinsed off), chicken breast, tuna fish, etc. Just keep trying different things. Also, in addition to several other drugs, he takes Mitazapine here and there (they say only give it to him no more than every 3 days and only if he’s not eating). This is an appetite stimulant that was prescribed by the Oncologist. Thank God I got pet insurance from Trupanion because I would never been able to afford this. The chemotherapy is a 26 week protocol and costs about $16k. Good luck to you and keep us all posted!

    • Christopher, I am also blaming myself for not noticing anything in my sweet Maxine until she started vomiting every day. She was hungry and ate, but would lose some of it. Upped her scheduled checkup sooner for diagnosis, and they found cancer after many tests. Why didn’t I know it sooner? Now working with an oncologist to decide chemo therapy. 2 options given. Which do I choose? Can anyone help with decision between COP Feline therapy and Modified Wisconsin? Her regular vet has her on Prednisone, Mirtazapine, and Leukeran for now until another therapy is started. I have been reading all I can, but just don’t know which will be best. Just wanting to make her comfy, not prolong life. Thanks for any advice.

      • Hi Amy, I’m so sorry to hear about Maxine’s diagnosis. My baby Hunter was diagnosed with Lymphoma in January. I wrote on this blog before (I’m Kim Klein). Anyway, I decided to do whatever the oncologists suggested. My baby went through chemo, along with Cerenia (totally stopped the vomiting), prednisone and pepcid. We tried some appetite stimulants, but he acted real weird on Mitazapine, so he only had it once. He had his good days and his bad days, but ultimately kept going downhill. Unfortunately, we lost our battle this past Thursday, April 20th. I’m not sorry I did all of those things because it gave us hope with a possibility of remission. There is no replacing our little sweet Hunter. Do as much as you can to save her. Listen to the specialist and see how she reacts. Good luck to you, Mazine is in our prayers.

        • Hi Kim,

          So sorry about Hunter. I can completely identify with how you feel. Sunday, Apr 23 was the one month date of the loss of my Poppy. She was diagnosed with feline leukemia and we were trying out a new vaccine that had worked for others. Then along came the lymphoma diagnosis. That was too much for her to fight so we had to let her go. Not a single day has gone by since that I have not thought about her and I get teary-eyed every time.

          I know it will get easier but I have a feeling it’s going to take a long time.

          • Thanks for your condolences. Poor little Poppy, had FIV, then Lymphoma. She was so young! Know that you did the best you could have and that you were able to let her go peacefully and not suffer. Yeah, it hurts like hell! Do you have any other babies? We are down to 8 (we had rescued a whole colony 14 years ago).

          • Thank you, Kim. Wow, you have quite a handful. Funny how even when there are others in the house, the loss of one can hurt so much.

            We have two other kitties, both older than Poppy. Now, every time one of them sneezes, I want to run to the vet.

            Poppy’s vet has called me to see if we want to foster one or two kittens. I Don’t know if I’m ‘foster mom’ material. I’m afraid I would not want to give them up once I had them with me. We’ll see.

        • Sorry for the loss of your sweet babies!! I too lost my beautiful Sundance on April 21. I tried all that I could. He fought valiantly with lymphoma, kidney issues and a heart problems!! I miss him everyday!! I know that they are all our beautiful kitties are playing in animal heaven!! l

    • Anyone have advice on treating your cat with oral chemo while trying to conceive or pregnant? They’re telling me it’s low risk if we’re using gloves and mask to clean up her litter, but I can’t get good advice from my on/gyn.

      Poor M the kitty is 12 and has lymphoma in the small intestine. It’s advanced but slow growing. She’s responding well to the prednisone and cerenia. I want to treat her-not ready to say goodbye yet–but am obviously concerned about having a cancer drug around while we’re trying to get pregnant. I don’t know what to do.

      • Your veterinary oncologist is the expert on this and if he/she is telling you that it’s low risk, I’d trust that advice. Unfortunately, ob/gyn’s tend to be ill-informed when it comes to advising patients with pets. Sme are still telling their patients they should get rid of their cats when they’re pregnant! You may want to have someone else in your household administer the pills and do litter box duties if you’re worried.

      • We did oral chemo for my cat Boofy and my first career was Health Physicist / Radiation Protection which if you think about it is all about contamination control. If you use protection it IS low risk.

        I have no idea what protocol they’re recommending for you. Here in Australia it tends to be 2 Leukeran pills for a period of 4/5 days and three weeks off. That means the chemical is in her system from about a day after she starts to nearly a week after the last pill is administered. This is called the biological half-life – you can ask your vet for the timing for the drug and dosage being used. During that time I used gloves and a ‘special’ litterbox that was thoroughly washed with LOTS of running water (dilution is the solution).

        Many of the posters here are in another country to me where the protocol is very different and their pets are probably ‘shedding’ the chemical all the time they’re being treated because of the aforementioned biological half life. Talk to your vet oncologist, they may be comfortable with the same sort of dosing regime which gives you more time without the chemical being around the house.

        Use good gloves when handling M’s bodily fluids. This includes opening her mouth to administer the pills as well as cleaning up any messes, vomiting and litter boxes. I used a pilling plunger and kept that in a tall glass jar so it didn’t contaminate any surfaces.

        I’ve not heard of using a mask for changing litter but more is better and that’s more protective then I would have suggested or recommended. Go with it.

        We didn’t let Boofy sleep with us whilst she was taking and shedding the drug. We set up a nice bed for her in a spare room. I used old sheets for her to sleep on and changed them out regularly and washed them on the long cycle. I keep these sheets segregated from family sheets.

        Avoid petting and cuddling especially when M’s just finished grooming and no licking or biting! Might be time to purchase one of those rubber grooming gloves so M still gets the personal interaction and affection from you during this difficult time.

        An OB/GYN is probably not going to give you advice other than avoid anything to do with drugs or radiation that effect rapidly dividing cells. It’s a question of risk. Nothing in life is without risk and using protection during this time reduces the risk. The more thorough you are, the lower the risk. As Ingrid has also advised – might be time to recruit family members to do some of the exposure work for you.

        I wish you and M the very best. Chemo has been a god-send for us and we’re more than a year out and Boofy is still in remission. There were almost NO side effects whilst she was on Leukeran and no changes in personality. I would always always from now on try chemo before making ‘other’ decisions.

  28. Need comments / insight on what to expect please! My Eloise – almost 8 month mark since surgery/small cell lymphoma diagnosis – showed symptom this morning I haven’t seen since before diagnosis. She vomited immediately after eating her dry food and then strained/growled to poop outside the litter box… produced a hard twisted ‘nugget’, maybe some hair in it, maybe tinged with a spot of ‘pink’ (blood?)… I inspected manually with white tissues. Like I said, haven’t seen this last year before diagnosis. Could this be she’s coming OUTof remission (been on chlorambucile and prednisolone all this time)? Has anyone experienced what the symptoms look like in their kitties when the disease is ‘back’? Going to vet in 4 days for monthly blood work. Bracing myself… 🙁

    • Hi, My beautiful cat Sundance has been diagnosed with Lymphoma. He is also receiving under the skin fluids for poor kidneys (probably do to lymphoma) every day. He is only 6. I’m waiting for the results of a PARR test to confirm. I am so torn on what to do. Do I try chemo or just continue with the prednisolone and give him best quality of life. Right now he is eating well. Scared the chemo, will ruin his appetite. Also, effects of whisker loss.Will it effect his kidneys worse? I love him soooo much and want to do what’s best. Part of me wants to try low dose chemo and see how it goes.
      Already blame myself for not noticing something wrong sooner.
      Please help with advice

      • Don’t blame yourself. Cats are very discreet when it comes to ailments. As for the chemo, I did it for my Eloise and she has so far survived 8 months since surgery and you would have never known she was ill… until just this week. Not sure if she’s coming out of remission. Feeling anxious now because she had been doing so well. Best of luck to you. You’ll make the right decision for your kitty.

      • My baby Hunter also has Lymphoma and thanks to my pet insurance (Trupanion), I am able to get him the best of care. He is going through a multi-drug chemotherapy protocol. It’s only been about 4 weeks, but it seems to be working. The best thing to do is get an Oncologists opinion. He’s the expert, see what he/she thinks. Good luck to you!

    • Good luck Eloise and Jo. This is our first time dealing with cancer and we’re about as far along as you both so can’t give you the insight you’re craving. Please keep us posted, hoping it’s not the big C again.

      • Thanks so much, Dovemck. Good luck to you, too. Blood work in 2 days for us, should get results 3 days later. Hope the dreaded disease isn’t “back” again… will update once I know. (P.S. Eloise made normal poops yesterday and ate well… little things mean so much.)

      • Thank you for asking. Eloise is back to her usual/un-usual self… no more growling outside the litter box, but yesterday she pooped behind the basement door… sign she may not be feeling well (?)… but then she acted normal and ate her dinner. Roller coaster ride. Again, so sorry about Hunter. Such a beautiful name.

        • Yes, DEFINITELY a roller coaster ride of emotions! So, what did the blood work say? Although, the blood work may not show any abnormalities. Are you going back to the Oncologist?

          • Eloise goes for bloodwork every 4-6 weeks, just to monitor. Not doing anything drastic, and I don’t want to change her protocol. She sees our regular vet now, and his theory is to let her enjoy life as much as she can w/o stressing her. For now, we continue with chlorambucil every 48 hrs and prednisolone once a day… buying time.

          • I just experienced that the blood tests for my Hunter didn’t show any problems. My regular vet recommended an ultrasound, so I had to take him to an Oncologist. The ultrasound showed the lymphoma. Do what you think is the best. Hoping for the best for Ms. Eloise 🙂

          • Yes, Eloise had surgery for removal of tumor last summer… lymphoma. I don’t want to put her thru another surgery. Once was enough for my 12 year old girl. I’ll keep her on meds and in my bed every nite for as long as I can.

        • By the way, I named him Hunter because he was a great hunter. As a matter of fact, on April 18th, he caught and ate a mole (without any teeth-had to get them all removed in 2009 because he had stomotitis). He died 2 days later.

          • Hahaha, you’re funny. It’s not that I don’t feel for bunnies and mice, which if given a chance, we would always rescue from our cats and take to the vets that would treat them and send them to a sanctuary, it was just his last hurrah and I wasn’t going to intervene. Thanks goodness I have it on video.

          • My mind says that you’re right, but my heart breaks because I wonder where his soul is. He’s never been away from his mommy and I just wonder if he’s scared or lonely. I know these are earthly feelings, but I can’t help it. This totally sucks! I hate feeling this way 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

          • There is no fear or loneliness there… your kitty is happy… just waiting until he sees you again. Rest easy on that part.

  29. Great website! I wish everyone on here the best with their felines. Does anyone have advice or experience with either:
    1)malignant bladder cancer
    2)Vinblastine infusions
    3) if you start chemo and stop it after 1-2 injections, does it leave them worse off than if you’d never tried it?

    I’m not seeking life extension alone; my dude is 18.5 and looks/acts amazingly but one day last week he had gross hematuria but then back to normal. I’m nervous to start chemo when he looks so good and I don’t understand the probable outcomes well enough. The tumor is inoperable and seems to have spread mildly to the regional lymphs. The risk of the tumor passing a clot that would block his tiny boy cat urethra is my biggest fear. If the chemo will give him a great remainder of his life and stop the risk of tumor bleeding, cool, but if he’s just going to be miserable and still possibly
    get a blockage, no thanks.
    They also avoid cystocentisis in TCC cats bc the tumor can seed easily, but he will not pee in an empty box no matter what or how long he’s got to go. That poses a barrier for UA monitoring which is required for bladder cancer as they often get secondary bladder infections – so much fun! :/

      • It sounds like you need to have a more extensive conversation with your cat’s oncologist so you can understand the prognosis better – I don’t see how you can make a decision without having all the facts. Give your cat’s age, weighing quality of life vs. quantity is so challenging, and a prognosis is only a best guess. You may also want to discuss hospice care as an option. I wish I could give you a better answer – maybe someone else can offer some additional perspectives. All my best to you and your cat.

        • Thanks, Ingrid. He’s been on bimonthly vinblastine infusions which had some nasty side effects mainly at the beginning but has had no hematuria again and is in some ways doing better. He started to play more and groom more in the middle months, but now is doing less playing but is very strong. Who knows how he would’ve done with no treatment. He looks great and the tumors have not grown.

  30. My Kitty bailey has been on oral Chlorambucil (compounded at 2.2 mg tablets) every other day, and oral prednisolone 5 mg tablets daily, with Vit B-12 injections that I give him once a week. He has been on this since Oct and had actually gained from the miserable 7 lbs that he weighed to almost 10 here a month ago. His dose of the medicine was smaller and less frequent when he was smaller of course. He had been acting great like his normal self even noticed his lymph nodes in his intestines had gone down at his last visit. He had been eating Royal Canin HE and Hills Intestinal canned (which I dispise both but hey he gained his 3 lbs eating this). He started to get picky with the food, so I would put freeze dried chicken, or turkey treats on top to get him to eat more. Just recently we did get a cat from the humane society showing sum URI symptoms and now bailey is not doing well. He shows no sign of an URI per his specialist, he just has a high fever, was 105.5 on Tues when at the vet, down to 104.7 that night, it was 104.9 yest am, 103 at the vet yest and before bed, and back t0 105 this am. He has limited appetite despite cerenia and mertazepam to stimulate his appetite. His WBC was 44, much higher than the 26 it was a month ago 🙁 Nothing showing up on urinalysis or other bloodwork. Vet has him on veraflux I fear that the cancer just went from “remission” to no longer responding. Can it happen this quick?? :'(

    • Hi. sorry for whats going on with bailey. It sounds like he has an infection somewhere. is he urinating ok? maybe he has a urinary tract infection. fever and high wbc indicate infection. did the vet collect his urine for a test? Please suggest this to him. I would get a second opinion as well. please keep us updated. make sure u take ur bailey to the vet for a persistent fever. thats dangerous. check his temp frequently.

  31. Hey everyone. Update on my cat who’s got metastatic cancer. She was doing so well all of last week, eating, being more active, even playing with her stuffed toy! I thought things were coming around. Since Sunday, she has not been eating (Its Monday night right now). I took her to the Emergency room Sunday night to get the fluid removed from her abdomen which I thought was the reason why she was not eating. Well fluid is gone and her appetite has not improved today. She has been drinking water, and defecating and urinating today. She is even awake and alert, not lethargic as I would expect a cat who is not eating would be. I noticed her urine is orange (she has been peeing in the tub these past few days, which is color white and that is how I am able to see) but it may be related to the oral chemo medication thats also orange. I’m not sure if this is a new occurrence or has been happening. point is, I’m afraid something else is up. Is she reaching her end of life? She just seems so alert and awake. I’m overwhelmed with emotions and I don’t know what to think. Has any one experienced this with their cat? These symptoms? I have an appointment with the oncologist tomorrow and will get his opinion. I’m afraid this is the end 🙁

    • My baby (cat) stopped eating cat food, so he loves turkey breast. Have you tried that? He also will eat steamed shrimp, crab meat and I will also cook him chicken livers ( he likes that better than beef liver). See if your baby will eat any of that and let me know. I am praying for you. My kitty just started his first round of chemo today.

  32. This past Friday we learned the devastating news that Kitty (that’s his name) has advanced Lymphoma. It is in his intestines and his lungs. He only started showing signs a week ago when he was still eating – but just not eating as much. As his mother I knew something was wrong. Two ultrasounds and blood work later gave us this horrible result. We are now trying to figure out what to do for therapy. We have decided against doing aggressive chemo – Kitty hates the car, the carrier and the vet – it upsets him horribly. So we have two options and we need to make a decision quickly. Option one is to just do the Prednisone and he will have about four weeks to live. Option two is to do the Prednisone AND Lomustine (which is a lighter form of chemo). The Lumostine is a pill so that would be easier on him than the regular pill. The downside is he would still have to make a vet visit and they need to draw blood. The upside of this vs. regular chemo is that it is only once every four weeks. I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this.
    I told the Vet and the Oncologist that Money and our time is NOT an issue – we just want him to be comfortable and pain free. This has been a difficult decision because there are some people who say DO NOT do Chemo (any type of it) and some who say absolutely do it?

    • Hi Lisa,
      Sorry to hear about your fur baby. My Duke had hemangiosarcoma and showed zero signs when I found out. I chose to do an aggressive form of chemo, which he went in for about every 3 weeks. I reached out to a couple of ladies online whose aninals were going through the same thing, and one suggested we see a holistic vet. Maybe supplements could be an option for your baby as well. Sending lots of hugs your way!

    • Lisa, definitely do the prednisone plus the chemo pill. The prednisone can also be compounded as a cream (applied to tip of inner ear) if doing multiple pills is rough on Kitty. The prednisone may also help perk up Kitty’s appetite; he needs to eat (good food) to keep up his strength. Anything is possible. As long as Kitty is willing and not in pain, do this therapy. Taking Kitty for blood work once a month won’t be so bad and it’s very quick. My cat, Eloise, was diagnosed with lymphoma after surgery to remove a tumor in the intestine. That was 6.5 months ago. She, too, is on prednisone 2 x day (cream) and Chlorambucil (pill) every other day. As long as she’s willing, I’ll keep it up. There is no cure but you can buy extra time with Kitty. As long as not in pain, do all you can. Best of luck…

    • HI Liza,

      My cat Beanie is diagnosed with multiple myeloma which has spreaded to her spleeen on Dec 29th, 2016.
      We started her on Pred. + chemo pill on Jan 9th this year.
      She does not react to the chemo pill at all.
      Now her cancer is in remission (oncologist said total remission) for 4 weeks.
      She gained a pound, eats and plays around.
      Before the chemo pills I was just like you, SO worried, read a lot on line of what people said. My heart almost dropped on the day we started her chemo.
      Turns out it’s really worth it. I don’t know how long this will last, vet said that maybe 4 – 9 months. But everyday is precious and I’m relived that she’s symptoms free and happy. Taking this daily at a time.
      Hope this help.

      • Olive – Thank you. I am actually leaning against the pill and have been thinking/talking about this all day. The biggest problem for Kitty is the carrier, the car ride etc. He gets so stressed? I feel like it is a gamble – doctor said its 50/50. I would love to have an outcome like yours but I just don’t know if we want to take that chance? I know this may sound horrible but I strongly feel like Kitty has had the best 13 years ever – so I am not sure I wanna take the chance and maybe just let him chill at home his last weeks/days. He is a total homebody and on the scale of 1 – 10, I would give him a 10 +++. I am meeting with another oncologist tomorrow morning (without kitty – just bringing his records) just to get even another opinion. Thank you so so so much for your response – it is making me rethink things

        • Hi Liza,

          it’s so hard to make decision, I totally understand!
          Beanie also is a 13 yr old super homebound cat. But she sort of gets it that the vet tech is there to make her feel better? She used to peed on the way to the vet (every time while we were in the car), but she stops now because of the frequencies to the vet (check ups + blood tests).
          She learns quickly that we’d bring her home after that and it does not feel like a long hospital stays…but it’s just my situation. Hope this help a bit. *hugs*

        • I’m glad you’re factoring in Kitty’s personality, Lisa – it’s an important factor as you go through this difficult decision process. All my best to both of you, and please keep us posted.

      • Hi Liza: My cat Bailey just got diagnosed with myeloma. It is in his spleen, but we can’t seem to find it in his blood or bone marrow. His marrow is suppressed (low platelets etc.) but they didn’t see neoplasms. He’s been on prednisone and now we are talking melphalan. Im really scared about chemo drugs. Do you have any updates? How are you coping? I am devastated and not handling this well at all

      • Hi Olive! Hi Liza: My cat Bailey just got diagnosed with myeloma. It is in his spleen, but we can’t seem to find it in his blood or bone marrow. His marrow is suppressed (low platelets etc.) but they didn’t see neoplasms. He’s been on prednisone and now we are talking melphalan. Im really scared about chemo drugs. Do you have any updates? How are you coping? I am devastated and not handling this well at all

        • HI Tia,

          Beanie passed away yesterday after 344 days since diagnosed. She got the same cancer MM. She tolerated Melphalan really well. No side effects (the side medicine they gave me to cope with possible vomiting or inappetite was never used). She was in remission for 9 months. Back to her own self. I treasured those days. She gained back full weight and was in complete remission for the whole time.
          She was taking prednisone PLUS Melphalan.
          End of Sept her cancer relapsed and we opt not to try Lumistine anymore because it’s just (Maybe) a few more months. She hang on and just few days ago started not to eat that much. She lost the hind legs muscle strength about 7, 8 days before she passed.
          I’m grieving right now but in my heart I know that I made a right decision. So don’t be scared of Melphalan. Hope this help.

          • I admire your strength, and I am so saddened to hear this news. I know how raw things must be right now and I thank you for finding the strength to reply. I know we have no choice but to to stay strong and make the best of all the moments, but some days Im exhausted from giving medicine twice a day to watching him like a hawk to look for odd behaviors. Tomorrow I will make the appointment for the oncologist and hope his side effects are minimal to none and that he begins to feel better soon. Sending you lots of hugs as I am right there with you. Your story gives me hope.

          • You are welcomed. I’m still grieving and I know it takes time. We are blessed to have taken hundreds of pix and vids of Beanie. And this time we feel it’s not too early nor late to have her PTS. So I feel peaceful. TY again.

    • I am so sorry about the sad news Lisa. When my cat was diagnosed with metastaic ovarian cancer my heart tore apart into a million pieces. I honestly didnt think twice about doing chemotherapy. At first she was scared and anxious making those vet visits. But after about 3 visits, she stopped being so afraid. She no longer fights to get into the carrier. The last time she didn’t even meow! It is as if she knows she will be okay, that I won’t do anything to hurt her and that she will return home soon. She is now on Carboplatin injections every 3-4 weeks as well as a chemo pill called palladia, and also prednisione for appetite and reduction of inflammation. If you have the money to pay for it, do it. As long as Kitty has quality of life then there is nothing to be afraid of. I do not regret for a second doing everything I have done to make my girl comfortable and possibly extend her life. Good luck.

    • Hi Lisa,
      My princess is 17 and also diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma (large cell unfortunately) last month. Multiple masses in the small and large bowel (non-obstructive) with enlarged lymph nodes. She had no appetite and went from 7.5 to 6 lbs in the course of a year. Like you, i decided that CHOP chemo was too aggressive, mostly due to the frequency of the vet visits. I opted for the Lomustine (CCNU or Ceenu) with 5mg of prednisolone. Its only been 2 weeks, but she is doing great! Put on 0.4lbs, eats ravenously, and is her young old self! Her recent bloodwork showed anemia and leukopenia (meaning her bone marrow is suppressed). This is actually a good sign as it means the drugs are likely also affecting the cancer. She has a follow up in 2 weeks for her second dose and ultrasound…fingers crossed…I’ll let you know how it goes. But, i would urge you to try the treatment for one dose to see how it goes, my veterinary oncologist says she’s only treated 7 others in a similar situation, but all have made it to 6 months and a few in remission.

      • Hi Lisa, my cat Jack 8 yrs young has large cell gastric lymph and having a hard time deciding treatment he hates the visits so think about the oral pill if I can get him to take it. I want to do the best he does not seem so sick eating but has lost a lot weight in the last month.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Do you know of a mobile vet in your area that could do the blood draw and any other necessary checkups? That’s a big help for sick kitties who don’t like the trip to the vet. We made use of a great mobile vet in our area when our Poppy was sick.

      Carolyn

  33. My cat of 6 years was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September of 2016. We had the ovaries, uterus and everything surgically removed. I hoped that the cancer would be gone for good. 2 days after the new year i noticed a lump on her tummy. I automatically new the cancer had spread. The vet confirmed systemic metastatic cancer. She had her first chemotherapy session last week(carboplatin injection) and today I am taking her to get blood work which her vet recommended to see her white count. all of this has been emotionally draining. I feel guilty for never getting her spayed as a kitten. It breaks my heart to think we will be separated one day. We have a connection like no other and I have grown to love her like a family member. Since chemo, her appetite has changed, she also seems more sluggish. IMy biggest fear is to see her suffering. Some days I feel so sad and depressed and other days I try not to think about it and have a good day. I can’t find comfort anywhere. I know I should enjoy my time with her and cherish it but I cannot help thinking about the ill possibilities that will present itself in the future. Can some one give me advice or tell me something that will help me see things in a more positive life.

    • I know a cancer diagnosis is devastating, Michelle. Unfortunately, just about the only thing you can do, in addition to working with your vet to give her the best care possible, is to try to focus on each moment you have with her, rather than on what may happen in the future. All my best to both of you.

      • I’m trying to focus on the present moment but every time i see her, I see a distended belly and its an ill reminder of whats going on. Thanks for the good wishes.

        • I lost my fur baby to Hemangiosarcoma last September. He was the love of my life and I miss him every day. I did learn some lessons along the way: Dukes appetite changed with chemo but he loved the BFF packets. Also, I found a lady on etsy who makes silver necklaces of animal noses. I had a print made before Duke passed away. Love my nose print.

        • I can’t get away from the dread, we all know it’s going to happen one day – sooner or later, from cancer or just old age. That will never go away or change. I just try to keep my girl as happy and loved up as I can. I don’t want her last memories of life to be me crying. Seriously – very seriously, if you can’t pull it together – if it’s just TOO overwhelming, see your doctor or get a referral for help. Sometimes local vets, RSPCA’s or shelters can give you a contact or hotline. Do it for yourself and your kitteh.

    • Michelle, there is no guarantee as to what would have or could have prevented cancer. The only advice I can give is to do what your trusted vet tells you, and to love your fur baby every day. No matter if she is up some days or down others, it’s your job to love her and care for her until the only kind thing to do is to let her go. Hopefully, she’ll make that decision for you.

      • I am loving her and caring for her the most I can. I do have a full time job and I go to school part time . I wish I had more time to spend with her though.

        • Michelle, I understand. I work full time but, knowing my cat is on borrowed time, I try to spend as much time with her as I can. I’ve turned down invitations to go away if for more than a couple of hours, including weekend trips or weddings. On my day off tomorrow, I plan to stay with my fur baby all day, even if she just spends the day sleeping. Just do the best you can, as much as you can, and know that your kitty is happy with you.

    • HI Michelle,

      YOU ARE NOT ALONE. My Beanie is diagnosed with Multiple Myleoma 1 month ago. I was so scared of starting chemo.
      But I went for it like you., yes it’s tuff for the first two weeks. Luckily she didnt have reaction to the drug. Last Monday we went in for blood work and she’s in total remission. Oncologist suggests continue chemo therapy and we’d have a plan next week.

      I know, I’m devastated to think about one day we’d separate. But I got a bit wiser, braver and stronger (hopefully this time although I’m so weak at times inside). Pet people are brave people because we know we’d outlive them. But then we still choose to cherish and love them.

      I was so sad about my previous cat who passed away 11 yrs ago (he’s only 7 yrs old) and I felt no one understand my bond with the cat also. I felt so helpless, like nothing I could do to save his life. I cried for days.
      But then I promise you things will get better. I finally got myself up to journal down all the good time and things we enjoyed doing. And the 9 months which I supported him thru medicine turned out really worth it. Every dime I spent was worth it.

      Treasure the time with her. Treat the days like normal. You have a big heart. **big hugs to you**

      • Thanks for sharing your experience and the good advice. Makes me feel a little better that someone understands and can relate to my situation. I am trying to treasure every moment with my cat but every time I see her, I see a distended belly that has grown over the last 10 days. It is an ill reminder of what is going on. Vet is aware of the distended abdomen, he says we will try adding a chemo pill in addition to the injection the next visit . I hope the chemo is working. I wish none of this was happening. People say that with every bad situation, something good comes out of it or a life lesson is learned. I cannot seem to understand what good can come from this and what lesson I will take away from this. I am hoping I can become stronger not only for my well being but for her 🙁

      • CoCoo, My cat was just diagnosed with MM too! Could you provide an update? I am feeling completely lost, scared, helpless and terrified of the future. We currently have him on prednisolone and are considering chemo. Your post made me feel a bit better about Chemo but I am wondering 12 months later how it is. Thanks!

    • Hi Michelle,

      I am so sorry to hear about your baby. I just found out that my son Hunter has large cell lymphoma. I will start him on chemo next week. I too am devistated. Like you, I am going through an emotional nightmare. I love life and hate to be depressed. You just have to enjoy every second of every day. None of us are guaranteed that we’ll be alive the next minute; we’re all going to die. The next thing you have to be thankful for is that you have this amazing modern medicine available to your baby. There are many people that have that. Lastly, have you lost other close pets? I have and it hurts like hell. But eventually, you’ll be able to accept it and know that you gave her the best life and love possible. God bless you and I believe that one day, we will see all of babies again in heaven.

      • thank you for the comforting message. I too believe we will reunite with our fur babies one day. And when that happens nothing will ever separate us again. This is so tough, I have been living miserably for the past 2 months…

  34. My Judah was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. It is at the base of his tongue which was cutting off his breathing, so they had to do an emergency tracheotomy and put him in an oxygen chamber. He is now doing chemo and is responding well. My only problem (I don’t care about the cost, they can have my body when I die!), is “Am I doing the right thing?” One vet suggested that it might be better to put him to sleep, but I couldn’t!!! This kitty is the one who showed me that I had a breast tumor, so I owe him. But are the treatments worth the extra years of life as far as what Judah has to go through?

    • There is no simple answer to your question, Cynthia. Ultimately, you know your cat best, and only you can make this decision. Things I’d look for: is he responding well to the chemo? Do vet visits stress him out to the point where they affects his quality of life, or his bond with you? Is he eating well? Has his personality remained the same? Perhaps this article will offer some more help: http://consciouscat.net/2011/08/22/euthanasia-the-loneliest-decision/ All my best to you and Judah!

  35. My cat just diatwith Multiple Myeloma and has spreaded to spleen.
    She didn’t eat for 1 1/2 days and had fever. Vet told us to bring her to Emergency because of Anemic. After many tests and ultrasound we got the results. I was shocked and cried for few days.

    Now she’s on Prednisolone for 5 days and little by little starting to eat/ drink/ interact / and exploring.

    I hesitate to start her at Melphalan since she’s behaving this much better. But I know that things will go downhill pretty fast. Starting chemo means I’m doing things which could not be undone.

    And there’s only 50-60% of cats which will react to chemo. It seems that here the effectiveness of chemo is much higher here reading all your comments than what the oncologist told us.
    The decision is so hard.

  36. Hey everyone, I need some advice! So my kitty bailey started oral chemo using Chlorambucil and Prednisalone at the end of October. He was down to about 7 pounds then so did the medication every three days, with the prednisolone daily and Vit B injections once a week. He was not absorbing his food so we switched him (much to my cringing about the food) to the canned Hills I/D and Royal Canin HE, well he def gained up to almost 9 lbs! a few weeks ago I noticed for the first time that he didnt always want to eat or was slow to eat. This cat even before cancer always was starving, he would steal any food no matter what, scarf it down, you name it. So it breaks my heart to see him like this. but then a day later he eats.. I have been giving him 1/4 16 mg cerenia a few hours before the chemo meds (which are now three times a week with his increased weight) but i did see occasional vomiting. My question is have others experienced this after some time on the medication as he actually was literally starving because of the cancer when he was really sick 🙁 it was so sad… but again ever since a kitten (he is 8 now) he has always scarffed down food. Also the vet recommended 1/8 of a mertazapane every other day and I see that is common with cats with lymphoma? I know he has limited time but I want to be sure to do what is best for him in the time he does have.

    • My ben would still get nausious during chemo. Every 6 weeks he would get a steroid shot and that would keep up his appetite. The shot was good for 4-6 weeks.

    • Sarah,

      Have you tried Advita Probiotic Nutritional Supplement? You can buy it from Amazon for $20 for 30 packets. Junior was being a little finicky about eating and I started sprinkling this on their food and he loves it!

    • Sarah,

      I tried to tell you about the probiotic supplements we are using and it detected a “duplicate comment’ [I commented in my post below] so please read what I said and maybe that will help your Bailey.

  37. I just found this site and so glad to see others going through what we have been experiencing. Our 14 year old Calico, Imzadi, was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma in October. She had a tumor under her jaw. We went to a specialist veterinary practice inFt. Lauderdale, Fl. Her tumor was removed early November and she is now in infusion chemo, just had her fourth dose out of the recommended six. She also takes Prednisolone. She’ll go on Chlorambucil then. She is in remission and we hope to keep her that way. Our vet is super nice, always positive, always smiling, and her staff of nurses treat us the way you want.
    And it is expensive, but Imzadi is family and when I adopted her, I made a promise to do for her as I would my human kids. Here’s hoping, for all of you struggling with this, that the New Year finds you and your furbabies doing well and continue to do so. I will be keeping this site in my favorites tab.

  38. I would like to share the story of my cats:

    Tommy is 15 and Junior is 16. I adopted them both when they were kittens and they are still our babies.

    Tommy started losing weight and having a bout of diarrhea a day and Junior just lost weight with no other symptoms. Tommy was diagnosed with IBD three years ago and has been on Prednisolone ever since.

    All blood work was normal and so was the radiograph on Tommy but the vet suggested doing ultrasounds on both boys and the diagnoses was intestinal lymphoma for Tommy and either severe IBD or intestinal lymphoma for Junior.

    Tommy had already been taking Prednisolone so now Junior is taking it as well and I just started both boys on Chlorambucil every 48 hours.

    So far so good although Tommy hasn’t pooped in over 24 hours; I don’t know what’s worse…the bout of diarrhea a day or the constipation. Months ago he decided he would not poop in the litter box [which he had been doing for 15 years] but instead on the dining room floor.

    My question for anyone out there is: have you had a cat who was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma and is on the same protocol as our boys are: Prednisolone and Chlorambucil?

    Did it work? Did it affect their quality of life? Has anyone had a cat go into remission?

    I don’t want to lose our boys….I am hoping these medications work and would love to have input from all you wonderful cat lovers.

    Thanks so much,

    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa, so sorry you’re having to go through this. My girl Boofy was diagnosed with small cell Lymphoma nearly a year ago and confirmed by biopsy during exploratory surgery. The protocol here in Aus is different. We do two Chlorambucil aday for 4 days running, prednisolone everyday and then have a blood test 3 weeks later and start again. We did this for 8 months and are now in remission, bloodtests evey 2 months. She has gained weight and is happy and loving as ever. She did NOT suffer on Chlorambucil, it was abit of a non-event. I realize that remission may not be long, but the extra time the treatment has bought has been magical.

      • Dovemck,

        Thanks for your reply!
        I am so glad that your Boofy is doing well. Our vet would be very happy to see the boys having a good quality of life in eight months….the prognosis would be that much better.

        Plus Tommy went to the bathroom last night and no diarrhea so very happy about that. Thanks again!

    • Lisa, hi. Yes, my cat, Eloise, was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma in August. Her symptoms were vague at first – pooping outside the litter box, low appetite, bouts of vomiting bile. After vet did ultrasound, found a tumor in small intestine – biopsy revealed cancerous and I rushed Eloise to a specialist animal hospital 40 miles away. 3 inches of intestine removed… but lymphoma was detected in lymph nodes. I opted for chlorambucil every other day, as you’re doing, plus prednisolone 2 x a day. The pred, I finally had compounded into a cream – so much easier to apply to inner tip of ear (have to wear gloves, as I do with handling the chlorambucile). Eloise has gained weight and seems fine, although I know I’m just buying time. Was told she could last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years on this regiment. As long as she’s willing to keep going, so am I. I also try to give Eloise diff types of high quality foods, canned and dry (she can be finicky). Hope this info helps you and that you and your boys see better, happier days. We owe them that much.

      • Hi, Jo. Interesting that your Eloise pooped outside the litter box as well because Tommy shared one with Junior for 15 years…no problem…and then started going on the dining room floor. Sounds like our boys are on the same regimen although Junior only gets pred [liquid] once a day. Thanks so much for your reply. You have no idea how helpful it is to hear from other cat owners in the same boat.

        • I now think pooping outside the box is how a cat tries to tell us something isn’t right. Whatever, our job is to take care of them and love them. Hope we can do both for a while longer yet. Hope you and everyone on this site has a happy holiday – whatever is celebrated – with yourfur babies, past and present.

          • Hi —

            I have a new problem that has arisen with my cats …Junior and Tommy and their diagnosis of Intestinal Lymphoma.

            The boys appetite’s have been very healthy and Tommy’s diarrhea has really decreased since we started him on the Chlorambucil and Junior has had only one bout of diarrhea in the last three weeks.

            So I was really surprised when I brought them to the vet yesterday to find out that they had both lost a pound and are around 9 pounds now. One pound in three weeks for both…

            Their appetites are very good, they’re not having much diarrhea so why are they losing weight and what can I do to help them gain weight?

            Caveat: they will not eat Prescription diets; they either don’t like the taste [Hill’s] or it gave them massive diarrhea. They are eating Fancy Feast Classic Turkey with giblets which they love and I mix some kibbles in with [for Tommy]. Fancy Feast is moderately high in both protein and fat which is what I read cats with cancer should be eating and low in carbs.

            I have also started giving them Advita Probiotic Nutritional Supplement for Cats and sprinkle it on their food. They both love it!

            Any suggestions on how I can get my cats to gain weight. I’m so puzzled why they are losing. Even with the cancer, they are eating and pooping well [almost]. They are happy and seemingly healthy; the proverbial bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

            Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and I look forward to HELP!!

            Lisa

          • Hi Lisa,

            My second oldest fur baby, Daisy, who is 11 years old was just diagnosed with lymphoma 3 days ago. We are hoping to get her started on chemo next week. I cried my eyes out when the vet told me but after reading all of the comments on here, I am beginning to believe that she may have a chance at a few more months at least for a good quality of life. So sad 🙁

            Anyway…. about the weight loss. When I brought 2 of my other fur babies in for a check up a week ago, the tech weighed them and said they had both lost exactly half a pound. The one cat needs to loose weight but we have been trying to get the other cat to gain. I asked the tech if we could use the same scale that was used for the original weight check and it turns out that neither cat had gained or lost an ounce. Could this be the same issue with your babies? Were they weighed each time on the same scale? Other than that, I can’t think of anything to do to help that you aren’t already doing. Best of luck to your babies.
            Cathryn

  39. I am just about to start chemo with my fur baby boy lil one he is 8 yrs old and I have been told fairly avanced intestinal lymphoma I hoping it will give him a few more months of quality life to maybe enjoy his last summer but I’m terrified that it will make him worse as he is already only eating tiny amounts and sleeps alot am I making the right decision to try chemo or is this cruel I don’t know if this is the right choice but it’s our only chance to extend his life I just hope he doesn’t suffer scared out of my wits I’m hurting him rather than helping

    • From our experience, cats handle chemo so much better than people do. We often wondered if we were doing the right thing for our Munch. We ended up deciding to try and as long as there was improvement, we would fight As Long as she did. Just listen to what they are telling you. As far as the eating, we had prednisolone which did increase her appetite. I would recommend trying different foods to fine one your baby really likes. We ended up with Earthborn holistic wet food. Munch loved it and actually gained weight. Best of luck to you and your baby.

    • Tina – if you’re out there – have faith. chemo in cats is not like it is for humans, they tolerate it far better. My girl was on two Leukeran a day for four days and would sometimes sleep a bit more on the fifth. NO fur loss, no vomiting, diarrhea, no mood swings. First vet said she’d be gone by Chrissy, but with a new vet and chemo, we just had our 8week blood test and are in remission. From what I’ve seen/read, it’s pretty rare for a cat to do poorly (suffer) on oral chemo.

      • My Ben received Chemo every 3 weeks for a little over a year. We are currently taking a break. Ben was a little sluggish the first few days after the treatment, but he too never lost hair, vomited or seemed to suffer from the treatments.

  40. My 8 year old snuggle buddy just recently was diagnosed with small cell Lymphoma. 🙁 Bailey started to show some just weird and random symptoms back in May and nothing seemed to fit one diagnosis.
    He first stopped eating some of his food, when he is always starving, no matter how much of good high quality food I feed him haha. He then would throw up everything including just bile, 5 times a day or more, lost weight, I could see his spine. Was scratching, and lymph nodes HUGE!

    He was tested multiple ways for thyroid issues, had multiple lymph node cytologies all coming back as reactive but not cancerous, went to a specialist who did an ultrasound and saw hundreds of lymph nodes enlarged all over him, sent out another cytology, more bloodwork and nothing…..

    Tried a month course of doxy and veraflux because he tested slight positive for bartonella around the time that i did as well. He gained over a lb, BUT his lymph nodes were the size of golf balls. so we finally did the lymph node biopsy. So about 5,000 dollars later after al this I get the call that the lab in Colorado had determined he had cancer, the biopsy was an accurate result. I felt my world crashing to an end.

    He is 8, thats it, just 8.. he is my little trouble maker and bully kitty but he is also my little snuggle bug. he is always there in my lap spending time with me purring. I start crying just writing this not knowing how long I have with him. He started oral chemo with prednisalone as well and since his stool was soooo horrible smelling and he was not absorbing anything she wanted him to be on hills ID. While I was VERY VERY hesitant of that as I am one that would never feed this food, he has gained some and stool is better… he goes back for his first white blood cell count since the diagnosis on Monday, i just can’t come to terms that I might wake up one day and he will be sick again… it’s not fair. I have four cats and they have all been with me through so much and have been the only things out there to not leave me or hurt me… :'(

      • I have always followed what you have recommended with cat food and finally switched my babies to all canned, only diets on your list or dr Jean Hofve. So the fact that he was not gaining weight when I was feeding him about twice the amount that my 10 lb male all muscle basically is eating and that his poo was so smelly made me realize that he is not absorbing nutrients as well. The speciliast wanted to try him on Hills ID and Royal Canine GI HE canned and while I refused at first, I figured I would try, about a week on it and he seems to be gaining and poo is not smelly! So now what.. continue that “crappy food?” I want him to do well and live as long as possible but worry that the bad food wont help that, but then again not gaining nutrients eating high quality food does not help as well..

        • If he wasn’t absorbing nutrients, there was probably something else going on. I understand that it’s going to be tough to stop feeding the prescription diet since it seems to be working for him, but I would have a hard time feeding those diets long term.

    • Don’t despair just yet. My 11 year old Eloise was diagnosed w/small cell lymphoma in early August. She, too, is doing the oral chemo every other day and prednisolone 2x day. As long as she is not suffering, we will continue. When she was hospitalized for 3 nights, she was also put on a ‘bland’ diet of I/D. It’s supposed to go easy on the digestive system. When she came home, Eloise had diarrhea, smelly poos, too, for quite a while. I slowly introduced ‘regular’ cat food, whatever she likes, as long as she was eating, I didn’t care. We’re just buying time, there’s no cure, so don’t fret too much – as long as Bailey is eating and pooping and not in distress, he doesn’t know anything’s wrong. All the best.

      • The waiting is the worst thing you can do when you have a fur-baby doing chemo. As long as she’s not in pain, that’s all that matters. There are always good weeks and bad. Good luck!

  41. I posted on this comment section months ago regarding my cat Mork who had an inoperable cancerous tumor in his stomach. I am finally to a point where I can write about what happened.

    I had to make the most difficult care decision for my friend of fourteen years on May 12, 2016. He stopped eating for several days beforehand, right after I had decided to stop putting him through the intravenous chemotherapy sessions. He came home from the last session frothing at the mouth, crazy in the eyes, and miserable. I decided then and there that I had taken it too far, and that the best thing to do for Mork at that point was palliative care. Mork had tolerated six months of intravenous chemotherapy at that point, and it did not appear that the cancer was in remission. I felt like I was doing it for me because I did not want to let him go. I had to come to grips that what was best for Mork was to let him live the remaining days of his life at home with his family. It was not a decision I made lightly, and it broke my heart. A few days after my decision, Mork refused to eat and started hiding behind the couch which he never did prior in the fourteen years I’d lived with him.

    I was fortunate to find a vet who does home visits. It was some comfort to me that Mork’s final moments were spent on his blanket at our house in my arms. Right up until his final moments, I was not sure I was making the right decision. Deciding to end his life remains one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make.

    My heart and sympathy goes to all who are battling cancer with their beloved cats. I know exactly how it feels to ride the roller coaster that is living life with a pet with a cancer diagnosis. My best advice would be to cherish every moment you have with your pet. Make a conscious effort to spend extra time with your pet while you can. Up until about two weeks before May 12, I thought I had much more time with Mork. If I had known the end was so close, I would have spent much more time snuggling with him.

    Something I read that helped me when the time came to send Mork to the rainbow bridge went something like this: Take heart that you are sparing your pet more suffering by transferring that suffering onto you. I know that Mork was suffering in the last week of his life, and now he is at peace. His biological sister Mindy and I miss him every day.

    • What you did for your kitty was the final act of love and kindness. Quality of life, not quantity, is what counts. I read somewhere something that goes like “do not measure life in the number of breaths you take, but in the moments that take your breath away”. You did absolutely the right thing. I am just starting this cancer journey with my kitty. I pray every day that I am doing the right thing. Take care.

      • Thank you for your kind words, Jo. I appreciate it.

        You and your kitty are in my thoughts. I know how tough it is to know if you are making the right choices. All you can do is what you think is best at the moment with the information you have. It is hard. Your cat is lucky to have someone as thoughtful as you to provide care.

  42. First time viewing, and a new adoptive parent of a beautiful cat, which was rescued last month. We adopted her, knowing that she had cancer. The original owner failed to even have the cat examined, so desperate times called for desperate measures. We helped coordinate the rescue late at night, with our vet not standby to treat/examine the obvious and growing head wound that had been there festering for more than six months.

    Even though she is not our cat, and we are in no way responsible for her care, we choose to adopt her anyway, and we will undertake the financial burden, which we can’t really afford right now, and the emotional burden as well. She has been with us at home for just over two weeks, we fell in love with her instantly. She is still in quarantine, since we have no idea if she has been vaccinated and we can’t risk her spreading anything to the other 30+ rescues we have under our care. Even in her new surroundings, which aren’t perfect, yet, she is so loving and sweet, craving for affection. We give her all we can, while trying to maintain her from spreading anything, either from her or too her. Since we have so many other cats/kittens around, some new and still in their early days following their vaccinations, it’s still a dangerous time for all. She can’t be vaccinated yet, as her health and upcoming chemo would wipe out any vaccinations she gets today, we have to wait until she rebounds from the final round of chemo before she gets vaccinated. We don’t even know how old she is, which makes it that much more difficult. From age 2 through age 15, they all look the same, so it is anybody guess at her actual and.

    Anyway, I hope that we can handle the stress and pain of chemo for kitties, it’s a new experience for us, and we have had so many other cats pass away recently from other problems, it scares us a lot. We have no ability to refuse to help, and we wouldn’t change our decision to get involved, it just is very scary for anyone to face cancer, but even more so since we have already had more heartache these past 6 months, than a normal heart could ever endure.

    • okay – it’s important to say – you’re wonderful for doing this. Now, let’s get to the kitty. I don’t know what kind of cancer and I don’t know what regime you’re using – but generally – chemo is pain free except for a needle prick. Again, depending on the regime, there will be days where she will have to be isolated and you’ll need gloves to empty litter boxes etc. Most people here seem to be in the US which has a number of days or alternate days on without break. This might make it a bit tougher for you. See if they will try the method employed here in Australia where we do some chemo for a few days running and then take a few days to weeks in between. Again, it will depend on whether you’re doing oral or IV. (IV is the more intense, more powerful type and used for more difficult or advanced cancers).

      Perhaps the real thing you want to start getting your head around – the goal in cats is to get cancer into remission – not cure it. If you’re VERY lucky, you’ll add a couple years to their lives.

      At the very least, prednisolone for palliative care.

      for us, Leukeran (Chlorambucil) had been a top notch drug. Our cat has gained weight on it and is happy and attentive. I would never hesitate to give chemo to cats after this experience.

    • Just reading this brings in so many emotions! Thank you so much for helping this little one. They all deserve a chance. I found that chemo in animals is not nearly as stressful as it is with people. They tend to tolerate it much better. With Munch, we had a little bit of vomiting 3-4 days after chemo, but that was once and she was done. She would get a little tired right after coming home from chemo, bit was back to her antics in no time. I think the hardest thing to get used to was her increased appetite. It didn’t matter what it was, she needed to always be eating. Sometimes up to 3 cans of food a day. Good quality food is so important as most carbs fuel cancer cells. I wish you all the best with the little Angel. Thank you again for helping her. The rewards so outweigh the stresses of it.

    • You are a kind, generous soul… best of luck to you. Cats need people like you. I find it hard enough caring for one cancer kitty plus my other two; I hope you have good help and resources along the way.

      • Hi Kelly,
        I am so sorry to hear about Duke. I am finding it hard to find out about hemangiosarcoma. My beautiful Faline was recently diagnosed. It started out with a tumor on her hind foot which was removed, then a few weeks later another developed next to the one that was removed. This resulted in having the toe amputated. Since this all started in early October, I feel like I have wasted so much time with missed diagnoses (the first tumor the vet said was a blood blister, they cauterized it, then a week later it bled again so they sutured it. When it bled again about 10 days later they finally took xrays and found the tumor as well as one near her lungs). The biopsy confirmed the cancer, and once she healed from the first tumor removal, we did a CT scan which didn’t yield the anticipated findings so was recommended to do an ultrasound with needle aspirate. A few days before this was scheduled is when the second mass on her foot appeared and bled. During the ultrasound it was determined the mass was too close to her heart to do the aspirate, so we just have to assume it is hemangiosarcoma as well and start treatments. I cannot do nothing as if this is the case, she could bleed internally. Otherwise, she is very happy and active and normal appetite. At 9.5 years old, I am reluctant to put her through too much as she has been through so much already, and I have several other cats that I don’t want to not be able to care for if they have issues that create expensive bills. I haven’t even started treatment yet and have spent nearly 7k. I don’t regret it in the least but its frustrating that it took so long to get here. I’m going to get a second opinion from another oncologist, and look for a holistic vet, but the surgeon commented that chemo will just buy her time. Will not make tumor go away, will just hopefully keep it from growing. Not sure if I start out with the most aggressive treatment first, or start with the least toxic (and maybe less effective?) and if things don’t improve then move up? I don’t want to waste anymore time, but also don’t want to put her through more than I have to.
        Thank you so much for all the wonderful people who have shared here. Makes me feel a little less alone!

        • Hi Kristine,

          When Duke was initially diagnosed, I couldn’t find anything on hemangiosarcoma. I finally found a cat Mom on instagram whose cat had been diagnosed with the same disease. She had opted out of chemo and found successful treatment with a holistic doctor. Her fur baby had originally been given 6 weeks to live. The reason I bring this up, is because every case is different. Her cat lived over 2 years after being diagnosed. Be prepared, a holistic vet will probably tell you to put your cat on a raw diet. The oncologist will probably recommend against it. Do what YOU feel is best for you and Faline. I think chemo first would probably give you the best outcome, but depending on the treatment, it could take up a lot of time. Duke went in every other week, and then had to have an ultrasound every 3rd treatment. He also needed vitamin B12 shots every week. Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

          • Thank you Kelly for the quick response! I will definitely keep you guys posted. Was Duke by chance a light-colored kitty? I read it occurs most often in them, or animals with very short fur. Faline is a mostly white cat with some calico markings on her back. Ever since she was a kitten I went out of my way to make sure she had lots of sunny spots to sleep in. Eight years ago I bought a home that had a screened-in porch and she spends a lot of time out there so I wondering if sun exposure caused this. Of course I will never know but something I will be conscious of in the future.
            Happy Holidays!

          • My cat has been on chemo for 5 days and he is acting much better. He was diagnosed with a B-cell cancer possibly myeloma and put on melphalan. He has not experienced an side effects as of yet. We are seeing an integrative oncologist that combines Chinese herbs with chemo. The herbs (mushroom based) are supposed to prevent resistance to chemo over time as well as support his bone marrow regeneration. The chemo medicine costs the same as prednisolone at about $40 for 2 months. I was originally scared of chemo but after this website and finding others who did chemo I realized it’s not like human chemo. We also have him on 3 drops twice a day of hempRX CBD oil and that may be counteracting any side effects. We put it on his gums for best absorption. We also have to slowly change his diet over to cooked raw so he gets the proper nutrition. The doctor recommended we get primal and I boil water and cover raw pellets and let stand 10 min. This cooks the meat, as 100% raw is problematic for chemo cats. She stated that in her experience she’s seen up to twice the expected prognosis time with a combo of chemo/Chinese medicine. We also purchased a good omega supplement as that is supposed to help battle cancer as well. This is our current experience with chemo and so far we are really glad we went for it. He’s feeling better and that’s what matters to us. If at any time we felt that the medicine was making him ill we would discontinue.

          • Hi Kristine,

            Merry Christmas.
            No, Duke was a brown tabby cat. You might want to find out what Faline’s blood type is. Duke had to have a blood transfusion and his blood type was rare. They called every place, in the county he was getting treated in, and no one had his blood type. They ended up getting blood from a blood bank. (Just the small things I wish I had known)

    • I posted back in June about my fur baby Duke who had been diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma, a blood cell cancer. Unfortunately, he died on Monday. I rescued him when he was a couple of months old, and he lived an amazing spoiled life with me. When he was diagnosed, I promised him we would fight this disease together. He did an IV chemotherapy every 3 weeks, vitamin B12 shots, I’m Yunity supplement, omega 3 oils, tumeric, ozone therapy, and a new carb free diet. We gave it our best shot, and on Monday, he finally seemed to give me the okay that it was time to let go. Remember, you’re giving this baby all the love and care you can. The results are not determined by you, and you’ve already changed this kitty’s life. Best of luck to you guys. Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way.

  43. News flash 30 minutes later… Eloise passed stool, but it was 75% diarrhea / 25% formed. She didn’t go to litter box, but behind door of little sewing room in basement. Earlier this summer, she started having ‘mishaps’ in that same spot. We thought she was annoyed by the other cats in house. Then she was diagnosed w/small cell lymphoma. Her mishap today makes me think she wasn’t feeling well and associated the litter box… so she went for behind the door. I’m just glad she passed stool, but will contact vet tomorrow with this update. This is wearing on me. Anyone remember when all you needed for your cat was a flea collar and a pack of Tender Vittles? (tired sarcasm) oy…

      • Thanks, Ingrid. Yes, very exhausting. I’s been 6 weeks since she was diagnosed but I feel like it’s been forever.
        🙁
        I’ll keep it up as long as Eloise is willing … and I appreciate having this site to check for input and advice from others going thru same.

  44. It’s me again, about a week since I last commented. My cat, Eloise, on flagyl and prednisone 2xday and chlorambucil every other day for small cell lymphoma… hasn’t had a bowel movement in about 48 hours! Today is Wednesday and my vet’s office is closed. Not sure if I should call this in as an ’emergency’ and see what he has to say or wait until the morning and get an appointment. Other than being quiet, Eloise seems not to be in distress. She ate and nibbled and I gave her some pumpkin and home made chicken broth. No trip to the litter box yet. I’m stressing… comments?

      • Thanks, Kelly. I have another cat (Maxine) who has obstipation (a few degrees higher than constipation) and she’s on Miralax twice a day mixed in food. My cancer cat, Eloise, is on several meds so I was hoping not to have to throw in another. ugh. She did pass stool later on, so I’ll see what the next 24 hours bring. All my cats hate going to the vet, so hope I don’t have to stress Eloise with an unnecessary trip. 🙁 Thanks for your advice, though. Glad I joined this site.

  45. My 11 year old cat, Eloise, has small cell lymphoma and starts her 6th chemo pill, Chlorambucil, tonite. So far, she’s on flagyl – to calm any tummy inflammation – and prednisone 2x day…chemo pill every other day. Blood work done yesterday, 1 month post surgery, so don’t know how long the pill regimen will remain the same. I’m reading conflicting reports on how long I can expect my kitty to be with me… was hoping she’ll see spring flowers one more time, at least. Anyone have similar situation, experience? P.S. I’ve found that putting pills in ‘pill pockets’ and then covering w/canned food seems to work well so far (except for chemo pill; have to give manually, wearing latex gloves).

    • Boofy is on a very different chemo regime – It’s a three week cycle, prednisone 5mg every day. Days 1 – 4 she gets two chlorambucil and on day 19 she gets her blood test. We’re going into round 8 this weekend – blood test tomorrow so we’ve been doing this for 6 months now and she is happy, gained weight and looks great. It’s believed that most of the cancer is in remission except the liver.

      Her liver enzymes are still high but we’re trying denocyl – a liver tonic this round, hoping to see some change. After the next three weeks we’ll have to make a decision which will likely include a sedated ultrasound guided liver biopsy to see if there’s cancer there or if the liver is still healing and without cancer. We will then choose whether to continue chlorambucil (probably not), try a different drug (probably) or continue with prednisone and wait for a recurrence (I don’t like the sound of that).

      My original vet told me back in March that Boofy would probably be gone by now and she couldn’t have been more wrong. I have little doubt we will hit the ‘average’ two years survival mark (knock wood) and my current vet is impressed with her rude good health (other than the liver enzymes!)

      So yes, I think you should remain hopeful for spring flowers. My girl is 13 and I’m mentally preparing myself for the fact she’s not likely to reach 17.

      I hope and pray you beat the odds. All the best to you and Eloise.

      • When we were having troubles with Munch and her liver values, our vet asked if we could try something that works well in dogs, it is safe for cats, but only has a 40% (or so) success rate. The injection was L-asparaginase. We also did 4 weeks of vitamin B. Best of luck to you and you baby!

        • We’re seeing the vet in the morning so I’ll suggest the L-asparaginase. We’re at the point where a 40% chance of getting something going in that liver of hers sounds pretty darn good. We also did the B-12 for the first few weeks and were able to discontinue. She’s gained 1.4 kg in 6 months – about three pounds. She’s absorbing food alright.

    • Thank you for your input and insight, dovemck. Eloise’s blood results came back good (white cell count perfect / red cell perfect) so vet said to continue this regime, come back in 3 weeks. I like my vet, he’s not very aggressive, very patient… but he’s not an oncologist vet… ye he did consult with oncology vet where Eloise had her surgery (3 inches of small intestine removed). I always 2nd guess myself – and I have very little patience. ugh…

      • Don’t give up hope! The surgical team bumped into Duke last week while we were at the vet, and couldn’t believe he was the same cat. (They didn’t expect him to survive surgery). At first, I lived every day like it was his last, and only left the house to go to work. I realized that was no way for either of us to live. The best advice I got was from a fur mom on Instagram who told me, “the best thing you can do for your cat is to take care of yourself.”
        Prayers for your kitty!

        • Kelly, you are so right…I am taking care of myself, although Eloise comes first (but thank goodness for wine at nite, for me!). I’ve cancelled little trips away because I only trust myself with caring for Eloise, and the vet bills have bloomed. At best, I can enjoy the aforementioned wine, while curled up in front of the TV. Often, Eloise curls up with me, so it’s worth the sacrifice. Thanks for your encouraging words.

          • Wine and weekends in with good girlfriends has definitely helped. I’ve cancelled some trips as well, and can completely understand the vet bills. (I call him my million dollar baby) My Mom did have to come babysit while I went on a work trip, and I’m not sure who was more traumatized, my Mom or Duke. (He was being naughty and wouldn’t take his meds). I would encourage you to look into a holistic vet as well. Dukes oncologist wouldn’t recommend any supplements, but recommended a holistic vet. He’s taking I’m Yunity, omega 3’s, and tumeric. I mix it into the BFF gravy pouch.

          • Nearest holistic vet is 40 min. away (own vet is less than 5 min., thankfully). May look into it, tho… thanks for the insight! Hope we can all enjoy a cozy, stress free holiday weekend with our fur babies. (You should invite your mom over for wine, too; she was brave to kitty sit for Duke.) 🙂

  46. Wow great website. Our cat Monet just had surgery for radical mastectomy last Tuesday. We just started our first round of chemo today with Adriamycin and Cytoxan. This is our 2nd round of surgery since May 2015. Out vet felt surgery went well however the BB size pellets located further in the upper armpit were in muscle and could not be all removed. She’s such a sweet and affectionate cat (aren’t they all!), but seems to be getting back to her self. I’m open to any advice for feeding, supplements and advice anyone has. Has anybody used and of the Wellbeing Cancer care supplements?
    Looking forward to hearing from others and prayers to those on the board with cats that are ill. Thank you!

    • All the best to sweet Monet and to you too. Our journey is so different from yours that I can’t offer much more than sympathy and best wishes. My Boofy has small cell lymphoma (GI) and on round 7 Leukeran, doing well but liver enzymes still stupid high. She may have liver cancer but it’s acting atypical. We’re using Denosyl atm which is prescription liver tonic. I too would love to hear how others have done with supplements to support prescribed treatment.

    • My Duke was diagnosed with Hemangioscarcome at the end of June. Hes taking I’m Yunity (turkey tail mushrooms), tumeric (natural inflammation reducer), and omega 3 fish oil. We’ve changed him over to a clean diet, trying to be grain free. (Carbs feed cancer) Hes also doing ozone therapy once a week, except on weeks he does chemo. (Every 3 weeks). I asked his oncologist about trying eastern medicine and she was so hesitant. She sent us to a vet she’s knows who practices eastern medicine. Between the 2 doctors, I feel like there’s no stone we haven’t turned.

    • Also, don’t be surprised if your fur baby starts losing whiskers. My oncologist prepared me for it, but said it’s pretty rare. Duke only has about 5 long ones left, but everyone has reassured me they’ll grown back.

    • Wanted to provide a quick update on Monet. 2nd treatment of chemo last week went well. Vet however was concerned she had lost a pound in the last 30 days. Seems cancer can not help when trying to absorb nutrients in food quickly enough. Oncologist prescribed food enhancing meds which we add to food each day. We’ve switched to a higher quality wet food with Pro Plan that she likes. Feeding her up to 2 cans some days and 1 the others depending on her appetite. Also trying fresh chicken and fish and pretty much anything we healthy we can feed her. Back on the internet tonight reviewing other supplements and anyone used Ark Naturals NuPet Cat Antioxidant? I’m interested if anyone is using a combination of supplements that are working. I can relate with many of you. 2nd cat we’d had with cancer and the last one was too late and area untreatable. Between stressed for our kitty, we’re trying to be both optimistic and realistic..some days hard to choose. Overall she’s acting normal other than sleeping a bit more, but still the most affectionate cat I’ve ever had than owned my heart.

  47. Hi! So glad I found this. Our Munch has been diagnosed with large granular lymphoma. We haven’t been able to find a lot of information on it, and apparently it is rare in cats and is relatively aggressive. We are fortunate to have an animal oncologist about an hour away so we can try to help her beat this. We are fighting so hard for her, and she has been a real trooper through it all. She has been poked and prodded more than anything or anyone should. My husband and I are mentally exhausted waiting for phone calls/lab work and vet appointments. Recently Munch has started losing her fur. Everything I read says she shouldn’t. Is that something to be concerned with? Just wait until her next appointment? These are the things we worry about all day. The good news is, she is relatively young. Only 9 yrs old. She eats so much. I’ve been told that is a good thing. She is rating almost 2 full cans of food a day. We have been giving her earthborn holistic food. And basically anything else she wants. Has anyone else had experience with this form of cancer in cats? We are open to any suggestion to help her through this. We love her so much and can’t imagine life without her.

    • It’s rare that cats lose their fur during chemo, so definitely mention this to your oncologist. My experience with my own cat was that while he didn’t lose his fur, the hair in the areas that were shaved for ultrasounds never grew back (he had intestinal lymphoma and lived for seven months post diagnosis with a chemotherapy protocol of Vincristine and Leukeran.) All my best to you and Munch.

    • Don’t give up! Please feel free to email me. My cat Lily was diagnosed with large grade multicentric lymphoma, also aggressive and rare. She did five months of chemo and was in full remission three months in. Diagnosed in October of 2013, and still cancer free today. She is currently dealing with some kidney issues unrelated to the lymphoma (she is 15 1/2) but we were blessed with three more years when it could have been a guarantee death sentence.

      • I tried to reply to this yesterday, but it never showed up. Thank you for your encouragement. We would have never given up on our Munch. She unfortunately was too smart for her own good. On 8/21 she opened the back door and let herself and one of her fur-sisters out. While it looked like Munch was on her way back to the house, I seen one of the smaller cats. I tried to get her, but munch wandered to our neighbors yard. Their dog was out and it attacked and killed her. There is not a moment that we don’t miss her. She was supposed to have an ultra sound to see if she was in remission. Now we will never know. We love and miss her and can only hope she enjoyed her life with us as much as we enjoyed it with her.

        • My thoughts are with you our jack has large cell gastric too. We are starting on prednisone today and hoping for the best he is 8 yrs young and want him in our lives a long time. Any other suggestions?

      • Jamie, my condolences. How traumatic. poor baby. Please know kitty is safe and happy now and feeling wonderful, even those left behind are devastated. 🙁

  48. I haven’t tried any supplements and Boofy is still leaking liver enzymes. We’re on a strong course of clav /antibiotics until the next round of pill chemo. I’m interested to hear what a holistic vet recommends. Please keep us posted on your journey.

  49. My situation is similar to Kristy’s. Midge had a tumor removed from his lower intestine in May, rebounded fantastically, and had his first four chemo treatments without incident. Took a week off, had a session last week with Vinscristine and totally crashed. He is right now in the hospital on IV fluids. I don’t know whether he has sores in his mouth/ throat but he won’t eat or drink. Lost all the weight he put on in the last month. The vet doesn’t know whether it’s a really bad reaction or whether the lymphoma has returned. So upsetting. I have returned to this board a number of times over the past month, and thank everyone here for the info sharing and support.

      • Thank you Ingrid & “dove”. Sadly, the vet did bloodwork and Midge’s kidneys have failed. I don’t know whether this was due to the chemo or not. A couple of months ago he had the beginnings of CRF but nothing alarming. We don’t believe he will pull out of this crash, as his body temp is falling. We are on our way shortly to see him over the bridge and out of pain. Again, thanks to all who make this a wonderful resource for us cat lovers. x/ A

  50. My sweet 11 year old tabby, Duke, was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma last Wednesday. He was fine, and then one day started hiding and couldn’t walk. After 2 consecutive days at the pet ER, the doctors found a mass in his colon. We had it removed on the 24th, which is when the doctors found out the mass had been bleeding. Duke had a blood transfusion the next night. (This was super scary, because he’s a rare blood type and no one in Sacramento had his blood. Thank God for blood banks.) He has been recovering at home ever since. He was a little tired at first, but he has his appetite back, and is using the bathroom just fine. Tomorrow, we start chemotherapy, and I’m very torn about the decision I’ve made. There’s not a lot of research or information on felines with Hemangiosarcoma, so Duke’s oncologist is reluctant to try out any type of supplements. I’ve gone ahead and made an appointment with a holistic vet, which was recommended to me by a fellow cat Mom, I found on instagram, going through the same thing. The more information I can get on this cancer would be greatly appreciated.

      • Duke had his first round of doxorubicin chemotherapy last week, and he handled it like a champ. The new ultrasound showed thickening of intestines, which could be inflammatory bowel disease or swelling from his surgery. The Oncologist has recommended a different Integrative Medicine specialist. I have a consultation with the doctor on Wednesday. I believe they’re going to try acupuncture and ozone therapy. I will keep everyone posted.

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