How to Prevent Cancer in Cats
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How to Prevent Cancer in Cats

Cancer is a leading killer of cats, learn what causes cancer in cats and ways to prevent your cat from getting cancer. How to prevent cancer in cats? Can cat get cancer? What are the causes of cancer in cats? How do cats get cancer? Can flea control products cause cancer in a pet cat? Learn more about cats and the risks of cancer.

Cancer is a leading killer of pets second only to accidents. It is more known in dogs because cats often have their lives cut short for other reasons, and some cat owners fail to take a sick cat to the veterinarian. Nonetheless preventing cancer in our pet cats is very important and will help our cats to live longer, pain free, lives.

Spaying and Neutering

Spaying female cats, or neutering male cats, has huge advantages when trying to prevent cancers. There are many cancer risks that are completely removed by these surgeries. In females every heat cycle a cat goes through increases her risk for developing breast cancer later in life.


Feeding your cat a correct diet also plays a large role in reducing the cats risk of developing cancer (or other health problems for that matter). Sadly most cat owners know very little and select cat foods that are loaded with known problem causers and carcinogens. Just because a food is approved for production and meets minimal pet food guidelines, does not mean these guidelines are high, in fact most countries have rather low guidelines on what can go into pet foods.

Chemical preservatives BHT, and BHA, have been linked to health concerns such as cancer. Ethoxyquin is of greater concern, not only is it a chemical pesticide (banned from use in some countries such as Japan due it it being so unsafe), but it is of extra concern because it is often hidden on an ingredient list. Ethoxyquin is used to preserve by-products, and as such is considered part of the by-product and may not appear on the ingredient list.

Speaking of by-products, these can even include cancerous tumors (among other dreadful things) although to say that eating a cancerous tumor causes cancer is uncertain.

Cats are true carnivores, but when we look at some cat foods we see they contain a lot of carbohydrates, such as corn, rice, wheat, and so forth. A good cat food would never contain these in the top ingredient positions which should always be specific meat sources (example: Chicken Meal). When we think of cats eating and digesting things their bodies were not meant to eat we should understand that this is stressful, and as such can contribute to them developing cancer.

Chemicals in the House

Chemicals that we use in the house, and that are already present, also contribute to cancer in cats. Studies have shown that the fire retardants used in carpets and fabrics are linked to Hyperthyroidism in cats, and possibly cancer as well.

Indeed the chemicals we use on our floors, carpets, and furniture, sneaks its way into our pets as they walk or sleep, and then groom themselves. As these chemicals accumulate in our cats tiny body they can increase the risk of the animal developing cancer.

Lawn chemicals are also something we must consider, especially pesticides used to control insect populations. If our cat goes outside it is walking on and among a chemical cloud, possibly even eating some insects that have been sprayed with chemicals, and chewing on treated grass. Cats that go into, or sleep in, garages are often breathing in a slew of chemicals all the time.

two cats

Two of the authors cats in an outdoor cat enclosure.

Flea Control

Some flea control products have been linked to cancers.  Indeed the fewer chemicals we use on, or near, our pets the better.  The safest way to remove fleas is to use a flea comb and stick any fleas and flea eggs to tape for disposal.  Keeping our cat out of flea infested areas.  Chickens eat fleas, and as such some people use free range hens to control the flea and tick population in their yard.  Flea collars are especially dangerous and should never be used.


Some family lines have a history of cancer, as such when purchasing a purebred cat it is important to buy from a reputable breeder that can show the cat comes from a cancer free family. It may be that mixed breed cats have lower rates of cancer, providing they were not inbred.

Lowering Stress

As stress has been shown to increase cancer rates in humans, and most animals, so too with cats. Helping our cats live stress free lives is important. As such we must allow them to live naturally (allow them 16 hours of sleep). If a person feels that their cat is happier if it can go outdoors, they can do so but allow it to be kept safe by building a cat enclosure, rather than allowing it to be loose.

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Comments (9)

Very passionately written Brenda.

Ranked #8 in Cats

I have had two companions die of cancer. The first was a collie called Nellie. She died a very painful death because at five or six I didn't understand and wouldn't let my uncle shoot her. My second companion to suffer from cancer was my fifteen year old Calico named Jezebel. She developed lymph node cancer and I had to have her put down five years ago. Good article,.

Ranked #9 in Cats

informative and very helpful...i love cats

i have a couple of local cats and they are wild at dark and chased rats at night, bringing home unfinished bodies of rats that leaved a foul smell after a day. thanks for this advice.

really helpful article

Very good article. Finding good quality cat food seems to have become difficult in the last couple of years. Any suggestions?

Ranked #1 in Cats

to Lorena. I could name cat foods but brands are different world wide and I have no idea where you live. As a rule ALL foods in grocery stores (Wal Mart, etc) are crappy foods and many in the big box stores are too.. even vets often sell food with problem ingredients (Hills Science Diet).. One of the best foods I have found is Orijen their ingredients are awesome. To find a good food you must go to speciality stores, places that dont sell pets, (some livestock feed stores sell premium pet foods), as do some groomers, and pet SUPPLY stores. Read the ingredient list - avoid ANY food with BHT, BHA and by-products of any kind.. avoid foods with corn as a first or second ingredient.

Thanks for your remarks Brenda. I've sent you a private message about the subject.

Ranked #26 in Cats

Well done! Sending you some page love.