Cat Lipomas: Treatment & Surgery Costs

four minutes
Oct 30, 2023

Finding lumps on your cat’s skin can be alarming, and not all masses are the same. One lump you may come across is a lipoma. While generally a harmless tumor, lipomas may cause your cat discomfort or need to be removed for other reasons. The cost of removing a lipoma can reach up to $725 or more, depending on different factors.1 Let’s take a look at what lipomas in cats are, the treatments, and how pet insurance can help with costs.

What Are Lipomas in Cats?

Lipomas are benign tumors made of fatty tissue.2 They’re typically soft lumps found under the skin where fat grows — although they may develop in between muscle layers (aka infiltrative lipomas) or even on internal organs.3 For cats, they’re more likely to develop on the abdomen, but they can pop up anywhere on the body.2 While any cat can develop lipomas, older, male, neutered Siamese cats may be at a higher risk.2

The rate lipomas grow varies — some may grow rapidly while others might remain the same size for years.3 However, even though lipomas are benign, it’s a good idea to get them checked by a veterinarian, since it may be hard to tell the difference between a lipoma and a malignant (cancerous) liposarcoma tumor.2

Causes of lipomas

There isn’t one single cause of lipomas — there can be a number of genetic or environmental factors at play.3 And even though lipomas mostly develop in fat layers, obese cats typically aren’t more at risk of lipomas than cats at a healthy weight.2

A MetLife Pet Policy May Help Cover Lipoma Costs

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Symptoms of Cat Lipomas

Lipomas may show up as a lump anywhere on your cat’s body, but the abdomen, back, neck, chest, and upper legs are common. They’re typically soft, moveable masses — although they can be more firm.2 The skin and fur usually appear normal over the lump. Cats can develop one mass or multiple masses, but you can rest easier knowing that, since lipomas are benign, multiple masses aren’t a sign of the tumors spreading.3

While a lump on your cat may be easy to spot, you likely won’t be able to tell if it’s a lipoma or another kind of tumor without a proper vet diagnosis.

Diagnosing a Lipoma

Vets typically perform a fine-needle aspiration to begin diagnosing lipomas.3 While keeping your cat still, a small amount of cells are extracted from the tumor using a syringe and placed under a microscope for viewing. If vets can’t make a complete diagnosis from this procedure, they may biopsy the tumor.3 A biopsy involves surgically removing part of the tumor and sending it off for a more thorough diagnosis.

Treating Your Cat’s Lipomas

After diagnosis, your vet may recommend surgically removing the lipoma as a form of treatment.3 However, since these tumors are benign, your cat might not need lipomas removed if they’re not causing your kitty discomfort. In this case, your vet may ask you to monitor the lipoma for changes over time. You and your vet can come up with the right solution.

When removed, lipomas have a fairly low chance of returning, and your cat will likely lead a normal life after.3 Your cat will probably spend a day recovering from anesthesia and will need sutures removed during a follow-up visit. Your vet will likely send you home with medications for your kitty to combat inflammation and infection during recovery.

Lipoma in cats treatment cost

If your vet recommends surgical removal, costs can vary depending on where you live, your cat’s health condition, the location and size of the tumor, and how many lipomas are being removed. Tumor removal may cost around $125 for a small lipoma, up to $725 for very large ones.1 Before the procedure, your cat will undergo diagnostic tests — to ensure they’re healthy enough for anesthesia and surgery — which will add to the total vet bill.

You can typically expect to pay for medications and a follow-up visit after the surgery as well.

Pet Insurance Can Help With Lipoma Treatment Costs

While lipomas typically aren’t something to worry about, if removing them is recommended, the unexpected cost may create tension in your budget. Fortunately, MetLife Pet offers cat insurance policies that can help cover diagnostics and treatment costs, including surgical removal recommended by a vet.

You shouldn’t have to choose between your finances and getting your beloved cat the best care they need — and deserve. Get a free quote today to see how MetLife Pet Insurance can help protect your cat and your wallet.

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Pet Insurance Can Help

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “Surgical Tumor Removal in Cats,” Wag!

2 “Tumors of the Skin in Cats,” Merck Veterinary Manual

3 “Adipose (Lipoma) Tumors,” VCA Animal Hospitals

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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