If a tumor is near the front of a cat’s mouth, you may see it even before your cat’s next scheduled wellness exam. But if it’s hidden near the back of the oral cavity, it can grow quite large before there are any signs of it, which very often include a foul odor, bleeding, and perhaps pain intense enough to interfere with your pet’s eating or overall mood.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your veterinarian performs an oral exam on your cat at each wellness visit, even if your pet doesn’t relish the idea of someone checking out her mouth. Tumors of the oral cavity, some benign but others malignant, account for up to 12 percent of all tumors in cats, says the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. The sooner an oral tumor is caught, the easier it generally is to treat and the less discomfort it will cause.