Sebaceous Cysts in Cats | Cat Health Collection

Plants toxic to cats
Plants toxic to cats - A - Z guide to toxic plants

cat vaccinations
Vaccinating your cat - Everything you need to know about cat vaccinations.

Hyperthyroidism in cats
Hyperthyroidism - Caused by a benign tumour of the thyroid gland which produces excess amounts of hormones which increase metabolism.

Cat fleas
Cat fleas - Everything you need to know about cat fleas and how to get rid of them.



Cat World > Cat Health > Sebaceous Cysts in Cats

Sebaceous Cysts in Cats

Also known as "epidermal inclusion cysts", sebaceous cysts are benign tumours of the skin. They are the most common surface tumour found in cats and are composed of a thick, cheesy, yellow substance known as "sebum", which is a secretion of the sebaceous gland comprised of fat and cellular debris, which lubricates and protects the skin.

Sebum originates from the sebaceous glands, which are tiny glands located within the hair follicle. Sebaceous cysts occur when the follicle becomes blocked, causing a build up of sebum to occur. Left untreated, sebaceous cysts can become infected and therefore while the cysts themselves are harmless, they should be seen to by a veterinarian.

There is no breed, age or sex predisposition.

What are the symptoms of sebaceous cysts in cats?

Smooth, soft fluid filled lumps which may have a blue hue to them. Cysts can grow up to 1-2 inches in diameter. The most common areas to develop cysts are the head, neck and trunk.

Occasionally they will rupture, oozing a thick paste like yellow-grey substance.

How are sebaceous cysts diagnosed?

Your veterinarian can make a tentative diagnosis based on physical examination. He may wish to perform a biopsy or a fine needle aspiration on the cyst to determine if it is a benign or malignant (cancerous) tumour.

How are sebaceous cysts treated?

Do not attempt to squeeze cysts yourself, if you notice any growths on your cat, seek veterinary attention.

  • Some veterinarians will apply a wait and see approach and leave the cyst alone. If this is the case, you will need to regularly monitor the cyst for signs of growth or infection.
  • In some cases, your veterinarian may drain the cyst.
  • Surgical excision of the cyst although new cysts may grow. Removal of the cyst will usually be by electrocautery  or cryotherapy
  • Antibiotics may be required to treat a secondary infection.



Sebaceous Cysts in Cats | Cat Health Collection
Cat Breed Profiles
Maine Coon profile Maine Coon
Affectionately known as coonies, the Maine Coon is the largest breed of domestic cat.
Bengal breed profile Bengal
Originally christened the Leopardette, the Bengal cat is a hybridization of domestic cats and Asian Leopard Cats (a small wild cat)
Ragdoll breed profile Ragdoll
The Ragdoll is an extremely laid back and placid breed of cat whose history dates back to the 1960's with a white female cat named Josephine.
Burmese breed profile Burmese
The Burmese cat is a popular breed of cat and for good reason. They are the third most searched breed of cat on this site.
Persian breed profile Persian
One of, if not the most popular breed, the Persian is one of the oldest known breeds of cat.


Sebaceous Cysts in Cats | Cat Health Collection