Published: 16 Dec 2020 | Last Updated: 16 Dec 2020 14:13:58

The RVC had published the world’s largest study on lymphoma cancer in cats under general veterinary care. This new study revealed that approximately 1 in 2000 cats (48 per 100,000) under first opinion veterinary care are affected by lymphoma every year.

Exploring anonymised clinical records from over 500,000 cats under veterinary care at first opinion clinics in the UK, the study also found that male cats, cats over 11 years of age and insured cats were more likely to be diagnosed with feline lymphoma. Conversely, vaccinated cats were at decreased risk of diagnosis compared with unvaccinated cats. Breed and potential exposure to some environmental exposures were not found to be associated with lymphoma.

Key findings from the research included:

  • The annual frequency of lymphoma in cats was estimated as 48/100,000 cats per year.
  • Male cats were 1.7 times more likely to have lymphoma than female cats.
  • Cats over 11 years were 5 times more likely to have lymphoma than cats aged 2 – 5 years.
  • Insured cats were 3.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with lymphoma diagnosis than uninsured cats.

Dr Anneliese Stell, ACVIM Diplomat in Oncology said:
“This study is a valuable, up-to-date epidemiological analysis of feline lymphoma frequency and risk factors in the UK. It is novel, in that it reflects cats attending first opinion practices in the UK, rather than a selected population attending referral institutions."

Professor Dave Brodbelt, Professor of Evidence based Veterinary Medicine at the RVC, and co-author of the paper, said:
“This is an exciting paper and highlights the frequency of lymphoma in cats in the UK. Being aware of the range of risk factors reported can help vets advise owners more clearly on the risk of this cancer when their animals present to the veterinary practice."

This full paper is freely available open access at:

You may also be interested in:

Top of page