Chemotherapy for cats

I’m just wondering if anyone has experience using CHOP in cats and has any idea what the cost is?

My very beloved cat has a tumor on his right kidney (most likely lymphoma). I’m currently waiting on bloodwork results to see how his other kidney is doing, and then I have to see a specialist at Blue Pearl, assuming his other kidney is functioning well enough to continue. While there is plenty of information on lymphoma, I really can’t find as much about the prognosis with Renal lymphoma…Assuming that is what it is and it isn’t renal carcinoma. Right now we are assuming it is lymphoma. The only good news is he does not show signs of renal failure (no excessive thirst or urination).

I can’t see putting an animal through chemotherapy if it has side effects. It’s one thing for a person to have a stiff upper lip through months of nausea and hair loss and pain, knowing the hopeful out come. But all animals will know is that they feel like they are being slowly poisoned.


My dog went through CHOP for lymphoma, only had nausea with one of the meds. Then I gave her antinausea medication to prevent that in the future. I’ve heard from the vets that dogs and cats usually tolerate chemo well. She did lose her whiskers and eyelashes.

If my pet is given a fatal prognosis and treatment is to buy time rather than cure, I would not accept treatment that will make that cat uncomfortable on a regular basis (or fails to keep him comfortable). Our pets don’t have a concept of “more time”, they only have the here and now.

Now (before things get bad) is the time to define now what constitutes a good day, and what quality of life looks like, so you avoid the slippery slope of judging “good days” based on how he’s been lately.


I don’t know anything about this, but I just wanted to say that I’m very sorry for you and your kitty. I hope you and your vet can figure out something that will help.

I remember reading and hearing that chemo usually isn’t as rough on animals as it is on people so if you decide to go that route, hopefully it won’t be bad for him.

This breaks my heart for you :frowning: We dealt with small cell intestinal lymphoma, so one of the “better” cancers. Chlorambucil was the drug of choice for that, and once her body got past the initial “wth is this!” and we adjusted the timing of dosing, she handled it VERY well. Cats tend to handle chemo pretty darn well according to our oncologist. I have no idea the cost for that protocol though. Ours was cheap, like maybe $70 for a 3 month supply It was the regular bloodwork visits that were not, though fortunately after 3-4 monthly visits that went to every 2-4 months.

Fingers crossed your kitty is otherwise healthy enough to give this a try :heart:

Cole of the “Cole and Marmalade” fame is undergoing treatment for lymphoma (not sure which kind) that is getting chemo and radiation.

Info on his diagnosis/treatment:

I had a cat with mammary cancer so have done some research into chemo, and echo that the general consensus is that cats actually tolerate chemo well (which surprised me).

Ultimately I decided not to go with chemo due to the advanced stage of her cancer. Given the number and size of tumors, chemo would have had a minimal benefit. (She also hated being physically handled so that was another factor in the decision.)

If I had a cat that didn’t get too stressed by handling/travel with an early stage cancer I’d definitely consider it.

Good luck to you!

1 Like

Cats can function quite well with one kidney though you do have to monitor them quite closely. Having said that, if I thought chemo would make anything better or improve chances I would go for it but with the other diagnosis I’m not sure.

I’m sorry for you and your poor kitty.

Unfortunately he rapidly deteriorated. He was already on chlorambucil and prednisolone for his diagnosis of possible small cell lymphoma (been on it for the last year). I took him in for an ultrasound 3 months ago and everything was normal. Then took him in on Monday for bloodwork and found the tumor on the kidneys. By Thursday he was having respiratory distress (pleural effusion). The vet speculated it was in his chest as well.

I feel so guilty. If I had more money, i could have attempted further treatment. If I had taken him back to the vet in November maybe we would have found the cancer earlier… I emailed someone online who had a cat with renal lymphoma - treatment was $1000 per week and her cat only survived 2 additional months. A full course of treatment was $16,000… Her cat went blind during the treatment process. Prognosis is typically 5 months, although rare cases can go into prolonged remission. The cancer typically jumps from the kidneys to the brain. That is what happened with her cat. And if they don’t eat, they need a feeding tube…

Logically it didn’t make sense to put him through that, but my heart is so very broken. Why did it have to be him? He was my best, most beloved cat. He always slept cuddled up next to my chest, even if I turned the other way in my sleep, he would always get up and cuddle up against me. He would follow me around the house and cry at the window when I left. Feeding time was the most exciting time of the day. The house just feels so empty. Quiet without him talking back to me. He always came when called. Always talked back when you spoke to him.

I picked up 2 kittens from separate litters this weekend at a free adoption event. Not sure they will work out as they don’t like each other at all. Lots of hissing. Both are separated but in the same room. The girl kitten is very shy. The boy kitten is bouncing off the walls with energy and very bold. Both are about the same age. Up to date on everything but still in quarantine until I am certain they have nothing contagious. I have not named them yet.

Aww I’m so sorry about your kitty.

I’m so sorry about your kitty. It’s so hard to lose them. :disappointed:

I hope your kittens settle in soon.

Oh my heart just breaks for you! I hope you can let go of the what-ifs, though I know it’s hard sometimes. I’ve been there - what if I took her earlier, what if I insisted on another test. We did chlorambucil for a little over a year with really good results, and she even got the remission badge of honor. Then things changed again and she went downhill fast, but her intestines looked good. My gut says pancreatitis, but I didn’t insist on more tests, and I’ll always wonder. She was a talker too, and her presence was very missed, even with 6 others in the house.

It’s extra hard when you spend so much time and emotional energy treating them and seeing them get better, or at least not get worse. They always become extra special

I’m so glad you have 2 littles now. Don’t give up hope that they will like each other :slight_smile:


Hugs to you and please be kind to yourself. :heart: It doesn’t sound like finding the cancer in November (or doing the further, expensive treatment) would have gotten him much more time or improved his quality of life very much. You were a great mom to him and you got him the treatment he needed for the past year. But I know it really hurts and it sucks. I’m so sorry for you and your sweet kitty.

1 Like

I’m so sorry you did not get more time with him. But you called it right. You loved him and did your best and that is enough. RIP best kitty.