Adenocarcinomas of the small intestine and Siamese cats

Siamese cat with slight squint

The Siamese cat is predisposed to getting adenocarcinomas of the small intestine. This is a certain type of cancer and in this case it affects the Siamese cat’s small intestine.

Compared to domestic shorthair cats (non-purebred cats) the Siamese is 3-8 times more likely to suffer from these cancerous growths¹. Other sources state that there is a “greater” incidence in Siamese cats².

The symptoms appear to be:

  • long history of non-specific gastrointestinal disease (meaning vague intestinal problems)
  • weight loss
  • vomiting

The intestine can be palpated by a vet and a mass can sometimes be detected.

It appears that an operation is required to remove the cancer by removing a part of the small intestine and joining it up again. A Siamese cat can live for about a maximum of 2 years thereafter. It seems to be fatal and the only medical treatment might extend life².

I believe this disease is classified as a genetic disease (inherited).


  2. Canadian Veterinary Journal
FB comments (see below)


Adenocarcinomas of the small intestine and Siamese cats — 5 Comments

  1. This is very sad actually. Poor cats inherit these issues and there’s nothing to be done about it except to stop bloody well breeding them.

  2. I hate this. I think Siamese cats are so regal and I have, sometimes, mistaken a himalayan for one.
    In any case, my only real frame of reference here has to do with humans in regard to CA of the small intestine and may or may not apply.
    In humans, by the time there are symptoms, it’s late stage. Surgery and chemo may prolong the inevitable, but they are only palliative and quality of life wouldn’t be good.
    I would have such a hard time dealing with this illness in a cat and making the decisions that have to be made.

    • Yes a lot of cat health problems are mirrored in humans. The Siamese is such a popular cat but over 7 years of studying cats for the site, I have come to the conclusion that they are the most unhealthy cat breed probably due partly to overbreeding (narrow gene pool).

      It is interesting that the first Siamese cats in the West (in England in fact) all had worms and were sickly.

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