Did We Cause Our Cat To Get FISS?

So today, after 7 years together, we have had to sadly say goodbye to one of our cats.  She came home almost exactly 7 years ago, a frightened stray, the runt of her litter, terrified of everything around her.  Over the years she has given us so much joy and laughter.  She quickly became the most spoilt cat around – even to the extent of being carried around on Paul’s shoulders like a parrot!  She was, and is, very very loved.


But in December we discovered a lump on her back.  We were hopeful for quite a long time that it was just one of those things that older cats get.  Surely it couldn’t be anything sinister.  But when we took her to the vets, our worst fears were confirmed.  She has FISS – Feline Injection Site Sacorma. A very vicious type of cancer – and there was really no cure.  We could have put her through the pain of having surgery, and the pain of chemotherapy, but we were told that that would give her a recovery of less than a year before it came back. We just couldn’t do it.

The worst part of the whole thing is, we caused it! Not us personally, but FISS is caused by injections, given by humans.  As responsible pet owners we had her chipped and immunised – it was the right thing to do. But by doing the right thing, we caused her to get cancer. We are really struggling with that fact. I know that, if we hadn’t given her the relevant injections, she may have had an illness anyway – but there’s always a but…! What if? Did we do the right thing? Will we do it again with any new pets we have??

We’ve talked long and hard about this. According to the vets, FISS is really rare. They don’t often see cats with it, and more often than not, they can operate.  So, poor Tinkerbell was in the minority. It doesn’t make us feel any better though.


The one thing that we know is, we couldn’t have loved her any more than we did. She couldn’t have had a better life than she had.  We did everything for her and adored every ounce of her being.  She was put to sleep in the arms of her Daddy, safe in the knowledge that she was loved and adored.  At least we can say that we got that right.


  1. August 9, 2017 / 5:57 pm

    So sorry. Tinkerbell was a beauty, wasn’t she? I’ve been a “cat person” all my life, and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of FISS. I want to learn all about it. It doesn’t sound like you could have prevented it.

    • cherrynewby
      August 9, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      Thanks Jean – she really was beautiful, both inside and out. She was the most loving little girl ever and it was so hard to say goodbye to her. We’d never heard of FISS either but what makes it worse is that if we hadn’t had her chipped or vaccinated then she wouldn’t have got it. Saying that, we do know that as responsible owners, vaccinating her was the right thing to do – and we’d do the same again – but it was such a hard thing to go through.

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