Felis ISSN 2398-2950


Contributor(s): Peter Dickinson, Simon Platt


  • Incidence 3.5 per 100, 000 population.
  • Cerebral meningioma represent ~10% of all non-hemopoietic tumors and over 50% of all CNS tumors in cats.
  • Cause: unknown; associated with the presence of mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) I in young cats.
  • Signs: acute onset of seizures or mental changes in a cat often over 9 years of age.
  • Diagnosis: imaging, histopathology.
  • Treatment: surgical resection; palliative management of associated edema with steroids; radiation therapy; symptomatic treatment of seizures.
  • Prognosis: after surgical treatment, the 2 year survival rate is more than 50%.


Predisposing factors


  • Unknown.
  • Particular factors that may cause brain tumors have not been identified in cats.
  • Genetic, chemical, viral, traumatic, and immunologic factors should be considered.



  • Represents neoplasia of mesenchyme and epithelium due to the fact that both mesoderm and neural crest contribute to the formation of the meninges.
  • Microscopically, most are more stereotyped than in dog and are meningotheliomatous or psammomatous.
  • Almost always have a well-defined and clear demarcation between the tumor and the normal brain.
  • The growth rate of meningiomas in cats appears to be slow when compared to that of canine meningiomas.
  • The major patterns of spread involve local expansion causing compression and destruction of local brain tissue.
  • Some tumors may be locally invasive and may expand into ventricular spaces.
  • Clinical signs are due to their specific location.
  • Most are located rostral to the tentorium; a supraventricular location is relatively more common, occasionally involving the tela choroidea of the third ventricle.
  • Published studies (Nafe 1979) suggest most cases are rostrotentorial and involve cerebral convexities.
    Many cases have been reported with multiple cerebral meningiomas.
  • Cerebral dysfunction caused by:
    • Primary effects, such as infiltration of nervous tissue, compression of adjacent anatomic structures, disruption of cerebral circulation or local necrosis.
    • Secondary effects, such as hydrocephalus, elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), brain edema or herniation.


  • May progress slowly over several months.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Kaldrymidou E, Polizopoulou Z S, Koutinas A F et al (2000) Papillary meningioma in the cerebellum of a cat. J Comp Pathol 123 (2-3), 222-225 PubMed.
  • Gordon L E, Thacher C, Matthiesen D T et al (1994) Results of craniotomy for the treatment of cerebral meningioma in 42 cats. Vet Surg 23 (2), 94-100 PubMed.
  • Gallagher J G, Berg J, Knowles K E et al (1993) Prognosis after surgical excision of cerebral meningiomas in cats: 17 cases (1986-1992). JAVMA 203 (10), 1437-1440 PubMed.
  • Nafe L A (1979) Meningiomas in cats - a retrospective study of 36 cases. JAVMA 174 (11), 1224-1227 PubMed.