An 8-year-old Somali cat presented with a 9-month history of inappetence, vomiting and weight loss. The disease progressed to involve neurological signs associated with a mass lesion at the level of the first lumbar vertebra. Histopathology identified the condition as malignant histiocytosis affecting the lungs, stomach, mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain and spinal cord. However, the presentation of this case differs from previously reported cases of malignant histiocytosis, and may therefore represent a variant form of histiocytic disease. (C) 2005 ESFM and AAFR Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.