OBJECTIVE To investigate protein kinase CK2 (CK2) expression in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of cats and to examine effects of CK2 downregulation on in vitro apoptosis and viability in SCC. SAMPLE Biopsy specimens of oral mucosa and testis and blood samples from clinically normal cats, biopsy specimens of oral SCC from cats, and feline SCC (SCCF1) and mammary gland carcinoma (K12) cell lines. PROCEDURES Immunohistochemical labeling for CK2α was performed on biopsy specimens. Sequences of the CK2α subunit gene and CK2α′ subunit gene in feline blood and feline cancer cell lines were determined by use of PCR and reverse-transcription PCR assays followed by direct Sanger sequencing. Specific small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) were developed for feline CK2α and CK2α′. The SCCF1 cells were treated with siRNA and assessed 72 hours later for CK2α and CK2α′ expression and markers of apoptosis (via western blot analysis) and for viability (via 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-5-[3-carboxymethoxyphenyl]-2-[4-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium assays). RESULTS CK2α was expressed in all feline oral mucosa samples and 7 of 8 oral SCC samples. Expression of CK2α and CK2α′ was successfully downregulated in SCCF1 cells by use of siRNAs, which resulted in decreased viability and induction of apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this study, CK2 appeared to be a promising therapeutic target for SCCs of cats. A possible treatment strategy for SCCs of cats would be RNA interference that targets CK2.