Actinic keratosis (AK) and Bowenoid in situ carcinoma (BISC) are two distinct forms of in situ squamous cell carcinoma in felines. They usually occur on different locations and present with specific clinical and histologic features. However, in some cases, these diseases cannot be distinguished either clinically or histopathologically. The aim of the present study was to determine the accuracy of diagnosis based on clinical or histologic criteria alone, and whether immunohistochemistry for papillomavirus or p53 can improve the accuracy of diagnosis. A series of in situ squamous cell carcinoma cases (n = 45) were selected according to their location and initial histologic classification and subsequently classified as AK (n = 22) or BISC (n = 23) according to the clinical criteria and were reevaluated histologically by 2 dermatopathologists. All BISC cases and most of the AK cases (n = 15) were confirmed histologically. In 7 cases clinically classified as AK, this diagnosis was not unanimously confirmed histologically because of the presence of overlapping features. P53 immunoreactivity was observed in 11/14 (79%) confirmed AK cases and in 4/22 (18%) BISC cases, while papillomavirus antigen was not detected in any confirmed AK case but was detected in 11/23 (48%) BISC cases. It was concluded that BISC can usually be reliably diagnosed histologically. The histologic diagnosis of lesions clinically suggestive of AK might sometimes be difficult. Results of immunohistochemistry for p53 and papillomavirus antigen were supportive for a role of sun exposure and papillomavirus in the pathogenesis of AK and BISC, respectively.