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Heart Disease in Cats

Heart problems, signs, diagnosis and treatment of heart problems in cats


Heart disease in cats is common, but often asymptomatic. Learn to recognize the signs of heart problems in cats, various causes, diagnostic and treatment options, and how to manage your heart patient pet at home.

Related: Heart Diease in Dogs

1. Causes of Heart Disease in Cats

Courtesy of Tomi Tapio/Flickr.com

Heart disease in cats is frequently diagnosed and it can be a frightening situation for a cat owner. There are many different diseases that can affect the heart of the cat.

2. Heartworm Disease

Mosquito by tanakawho on Flickr
by tanakawho on Flickr

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite that lives in the blood vessels of the lung and in the heart. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and has been seen in several species; dogs are very susceptible. Cats can be severely affected too, even by a single heartworm.

3. Signs of Heart Disease in the Cat

Photo Courtesy of carterse/Flickr.com

Many cats with heart disease are asymptomatic, showing no sign of their disease until the abnormality within the heart causes the heart to fail and not function normally.

4. Diagnosing Heart Disease and Failure

Sophia the Cat Stretching by kaibara87 on Flickr
by kaibara87 on Flickr

Diagnosing heart disease and/or heart failure in the dog and cat requires a combination of several different testing methods.

5. Treating Heart Disease and Heart Failure in Cats


There are many different drugs that are used to treat heart disease and heart failure in dogs and cats. The medications chosen will depend on the type of heart disease present, the overall health of your dog or cat, and the severity of the heart disease.

6. Home Care of a Cat with Heart Disease or Heart Failure

Talk to Me by Zanastardust on Flickr
by Zanastardust on Flickr

Cats that have heart disease need special care and monitoring at home. Proper care and monitoring of your cat at home can help delay the onset of heart failure and help alert you if your pet's condition worsens.

7. Is Heart Disease the Same as Heart Failure?

Photo courtesy of Steve p2008/Flickr.com
Photo courtesy of Steve p2008/Flickr.com

Heart disease is commonly diagnosed in both dogs and cats and the diagnosis can be disturbing and confusing for pet owners. The differences between heart disease and heart failure are important to recognize.

8. Heart Murmurs in Cats

Photo Courtesy of Urien 1998/Flickr.com

Heart murmurs are sometimes found in cats and, as a cat owner, it can be upsetting to find that your cat has a murmur. Feline heart murmurs are generally detected during a physical examination when the veterinarian listens to your cat's chest with a stethoscope.

9. Types of Cardiomyopathies in Cats

Photo Courtesy of Maureen Lunn/Flickr.com

Though there are many different conditions that can cause heart disease in cats, cardiomyopathies are among commonly diagnosed heart disease. There are several different types of feline cardiomyopathy. Each has different causes and different treatment methods may be required for each as well.

10. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in Cats

Photo Courtesy of Alan Weir/Flickr.com

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, also called HCM, is the most common heart disease diagnosed in cats. It is most commonly seen in middle-aged to older cats but can affect cats of any age.

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