Dealing With Your Cat’s Heart Disease

A diagnosis of heart disease in your cat shouldn’t cause panic – there are many ways to treat it. Read how to spot the symptoms and common treatments.

There are many ways to treat a heart condition in cats so don’t panic if your furry friend has tested positive for heart disease. Changing your cat’s diet and the use of medications are just two ways that a heart condition can be treated. For example, your vet may put your cat on beta-blockers, or another medication such as aspirin, to prevent blood clots, based on the specific condition and severity of the problem.

By spotting the symptoms of heart disease and taking your cat in to your vet to get it checked, you will greatly increase the chances of lengthening their lifespan. To catch the early warning signs, and enable your kitty to live a long and happy life, it is important to learn about heart disease in cats, as well as the symptoms and diagnosis.

Two types of heart disease

There are two types of heart diseases; the first is acquired, the second is congenital.

Acquired diseases generated throughout your cat’s life are mostly caused by lifestyle factors, infection or illness, injury or aging. Some examples of acquired diseases are damaged heart muscle, an enlarged heart or congestive heart failure.

Congenital diseases in cats are quite rare, however, they do occur and need to be identified and treated by a veterinary professional. A kitten will be born with a congenital condition due to its genetics. Examples include a hole in the heart or another heart malfunction.

Symptoms of heart disease

Cats are very good at hiding their pain and struggles as they are designed to be predators that don’t show weakness. If you see your cat displaying any of the symptoms of advanced heart disease below you should immediately take it to the vet for an examination.

  • Difficulty eating, or lack of appetite
  • Hiding from people, or increased sleep
  • Unusual or erratic behaviour.
  • Lacklustre eyes, with a loss of play drive and energy
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Purple or grey gums
  • Weakness in the hind legs and difficulty walking, jumping, or running
  • Vomiting.

CareVets identify that a common way to identify the cause of heart issues is to ultrasound the heart (called echocardiography). Your veterinarian could complete various tests such as an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, X-rays and blood and urine tests to diagnose your cat accurately, so they can treat your furry companion effectively.