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Category: heart diseases

Heart disease is relatively common in cats. Some heart defects, eg hole in the heart, are present from birth (congenital heart defects) but may only cause signs as the animal gets older. Other diseases develop later in life as a result of the effects of ageing or damage to the heart.

The signs of heart disease are often very similar whatever the cause. Many of the signs of heart disease can be confused with natural ageing changes. Reduced energy and increased sleeping are common. Cats with severe heart disease often have poor appetites and may lose weight. If water retention occurs as a result of the heart failure you might not notice that your cat is losing weight. Other signs of heart failure are difficulty in breathing due to fluid build up in the lungs – but remember these signs may be seen with many other diseases too. Less commonly, cats with heart disease may faint or collapse.

In almost all cases the sooner heart disease is recognised and treated the better the outcome will be. If you are worried about your cat in any way always seek further advice from your vet.

Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is one of the more common congenital heart defects in cats. It is sometimes referred to as a 'hole in the heart'. The condition is often discovered in apparently healthy cats by a vet during a

Investigating heart disease

It is important that your vet can recognise the early stages of heart failure (and therefore when to begin therapy, if necessary). Investigations of animals with heart disease are important to identify early signs of failure and to establish the

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Hypertension (high blood pressure) has long been known to be a problem in people and is being increasingly recognised in pets. Hypertension is very common in older people and is often associated with smoking, or with stressful living. In animals,

Heart rhythm disturbance (atrial fibrillation)

There are many different heart problems that can affect cats. Some of these affect the rhythm of the heart beat and one such condition is atrial fibrillation. This is most commonly seen in association with severe heart disease. Atrial fibrillation

Heart disease in your cat

Heart disease is increasingly common in cats, probably because their average life expectancy has increased due to improved veterinary care. Some heart defects may be present from birth (congenital heart defects) but only show symptoms as the cat gets older.

Feline aortic thromboembolism

Cats may be struck 'out of the blue' by a blood clot resulting in dramatic signs (sudden onset of lameness and pain) and potentially devastating damage. The back legs and the right front leg are most often affected and may

Congenital heart diseases

Bringing a new kitten into the family is an exciting time and should a time of great joy. It can be particularly distressing to find that your new arrival has a problem. It is important that you get your new

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a disease affecting the heart muscle. There are two main forms of the disease - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). HCM commonly affects middle-aged cats and is more common in male cats than females. Cardiomyopathy is