Back to News

Published: Feb 28, 2012

As cats age, their heart health should be an important consideration for pet owners.  Feline heart disease comes in two forms, congenital—meaning present at birth and acquired as an adult.

VCA Animal Hospitals reports that cardiomyopathy is the most common form of heart disease in cats.  There are three different categories of cardiomyopathy - hypertrophic, dilated and intermediate. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscles are abnormally thickened, reports, and the other variants may cause the muscles to be either thinner or thicker than usual. According to VCA, cardiomyopathy can make a cat more susceptible to developing thromboembolic disease which causes excessive blood clotting issues, hypertension or congestive heart failure.

Unfortunately, cats are normally very sedentary and may not display any clinical signs of this cat illness until it has progressed past the early stages. Often times, cats will adjust their activities to suit what their hearts can handle, and this change can be hard to spot. Bringing a cat to the veterinarian for regular checkups may help to catch heart problems early.  If your veterinarian detects a heart murmur they will likely recommend x-rays and possibly a heart ultrasound to get a better picture of what is happening inside your cats heart.