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What Is Cardiomyopathy In Cats?

Feline cardiomyopathy is a heart disease in cats. This potentially severe heart disorder could be caused by a taurine deficiency, heredity, or a thyroid condition. The most common kinds of this feline heart disease are hypertropic or dilated cardiomyopathy. Hypertropic cardiomyopathy is a thickening of the heart muscle. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a stretching of the cardiac muscles. Both conditions of feline cardiomyopathy can cause blood clots to form which can block blood flow.

The onset of feline cardiomyopathy may show as lethargy and loss of appetite. A severe case of feline cardiomyopathy may cause difficulty breathing. Paralysis of the rear legs may indicate that blood flow has been blocked by a blood clot. Any paralysis in cats should be evaluated immediately by a veterinarian as it may be caused by this or other dangerous diseases. This paralysis as a complication of feline cardiomyopathy is typically very painful.

What Is Cardiomyopathy In Cats?


Chest x-rays, ultrasound, or an Echocardiogram may be used to diagnose feline cardiomyopathy. If fluid is present around the heart, the veterinarian may remove this excess fluid to make the diagnostic process easier. The veterinarian may use an electrocardiogram (EKG) to study the activity of the heart. The veterinarian is likely to rule out feline heart-worm disease. The veterinarian may check the cat’s blood pressure during the exam. A sample of blood may be drawn to check the condition of the thyroid by evaluating the blood’s contents for thyroid hormones.


There is no cure for feline cardiomyopathy. A severe case of feline cardiomyopathy generally leads to heart failure. Medications may be used to help control the symptoms and effects of this cat heart disease in an attempt to prolong the cat’s life. The feline cardiomyopathy treatment is based on the cause, severity, and effects of the condition. An anticoagulant medication may be prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clots. If the cat has developed high blood pressure, the veterinarian may prescribe medication to help control the high blood pressure. If the feline cardiomyopathy was caught early in the onset of the disease, interventions and careful monitoring of the condition may allow the cat to live a normal lifespan.

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