Animals are not immune to disease. While your adopted pet is more taken care of than stray ones, they are still vulnerable to it. One of serious diseases that may endanger your cat’s life is heart disease.
Heart disease or cardiomyopathy is a condition where cat’s heart does not function normally. It may interrupt with your cat’s vitality and even death. Older cats also have more chance to develop this illness.
Causes of Heart Disease in Cats
There are several causes of heart disease in cats as follow:
- Malformation heart valve
- Internal infection
- Age factor
There are actually many types of cardiomyopathy but since most of them do not have obvious signs that are naked to the eye, as an owner of a cat, you should be aware of warning signs of heart disease in cats.
Signs of Heart Disease in Cats
Below are signs of heart disease in cats you should know.
- Difficulty to Walk
The first warning sign of heart disease in cat ia difficulty to walk in hind legs. Cat with this disease find it difficult to walk normally or limping around due to blood clot at the end of aorta. Because of this blood clot, it blocks the supply of blood to hind legs, causing numbness as well as inability to walk in fast pace.
If you see your cat starting to limp or walk in abnormal way, learn how to help cat that has trouble walking, and check its hind legs and touch it gently. There may be a clot or lump that indicates blood clot. Since heart disease is a very serious heart problem, after notice this sign, make sure your cat receive proper treatment.
- Less Energetic
Cat with heart disease has low stamina due to inability of the heart to pump blood normally. As a result, your cat will not be as energetic as before. You may found your cat laying all day without any movement or just making a slight one. They also seem to get exhausted easily when you take them outside.
People often mistake this behaviour as laziness which is partly not true since as much as a cat moves in slow pace, they also like wandering around and going outside. Notice if this sign appears on your cat’s behaviour.
- Shortness of Breath
Another sign of early heart disease ia shortness of breath. Since your cat’s heart failed to pump the blood well, the level of oxygen distributed to organs depleted, hence making it harder to breath. As a result, you will find the cat exhale and inhale breath faster than regular one. This is due to lack of oxygen within body that forces your cat to breathe faster.
Shortness of breath as one of warning signs of heart disease in cats can also signal a buildup of fluid in the lung. Fluid that dominates the lung makes it harder to breathe. If you see your cat having this sign, the best way to prevent further serious problem is by taking it to veterinarian to check the cause. Prepare first aid item for kittens for immediate care.
- Chronic Coughing
Another sign of your cat having heart disease is chronic coughing. While cat usually like to make fur ball by coughing it out through their mouths, this kind of coughing is more severe. Chronic coughing occurs when the lung is full of fluid or when the heart fails to pump blood and ending up having blood covered the lung.
A pierced heart that does not function well will make the cat to cough often, sometimes followed by blood. Early sign of this can occur when the cat start having broken meowing sound as if it is chocked on something. If coughing does not stop within a week, consider to do check up.
- Chronic Vomitting
Aside from coughing, cat with heart disease also experience vomitting. Cat vomitting is a more common symptom than coughing. The reason why a cat vomit is because the heart fails to deliver nutrition within blood that makes other organs react differently from normal metabolism. Even though cat vomitting is not really a rare phenomenon since cat does like to vomit more compared to other animals, this may be sign of heart disease.
More severe vomits continue by cat refusing to eat anything and vomit the food instead. If this continue for a long time, your cat may start to develop deficiency in nutrient and lack of vitamin you could give to cats that will worsen heart disease even more. Learn tips for taking care sick cat at home for beginners to help save your cat’s life.
- Withdrawn and Depressed
Sick cat in general tend to be less enthusiastic than the healthy one. It is because their health system is not fit anymore so the cat tends to be withdrawn and less cheerful than before. Cat with heart disease can get depressed and do not react to their owner. They will choose to hole up in their housing or just laying all day.
If the stress reached higher level, the cat will start yowling to show pain. Feeling pain is one of the reason why cat meowing loudly. By knowing this sign, owner can take preventive measure to prevent the disease to get worse.
- Poor Appetite
Aside from having less stamina and more withdrawn, another warning sign of heart disease in cats is poor appetite. Sick cat does not have the regular appetite since their sense of taste may falter due to illness. They will refuse to eat regularly or eat less than usual. Moreover, they may vomit their food right after eating it.
The poor appetite does not solely because they are sick, the malfunctioning heart also cause gastrointestinal problem which makes cat’s stomach feel uncomfortable. In case your cat start having less appetite continuously, it can be the one of heart disease signs.
- Swollen Abdomen
Swollen abdomen is probable sign of heart disease since it contradicts with the loss of appetite a cat experiences. While swollen abdomen can show a weight gain, it does not necessarily mean that way to a cat with heart disease, especially one who experience loss of appetite. Thr abdomen is swollen due to blockage in abdomen rather than accumulated fat.
As a pet owner, you should be aware of those warning signs of heart disease in cats as and learn signs when cat sick and need attention as this disease is fatal and actually can kill your cat.