Feline Heart Disease & Congestive Failure

Feline cardiomyopathy causes heart walls to thin and pump ineffectively. Blood then backs up and fluid can fill lungs causing congestion, coughing and shortness of breath.  


High blood pressure, thyroid disorders, genetics and diet contribute to complex cat cardiovascular disease onset and progression.

Underlying Causes Vary 

Congestive heart failure may develop slowly over months or years or can manifest unexpectedly in cats with an arrhythmic crisis event.   

Sudden Onset

Labored breathing, diminished activity tolerance, weight loss and fainting suggest compromised heart function requiring prompt veterinary diagnosis.  

Warning Signs   

Depending on severity, long term medications help strengthen contraction, lower blood pressure, reduce fluid and help oxygenate to reduce demands on the compromised feline heart.  

Ongoing Medications  

Salt/sodium promotes fluid retention worsening lung congestion. Prescribing reduced sodium therapeutic diets helps cats excrete excess.

Modifications Aid  

Encourage relaxed activities cats can enjoy in short intervals without overexertion and arrange soft indoor areas to comfortably rest when fatigued.  

Resting Periods   

Staying Focused on Work with Cat at Home