Show Categories+

Heart Disease in Cats2015/04/19

Heart disease in cats is a serious medical condition. In cats, heart disease often shows no symptoms until the disease is very progressed. Many of the conditions are congenital meaning the cat can be born with a tendency to get this problem. Some also affect cats later in life. In many cases heart disease or heart failure in cats is difficult to treat and can be life threatening.

types of heart disease

 can be classified into different types of Cardiomyopathies (disease of the heart muscle) and are described according to the effect they have on the structure and function of the cardiac (heart) muscle.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopothy (HCM)  is the most common heart condition in cats and happens during adulthood. It is seen in both mixed and pure breed cats (eg Ragdoll, Persian, British and American Shorthair cats).

signs of heart disease in cats are:

•poor appetite

•weight loss


•increased breathing rate and effort

•sudden collapse

•sudden hind leg weakness accompanied by pain

however the significant thing about the heart disease of cats is that sometimes the symptoms are not clear until the disease is very advanced.


the role of Homevet in assessment and treatment of heart conditions in cats:

Regular veterinary checkups are a key to keeping your cat’s heart healthy. Homevet Services brings compassionate veterinary care to your home with cat home visits  to alleviate the stress of traveling for you and your cat.  There’s no barking dogs, and there’s no long wait in the receptionof a hospital.  Our veterinary team has years of experience working with cats, and when cats are in their home, they usually are much better patients. It makes routine re-checks a very easy experience for cats.

Diagnosing heart disease in cats

Diagnosis of heart disease generally is about a full physical examination and listening to the heart sound and for any  heart murmur.

 Further testing may be advised to assess the heart in cats. This usually involves us taking x-rays, electrical recording of the heart (ECG) and ultrasound examination (echocardiography). The most important test nowadays in cats is the heart ultrasound, and we liase with experts to arrange this to be done to the highest standard. We can do blood pressure measurements, blood collection, and abdominal ultrasound at home, but normally for heart ultrasound or xrays we will do this at our Partner Veterinary Hospital.

Gold standard:

The best thing that Hong Kong cat owners can do is to make sure their cats have thorough medical checkups and physical examinations — at least once a year — when the veterinarian pays attention to the heart.

If you can afford it, heart ultrasound can be arranged to be done as a routine survey to just check the heart, for at risk patients- eg if any family history of heart disease etc.


If a cat is struggling to take in air or if it can’t move its rear legs, you should seek urgent veterinary help right away.