All about cats

What causes an enlarged heart in a cat

An enlarged heart is usually caused by a heart disease. In some cases, a person's cat may already have the disease, called feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

HCM is a heart muscle disease that affects between 10 and 15 percent of cats. It causes the heart muscle to increase in size, and can be diagnosed by a simple blood test.

If an enlarged heart is caused by HCM, it is called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Symptoms of an enlarged heart in a cat

The signs of heart failure in cats may not be obvious. The signs are similar to those seen in dogs with heart disease.

Weak pulse

Difficulties breathing




If your cat has signs of heart failure, consult your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment.

Treating an enlarged heart in a cat

As with humans, there are several medications that can be used to treat an enlarged heart in cats. If a cat becomes heart failure due to an enlarged heart that is not caused by HCM, your veterinarian may recommend medication.

Heart disease in cats can be extremely serious. Your veterinarian will discuss the treatment with you and will likely want to refer you to a specialist if you have questions.

Living with an enlarged heart

A cat with an enlarged heart can live a long and happy life, but it will require extra care.

Your cat's diet should be based around high-quality, high-fiber foods.

Your cat should receive regular physical examinations.

If your cat has a heart murmur, your veterinarian may recommend putting your cat on a special diet designed to help reduce the murmur.

If your cat becomes heart failure, your veterinarian may recommend putting a pacemaker in place.

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