Causes and Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure in Cats

Causes and Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure in Cats

September 26, 2011 | Healthy Cat | |

Meaning Of Congestive Heart Failure in Cats

Congestive heart failure in cats can be in-born or has developed over the years as they grow. It is often difficult to tell if a cat is having a heart condition without an expert’s assessment. What pet owners can do is to observe their pets for unusual behaviors and have them checked when necessary.

The actual cause of a cat’s heart failure will never be known until a comprehensive examination is done by a veterinarian.

However, if the cat is already suffering from certain diseases like anemia, thyroid problems or diabetes, it has higher chances of acquiring congestive heart failure.


Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure in cats will manifest progressively over time. Cat owners must know how to discern even small symptoms, especially when their cats are at risk of developing this disease. The following includes the symptoms of congestive heart problems in felines:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargic
  • Often thirsty
  • Easily get tired
  • Breathlessness
  • Cardiac murmurs

When the heart condition worsens, the symptoms get worse too, including:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe pain
  • Loss of bowel movement control
  • Coughing severely
  • Suffocation


  • Not all cats that acquire cardiac failure will surely die. This would depend on the extent of the heart damage and if it has been detected early.
  • Nevertheless, once the cat has surpassed the critical stage and the vet announces that the pet is alright, the owner still has to take certain measures to keep severe symptoms from recurring.
  • Abiding with the treatment plan and the control of other health condition as well as the symptoms are important factors when nursing a cat with congestive heart failure.
  • Rest is another important factor.
  • This problem can be managed, though it can be very deadly when not diagnosed and treated early on.

Causes of Feline Heart Failure

  • There are several heart conditions that can lead to the development of congestive heart failure in cats like arrhythmia or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which make it difficult for the cardiac muscles to contract normally.
  • This can also be due to damaged cardiac walls or valves.
  • This health condition progresses over time, which makes it difficult to detect.

Heart failure happens when there has been leakage of fluids into the lungs as a result of constant increase in the venous pressure within the heart. The accumulation of excess fluids in the lungs leads to symptoms of fatigue, breathlessness, and the like.

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