Heart disease is not just a concern in humans. Cats can also develop heart disease. Sometimes, they develop congestive heart failure. Other times, they may have heart attacks or atherosclerosis. Unfortunately, cat owners are not always aware of the signs of heart disease in cats. If you own a cat, be aware that the following signs often indicate that your cat has a heart problem and should see a vet promptly.
It's normal for cats to sleep a lot and for them to be lazy sometimes. But if your cat seems downright lethargic to the point that they do not want to move, this is not normal. Lethargy can be a sign of heart disease. If your cat's heart is not able to pump out enough blood to keep the cat's tissues oxygenated and fueled, the cat won't have the energy to do very much. Your cat could also have an infection or lung problems, but those problems also warrant vet care, so you should take your cat to the vet, regardless.
Paralysis of the Hind End
As strange as it may sound, hind end paralysis can be a big sign of heart disease in cats. Sometimes, this might happen because the cat has developed a blood clot that has become caught in a blood vessel leading to the hind end. Other times, it might happen because the heart is not able to keep up and supply blood to all of those tissues. If your cat is swaying as they walk or dragging their hind end, you need to take them to the vet right away.
Cats can cough for a lot of reasons, including lung disease and respiratory infections. One often-overlooked cause of coughing is congestive heart failure, which causes fluid to build up in the lungs. When this is the cause of a cough, the cat's cough will generally be dry and unproductive. You may notice it becomes worse after your cat has moved around. For example, they may have a coughing fit after they go up the stairs or after they run across the room.
Cats can develop heart disease, too. There are treatments for many heart conditions, including blood thinners and anti-clotting agents. However, you need to seek vet care in order to access them. The sooner you get your kitty to the vet, the better their chance of a good outcome will be.
For more information, visit a local clinic, like South Seattle Veterinary Hospital.