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cardiomyopathy in cats

Cardiomyopathy In Cats: Causes & Treatment

The word ‘Cardiomyopathy’ is the combination of three words generates different meanings for example cardio means heart, Myo means muscles and lastly the word Pathy associated with it means disease. So, it means word ‘Cardiomyopathy’ refers to the disease of Heart muscles. Like human beings, the cardiomyopathy in cats commonly spanks the owners’ with the unassuming cautions.

Have your cat ever shown these symptoms? If so, then take them with you and rush towards doctor without wasting any time because there is a matter of grave concern for them.

Unlike human, cats cannot notify to anyone about their heart dilemma. Cardiomyopathy is a disease that takes several months to progress towards the somber theater. Cats have the ability to hide the symptoms of disease at early stage. So, the most important question here is how the cat will look like or react when they have heart problem?  As told earlier, cats with meek heart illness habitually do not confirm for any notice of infirmity. But, at fleeting look the cats may give the impression of being corpulent, but, at permanent look, she might be thin over her back. The reason of plump is the enlargement of liver with liquefied material accretion in abdomen.


As, mentioned earlier, mostly this disease take time in evaluation and reach its final stage after sometime. As the disease grows conversely, symptoms of heart failure expand swiftly for example those symptoms are facing problems in breeding; breeding hardly or swiftly, coughing, Achilles’ heel, tiredness, decreased hunger, weight lose, sudden paralysis of hind legs, leading these symptoms, the first and the foremost symptom of the heart disease in the cat is their sudden death.

cardiomyopathy in cats

It is not necessary that all above mentioned symptoms should be present at once. Some symptoms are casual and may not lead to heart problem i.e. decrease in hunger and weight lose. But on the contrary, some of them really indicate that there is sometime really serious, for example coughing only is happened when there is disturbance in the heart of the cat. Breeding problem also indicates the problem in lungs lead to heart failure, etc.


Before understanding the types of Cardiomyopathy, we must know the function of the heart. In short, heart has four chambers generally known as left and right ventricle, left and right Atrium. Like human, cats heart also get enclosed by thick muscular wall. The left and right Ventricles which pump blood out of the heart, the left and right atrium receive the blood in the heart.

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

This is the type of ‘Cardiomyopathy’ that is most commonly found in cats and occurs due to the enhancement in the thickness of muscle wall of the heart. This reduces the volume of blood flow within the heart leads to the prevention of heart muscles relax properly between the two contractions.

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Contrary to the HCM, this type occurs when the muscle wall becomes thin than the normal result in the heart enlargement and improper contraction of heart muscles.

  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy (RCM)

Generally, in this type of Cardiomyopathy, fibrosis of wall of heart making it inelastic prevents the heart chambers filling properly.

  • Intermediate Cardiomyopathy (ICM)

In this type the characteristics of both HCM and DCM present. Rarely found this type.

How to diagnose?

Remember, in maximum cases that cat over the age of 5 may suffer from the heart disease. There are different ways available in the hospitals for the diagnosis of the heart disease.

  • Chest X-ray
  • Ultrasound images of the heart
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • T-4 level will easily diagnose the hyperthyroidism in cats

cardiomyopathy treatment

Causes of the Cardiomyopathy:

In most of the cases, we do not know the factors that cause the Cardiomyopathy in the cats. But, common points that were discovered as the causes of heart failure in cats are.

  • Generally found in the cat food that enhances the amino acid in cats. The deficiency of amino acid once discovered the cause of heart failure of cats.
  • In this case, the metabolism rate of cats increases due to thyroxine, the thyroid hormones. So, it is suggested to feed cats with tuna or fish-based diets. This factor generally discovered in the cats that are too old.
  • Blood Pressure. The factor mentioned above also lead to the thyroid overactive, that lead to the increase the work load on the heart muscles of the cats. That also increases in the enlargement of heart and muscle thickness.
  • The heart failure disease is also inherited because it is found in American Shorthair Cat and Maine Coon. It is also found in Persian Domestic Cats. According to an estimate, male cats get infected fast and more often than female cats.
  • It is also believed that prior viral injections and lack of antioxidants may lead cat to the heart failure.

Treatments available:

Here are some treatments available for the heart disease present in cat:

  • The cats suffered with the type of Cardiomyopathy, HCM need to be lessened with the medication.
  • Thyroid surgery is also considered as a best treatment for the HCM type.
  • Radioactive iodine therapy is used for its cure.
  • HCE Inhibitor is used for the improvement of overall condition of cat’s heart.
  • Calcium channel blocker helps in filling the heart with blood by giving the relaxation to the heart muscles.
  • Beta Blocking drugs help in lowering the rate of heart beaten.
  • Aspirin helps reducing the risk of thrombus formation and thromboemblic diseases for example formation of cloths in blood vessels.
  • Angiotenism converting enzyme (ACE) these drugs facilitate to control congestive heart malfunction.
  • Diet containing low salt is also considered as a best treatment because it contains less sodium and helps in maintaining the blood pressure.

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