Cats are known for being active and playful, but some of these adorable feline pets can possibly harbor a silent illness. Studies show that 16% of apparently healthy cats will experience heart disease in their lifetime. The disease is more often found in cats between the ages of five to seven years. Heart disease, in most cases, shows symptoms that cannot be ignored, and for that reason, it’s important to reach out to our animal doctors for help and answers.
Some cats are prone to heart disease due to their breed. Maine Coon and Ragdoll breeds have a higher chance of heart disease since they contain an inheritable, genetic mutation that makes the illness risky. Therefore, regular and frequent checkups are highly recommended.
Detection and Symptoms
Cats mask their symptoms better than dogs, therefore causing them to go longer without any detection. Some cat owners will be lucky enough to detect symptoms early on since not all cats show symptoms immediately. You know your pet cat better than anyone else, so if you notice any of the symptoms below, contact us quickly.
One symptom is limping without a physical injury having occurred. Thromboembolisms are blood clots that are often caused by blood disease. These blood clots often appear in the rear legs and are more likely to be experienced by females.
Lack of Appetite
No cat stops eating without reason. Cats have a regular appetite, therefore, if you notice that yours has had a change in appetite or experienced sudden weight loss, it may be time to receive veterinary treatment.
Changes in Breathing
If you notice that your cat is experiencing difficulty with breathing or shortness of breath, it may be due to heart disease. Breathing rapidly can also be a symptom. When dealing with an increased breathing rate, your cat may experience more than 30 breaths per minute. Some of these breathing changes may go unnoticed, even for the most observant cat owner, so it’s best to keep an eye and ear out for these changes.
Loss of Consciousness
Another common and obvious symptom is fainting and collapsing. This is more common with cats that are very active and deal with a lot of restlessness. Again, they may seem happy and healthy and may not experience any symptoms, but this symptom is still an important one to catch.
Treating Your Pet Like Family
It’s important to remember that frequent veterinary visits are extremely necessary when caring for a cat with heart disease. We love our feline family members and want them to stick around for as long as possible. Let’s make that happen together with the help of our pet doctors in McAllen at Valley Animal Hospital!