Congestive Heart Failure In Cats When To Euthanize?

Congestive Heart Failure In Cats When To Euthanize

The heart is the most crucial organ of your body. Just like we need nutrition and oxygen to survive, our organs do too. The role of the heart is to provide them to the organs. When it is unable to do so, it can be a serious issue. Congestive heart failure is one such issue that can create trouble for your cat. When the problem grows serious, then the question, ‘congestive heart failure in cats when to euthanize?’ is common.

Heart disease is no joke. It is not something that can be ignored. A sudden massive heart attack can make you stand facing your pet’s final moments.  What is congestive heart failure and when to euthanize a cat suffering from it? Are there any treatments available? When is the right time to bid goodbye? All your queries have reached us. We feel the responsibility to enlighten you with the best of details that we could get for you and this article is tended to ease your issues.

What Is Congestive Heart Failure In Cats? 


We here will try to break down the technical term into a language that is easily understandable. Technically it is called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy(HCM). HCM is a condition where the walls of the heart of a cat start to thicken. This will create a condition where the cat will not be able to pump enough blood. This condition is also called a cat murmur. This condition is further categorized into two- Dilated CM and Restrictive CM. Where DCM causes weakening of the heart muscles it can be treated. However, for RCM no treatments are available. A little is known about RCM.

What Causes Congestive Heart Failure In Cats?

The cause is of two types. One that is the acquired one and the other that is congenital. The acquired heart disease is present within the cat since birth. While for congenital, heart disease comes with age, with the weakening of heart muscles. Congenital heart disease is tested in middle age to old cats.

Symptoms Of Heart Disease In Cats:

congestive heart failure in cats symptoms

Cardiovascular disease is not hard to detect if you pay attention to the activities of your cat. The symptoms are common and can be a sign of other diseases as well. Proper diagnosis is required before coming to a conclusion:

  • The weakness is followed by lethargy.
  • The cat is breathless most of the time.
  • Frequent fainting.
  • Uncommon heart rate or heart murmur.
  • Coughing.

When To Euthanize A Cat With Congestive Heart Failure?

We are depressed to inform you that there is no cure for HCM. There are treatments available that can surely help the heart in functioning. If the disease is severe, most cats do not survive for more than 18 months. However, they can survive but with proper medications that would work throughout their life. It will also require proper attention and care throughout life. You cannot let any stress bother it.  If the disease is not severe and the cat gets treatments on time it can live for 3 years.

The answer to this question is not easy to find nor pleasing to hear. Euthanizing a cat that you have loved so much can be heartbreaking. So what condition can compel you to give thought to euthanization? It is the overwhelming condition of your cat. The quality of life might not be worth living. The cat may not be wanting to live anymore. The constant treatments can get your cat physically and emotionally exhausted. You can think of being kind and putting it to sleep with euthanization.

Having said that we cannot take away the chance of fighting from your cat. Miracles do happen and your cat might live! If your cat is ready to fight do not snatch the chance away. If you are not satisfied with the opinion of your vet on euthanization, do take a second opinion. The question of euthanization can be an emotionally exhausting one. Do not take abrupt decisions. Research, take professional opinions, understand the wishes of your cat and take time. As a pet owner, the pet’s overall health status is your responsibility.

Kavita Trivedi

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