Heart Disease in Cats

Cardiomyopathy can cause blood clots. Severe pain & paralysis can be debilitating.



My cat has just had his second thromboembolism. My vet has treated him with heparin. Does he need anything else?


Dr. Nichol:

This is a tough problem. The blood clots in your cat are caused by a heart disease called cardiomyopathy. It is a severely debilitating condition of the heart muscle. Sludging of the blood in the left atrium of the heart leads to clots that can stop blood flow-most often to the rear legs. It’s extremely painful.


Depending on your cat’s ECG cardiac drugs may be needed. Anticoagulants “blood thinners” like heparin and Warfarin are often helpful. But these are risky. Warfarin is the active ingredient in rodent poisons. It must be dosed and monitored carefully. Aspirin, on the other hand, may be sufficient; and it’s much safer.

Your cat’s doctor may also prescribe blood pressure mediation. These are hard cases. The long term prognosis for your kitty is not great. Enjoy every day with this boy.