Feline Heart Disease - Keeping Your Cat Healthy At Home

Posted on: 6 April 2015

You likely take your cat to a veterinarian for regular check ups. In some cases, your cat may be diagnosed with a serious illness during one of those routine visits.  Heart disease is one of the potential ailments your cat could develop.  If your cat has heart disease, then follow the tips below to make sure he remains in good health.

Provide Medications Daily

Cats with heart disease are often treated with medications, just like humans.  These medications may slow the heart rate, reduce heart inflammation, or regulate the heart beat.  Beta blockers might be prescribed to help blood move more fluidly though the heart and the surrounding arteries.  Medications that stop blood from clotting and medicines that minimize the build up of fluid may be needed as well.

Any and all medications that are prescribed to your cat need to be given as directed on a daily basis.  This may seem difficult if your cat is not used to taking pills.  To make things easier, consider contacting a compounding pharmacy to see if medicines can be provided in fluid form instead of pill form.  Also, these types of facilities can add beef, fish, or chicken flavorings to medicines so they taste more pet friendly.

If you do not have a compounding pharmacy in your area, then consider smashing up the pill and placing it in your cat's food.  Your can try to use "pill pocket" treats as well.  These treats allow you to slip a pill in the middle of a treat.  The sides can be closed over the medicine and it can then be given to your cat.

Reduce Salt In The Diet

Cats, like humans, need to eat a reduced salt diet when they are diagnosed with heart disease.  Salt increases blood pressure and this places a great deal of stress on the heart.  You may think that most cat foods are already low in sodium, but this is not the case.  Sodium is added to feline foods because the mineral is an essential one that retains cellular health, reduces body swelling, and prevents dehydration.  Some cat foods have too much sodium in them though.  Meats already contain a good deal of salt, and sodium is increased when it is also placed in the food as an additive.

To help reduce your cat's sodium intake, consider buying foods with meats that are naturally low in salt.  Foods that contain fish, turkey, and chicken are good choices.  Also, you can look for foods that are labeled low sodium, or you can make your own cat food by cooking meats at home and serving them to your cat.  Just make sure to use fresh meats, because preprocessed and frozen products are often filled with sodium for preservation purposes.

Create A Quiet Environment

Another good way to keep your cat healthy after a heart disease diagnosis is to make sure your home is quiet and peaceful.  Stress can lead to an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and swelling of the heart.  A stressful environment can also cause heart failure in cats.  Reduce stress by making sure your cat has plenty of hiding spaces and quiet spaces to sleep in during the day.  

Clear out closets and make sure that areas underneath beds are not cluttered.  Also, consider placing perches around living room areas.  Add cat condos to the room or secure high and clear shelves so your cat can walk around the space above your head.  Window seats are a good option too.

If your cat has recently been diagnosed with heart disease, then you likely want to keep your feline healthy for as long as possible.  You can do this by providing him medication, feeding him low sodium food, and by creating a quiet home environment. For more information, contact a veterinary clinic in Markham.