Heart Tumors In Cats: What Should You Know About It?


Myocardial or heart tumors in cats are rare kinds of tumors, which affect the heart. In the event that they do happen, they tend to happen in the older cats. A heart tumor may take either of the two forms, which we will be discussing later on in this article. If you want to learn more about this feline condition, feel free to give this article a read.

Heart Tumors in Cats: What is this feline condition?

Hemangioma or heart tumors in cats are made up of new blood vessels or lymph nodes, and they’re generally harmless, since they don’t spread all over the body. Furthermore, Hemangiosarcoma tumors may develop in the heart’s blood vessels, thus affecting the ability of it to properly function. If you leave this without any treatment, the tumors may spread to the spleen, heart, lungs, and liver. Moreover, this may also lead to some other health issues, collapse, and even death.

As what I have said earlier, heart tumors in cats may take either of the two forms of it – benign and malignant. Benign tumors, which is actually a mass of tissue, which doesn’t metastasize. These kinds of tumors may also be categorized as hemangioma. This is a harmless tissue growth, which consists mainly of new lymph nodes or blood vessels. On the other hand. Malignant tumors does metastasize all over the body. These may be categorized as hemangiosarcoma, which are actually atypical, rapidly reproducing tissue growth, which may arise from the heart’s blood vessels.

Moreover, the benign tumors, which begin in the tissues of the heart valve are known as the fibromas. The fibrosarcoma is a kind of tumor that affects the heart valve tissue, which is not actually benign. The tumors of the upper heart chambers are what they call myxomas if benign and myxosarcomas if malignant. Further, the rhabdomyosarcoma is a malignant kind of tumor, which begins in the skeletal heart muscles.

Even though rare, various types of heart tumors might develop in cats. The tumors are commonly classified by their makeup or location.

Types of Cat Heart Tumors  

There are some kinds of tumors, which happen near or within the heart. This includes the following:

  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Myxosarcomas and myxomas
  • Fibrosarcomas and fibromas
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Hemangioma

The secondary tumors, which may spread through the heart include the following:

  • Granular cell tumors
  • Neurofibromas
  • Osteosarcomas
  • Lymphomas

Causes of Cat Heart Tumors

The main cause of the heart tumors in cats isn’t entirely known by vets. The tumors ay actually come on unpredictably and may develop wherever in the body. Furthermore, there are also some tumors, which may start in a part or two of the body, as well as spread through the heart, just like neurofibromas, granular cell tumors, and neurofibromas.

Symptoms of Cat Heart Tumors

The symptoms of heart tumors in cats might vary depending on where the tumors are actually situated, and commonly appear when the tumor has ruptured. Further, you might notice the following signs and symptoms of heart tumors in cats:

  • Collapse
  • Abdominal fluid
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Heart murmurs
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing

If you happen to notice any signs of heart tumors in your cat, take it to the vet immediately. The symptoms might be a sign that the tumor has already begun to bleed and rupture.

Prognosis of Cat Heart Tumors   

The veterinarian may give the cat a physical examination, as well as ask some questions regarding the cat’s medical history. Further, you may expect the vet to run further tests to be able to check for malignant or benign tumors, as well as see if they already have spread all over the body. The examinations may include a CBC, chemical blood profile, platelet numbers, as well as a urinalysis.

Moreover, chest x-rays as well as an echocardiography might be done to look for any tumors and check if the heart is properly functioning. Further, the vet may also use an electrocardiogram, in order to evaluate the heart’s electrical currents. Additionally, abdominal x-rays are also conducted in order to check any tumors and some other issues in the intestines, stomach, and spleen. 

Treatments for Cat Heart Tumors

Surgical procedure is recommendable for most of the types of heart tumors in cats. The diagnosis is contingent on the austerity of the tumor, as well as whether or not it’s spread all over the body.

Treatment for Benign Tumors

Surgical removal of the tumor is the best choice for benign tumors. Further, the prognosis after the surgery is commonly good.

Treatment for Malignant Tumors

The veterinarian might recommend a chemotherapy and surgical procedure, in order to reduce the growth, as well as the spread of the tumor. Further, the tumor may be removed when it’s still mall and hasn’t spread all over the body yet. In case the tumor has grown and spread all over the body already, the prognosis is commonly not good.


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