Important Things We Need To Know About Irregular Heart Rhythms In Cats


Do you happen to notice that your cat’s heart rhythm seem to be of an irregular state? In the actual fact, the heart is being controlled by an electrical conduction system that controls the heart rate. The irregular heart rhythms in cats is not at all times, a serious condition, but still needs to know more about. Read on to this article and get to learn more about this feline condition and more!

Irregular Heart Rhythms in Cats: What is this feline condition?

The heart, as we know is being controlled by a certain electrical conduction system that controls the heart rate. Further, this particular conduction system is what generates the waves or impulses that flow through the heart’s muscles. A healthy heart muscle will then contract and pump blood into the arteries and out into the cat’s body.

The irregular heart rhythms in cats, or cardiac arrhythmia, is vital to bear in mind, yet isn’t always a call for concern. Additionally, the irregular heart rhythms happen every once in a while when a cat is under stress, scared, or nervous. There are also some breeds, like Himalayans, Maine Coon cats, as well as the Persians, which tend to be more susceptible to the irregular heart rhythms than the others.

An intermittent irregular heart rhythm isn’t serious and will not cause any health problems. Nevertheless, a cat may exhibit irregular heartbeat because of the early stages of heart condition, so it’s very wise to take the cat to the vet for some tests. The disturbance in the heartbeat pattern of might be the result of the degeneration of the valves or the heart muscle. Austere causes of irregular heartbeat may lead to the cat’s brain being famished of oxygen due to the reduced blood flow.

Moreover, the irregular heart rhythms may affect a lot of cats and are being characterized by the abnormality in the electrical impulse cycling, which may regulate the beating of the heart. This is what causes the heart to beat either very slow or very fast, or at times to skip beats.

Causes of Irregular Heart Rhythms

The disturbance in the heart rhythm of the cat has a lot of potential underlying causes. While the heart diseases may be due to an irregular rhythm, the cardiac arrhythmia isn’t significantly an indication that the cat is suffering from a heart disease.

Some of the most common cardiac arrhythmia are as follows:

  • Ingestion of toxins
  • Hypothermia
  • Fever
  • Heartworm infection
  • Pancreatitis
  • Heart disease
  • Heart cancer
  • Low blood oxygen content
  • Taurine deficiency
  • Low levels of magnesium
  • Birth defects
  • Poor reaction to drugs
  • Anemia
  • Electrolytes imbalance
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperthyroidism

Symptoms of Irregular Heart Rhythms

The cat might display no symptoms at all if it is so active or engaging in an athletic training. Commonly, the sinus bradycardia is most ostensible when the cat is at rest. Furthermore, some of the most common symptoms that comes with the sinus bradycardia include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Physical weakness, because of the long pause between the heart beats
  • Heart murmurs, because of the turbulent blood flow in the heart
  • Heart gallop
  • Heart beats very fast
  • Heart beats very slow

Prognosis of Irregular Heart Rhythms

The vet may perform a complete physical examination on the cat, taking into consideration the background history of the symptoms, the overall activity level and condition of the cat, as well as the possible incidents, which may have led to the onset of the condition.

A thorough blood profile may be conducted as well, including a complete chemical blood profile, blood count, as well as urinalysis. The results of these may indicate the presence of the substances, which may be causing a slower heart rate. Further, these examinations may reveal the deficiencies as well in the blood, in case that is the underlying cause. Moreover, these may also offer some clues to a possible kidney failure.

The vet may also use ultrasound and x-rays to examine the cat’s internal organs visually for the abnormalities in the kidney, heart, and some other organs. An EKG or electrocardiogram recording might be used as well in examining the electrical currents in the heart muscles, as well  as might reveal whatever abnormalities there is in the cardiac electrical conduction that underlies the ability of the heart to beat and contract. Additionally, a 24-hour heart monitoring might be necessary in concluding a diagnosis of irregular heart rhythms in cats.

Treatments for Irregular Heart Rhythms

The therapeutic approaches and the treatments for irregular heart rhythms in cats may be determined through the underlying disease for ventricular rate, SB, as well as the austerity of the clinical signs. Nevertheless, a lot of cats may show no clinical signs at all and need no treatment.

Moreover, if the cat is in its critical state, it might be treated as an inpatient, where tan intravenous fluid therapy may be administered. Furthermore, the restrictions on the activity may not be recommendable, except when the cat has symptomatic SB, which is in connection to the structural heart disease. You also need to restrict until medical or surgical interventions already resolve the problem.


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