What Should We Know About Cardiac Arrest In Cats?


Cardiac arrest is a condition that affects many people from all over the globe. But did you know that this particular condition may also affect the furry babies you love? Well, actually, cardiopulmonary, circulatory, or cardiac arrest in cats is the cessation of the normal circulation of the blood. The cessation is commonly due to the inability of the heart to contract or heart failure. Just like many other body systems. Just like the so many other body systems, the cardiovascular and respiratory systems work in a well coordinated way. Thus, it the cat fails to breathe for more than 6 minutes, it may lead to cardiac arrest and heart failure –both of these might be life-threatening. Give this article a read and get to learn more about the said topic.

Cardiac Arrest in Cats: What is this feline condition?     

As what we have said above, cardiac arrest in cats is the sudden stopping of the normal blood circulation, due to the heart’s inability to circulate blood. This particular condition may be reversed, yet it needs immediate vet care, in order to lower the peril of serious difficulties. Furthermore, cardiac arrest may become life-threatening without any apt treatment from vet professional.

Moreover, the cardiac arrest in cats happens when the regular circulation of the blood stops. This then causes the cat’s heart to stop its beating. Further, this may occur when the cats are not able to breathe in a normal manner for a few minutes. Further, the respiratory system, as well as the cardiovascular system of the cats commonly work together in ensuring the regular circulation of the blood, healthy blood pressure levels, normal breathing, as well as a regular heart rate. In the event that the respiratory system gets affected by a trauma or illness, the levels of oxygen in the blood may drop sufficiently low, which then leads to a cardiac arrest.

Causes of Cat Cardiac Arrest

The cardiac arrest in cats may happen for a lot of reasons. The possible causes of this feline condition may include the following:

  • Anesthesia for medical procedures
  • Shock that comes from trauma
  • Blood poisoning from various toxic bacteria in the bloodstream
  • Low levels of bodily fluids
  • Brain injuries
  • An imbalance in the electrolytes
  • A metabolic disease
  • Heart disease
  • Low supply of oxygen
  • Very low oxygen levels in the blood

Symptoms of Cat Cardiac Arrest

The cardiac arrest in cats is actually considered as a lethal emergency for our furry babies. Therefore, it is so important for the cat owners to know the different symptoms of it. Here are some of the most commonly seen symptoms of this feline condition:

  • Having a low body temperature or hypothermia
  • Having bluish gums, mucous membranes and skin –these indicates dangerously low oxygen levels on the bloodstream
  • Devising pupil dilation
  • Losing consciousness
  • Showing no response to the stimulation
  • Breathing heavily

Prognosis of Cat Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest in cats is an immediate emergency, which may require a speedy vet assistance, in order to assess the condition of the cat, as well as the form of treatment. Furthermore, you may need to provide a complete history of the health of the cat to the vet. This includes the onset, as well as the nature of the symptoms and potential incidents, which may have hastened the complications. Further, the vet may also thorough physical examination, which focuses on the airways of the cat, circulation, and breathing ability. Moreover, the vet may also monitor the blood pressure of the cat constantly, as well as its pulse rate.

Furthermore, routine diagnostic tests used in the determination of the fundamental cause of the cardiac arrest in cats include CBC, urinalysis, biochemistry profile, and x-rays. Moreover, blood samples are also collected for the determination of the gas levels, including blood oxygen. The cats assumed of having a causal heart disease might undergo echocardiography, in order to evaluate the degree of the condition.

Treatments for Cat Cardiac Arrest

Due to the fact that cardiac arrest in cats is an emergency situation, speedy vet care is necessary. The owners must bring their cats to the nearby vet hospital or an emergency clinic for the treatment

Cardiac Massage and Compressions

This is a method of restarting the heart to beat again, which involves performing a cardiac massage on the cat’s chest. That is sometimes needed in the cats, which have heart failure. In the event that this method is not effective, vets may perform chest compressions. These compressions involve pushing down on the chest hastily to get the heart beating once more.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Prompt health care by vet professionals implicates making the heart to start beating once more, as well as restoring the rhythm naturally, and returning the respiration rate of the cat to normal. Vets actually do this through cleaning the airways, as well as doing a cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In some instances, vets place one tube down into the airways, in order to help in keeping the breathing regular. They may administer oxygen as well for the restoration of the normal levels of this certain gas in the bloodstream.

Open Chest Resuscitation

In case the two above methods are not effective, vets may make incisions on the chest to be able to restart the heart. They may also inject some medications in the heart, in order to try to restore the heartbeat again.


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