What Should You Know About Heart Valve Narrowing In Cats?


The tightening of heart’s aortic valve that controls the flow of blood coming from the leftward ventricle through the aorta ventricular discharge tract, is actually a congenital feline defect, which is also known as aortic stenosis. This is, in fact, a serious health concern, which might lead to different complications. In this article, we will discuss some more interesting facts about heart valve narrowing in cats including its causes, symptoms, prognosis, and treatments. Read on to learn more about these and more!

What is Heart Valve Narrowing in Cats?

The narrowing of the heart valves is, as what we say, a serious condition, which may require a prompt veterinary attention. There are so many possible complications and without any treatment, the cat might develop a congestive heart failure, as well as might likely not survive.

The narrowing of the heart valves also known as stenosis, is actually a serious feline condition, which might affect the overall blood flow from the heart to different parts of the body. The cats with this kind of condition frequently experience cough, fatigue, and might have some difficulty in breathing. Additionally, a heart murmur is occasionally present as well, and the condition might be subordinate to the cancer of the heart or bacterial endocarditis.

Moreover, atrioventricular valvular stenosis and aortic stenosis are two different variations or types of the condition.

The atrioventricular valvular stenosis may be further classified varying on what valve is impacted:

  • Tricuspid valve stenosis –affects the blood flow through the rest of the body.
  • Mitral valve stenosis –affects the blood flow through the lungs.

The aortic stenosis may happen under the aortic valve on the left heart ventricle. This is categorized in 3 types based on the obstruction’s location:

  • Supervalvular stenosis –occurs above the valve.
  • Subvalvular stenosis –occurs below the valve.
  • Valvular stenosis –occurs at the valve.

Aside from these symptoms, the mitral valve is possible to coughing and high blood pressure. The tricuspid valve stenosis might cause paw or leg swelling, as well as abdominal swelling. Additionally, x-rays might reveal an engorged liver.


Both types of heart valve narrowing in cats are most typically caused by a congenital birth defect. More infrequently, either condition might be secondary to bacterial endocarditis. Furthermore, the atrioventricular valvular stenosis might also be due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or cancer of the heart that is frequently secondary to the thyroid tumor. There is actually no prevalence in whatever breed of cats, with the exemption of the mitral stenosis that is frequently found in the Siamese cats.


The heart valve narrowing in cats is actually most typically a congenital condition, which is existent at birth and may develop early in life. This might be much later in the cat’s life before the symptoms start to show up. Varying on the location of the narrowing, as well as the extent of the obstruction, cats might show more than one of the symptoms below:

  • Illness with fever,
  • Spitting up blood,
  • Stuted growth,
  • Blue or pale-tinted skin,
  • Abnormal sounds of the lung,
  • Fatigue,
  • Exercise intolerance,
  • Heart murmur,
  • Rapid breathing, as well as
  • Difficulty in breathing.


Preceding the examination, the vet may review the complete medical history of the cat, as well as gather some details with regards to the onset and austerity of the symptoms. Due to the fact that the condition is congenital and hereditary, whatever information with regards to the bloodline of the cat may be beneficial. A physical examination may be completed as well, with a special attention being pointed at the heart condition. The vet might also check for irregular sounds or heart murmurs. A heart murmur on its own may be due to stress, yet in the existence of some other symptoms, it might help in leading to a positive prognosis.

The standard laboratory tests may likely to review the cat’s overall health status. These may include urinalysis, biochemical profile, and complete blood count. The chest x-ray might show an engorged lung and heart. X-rays may also help in diagnosing the existence of congestive heart failure. In addition, the veterinarian might order a biopsy and echocardiogram to rule out the possibility of cancer.

Treatments for Heart Valve Narrowing in Cats

There is some modification in opinion amongst vet professionals with regards to the best practices for the treatment of the heart valve narrowing. Regardless of the certain treatment methods selected, the general goal is addressing the symptoms, avoiding any complications, as well as improve the overall quality of life of the cat.

Alternative Treatments

This is a non-surgical procedure known as balloon valvuplasty, which might be used in widening an obstructed valve. Moreover, this complicated procedure may only be done through a professional. The vet may also help in determining if this is a practicable opinion and may need to provide any referral.

Prescription Medications

Managing the symptoms through the use of prescription medicines is the most typical treatment option. In addition, in most of the cases, broad range antibiotics may be prescribed in avoiding the possible bacterial infection development in the heart.

Surgical Treatments                                                                 

A heart valve that is narrowed is unusually cured actually –this is since this might need an open-heart surgery in order to repair or replace the heart valve. This procedure is also expensive and the survival rate of the cat is too low, hence it’s rarely recommended.


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