Congestive Heart Failure in Cats

Left-Sided congestive heart failure occurs when the pressure in the blood vessels in the lungs increases causing fluid to leak from the vessels into the surrounding lung tissue.  

Right-Sided congestive heart failure is a similar process where the fluid accumulates within the pleural space (around the lungs) or the abdomen (ascites).  

This condition makes it difficult to exchange oxygen causing difficulty breathing, increased respiratory rate or effort, cyanosis (blue color to gums or tongue), and/or weakness and/or collapse with exertion.  

Coughing is a very rare sign of congestive heart failure in our feline friends and is usually associated with feline asthma or heartworm disease.

Congestive heart failure is a life-threatening condition and your pet should be evaluated as soon as signs are noted, which may require an emergency hospital visitation.