Cat With Heart Failure Not Eating?

“My cat was diagnosed with heart failure a few months ago and seems to be getting worse. She is not eating much and when she does, she throws it up. I have been trying to get her to eat different things like tuna, shrimp, chicken, and all kinds of wet food but nothing seems to work. What can I do?”

Cat With Heart Failure Not Eating

Cats with CHF have problems with their digestive system and tend not to eat very well. Your cat may also have a cough, trouble breathing, exercise intolerance, or fainting spells when she exercises too hard. She may also be weak or lethargic. She will lose weight because she is not eating as much as usual and her body breaks down muscle tissue for energy instead of using food that has been eaten.

The left side of an unhealthy heart becomes enlarged with fluid and can not pump blood out well. The fluid also builds up in the lungs, making it hard for your cat to breathe and eat.

Medications will help remove the fluid from the heart and lungs so that breathing is easier for her. When she no longer has difficulty breathing, she may be more interested in eating.

She also may need a special diet such as Royal Canin Cardiac formula or Hill’s Prescription Diet h/d because these diets are designed to be low in salt and high in fiber in order to help ease the workload on the heart. Your vet will know what is best for your cat.

How can I help my cat with heart failure?

If your cat has been diagnosed with heart failure, the best thing you can do is follow your veterinary surgeon’s advice. This will include feeding a special diet, giving medication, and monitoring your cat’s condition at home.

The mainstay of treatment for cats with heart failure is diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and vasodilators. These medications help manage fluid accumulation, blood pressure, and circulation within the lungs and body.

Furosemide is usually given once or twice daily to flush excess fluid out of the body. By getting rid of this fluid, pressure on the heart and lung is reduced and it becomes easier for oxygenated blood to flow through the body.

With a prescription diet, some cats may be able to eat by syringe feeding or tube feeding. This can be done at home but you will need training from your vet on how to administer these methods safely.

Maintain a regular feeding schedule for your cat by providing them with small meals throughout the day.

Avoid feeding your cat food that is high in salt as this can increase the amount of fluid that builds up in their lungs and chest cavity.

Keep your home free of any allergens or pollutants so that it is easy for them to breathe.

Provide a litter box that is easy for them to access so they can use it whenever they need to go without having any difficulty getting there first.

It is important to use the right supplements and not to give too much of them. The amount of L-carnitine, taurine, and Omega-3 fatty acids in each supplement will vary depending on the brand used. Look for brands that are approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). You can find these brands at your veterinarian clinic or pet store.

Is congestive heart failure in cats painful?

Congestive heart failure in cats can be painful for the kitty, although it depends on the stage of the disease. The symptoms include difficulty breathing, decreased appetite, and exercise intolerance. Your cat may also experience a cough, lethargy, and a distended stomach.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for congestive heart failure in cats. Medications can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life significantly.

What is the best food for a cat with heart failure?

The most important food is to have a low sodium content. There are many prescription foods that offer this. Some of these include Hills Prescription Diet h/d, Royal Canin Cardiac, and Pro Plan Veterinary Diets CC CardioCare. These diets can be difficult to find in stores, but your vet should stock them.

Should you euthanize a cat with heart failure?

“The vet said the heart failure was causing my cat to become depressed. The new meds helped some. She was eating again a bit, but we knew it was time to let her go. Her quality of life was just not there anymore and she was in pain.”

In general, no. Heart failure can be managed to some extent. However, if her quality of life is poor it is time to say goodbye to your cat.

The condition can be treated with dietary management, diuretics to reduce fluid retention, vasodilators to decrease blood pressure, salt restriction, and digitalis to improve cardiac output. Drugs need to be given for life. The prognosis for cats depends on how soon treatment was begun after diagnosis and how well the cat is.

The main limitation is cost. A cat may initially require hospitalization and oxygen therapy. Medications are expensive and often need to be given more than once daily. Close monitoring is required, as the cat may require additional hospitalization for fluid overload or other complications.

Conclusion of best cat food for congestive heart failure

The best cat food for congestive heart failure is a diet with taurine, arginine, and no sodium. Taurine is essential for cats because they cannot produce their own, so it has to be added to their food. Arginine helps with circulation and removes excess fluid from the body by stimulating the kidneys. Sodium contributes to fluid buildup in the body and should be avoided at all costs. You will want a high protein diet as well because it keeps your cat’s energy level up, allowing them to stay active and healthy. But before you switch your cat’s food to any of these options, make sure to check with your veterinarian.


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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