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Reference Desk September 2011

Have a Heart, Take Your Cat to the Vet

    September 26 is World Heart Day: Remember, Your Cat’s Heart Needs to Be Checked, Too!

    ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, September 26, 2011—September 26 marks World Heart Day.  The CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, would like to celebrate that day by urging owners to remember that their cats’ hearts need checkups, too!

    September is also Happy Cat Month, and one of the best ways to make sure you have a happy cat is to make sure you have a healthy cat.  

    Cat heart health was spotlighted at the recent American Association of Feline Practitioner’s conference in Boston, and for good reason: There are many conditions that affect a cat’s heart. The most common heart disease affecting cats is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where the muscles in the heart thicken, making it more difficult to pump blood. Your veterinarian can check for this and other heart diseases at a routine wellness exam.  

    Cats are also affected by heartworms, although it affects their lungs rather than their heart.  While it is less common for cats to be affected by heart worms than dogs, it is just as deadly, and a simple monthly prescription is sufficient to prevent the parasite from harming your cat.  Your veterinarian can tell you what kind of preventive medication is recommended for your cat.  Also, cats’ hearts, just like human hearts, are adversely affected by excess weight, so it’s important to be sure that your cat is at its healthiest weight to help prevent heart disease. 

    During Happy Cat Month, also be sure to take time to thank your cat for helping your heart! Studies have shown that people who have owned a cat at any time in their life have a lower risk of stroke or other heart-related health problem than those who have never owned a cat.  
    For more information on caring for your cats and cat ownership, visit the Catalyst Council’s website at www.catalystcouncil.org.

    CATalyst is a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations and corporations to champion the cat in light of troubling statistics released by the American Veterinary Medical Association that show an increase in the cat population coupled with a decline in veterinary visits for cats. More information about the CATalyst Council is available at www.catalystcouncil.org.

    Source: CATalyst Council


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