Like humans, cats can experience heart disease at any age, which is unfortunately not curable in many cases. However, your cat still can have a full life, provided she gets the right medical care and TLC.
Heart disease in cats
The most common form of heart disease in cats is cardiomyopathy, or problems of the cardiac muscle. Some forms of this disease are caused by a taurine deficiency (taurine is a part of protein) or problems with the thyroid; others are of unknown origin. Each of them can lead to an accumulation of fluid in the thorax and to breathing problems.
None of this process occurs in the large intestine. Here, water is re-absorbed into the bloodstream - to allow for the production of firm stools, but also to maintain the body's water balance.
The best option to help prevent heart disease is to help him maintain the right weight with diet and exercise (meaning lots of play time, as kitty treadmills haven't been invented yet). Each additional, unnecessary pound puts a strain on your cat's heart and cardiovascular system. Your veterinarian will tell you whether a calorie-reduced diet is right for him.
Caring for cats with heart disease
If your cat is diagnosed with heart disease, the first thing your vet should do is recommend a low-sodium, low-phosphorus, low-protein diet to help minimize fluid retention.
One result of a heart condition may be reduced appetite and weight loss. This can be due to common drug side effects, or your cat may simply not be feeling well. To make sure your cat gets all the nutrients he needs, your vet will be able to help choose the right diet.