Symptoms of Pets with Heart Disease: Loss of Appetite

Cat with weight loss due to loss of appetite and muscle loss (cachexia).
Cat with weight loss due to loss of appetite and muscle loss (cachexia).

The loss of appetite is very common in animals with heart failure but can also be caused by a variety of other medical problems. Many owners of animals with heart disease find that, not only can their dog or cat's overall intake of food decrease, but their preference for foods also may change. This may be the result of worsening heart disease, side effects of certain medications, or from hormone-like substances that are produced in high levels in animals with heart failure. If your animal has heart failure and has changes or reductions in appetite, this is an important fact to discuss with your veterinarian as modifications to the medication and diet can help to improve appetite and food intake, which are key to maintaining weight and good quality of life. Please see the HeartSmart Diet section for tips on recommendations for feeding animals with heart disease.