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Dr. Angela
Dr. Angela, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1384
Experience:  10 years private practice in small animal and exotics
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My cat died suddenly. I am trying to figure out why. Male ...

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My cat died suddenly. I am trying to figure out why. Male 11 year old Abyssinian cat. No prior health issues. In and out cat but spent all nights inside. I do not think it was poisoning. We found him on the kitchen floor early this morning. His airway was not blocked. Seemed to have some cerebral pressure as near his death his eyes starte dot bug out. There was a small amout of furball throwup on the couch he usually sleeps on. Other then that no signs of any distress. Please help. Thanks.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Angela replied 8 years ago.
I'm so sorry for your loss. One of the most common causes of sudden death like this in a cat is underlying heart disease. Cats suffer from very serious, often silent, heart disease. Sometimes these cats go into heart failure very suddenly and die without much outward signs of their heart disease. There are other possibilities such as poisoning (as you mentioned, especially if he was a partially outside cat), a rupture bladder (although he would have been straining to urinate and you probably would have noticed that), a ruptured intestinal tract, a respiratory problem, etc. The only way to get an answer is an autopsy (also called a necropsy). If you still have his body at home, you could bring it to your vet tomorrow for an autopsy. You should wrap the body in a few layers of plastic bags and refrigerate it until tomorrow. There's really no way to say for sure without an autopsy. I hope I've helped you sort through some of the possibilities. I'm so sorry and you'll be in my thoughts.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank You Dr. Duke. I agree with what you said above. It seems to my wife and I like it was an aneurysm or just heart failure. Is this common in an 11 year old cat? He was fine the day before at home with my wife. But I was wondering what do you think the odds are of a healthy 85% in and 15 out cat having heart worms? I can not find much on the web. I have 2 other cats that are 12 and I have concerns as to how it is transmitted. As Inka has been cremated a necropsy is impossible. I just really want to know did we miss something?
Expert:  Dr. Angela replied 8 years ago.

Heartworm disease is more prevalent in Florida and the surrounding southern states. I think if you're worried, get your other 2 cats tested (simple blood test). Have the vet do a complete check up too (i.e. checking for a heart murmur). There is a medication called Revolution which you can put on your cat (it's a topical liquid) that is a heartworm and flea preventative. I have seen 2 or 3 year old cats die suddenly at home and discover on necropsy that they had cardiomyopathy. It's always such a shock. So in an 11 year old cat, it is certainly the highest possibility on my list. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

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