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If the heartworm disease is more acute, owing to adult heartworms, the cat may have an increased risk of fainting and sudden death. In the initial stage of feline heartworm disease the symptoms are very similar to asthma or bronchitis. The medical term for this condition is known as Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD).


Heartworm in cats is caused by infestation of a parasitic roundworm commonly referred to as the heartworm. The severity of this disease is directly dependent upon the number of worms present in the body and the duration of the infestation. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of heartworm disease in cats on PetMD.com.


Cats. Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. Cats with adult heartworms typically have just one to three worms, and many cats affected by heartworms have no adult worms.


Treat the symptoms of heartworm disease and hope the cat outlives the worms. Since heartworms live in a cat for about two to three years (as opposed to five to seven years in dogs), several months of treatment are needed.


Feline heartworm disease is caused by a worm called Dirofilaria immitis. While it’s not important that you remember the name of the parasite, it is important that you know what it does and what you can do to prevent it. Heartworm affects both cats and dogs and can lead to a wide variety of problems for both. Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes.


Symptoms of heartworm infection in cats are also very different from those in dogs. In cats, symptoms are the result of an immune system response and lung disease rather than heart-related issues. The more common signs of heartworm disease in cats are coughing, difficulty breathing, and vomiting.


Symptoms of Heartworm in Cats. One of the major problems with heartworm in cats is the symptoms appear to be from other common cat diseases and it can take a long time before they are finally diagnosed. Respiratory diseases are mistaken for heartworm as a cat's lungs primarily effected.


Cats with heartworm are placed on a monthly preventative and short-term corticosteroid therapy (prednisone) to manage respiratory signs of heartworm disease. The only other option is to treat the symptoms of cat heartworm disease and hope the cat outlives the heartworms.


Heartworm symptoms may take more than 6 months to appear. Photo: Josh. Heartworm disease in dogs is a silent killer that is often overlooked until it’s too late. This preventable condition starts with a mosquito bite and ends with either a long, expensive treatment or death.


Heartworm in cats is variously treatable. It is important to know the symptoms, causes and areas at risk and to be prudent in treatment. Although heartworm disease in cats was once confined ...