Pet Behavior

Why are Cats Heart Beats so Fast?


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Heart rates will also be higher in the veterinary clinic than at home because cats are often anxious and stressed. A cat’s heart can race at an astonishing rate, leaving many cat owners puzzled and concerned. In this article, we will explore why cat heartbeats are so fast and what it means for our furry friends.

The Basics of Cat Physiology

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their bodies are designed to consume and metabolize meat efficiently. Their anatomy reflects this specialization, including their heart.

  • Small Size: One of the most prominent factors contributing to a cat’s fast heartbeat is its size. Cats are relatively small animals compared to humans. A smaller body requires a faster heart rate to pump blood effectively throughout the body.
  • High Metabolism: Cats have a significantly higher metabolic rate than humans. Their bodies constantly work to break down nutrients, and a faster heartbeat ensures a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients to their organs and muscles.
  • Hunting Instincts: Cats are natural hunters, and hunting requires bursts of energy. A faster heartbeat helps supply oxygen to their muscles when they need to stalk, chase, and pounce on prey.

You may also Read What Do Kittens Like to Eat?

Normal Cat Heart Rate

Cat heart rate chart to help you understand what’s normal, low, and high in an adult cat. You may find variation in what is listed as a normal heart rate for cats.

Low100 – 140 beats per minute
Normal140 – 220 beats per minute
HighOver 220 beats per minute

Possible health-related causes of a rapid heartbeat in cats include:

  1. Hyperthyroidism: This condition results from an overactive thyroid gland, which can lead to increased heart rate, weight loss, and other symptoms.
  2. Heart Disease: Certain heart conditions, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, can cause an elevated heart rate in cats.
  3. Fever: When a cat has a fever due to illness or infection, their heart rate may increase as the body tries to fight off the invader.

Cat’s fast heartbeat is primarily a result of their small size, high metabolism, and natural instincts as obligate carnivores. If you feel your cat’s heart rate is abnormal, you need to determine if this can wait for a normal appointment or if it’s an emergency.

Occasional spikes in heart rate due to stress or excitement are normal, persistent changes in heart rate should be evaluated by a veterinarian. Understanding the reasons behind your cat’s rapid heartbeat can help you provide them with the best care and ensure they lead a healthy, happy life.



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