It's natural for you, as a cat owner, to want to keep your cat safe, secure, and healthy. With this, you may be wondering: What is the normal cat heart rate? And what does it mean when a cat’s heart rate is not normal?
An abnormal cat heart rate may indicate health issues, but it also depends on your cat’s current state. If they’re feeling stressed, anxious, or engaged in physical activity, for example, note that their heart rate may increase.
Heart rate, along with body temperature and breathing rate, are important vital signs in a cat. Fortunately, checking your cat’s heart rate is fairly simple. And doing so regularly can help provide information about your cat’s health.
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- Normal Heart Rate for Cats
- What Is The Resting Heart Rate of a Cat
- How to Check Your Cat Heart Rate
Normal Heart Rate for Cats
According to Veterinary Manual research the normal cat's heart rate is variable, but it usually ranges from 140 to 220 beats per minute (bpm). Note that when your cat is relaxed, their heart rate will likely be in the lower range. And when they’re stressed (during vet visits, for example) or doing physical activity (ex. zoomies), it will be in the higher range or go beyond it. It’s also important to note that a kitten’s heart rate is usually higher (near 300 bpm).
To illustrate the normal heart rate for a cat as compared to low or high heart rates, you may refer to this chart:
Adult Feline Heart Rate
|Dangerously Low||Below 100 bpm|
|Low||100 - 140 bpm|
|Normal||140 - 220 bpm|
|High||Above 220 bpm|
Keep in mind that the normal cat's heart rate may vary depending on different factors. So a normal heart rate for one cat may not be normal for another. However, if your cat normally has a heart rate of 140 bpm at rest but you notice a consistent increase of 220 bpm as of late, you may want to consult with your vet despite the value being in the "normal" range.
If you are unsure, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. They will help you determine whether your cat’s heart rate is normal or if it’s something that you should look into.
If you have a feeling that your cat’s heart rate is either high or low, you need to assess whether you should observe them first before scheduling an appointment with their vet or if they need emergency care. If there are no symptoms that are out of the ordinary, you may wait. However, if your cat shows signs of repeated vomiting, crying in pain, disorientation, or other similar signs, you might need to bring them to an emergency vet.
It’s not common for cats to have a low heart rate. If your cat’s heart rate goes below 100 bpm, they are at risk of fainting or losing consciousness and need emergency care immediately.
Having a Pet Emergency Fund during times of emergency cases of abnormal heart rate in cats may be a big help, so you won’t have to worry about the costs of treatment. This also applies to many other pet emergencies that may occur. Petcube’s Pet Emergency Fund covers pets regardless of age, breed, or medical history. In addition, they pay the vet clinic directly on the same day that you need it.
What Is The Resting Heart Rate of a Cat
A resting heart rate for a cat equates to a cat’s normal heart rate when at rest. A cat’s resting heart rate is usually between 160-200 bpm.
The baseline heart rate of a cat is low when they're at rest because their body has fewer demands during this state.
Meanwhile, a stressed or active cat causes a rise in heart rate (and breathing rate as well). At this stage, it enables more blood to be distributed around the body quickly, giving muscles energy and oxygen, and removing waste (including carbon dioxide) from their muscles.
On the other hand, if a cat is suffering from certain diseases, such as heart disease, their heart may beat much faster or slower.
How to Check Your Cat Heart Rate
Checking your cat’s heart rate is one of the ways that you can monitor your cat’s health. Regularly recording it (along with other vital signs) may aid your veterinarian in determining any health issues. During emergencies, it may help your veterinarian assess the situation as well. But how do you check your cat’s heart rate?
Checking a cat’s heart rate is fairly simple. Here are the steps:
- Position your cat on their right side.
- Gently place your hand on their chest (found behind their front legs). You should then feel your cat’s heart beating.
- Count the beats you hear in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by 4 to get your cat’s estimated heart rate. If your cat is calm, you may count the beats for a full minute to record the beats per minute.
Remember to be gentle to avoid stressing your cat. A stressed and anxious cat will show a higher heart rate, so they must be calm during the process. If you notice that their heart rate is unusually fast or if it seems irregular, it might be best to bring them to the vet for a checkup.
In addition to monitoring your cat’s vitals, another way to monitor your cat’s health is by using a good pet camera, such as the Pet Camera. With it, you’ll be able to monitor your cat 24/7, even if you’re away. This enables you to detect any signs and symptoms that are out of the ordinary.
What is the normal heart rate for a senior cat?
As the bodily functions of senior cats slow down with age, it may cause their heart rate to decrease a little. But if there is a significant change in their heart rate, it is important to consult with their veterinarian.
What is a cat’s heart rate when they’re dying?
A significantly low heart rate may be a sign of deteriorating health or, in severe cases, death. If a cat is in good health, their heart rate may be close to 140–220 bpm. A cat who is ill and weak, however, may experience a quick drop in their heart rate, which may indicate that it could be near the end.
Generally, cats have a normal heart rate that ranges from 140 to 220 beats per minute (bpm). A resting heart rate in cats is when your cat is relaxed or calm. This may increase, however, if a cat is stressed, anxious, or engaged in activity. On the other hand, underlying conditions may also cause an increase or decrease in heart rate.
You can check your cat’s heart rate (and breathing rate) at home as one way to monitor your cat’s health. If there is a significant change in your cat’s heart rate, especially if they’re exhibiting accompanying symptoms, It’s best to schedule a visit with your veterinarian to determine why.
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