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Best Cat Food for Congestive Heart Failure - Here are Best Picks of 2023

Certified Veterinary Dr. Veronica Heller

Heart diseases have become extremely common in kitties. 

Congestive heart failure is a syndrome that manifests itself when a cat with severe heart disease retains fluid. Where the fluid is retained in the body depends on which side of the heart is affected by it. 

The right diet can help alleviate the symptoms and give your cat a better quality of life. 

In this blog post, we’ll help you pick out the best cat food for congestive heart failure and go through everything you need to know about the disease. 

Let’s begin.

Let’s Learn About Congestive Heart Failure in Cats!

heart failure cats treatment

A syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that are often correlated with one another and a disease. Congestive heart failure is a syndrome of fluid retention caused as a result of severe heart disease.

Your cat may be retaining fluid in specific parts of her body. This depends on the diseased side of the heart. 

  • When the heart’s left side is affected, the cat may retain fluid in the pleural cavity or the lungs
  • In case the right side of the heart is affected, the cat retains fluid in the pleural cavity or the belly

Here Are Some of the Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure

Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure in cats: 

  • Lethargy or inactivity 
  • Weakness 
  • Difficulty in exercising
  • Discontinuing active behavior 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness in breath 
  • Hindquarter paralysis 
  • Fluid buildup in the lungs 
  • Chronic coughing 
  • Elevated heart rate 
  • Fast breathing even when not active 

The symptoms of congestive heart failure are different for all cats. If your cat has been showing any of the signs, take her to the vet for a full body examination.

Congestive Heart Failure Cats Treatment

Heart disease is quite common in cats and affects 15% of all adult cats. In some cases, the cats remain asymptomatic, meaning that the disease remains undiagnosed until it is too late. 

The course of treatment depends on several underlying factors. Following are some Congestive Heart Failure cats treatment

  • Surgery 
  • Draining the retained fluid 
  • Oxygen treatment 
  • Long-term medication 

A diet that improves heart health can positively affect your cat’s quality of life.

What To Look For In A Good Cat Food For Congestive Heart Failure

Some experts believe that cats in congestive heart failure need not follow a special diet if they’re able to maintain a healthy weight and get all the nutrients they need from their food. 

A balanced diet is the best diet. 

High-quality cat food must contain plenty of protein from animal sources, essential amino acids, and Taurine. Cats with heart issues do best on low-sodium diets as they help keep the kitty’s blood pressure in check.

congestive heart failure cats treatment

Giving your cat additional supplements such as Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, and antioxidants is a great idea. Your vet will recommend the best supplement for your kitty–so, don’t forget to ask them!

Of course, do keep in mind that Congestive Heart Failure cats medication is still as important. You shouldn’t replace medication with a healthy diet–they go hand-in-hand instead.

Let’s take a look at the best cat food for Congestive Heart Failure:

High-Quality Protein from Animal Sources

Ideally, high-quality cat food should have at least 35% to 40% protein from animal sources in it. 


For millions of years, a cat’s body evolved to thrive on a diet that’s rich in meat and protein from the prey. So, her body can easily digest high-protein foods. Animal proteins are complete sources; that is, they contain all the essential amino acids, carnitine, and Taurine your kitty needs. 

This is the best hcm diet for your kitty’s heart health.

Must Contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important in a cat’s diet. 

They keep your kitties with heart issues protected from abnormal heart rhythm and keep inflammation at bay. Cat food that contains from animal sources–especially fatty fish are excellent for Omega-3 acids. You should go for food that contains salmon oil or salmon.

Cats love the taste! 

Cat foods that contain ingredients like canola oil and flaxseed are also a good source.

Low in Carbohydrates

A cat’s body didn’t evolve to process a high-carb diet. 

Cats do best on a low-carb diet. You should steer clear of foods that contain ingredients like wheat, soy, and corn. Instead, you should go for wholesome and easily digestible ingredients like vegetables and whole grains rich in vitamins and minerals and dietary fiber.

Say No to Low-Quality Ingredients

Many top cat foods on the market contain low-quality ingredients such as artificial additives, by-products, and fillers that provide little to no nutritional value to your kitty. 

You should instead go for cat foods that are rich in natural and whole ingredients.

Additional Supplements for Heart Health

Some high-quality cat foods contain added toppings of supplements to provide a complete and balanced meal. These include Taurine, carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin E, antioxidants, and magnesium. 

You may also be able to find probiotics for easy digestibility and better nutrient absorption.

The Top 3 Reviews: Best Cat Food for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Did we answer all of your questions in the previous section?

Cats with congestive heart failure can do very well on a supportive diet that helps her maintain her ideal body weight and supports overall health. We’re looking for cat food that’s high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbs. 

In this section of the blog post, we will make things easier for you and review the top three candidates for the best cat food for congestive heart failure

Let’s begin!

Best Cat Food for Congestive Heart Failure
Here’s Why You Should Get It
Our Rating
IAMS Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food
Chicken is the number one ingredient, Contains no fillers, The crunchy formula helps reduce plaque, Easy to digest, Contains prebiotics
4.9 Stars
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Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food
Chicken is the number one ingredient, Contains Taurine for heart health, Natural ingredients used to produce this meal, Added Vitamin E and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Improves immunity
4.9 Stars
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Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food
Chicken is the number one ingredient, Contains wholesome and natural grains, Strengthens muscles and improves heart health, Doesn’t contain fillers, Added Omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
4.6 Stars
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Now, it’s time to take a closer look at each of these!

iams proactive health adult dry cat food

Founded in 1946 as the Iams Company by Paul Iams, this pet food company is now a subsidiary owned by Mars, Incorporated. The company makes high-quality foods for our furry friends that help meet their unique requirements. 

Excellent for Heart Health 

This pet food formula contains essential nutrients such as potassium and calcium to improve your kitty’s heart health.The optimal Omega 3:6 ratio helps improve her skin and coat health. 

One of the best things about this cat food is that it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients–such as coloring, flavor, and preservatives. The recipe doesn’t contain any wheat, either. 

Highly Digestible 

This cat food formula contains a unique blend of fiber and prebiotics to help boost your kitty’s ability to absorb nutrients from her food. Beet pulp is an excellent ingredient that helps keep digestive issues at bay. 

Another thing that makes this meal highly digestible is the fact that it doesn’t contain any filler ingredients, providing your cat with 100% complete and balanced nutrition. 

Good for the Muscles

The cat food is excellent in helping your kitty build and maintain muscle–thanks to the chicken being the number one ingredient. The company only uses high-quality natural animal protein in their recipes. The ingredients come from a reliable source. 

The crunchy kibble also helps reduce tartar buildup.

Nutritional Breakdown

This cat food formula contains: 

  • 35% protein which is near-average
  • 14% fat which is average
  • 33% carbohydrates which are average

The cat food contains a moderate amount of meat.

Pros and Cons 

Let’s weigh the pros against the cons, shall we?

Contains potassium and calcium
Not the best packaging
Doesn’t contain any fillers
High-quality ingredients used
No preservatives used
Complete and balanced nutrition

Moving on.

hill's science diet dry cat food

The company came into existence in the late 1930s with the idea that poor nutrition was to be blamed for a pet’s illness. Since then, the company strives to create high-quality pet foods for your furry friend. 

Excellent for Heart Health 

This cat food contains Taurine, which is essential for your cat’s heart health. What’s more, the kibble is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, which helps support renal and bladder functions.

Natural Ingredients

The cat food contains natural and wholesome ingredients, making it highly digestible for your cat. Your kitty will be able to absorb all the nutrients from this cat food. 

Since chicken is the number one ingredient, this cat food contains the right amount of protein and meat to build and maintain healthy muscles. 

The food is made in the United States, in an FDA-approved facility, ensuring your cat gets nothing but the best!

Boosts Immune System Function 

The cat food contains clinically proven antioxidants along with Vitamin C and E that help improve immune system function. In addition to that, the kibble also contains Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for beautiful, healthy skin and fur. 

Nutritional Breakdown

This cat food formula contains: 

  • 35% protein which is near-average
  • 14% fat which is average
  • 33% carbohydrates which are average

The cat food contains a moderate amount of meat, making it excellent for cats with heart issues. 

Pros and Cons 

Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons.

Contains antioxidants to help build immunity
Smelly odor
Taurine helps support the heart
Easy to digest ingredients
No preservatives used
Made in the United States

On to the next one.

purina one tender selects blend adult dry cat food

Purina PetCare is a subsidiary of Nestle International. This pet food brand aims at making highly nutritious and high-quality pet foods to ensure proper health and nutrition. 

Great for the Heart 

The cat food contains high-quality protein from real chicken, which helps strengthen the heart. In addition to that, the high-meat content also helps build and maintain muscles, making this an excellent pick. 

The Omega-6 fatty acids in the recipe help nourish your cat’s skin and coat.

High-Quality Ingredients

All the ingredients used to make this cat food are of high quality and come from highly trusted sources. Every ingredient used in the kibble has a purpose and is highly nutritious. 

The kibble doesn’t use any filler ingredients like wheat, corn, and soy. You won’t find any artificial coloring, flavors, and preservatives, either. This cat food is wholesome and healthy. 

Great to Taste

This cat food is an excellent choice if you have a picky eater on your hands. The delicious, crunchy bites are mixed with tender, meaty morsels making it a hit with cats. Of course, all cats have different preferences. 

Nutritional Breakdown

This dog food formula contains: 

  • 30 % protein which is average
  • 10% fat which is below-average
  • 42% carbohydrates which are above-average

The dry cat also contains a moderate amount of meat.

Pros and Cons 

So, here’s the deal with the pros and cons:

Improves heart health
May cause flatulence
Antioxidants improve immune system function
Contains wholesome and easily digestible grains
Wholesome veggies
Excellent taste

Here Are Some Frequently Asked Questions

heart failure cats medication

In this section of the blog post, we wanted to go through some of the frequently asked questions we came across while researching this article. 

Let’s answer these burning queries.

1. Is heart disease preventable in cats?

Like with every disease, heart diseases in cats have a genetic as well as an environmental component. You can’t control the genes, but what you can control is the environment. 

So, what does this mean?

By ensuring your kitty gets a high-quality complete, and balanced meal, you can prevent heart disease.

2. Should I exercise my cat for improved heart health?

Maintaining healthy body weight ensures that your kitty will be active and energetic throughout the day. Heavier cats tend to be more lethargic. 

Time and again, obesity has been linked to the symptoms of heart disease. So, it becomes all the more important to ensure your cat maintains the right weight. You should play with your cat at least 20-30 minutes a day. 

Also, make sure you’re not overfeeding her! You should also ensure she gets the right Congestive Heart Failure cats medication.

3. Is grain-free food safe for my kitty?

Some studies showed how heart disease in dogs is linked to grain-free food formulas. 

However, the study was limited to dogs. 

Cats are a completely different species and don’t need a lot of grain in their diet, to begin with. And, at this point, there haven’t been any studies that have linked the two. So, grain-free cat foods are safe.

4. What are some warning signs of CHF?

The warning signs of congestive heart failure include trouble walking, difficulty breathing due to fluid retention, and weakness in the hind legs. If left untreated, congestive heart failure can lead to a stroke or a heart attack.

Certified Veterinary Dr. Veronica Heller

Dr. Veronica Heller

Born and brought up in Grand Marais, Minnesota, ever since she was a little girl, Dr. Veronica Heller dreamed of becoming a vet thanks to
Sruffy, her family pet. She graduated from College of Veterinary Medicine, Minnesota and began her veterinary career in Larpenteur Animal Hospital in St. Paul as an emergency Veterinarian. Since then, she has worked with Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, Small Animal Hospital, and Blue Pearl Pet Hospital. Her interests in the field include preventive medicine, internal medicine, nutrition, and surgery. She’s also a loving pet mother to two cats and a Golden Retriever.