Pectus excavatum in cats: what it is, causes, symptoms, treatment

The pectus excavatum is a very insidious disease, which can even endanger the life of the cat: we discover what it is.

The pectus excavatum is a common disease and the human and veterinary medicine, and can also affect the cat. It is an anatomical disorder, which, depending on the severity, can lead to various complications, and even lead to the death of the animal. Let’s find out what are the symptoms and remedies of this peculiar pathology.

What is it and what are the causes

The pectus excavatum is an anatomical nature disorder; and it is congenital, that is, it afflicts the cat from birth. As mentioned, it is a pathology that humans share with their four-legged friends and can affect both dogs and cats; the latter however, statistics in hand, is the most affected of the two.

The Latin name of the disease leaves little room for the imagination; the disorder in fact concerns the area of the chest, which is flattened in such a way abnormal.

Mind you, the defect is not only aesthetic; indeed, it is the last of the cat’s problems. The malformation, unfortunately, heavily and negatively affects the cardiorespiratory capacity of the animal. The organs contained in the rib cage, in fact, have too little space to function properly.


The most obvious symptom of pectus excavatum is the malformation of the cat’s chest; or at least, if the disease manifests itself in a more severe form.

The animal, in fact, can be affected by the disease, without any aesthetic anomaly being visible and without any particular symptoms. The vet will diagnose the problem during the checkups.

Although it is an anatomical anomaly, it is not always easy to ascertain the onset of pectus excavatum in cats; this is because the disorder can present itself in a more or less severe form.

Where the disease occurs in its most severe form, the related symptoms can be multiple:

  • dyspnea
  • weight loss
  • tachycardia
  • scoliosis
  • cyanosis
  • lack of appetite
  • difficulty or inability to exercise

Clinical signs may also occur such as vomiting or coughing in cats , which, as known, are very common and therefore referable to a large number of pathologies.

Pectus excavatum in cats: how to treat it

The approach will differ depending on the form of pectus excavatum that has affected the cat.

As mentioned, where the defect is minor and does not create particular difficulties, the feline can continue to lead a completely ordinary life. Of course, once the existence of the pathology has been ascertained, the animal will be checked periodically, according to the deadlines dictated by your trusted veterinarian.

In the event that the most serious form has been diagnosed, it will be necessary to resort to surgery. The operation is extremely invasive (as it is aimed at removing the chest bone that causes the malformation), and must be performed at a young age, starting from the third or fourth month of life.

The hospitalization will last a few weeks, during which it is advisable to prepare an environment in the home dedicated to the care of the cat after the surgery .

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