Background: Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) has been described previously in British Shorthair cats (BSH), but until now, no reports have been published describing the prevalence of the disease within this breed.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of HCM in a large cohort of BSH and to evaluate the effect of sex, weight, and increasing age as potential risk factors for this disease.
Animals: Three hundred and twenty-nine BSH presented for routine HCM screening during a 4-year period.
Methods: Prospective cross-sectional study in which all cats were screened for HCM by conventional echocardiography.
Results: A total of 329 cats were examined, 214 females and 115 males, with a median age of 2.3 years (range, 0.8–14.1). Twenty-eight cats (8.5%) were classified as HCM-positive, 14 (4.3%) as equivocal, 282 (85.7%) as HCM-negative, and 5 (2.1%) were diagnosed with other cardiac diseases. The median age for diagnosis of HCM was 2.7 years (range, 0.9–14.1). Male cats had a significantly higher occurrence of HCM (20.4%) compared with the females (2.1%) corresponding to an odds ratio of 7.89 (95 % CI, 2.54–28.08) for males versus females adjusted for age and weight (P < .001).
Conclusion: The BSH in our cohort had a high prevalence of HCM, often of early onset and with a significant male sex predisposition. We strongly recommend echocardiographic screening in this breed, especially cats used for breeding.