CASE SUMMARY: A 4-year-old male neutered domestic shorthair cat was presented to the Oregon State University cardiology service for suspected pericardial effusion. Cardiac tamponade was documented and pericardiocentesis yielded purulent fluid with cytologic results supportive of bacterial pericarditis. The microbial population consisted of and species. Conservative management was elected consisting of intravenous antibiotic therapy with ampicillin sodium/sulbactam sodium and metronidazole for 48 h followed by 4 weeks of oral antibiotics. Re-examination 3 months after the initial incident indicated no recurrence of effusion and the cat remained free of clinical signs 2 years after presentation.
RELEVANCE AND NOVEL INFORMATION: Bacterial pericarditis is a rare cause of pericardial effusion in cats. Growth of and species has not previously been documented in feline septic pericarditis. Conservative management with broad-spectrum antibiotics may be considered when further diagnostic imaging or exploratory surgery to search for a primary nidus of infection is not feasible or elected.