According to WHO classification hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a primary genetic cardiomyopathy. Echocardiographically HCM is characterized by symmetric, asymmetric or focal left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) without recognizable underlying physical cause. However, echocardiographically HCM in cats may not be distinguishable from other causes of a thick appearing left ventricle. Hypovolemia can look like a hypertrophied ventricle but is basically only pseudohypertrophic. Well recognized and logical physical causes of LVH include systemic hypertension and outflow obstruction. LVH similar to HCM may also be found in feline hyperthyroidism. The context of the disease helps to differentiate these physical / physiological causes of LVH. Difficult to distinguish from HCM, particularly when based on a snapshot of a single echocardiographic exam, are myocarditis and <<steroid-induced HCM>>. Only the clinical and echocardiographic course allow a reasonably confident etiological diagnosis and the differentiation between HCM and secondary LVH.