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Cat has a heart murmur - Answered by Dr. Slome

November 25th, 2004, 10:28 PM
We took Mini-Ti to get his vaccinations tonight, the vet mentioned to us the fact that Mini-Ti has a very strong heart murmur which may lead to future health problems or possibly even an early passing. He said that with such a loud heart mumur, there's a chance that he'll be a special needs cat, meaning that he may need a lot of extra attention. He may just have shortness of breath after running around and playing, or unfortunately, he may not live a very long life. Then again, the vet also mentioned that there's a possibility that Mini-Ti will live a great life with no medical problems. We will be taking him to another vet to have a second opinion. has anyone ever been through this with their pet, it will be up to the family who wish to adopt him if they want to go throw with it but if not will try to find him a new family by 6months and if now one wish to then we will place him in foster care.

November 26th, 2004, 07:05 AM
How old is the cat?? My dog had a severe heart murmur as a pup and my vet told me he wouldn't live past two or three years old! I was heart broken as this is what she told me at his FIRST vet appointment. Luckily for me he has outgrown it and is doing great today at almost 4 years old. We also have elderly cats with heart murmurs and they have no symptoms as of yet. They are getting up there in age and if their heart starts to fail then we'll deal with it when it happens.

November 26th, 2004, 09:38 AM
Coppers mom is right heart murmurs can disappear as they get older. My Puli was from a breeder that I had contacted when I was looking to buy a Puli pup she told me that she had a 2 year waiting list. She put me on the list after the usual interogation and interviews. When I met them I told them I was not interested in breeding or showing and did not need a perfect pup. She called me about 2 months later and told me about a litter and one had a heart murmur so she could not sell this pup to any of the people on her list but if I would have her spayed and utd on shots I could have her as long as I promised to take very good care of her health needs. Well at the age of 2 she was given a clean bill of health not even a trace of the murmur. So do not look at it as death sentence or a disability.

November 26th, 2004, 09:51 AM
Shannon,I would not even look at her as a special needs cat,unless she is on meds,a second opinion would be good...
My Cookie lived to be 18yrs old,she had a heart-murmur as a young cat,it somehow corrected itself.
Mini-ti is just beautiful and I think she'll be fine :love:

November 26th, 2004, 11:34 AM
I don't think he'll need meds and so we have ruled that out putting him as special, his olny 3months and he's new family has decide that they will take him and so he leaves tonight. he will see the vet again next month. also Thank-You for seeing hope in what's wrong with him. :)

November 26th, 2004, 12:14 PM
Heart murmurs are more a symptom than a condition and since he is so little, he may have none in just a few months. He should be monitored by the vet tho to make sure he's OK but I bet he'll be fine!! (I myself have had a heart murmur all my life - and while it's not good to cite anecdotal evidence, it has not bothered me that much). (In pets, heart murmurs can be much the same).

louie's mum
November 26th, 2004, 10:05 PM
wow that is one beautiful animal.
hope he has a happy and very healthy life ahead of him :love:

December 31st, 2004, 11:17 AM
Heart murmurs are actually quite common in older cats - many of them will have an underlying thyroid disease condition which will lead to this problem. To diagnose this problem usually requires a blood test and to evaluate the extent of damage of the heart from this condition would usually require a chest xray and possibly a chest ultrasound. In most cases this condition can be well managed if proper medical protocol is followed and you have a proactive Veterinarian, as well as being self motivated to follow the medical reccomendations. You make no mention of his age so it is hard to for me to guide you more.

If he is a younger cat, then he may have a congenital ( was born with) heart condition and will need a proper cardiac evaluation with xrays, possibly viral blood tests and an ultrasound to determine what the underlying cause may be and how to treat it.

In either case, he should have a good physical examination and appropriate diagnostic tests performed. To me it is not acceptable that you would merely be told that he will be a special needs cat in future without further recommendations. I would be surprised if your Veterinarian did not suggest any further work up. A work up should in my opinion, be recommended on any cat with a grade iii or higher ( goes up to grade iv) murmur even if they are not showing symptoms, and regardless of the grade, if there are any heart related symptoms, a medical work up should be performed or at least recommended. I unfortunately do not know the extent of the examination and what procedures were recommended to indicate whether a 2nd opinion would be warranted.

Good luck. Sounds like an interesting case. Please also be aware that the main risk with diagnostic procedures in a cardiac diseased cat, could be a sudden heart failure/heart attack situation which could result in sudden death, and this has to be factored in when deciding on doing procedures and the order of the procedures( sometimes better to do chest xrays first with little or no restraint) before restraining for blood collection.

Martin Slome DVM

Centre Street Animal Hospital
7700 Bathurst Street
Units 40-42
Thornhill, On.
L4J 7Y3
Tel: (905) 771-9855

June 21st, 2006, 11:35 PM
I adopted a beautiful young cat from a rescue 2 months ago. I have had many health problems with her from upper respiratory problems, diarrhea, and now all of her hair is falling out. She has been seen by 4 doctors and has a heart murmur rated at 6. 2 Vets have said I should give her back or try to find someone that will take in a special needs cat. They told me that her life is going to be short. She is a real sweetheart of a cat and is very active and playful. I finally got weight on her (she was in bad condition when I adopted her) and if I could only get the hair to grow back (she is a flamepoint ragdoll).
I can't afford to have the ultrasound done. Is there meds that she could take to help her? I really don't want to place her in another home since she had a rough start in life. But since I have another cat already, the doctor said it's better that she's an only cat.:sad:

June 22nd, 2006, 07:13 AM
You should make your own thread,this thread is old.
What an extraordinary beautiful cat,so sorry she's not well:sad:

June 22nd, 2006, 09:18 AM
I don't know what the numbers mean, but My Nickie has had a heart murmur and was not given much of a chance. She was also very tiny when I found her in the bushes. She is now 10 yars old and happy. It's true they may not live long, but isn't it nice to know they were in a loving ang caring home for their time on earth?:angel:

June 22nd, 2006, 12:11 PM
CPietra,my Cookie lived to be 17yrs,with a heartmurmur,but I suppose there are different degrees.

February 24th, 2007, 11:25 AM
hi i had to take my cat who is 2 yrs to the vet on thursday because he was limping and had a cold when the vet examened him she said he had a heart murmur, i was very upset and dont really no much about it but i have found it useful reading storys of cats who have gone on to live a good a long life, i really hope casper can to, he has got to have an ultrasound scan in 2 weeks :cat:

February 24th, 2007, 02:58 PM
It's almost been a year and Chelsea has come a long way! I'm glad I listen to everyone here on this website because if I listened to her doctors, who knows where she would have been right now. She has a heart murmur rated a 6, the worse. I didn't have the money to get the ultrasound-scans done and I was told that there wouldn't be anything I could give her anyway to correct the damaged heart. She's healthy, active, and doing so good. She's finally mellowed out with my other cat and they play and get along much better. All I can do is give her my love and care for her the best I can. I keep her indoors and feed her good food.
Many cats have murmurs...I wish you well with Casper. I'm sure he'll be fine!:fingerscr

March 12th, 2007, 03:20 PM
I am so glad to hear that Chelsea is doing well and encouraged. I just adopted two older cats from a public shelter last week and am still reeling from the costs of the vet for both of them. One has a heart murmur rated at 3 and the other might be diabetic- I sprung for the costs of tests. I cannot afford the costs of long term cardiac care, nor for diabetic care. My feeling is that if I return the heart cat to the shelter, that will be the end of her, because it is difficult to find homes for special needs cats. If she does in fact, have a serious heart condition, I am inclined to let her live out her natural life with us, since she seems to have bonded with us. I am not sure about what to do if the the other cat tests positive for diabetes

March 12th, 2007, 03:30 PM
I have a 10 year old with a heart murmur - he developed it later in life (before I had him, he was a rescue, discarded by someone who did not want to pay for all the vet bills we are assuming) but fortunately, he does not have underlying hyperthyroidism though we watch for that constantly. Evemn that can be handled quite easily though actually. He takes meds, eats special food, has regular vet visits with reg blood work, ultrasounds et al. The ultrasound is important because as the vet above said, it shows the amount of damage - so e heart murmurs can be what are known as "innocent" and cause no problems and some more serious. There are many degrees of severity - at least in humans - I'll leave it to the vet to respond to that in cats but I am guessing it might be similar but please ask your vet about that!!! My guy has some damage but if we look after him and he takes his meds, he should do quite well and he is. So I urge you to please see a vet and if you cannot afford kit, make a payment plan. I am sure your vet would agree and help you.

Good luck!

March 12th, 2007, 04:09 PM
Isamom,my Peppi,a very large cat was diabetic had an insulin shot every day,it was not very expensive,he lived a long happy life until he got cancer.
Often times a diabetic cat can survive without shots,depending on his levels...

March 12th, 2007, 04:14 PM
So happy to hear Chelsea is doing good,they both are absolutely beautiful cats:lovestruck:

March 12th, 2007, 04:31 PM
I meant to add as well how happy I am to hear Chelsea is doing well - I am having one of those days. <g> Anyway - great to hear the good news re Chelsea! :)

June 15th, 2007, 11:11 PM
New to this! Just took my 10 y/o kitty for her routine check up for her vet to tell me she found a loud heart murmur she didn't hear last year. I approved for her to run a complete blood/urine panel and x-rays to rule out potential other causes for the heart murmur. She told me that if she didn't find anything, then I was to visit a cardiologist and have an ultrasound. Besides that and what I've learned online, that's all I know to do until she gets the results.
A few years back, my cat tweaked her back due to being overweight. I IMMEDIATELY put her on a diet, bought only the cat food sold directly from my vet. Since then, she has lost about a pound a year and is almost at a perfect weight...I thought we were home free, now this.
It's the first time my baby has ever had anything wrong and after all I have read, I'm really scared. I get that it's not curable, but since she's been symptom-free and it seems that we've caught it early enough, will meds help no matter the severity? Seeing a specialist is a no-brainer for me, but also don't even know what to expect cost-wise for an ultrasound.
Does anyone know more about murmurs in aging cats?!? What are our options and success of treatment? Please help! I'm a mess!

July 8th, 2008, 01:04 PM
I just found out this weekend that my older female has a heart murmur on top of her kidney insuffiencies.... As I write this, she is with the vet getting an ultrasound-$400!!! to determine the severity and if treatment is needed. Although I am one of those pet parents that can NEVER get a break, so I have both kitties on Pet Insurance programs, and highly recommend it!!:cat:

July 10th, 2008, 10:53 PM

Hope the tests went well and that it wasn't a severe diagnosis. I didn't have an ultrasound done on Chelsea, but here it is, 2 years later and she is as healthy and happy as can be. She went through a lot of illnesses since I got her from the rescue, and I was scared she wasn't going to make it. I was going to get pet insurance but they said she had pre-existing conditions so they wouldn't have covered her. I just make sure she doesn't get overweight because that would be stress on her heart. (She likes Felidae dry food.) She is an indoor cat also.

Best wishes for you both!:cat:

July 24th, 2008, 04:48 AM
My adorable 12 year old black cat, Trixie, was diagnosed with a slight heart murmur back in Feb 2008, I hate to say it but a week later she had a fit and died in my Mum's arms - just as they were on their way to the vet to see if they could give Trixie something as she had been breathing quite heavily. All you guys out there with cats who have lived passed their heart murmurs is great - you're very lucky. Shame my beautiful Trixie was one of the unfortunate ones.
RIP baby xx

January 15th, 2012, 09:57 AM
I just found out my cat 12y now have heart murmur, she lost a lot of weight and she is sleeping a lot. she was having problem with her back right leg, the vet told me she had a small heart attack and that affect her back leg. he suggested 1/4 baby aspirin 2 X wk. Mystic is a cat that does not like to be handle, I had the vet come to the house because the travel will be to hard on her and he agreed with me. Because she is the way she is, we decided to make her as comfortable as possible. I move her in the house, she is an outdoor/garage cat.

January 18th, 2012, 09:23 PM
I just found out my cat 12y now have heart murmur, she lost a lot of weight and she is sleeping a lot. she was having problem with her back right leg, the vet told me she had a small heart attack and that affect her back leg. he suggested 1/4 baby aspirin 2 X wk. Mystic is a cat that does not like to be handle, I had the vet come to the house because the travel will be to hard on her and he agreed with me. Because she is the way she is, we decided to make her as comfortable as possible. I move her in the house, she is an outdoor/garage cat.

This is an old thread, and the forums are changed, so now this is the dog forum.

I would repost in the cat forum, a new thread.

I don"t know about the aspirin, but you might be able to use fish oil therapy?