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Cat Heart Murmur

A cat heart murmur is not necessarily a sign of something serious, but it should not be ignored as it could be a warning sign.



A heart murmur can be observed by your veterinarian during a routine examination when he listens to the cat’s heart. Cat heart murmur symptoms are caused due to turbulence in the blood flow either within the heart or in the large vessels exiting the heart. The veterinarian would notice abnormal noises during the examination.

Heart murmurs are graded from 1 to 4 on the basis of their severity, which is defined by certain criteria.



The severity increases from 1 to 4. Generally it depends on how loud the murmur is, as compared sounds of the heart that you would normally here. Other factors also do influence the grading, such as the location where the murmur is most clearly audible.



Do keep in mind that the severity of the heart murmur or its grading does not necessarily correspond to the risk or severity of cat heart problems or cat heart disease. So avoid jumping to conclusions or panicking simply based on the grading. Your vet will explain to you how concerned you need to be and what exactly the risks are.

Although cat heart murmurs are often connected to heart problems they can be caused by other conditions too. It is actually common for vets to find the condition in young kittens only to see the symptom vanish a few months later. If your cat has also been showing signs of lethargy or anorexia, then it may also be suffering from anemia, as this is another common cause for the condition. Occasionally a cat heart murmur may be of no significance at all and have no bearing or relation to any clinical disease. This would be what is referred to as incidental murmurs, and these are generally found in adult cats.

The most important thing for you to do in the event of a diagnosis of cat heart murmurs would be to follow the advice of your veterinarian stringently. You will need to look out for any other accompanying symptoms such as abnormal respiratory patterns, paleness of the gums, lethargy and so on. Your vet will asses any other symptoms or health conditions, and tries to identify a problem if any exists. If all is well, and the cat shows no other signs of illness you would simply be asked to bring it in for another examination in a few months.

 
  Submitted on May 4, 2010