Heart Murmur in Cats

What is a heart murmur?

  • A heart murmur is an abnormal swishing noise in your pet’s heart.
  • Using a stethoscope, your primary care veterinarian determines if a heart murmur is present.
  • The loudness of the murmur does not necessarily correlate with the severity of disease.

What does a heart murmur mean for my cat?

  • Most heart murmurs indicate underlying cardiac disease, the severity of which varies widely.
  • A cardiac evaluation by a board certified veterinary cardiologist when the abnormal sounds are first noted provides the best care and outcome for your cat.
  • Most pets seem fine on the outside until they develop severe heart disease because their instinct is to hide signs of the disease.
  • All too often, pets end up in heart failure and the emergency room when early diagnosis and treatment could have resulted in a much longer and healthier life.
  • Most cardiac disease in pets can be managed long term with medication. Surgery is rarely indicated.

How do I find out what is wrong with my pet?

  • An echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) by a board certified veterinary cardiologist is the gold standard for definitive diagnosis.
  • Veterinary cardiologists are experts in heart mumurs and other heartdisease and have 4 years of training beyond veterinary college including a series of exams to become board-certified.
  • At CVCA, you are with your pet during the entire visit while we non-invasively diagnose your pet’s condition and tailor the treatment specifically to your pet and family.

What is my veterinarian’s role?

  • Your primary care veterinarian is an integral part of your pet’s cardiac care and receive a report of your pet’s cardiac evaluation the same day your visit occurs.
  • CVCA works together with you and your doctor to form a team to care for your pet.
  • Our goals are to delay or prevent congestive heart failure thus avoiding stressful emergency room visits.
  • After your visit, we are available to you and to your veterinarian 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for follow up communication.
  • At CVCA, we are passionate about your pet’s well being and the human-animal bond. For more information about heart murmur in cats, or help with diagnosing your pet give us a call today!

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Backwards flow across an insufficient mitral valve leads to a sound called a heart murmur.


playful cat