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Old 18-02-2013, 04:20 PM
Nomz1012 Nomz1012 is offline
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Question Kitten with a heart murmur..

Hi,

I've been looking for a kitten for some time (as some of you may remember). I took the advice of folk on here who said to avoid Gumtree so I've been patiently waiting for the Cat Protection folk to come up with something. They won't let me have a kitten under 6mths as I work 9-5ish & it'd be alone etc.

Anyway, I spotted a really cute 9mth old kitten on the cp website at the weekend. I had my heart set on a tortie and she's not BUT I feel really sorry for her because she has a heart murmur and quite fancy adopting her.

Does anyone have any advice re this? She has the highest grading of heart murmur (6) and the CP say they will meet medical bills in connection with the heart condition. Do kittens/cats with heart murmurs live long? Also if I took her would I be able to get pet insurance that doesn't cost the earth?

So many questions! Just wondered if anyone had any experience on cats with heart murmurs or any other advice would be welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 18-02-2013, 04:33 PM
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

My Tom was born with a grade 4 heart murmur which the vet said would take a LONG time to disappear, if at all. 3 weeks later and it had cleared up completely luckily for us, but that's the first thing to acknowledge about heart murmurs- depending on how old kitty is, he/she might still grow out of it, if not completely, then at least quite a lot.

Also, is kitty quite active? The more active she is, the better this is with regards to a heart murmur- it means it's not really affecting her day-to-day at the moment, which can definitely influence her potential life-span. Obviously the more active she is in herself (without humans forcing her to do stuff) and the more of a normal life she leads, the stronger her heart will be so the longer the murmur will sometimes take to really affect her life and lifespan.

With regards to pet insurance, if you were looking at getting a lifetime policy, this wouldn't cover the cost of her heart problem as she has developed this before the insurance was taken out. However, you mentioned CP will cover the costs of her treatment and medication, which she hopefully won't need until she is middle-aged anyway.

Also, do you know what kind of heart murmur it is? There are different types, that can be caused by different things- I'd definitely find out more about that. For example, if it is a systolic heart murmur, that means the 'swoosh' sound in the heart beat is muffled because the close valves don't close properly- this is something that can actually get better (if not cure completely, since she has a grade 6) over time.
However, if it is caused by a hole in the heart, this is obviously much more serious and may require surgery and a lot of care and medication.

With regard to life span, I think that's a difficult one to comment on as some cats can live their whole lives and get very old while still having a heart murmur, and others will get poorly when they are middle aged and will start to need treatment- it's worth having a vet opnion, especially since you need to know what type of heart murmur it is.

Having said that, if CP will cover the cost of any potential treatment, then I think it's a lovely idea for you to give a home to a kitty that will probably be overlooked due to her condition!
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Old 18-02-2013, 04:35 PM
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

I have 2 cats with a heart murmur, one is a grade 5, the other a grade 4.
So far we have had no problems at all (the one with the severe heart murmur is 2, the other is 8), and I used to have a cat wit ha bad heart who lived to be 14.

Whether it is going to shorten their lives depends on a lot of factors, both of mine are overweight, which is an added risk. I try to keep them away from the other cats' food, but both are terrible scroungers, they will chase the other cats from their bowls if I don't prevent them and I suspect them of snacking with the neighbours' cats, too.

But as long as the cause of the murmur has not been established, it is anyone's guess what causes it. I would ask the CP to have an untrasound done to establish the cause, as it will affect the choice of anaestetic in case of surgery. And if she has not been neutered yet, she needs to be, so it is vital to know the origin of the murmur.

I would have a chat with the vet to assess the risks, once the cause is known.
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Old 18-02-2013, 04:59 PM
Nomz1012 Nomz1012 is offline
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

Thanks for the replies so far!

I have registered my interest in the kitten with the cat protection folk and am waiting for them to call me back so I don't really know much about her yet except she's 9mths old, was a stray and has a Grade 6 heart murmur (which I'm led to believe is the highest grade). She's really cute though and I kinda feel sad that she's been a stray and has a heart problem. Maybe daft but I think I'd like to give her a happy life, however short it is.

I do know though that she can't be neutered at the moment so she has to be kept indoors. TBH that's not a problem to me because I wanted an indoor cat anyway. I'm assuming she wouldn't withstand the anaesthetic but maybe not? The CP folk are meeting any medical bills for things relative to her heart murmur so it'd be fine that the insurance won't pay that.

Thanks for the tips on finding out what sort of murmur it is, hopefully if the CP folk contact me later I'll be able to find out more. Will post what they say. Thanks guys!

PS Here she is if you fancy a nosey at her - http://glasgow.cats.org.uk/glasgow/a...cat/?cid=46098

Last edited by Nomz1012; 18-02-2013 at 05:08 PM.. Reason: Adding photo
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Old 18-02-2013, 05:09 PM
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

good on you for thinking of taking this girl on. I have two with heart murmurs. a 5 year old, and a nearly 2 year old. they are both in good health,you wouldnt know they had heart murmurs at the moment. hopefully they will continue to be healthy.
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Old 18-02-2013, 05:36 PM
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

She is gorgeous. i have two with murmurs. An 8 yr old with a grade 5. he takes life a bit easier these days but still runs around if he wants. he's had numerous ops and has been ok. i also have a 14 week old with a grade2. i shall worry a lot when she goes to be neutered soon.
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Old 18-02-2013, 05:58 PM
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

She is a real sweety, good on you for considering her as your new pet.
BUT.....I am sure CP and their vet know what they are doing, but it really is not practical to wait TOO long before neutering her. An entire queen, left to call and un-mated will drive you crazy....the noise, the bum being stuck in your face and she may even start to urinate on furniture. Not to mention the risk of Pyometra with repeated calls.
It is a catch 22.....if they neuter her, there IS a chance that she may not survive the op, but if they do not neuter her soon-ish while she is in their care then I don't think she would be an easy pet to have. Of course if she comes home with you then you will soon get attached and then the worry of the op would be on your shoulders.
I hope I have not come across as being harsh or un-caring....but I do think it is potentially a very tricky situation. I think you need to get quite a bit more information about the kind of murmur that it is, and the plan for how long they will wait to neuter, before you make a decision.
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Old 18-02-2013, 07:40 PM
Nomz1012 Nomz1012 is offline
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

Paddy paws, thank you so much for that advice re the neutering. I haven't had a kitten before and it did cross my mind how do cats that aren't neutered but also aren't getting the opportunity to have kittens cope with their "situation". I am SO glad you brought that to my attention. I deffo do not want any pets weeing on the furniture etc. yikes!

I'm awaiting a call/email from cat protection so will see what they have to say re all the points you all are helping me make!

Thanks guys I appreciate ALL the advice!
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Old 19-02-2013, 10:40 AM
Nomz1012 Nomz1012 is offline
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

Update on the kitten:

I had a call from the Cat Protection today regarding her. It seems heart murmurs are graded on their loudness. Whether it turns into a major health issue with underlying problems etc is a bit of a gamble.

Re the neutering she apparently is to get an injection from the vet every 5 months to stop her getting pregnant. Does anyone know if this injection stops the actual being on heat and all that goes with it or does it just stop the symptoms?

The heart murmur actually isn't concerning me too much but all the things associated with her not being neutered are more of a worry now. I definitely do NOT want a kitten that behaves as paddypaws highlighted in his/her reply.

Any advice appreciated..thanks!
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Old 19-02-2013, 12:37 PM
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Re: Kitten with a heart murmur..

There are a few people on here who's cats have heart murmurs and they have regular check ups and live for many years.
I did once have a cat with a heart murmur and the vet said to me if he gets a cough or his breathing is any different bring him in.
He never had any symptoms at all and was very energetic and full of beans.
I guess we or Harley was just unfortunate and he did die at the age of 3.
We have never got over his death and I didn't know if I should put this on here.

By taking this little one on you probably know what might happen but then it might not.
At least she will have the chance of a loving and caring home.
Also being as the CPL are paying for her medical fees that will help you too.
Hopefully she will live for many many years.

As for the injection instead of neutering I would ask your vet about it.

When our cats leave us for Rainbow Bridge they break our Hearts if they die young or old or if we have had them days or years.
We just have to HOPE

Also there is a sticky in cat health. Called feline heart disease .
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Last edited by jill3; 19-02-2013 at 12:41 PM..
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