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Heart Murmur in Cats

feline diabetes vetcoYou cat may purr but did you know they can murmur too? A heart murmur is an extra vibration in the heart that results in a disturbance in blood flow. It is enough of a disturbance that it is audible through a stethoscope. A murmur can occur in both cats and dogs.

Types of Murmurs


A murmur is classified by its location, timing, and configuration.

  • Grade I—barely audible even with a stethoscope
  • Grade II—soft, but easily heard with a stethoscope
  • Grade III—intermediate loudness; most murmurs which have to do with blood flow are at least grade III
  • Grade IV—loud murmur that radiates widely, often including opposite side of chest
  • Grade V—very loud, audible with stethoscope barely touching the chest; the vibration is also strong enough to be felt through the animal’s chest wall. You may be able to feel this with your hand or hear it by putting your ear to their chest.
  • Grade VI—very loud. It can be heard with a stethoscope or just your ear. You can also feel the vibration through your pet’s chest.

Types of Configurations

  • Plateau murmurs (regurgitant murmur)- These are typical of blood regurgitation through an abnormal valve.
  • Crescendo-decrescendo murmurs (ejection murmur)- These tend to get louder and then softer and are due to turbulent forward flow.
  • Decrescendo murmurs (diastolic murmur)- These start loud and get softer.



Depending on the source and cause of your cat’s murmur will determine their symptoms. These can be anything from lethargy, coughing, wheezing, vomiting to many other symptoms based on the associated disease. Not all heart murmurs are a problem but any heart murmur should be evaluated. Your Albuquerque Vetco vet will listen for heart murmurs during your cat’s annual checkup. Call to make your veterinary annual checkup appointment today.


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2510 Main St. NE #1 Los Lunas, NM Phone: (505) 865-0662

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.