Worldwide medical and scientific journal for animal health professionals

Issue number 29.1 Cardiology

How I approach... Heart murmurs in kittens

Published 14/03/2019

Written by Meg M. Sleeper and Camden Rouben

Also available in Français , Deutsch , Italiano , Português and Español

All clinicians will have been in the position of detecting a heart murmur in a young, apparently healthy kitten presented for vaccination or other routine examination. Meg Sleeper and Camden Rouben discuss a practical approach to such cases and identify which diagnostic tests are best employed.

How I approach... Heart murmurs in kittens

Key Points

It is not uncommon to detect a heart murmur when performing a clinical exam on a young cat, and the clinician should know how to handle such a situation confidently.


Cardiac auscultation should be methodical and all four heart valve areas should be evaluated.


Any murmur should be classified as to its timing, location and grade.


The chosen therapy will depend on the clinical signs, investigative tests and diagnosis/prognosis.


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