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Cat heart attack?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My male cat is about 5 years old. He's had a heart murmur all his life. A 4 I believe. He's always been kinda "slow", lazy...not ever very playful. Not depressed...he just always seemed to have a "I'm cool and relaxed" type of personality.

I "adopted" him from a neighbor. For the first few weeks before I had him he was a partially outside cat, but ever since I had him, I kept him indoors. So he's always had an urge to go outside. This morning my fiance opened the front door. My cat (Johnny) heard the door open, jumped up and went to the door meowing and such. As normal. Only, his meow sounded like a cat who wants to mate and/or go outside. I'm not sure if theres a big difference, but my mother has a cat who always wants to go out, and he gets this belly meow. Johnny usually just does a whiny meow. But today he did that belly meow.

My fiance thinks its good to rough around with my cats because they probably like i, because all I ever do is baby them to death. Anyways. He picked up my cat super fast, kinda played around with him a bit. Then Johnny started to kinda scratch him (to hold on) and so my fiance kinda tossed/plopped him onto my bed. Johnny usually lands on his feet, then clumsily gallops away. But this time he landed in a laying down position. Then he started panting. He wouldnt move and he panted for a while. His heart was racing. I didn't know what was going on so I started freaking out. After him doing that for a few minutes..he eventually stopped, but still sat there. I kinda coaxed him to get up off the bed to see if his leg was hurt. He got down wearily, and went over to the food, slowly. He ate oddly...I moved the bowl because it was in the corner and he couldnt reach it that well. He just looked at where I moved the bowl to a few times, then kept eating the food that was on the floor. Then he went back over to the place he was before he ever got up, and laid down. I've been checking on him since then. He's sleeping now, and SEEMS okay, but if anything IS wrong and could happen I would just die.

I looked at a bunch of cat sites, and couldn't quite find anything that convinced me he was okay. So I figured people who can get every detail will be a much better help.

Does anyone have any ideas at all? Any help would be SO EXTREMELY appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
post #2 of 8
We could guess about what is going on with Johnny cat but if he were my kitty, I would take him to a good vet for a workup. I would consider this an emergency. You need to rule out anything serious. Please keep us posted.
post #3 of 8
Exactly...there is no way we can be as helpful as a vet listening to his heart, hearing his history can be. Yes, I think this requires a vet visit, and a talk with your fiance on how not to play with a cat with a cardiac condition.
post #4 of 8
It's possible that it was a panic attack. Some cats pant when they are stressed...Spot started panting when I tried to give a bath (he had bowel problems and really needed one). Spot also has a heart murmur, but his was caused by hyperthyroidism damaging the heart. He panted for a while, and then took a nap. He's fine now, but I was really freaked out that night and almost called the emergency vet.

I also had a cat who had a heart murmur for most of his life. He ended up dying very suddenly one day of either a heart attack or a stroke. The only time I remember seeing him pant was when he was trying to run to keep up with us on a walk (he was a very fat kitty).

I would think it would be a good idea to have a vet listen to his heart. Some kitties require medication for their heart problems, and only a vet will be able to determine whether yours is one of them. In the meantime, keep him calm. A dark room with no distractions will help lower his stress level.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all very much. I used livejournal to find a good local vet that people recommend. I'll be calling there tomorrow. So far all Johnny has done today is sleep in his spot. (Which is what he does most of the time anyways.) I keep checking on him once in a while though.

Again thank you all for your concerns and suggestions. It's helped calm me.
post #6 of 8
Thanks for the update about Johnny.
I am glad that you are taking him in to be checked.
Please keep us informed about how he is doing.
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by cloud_shade
I also had a cat who had a heart murmur for most of his life. He ended up dying very suddenly one day of either a heart attack or a stroke. The only time I remember seeing him pant was when he was trying to run to keep up with us on a walk (he was a very fat kitty).
I had the same experience, except I didn't know till after my baby died.

I do agree, a vet visit is a must. I loved that cat with all my heart, had I known I may have been able to do something to help her. I'm glad to hear you will be calling a vet. I was just a child when we adopted my kitty and I was 19 when she died, but I still feel I should have been more involved with the vet procedures. Not that I blame myself for her death compltely, but I feel my ignorance to animal's health situations did play a part. I hope your baby is all right now! Please keep us updated or we'll all be wondering and hoping forever!!
post #8 of 8
Was any type of work-up done to determine the cause of his heart murmur? Mainly and echocardiogram? My little man Echo was diagnosed with a heart mumur Grade 4, at 12 weeks old, an echocardiogram was done to determine the cause, An atrial septal defect. Echo would get very winded just walking to the food and water dish. Then he would have episodes of not being able catch his breath and his heart was racing and beating out of sequence. Echo passed away after one of these attacks (his heart would not regulate itself back to normal), he was 8 months old.

Spend the money to find out the cause of his heart murmur, so you know what steps to take to keep him healthy. Also reccomend to your fiance that he not play rough with him until it is determined what the cause is and how serious it may or may not be. I really hope it was just a fluke and things will get back to normal for you kitty, keep us posted and good luck.
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