Category Archives: Cat Facts

Getting To The Heart Of The Issue: KAH Talks About Feline Heart Disease

Cats are very resilient creatures, but they are still prone to certain health issues…one of the most common being heart disease. There are multiple types of heart disease, and as a cat-mom or cat-dad it can be devastating to learn that a beloved feline has such a serious health issue. Fortunately, the veterinary community has learned a lot about this problem over the past few years, and it continues to be a major focus of study. There are even

Dr. Lynch’s own kitty, Cricket, had heart issues, so this is a topic near and dear to her…heart. 🙂

dedicated pet cardiologists—we are lucky enough to have an office right here in Frederick!

To learn more about feline heart disease, we sat down with Dr. Jenny Lynch, one of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s amazing veterinarians. Keep reading for some answers to the most commonly asked questions about heart disease in cats!

  1. What causes heart disease in cats? Is there anything that can prevent it?
    Dr. JL: Heart disease in cats can be caused by a taurine deficiency; lack of this amino acid can cause eye problems as well, so it is important to feed a diet with plenty of taurine in it! There are also certain breeds of cats that are genetically predisposed to heart disease, such as Maine Coons and other “fancy” cats.
  2. The veterinarian heard a heart murmur during my cat’s physical exam. What does this mean?
    Dr. JL: It could mean a lot of different things.  A heart murmur means that there is increased turbulence of blood flow through the heart.  This can sometimes be caused by anemia (a low red blood cell count) or by a systemic issue like hyperthyroidism or hypertension. Even a very high heart rate can cause a murmur. But sometimes a heart murmur is the first indication of heart disease.  It is very important to follow up on a heart murmur, because untreated heart disease causes blindness, congestive heart failure, blood clots that may lead to stroke or paralysis, collapse, and eventually loss of the pet’s life.
  3. What is the next step if my cat is diagnosed with a heart problem?

    Finding out a pet has heart disease can be scary. The caring staff at KAH is here to help!

    Dr. JL: The next step is to determine the cause of the heart murmur.  Visit the cardiologist for an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart. The cardiologist will measure the heart muscle and look at each of the valves of the heart to find the source of the murmur. Bloodwork can help to rule out anemia and hyperthyroidism, and there is even a special blood test that can be done to measure heart muscle damage.
    4. My kitty acts completely fine at home. How can I tell if s/he has heart disease?
    Dr. JL: Unfortunately, cats tend not to show symptoms of heart disease. The best thing to do is bring cats for regular check-ups at the vet; annually until they are 7 or 8 years old, then

    Monitoring cats for signs of heart disease starts at their first visit! Dr Kemper says little Molly’s heart sounds great.

    twice a year so we can stay on top of any potential issues. Early detection and intervention can slow the progression of heart disease and will add a few more quality years to a kitty’s life.
    5. Where can I find more information about this issue?
    Visit the CVCA website, or the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) website–and any of our veterinarians here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital are happy to answer any questions!

Cat Facts


95% of cat owners admit they talk to their cats.

A cat can be either right-pawed or left-pawed.

A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.

A cat can spend five or more hours a day grooming himself.

A cat can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.

A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.

A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human only has 206 bones.

A cat has four rows of whiskers.

A cat in a hurry can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.

A cat is pregnant for about 58-65 days.

A cat sees about six times better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum , a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.

A cat that bites you for rubbing his stomach is often biting from pleasure, not anger.

A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as feelers or antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage.

A cat will almost never meow at another cat. Cats use this sound for humans.

A cat will clean itself with paw and tongue after a dangerous experience or when it has fought with another cat. This is believed to be an attempt by the animal to soothe its nerves by doing something natural and instinctive.

A cat will never break a sweat because it has no sweat glands.

A cat will spend nearly 30% of its life grooming itself.

A cat will tremble or shiver when it is extreme pain.

More Amazing Cat Facts

Did you know…

A flashlight makes a great cat toy! Turn the flashlight on in a dark room, and watch your feline “chase” the beam of light!

Cats love to hide! If yours comes up “missing,” be sure to check in the bathtub, in your closet, in the dresser drawers, under a blanket or rug…or anywhere else you can possibly think of!

To make sure your cat’s collar fits properly, make sure you can slip two fingers under the collar, between the collar and your cat’s neck.

Hebrew folklore believes that cats came about because Noah was afraid that rats might eat all the food on the ark. He prayed to God for help. God responded by making the lion sneeze a giant sneeze — and out came a little cat!

Backward-pointing spikes on a cat’s tongue aid in their grooming.

It costs $7000 to care for one household cat over its lifetime. This covers only the necessities; the pampered pet will carry a higher price.

Cats are the sleepiest of all mammals. They spend 16 hours of each day sleeping. With that in mind, a seven year old cat has only been awake for two years of its life!

Amazing Cat Facts

Did you know…

Ailurophilia is the “love of cats.”

The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human.

There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with 33 different breeds.

Calico cats are almost always female.

If your cat is near you, and her tail is quivering, this is the greatest expression of love your cat can give you. If her tail starts thrashing, her mood has changed — Time to distance yourself from her.

Cats knead with their paws when they’re happy.

The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.

During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens.

Cats have 290 bones in their bodies, and 517 muscles.

A cat will amost never “meow” at another cat. This sound is reserved for humans.

A cat will kill it’s prey based on movement, but may not necessarily recognize that prey as food. Realizing that prey is food is a learned behavior.

Cats rub up against other cats, and people, in an attempt to “mark” them with their scent glands. They most often use the scent glands between their eye and ear (near the temple area) or their scent glands near the base of their tail.