Safe To Sedate Cat With Heart Murmur?

Is it safe to sedate a 15 year old Persian with a heart murmur?

I have a 15 year old female Persian with a heart murmur. She has developed severe matting. I have tried with little success to comb and detangle the matting without causing pain and stress.

I would like to have her coat shaved, but she would need to be sedated (will 1/2 a valium work?) in order to have this done.

I don't want to risk her health, but the matting is very severe and painful.....

Aside from the murmur she suffers from mild arthritis, but otherwise is very active and healthy for her age. She still runs around the house from window to window from time to time and her weight is normal.

Any information will be most helpful....thanks!!

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Aug 26, 2010
New gingivitis page
by: Kurt (Admin)

@Gail -- I thought that your comment deserved a new page so that we can focus on the gingivitis treatment aspect of this. So, let's continue this conversation at this page.

Aug 25, 2010
Scooby has gingivitis! No sedation!
by: Gail

Scooby has a heart problem discovered at her last visit to the vet. They won't clean her teeth saying they would need to sedate her and fear she wouldn't make it. Scooby will no longer eat her dry food (probably hurts too much.) and is on wet food full time.

I have bought a water additive that is more for bad breath than helping with the gingivitis... and Scooby won't drink her water if I add it to the water. I think she might be able to smell or taste it. I am no longer using it.

Is there anything I can do to help. I really need some advice.


Feb 16, 2010
Re: matting drama
by: Anonymous

Thanks guys...I really appreciate the advice & tips you suggested...I'll try them and let you know how it worked out! It's been a week now since the drama...and I still didn't brush her!! I know I know..I have to get on stay tuned :)

Feb 15, 2010
matting fur
by: Anonymous

We have a cat that is very sensitive and didn't like to be combed. After a long time of trying, we took him to the vets and they held him and cut out the mats and then combed the rest. The vet suggested getting a furminator and using it every day.

Surprisingly, after a few times the cat meets us and loves to be combed now. He doesn't fight it but loves it. It just took a little time to get him accustomed to it. An online pet supply I use is for discounted items.

Feb 10, 2010
A Difficult Situation
by: Kurt (Admin)


I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with your cat. I know it can be even more difficult when you're not in control of what's happening.

I know I would not want to subject a cat to sedation twice a year for 10 or more years.

It would be great, obviously, if you could train your cat to accept regular grooming sessions, even if those sessions have to be short and many. This may be impossible, or it may be possible but very difficult, requiring a lot of work.

You may want to read Brent's tip on clipping your cat's claws as you may be able to apply a similar training technique to your cat's grooming sessions.

Have you tried using grooming gloves? You can use grooming gloves or the gardening gloves with the raised texture on them. You might be able to sneak in enough detangling using that to make a difference.

Feliway has been known to calm cats and curb certain behavior problems. If it has this effect on your cat, that may help as well.

You might be able to try a combination of these tactics to very slowly work in grooming sessions that address the sensitive areas.

I hope that helps. I'm hoping some of our readers will chime in with a great suggestion.


Feb 09, 2010
Re: Sedation
by: Anonymous

Hey guys...I also have a 3.5 year old Persian cat. She has a great attitude and hates it when I attempt to comb her (I can never get the sensitive area: stomach, under arms, inner thighs, and neck)... so I take her to the vet's every 6 months or so to get these areas shaved.

They tried to convince me several times that "the next time your cat would need sedation because she gets really angry and tries to bite them" (she's front paws de-clawed)... I hate sedation so I refuse it each time... I just got bk from the Vet's again and this time, they "tried to shave her but really couldn't" and they needed to sedate her!!

I immediately started balling my eyes out because my cat is very healthy and I don't want to make her sick because I didn't force her to sit and get combed every day!! I felt so guilty and tried to talk them out of sedating her but couldn't!!

I can't really drive her around other places to see who can take her without sedation (that'll just freak my cat out because she's an indoor cat and not used to driving around!!) so I had to surrender and accept sedation.. she's still there now and I can't stop crying... I started researching about sedation online that's how I came across your site!!!

Do you guys have any tips on how to manage a long-haired Persian cat w/ attitude? (I refuse to give her a lion's cut or shave her completely because I don't want her to look like Mr. Biggelsworth!!)... Thanks for your time...

Mar 21, 2009
I Would Not Risk Sedation (Part 2)
by: Kurt (Cat Lovers Only Admin)

Here is part 2 of my answer.

Try EQyss products. EQyss makes a line of non-toxic pet products used by groomers. Some people like them so much they use them on themselves. In fact, some people claim that the Mega-Tek Coat Rebuilder actually regrows their hair.

The Survivor Super Detangler product might work to get the tangles out. You can put it on a dry coat (so you don't risk wetting the fur with water). The Coat Rebuilder is also said to be used as a detangler as well.

Hair gets tangled up because it has a scale-like cuticle layer. Those cuticles open up and act like barbs and catch each other. Cream rinses and conditioners coat the cuticle layer on the outside of the hair shaft and make it slippery and easier to untangle.

While you probably could use cream rinse or hair conditioner made for humans, I prefer to use caution and use non-toxic products made for pets.

You can by the Survivor and Coat Rebuilder through Amazon (links are below)...

Mega-Tek Coat Rebuilder 2oz

Survivor Super Detangler, 8 oz

Long haired cats often have relatively thin skin, so be sensitive to that. Too much tugging on badly matted fur can actually tear the skin.

I hope that helps a bit to give you some ideas. Please let us know what you decide and if any of these ideas work. There are many people in your situation I suspect.


P.S. If anyone has any history of success with this type of thing, please leave a comment and help us out. Thanks!

Mar 21, 2009
I Would Not Risk Sedation (Part 1)
by: Kurt (Cat Lovers Only Admin)

I can't dispense veterinary advice, but on a personal note, I would not sedate a cat with a heart murmur. Priscilla has a murmur, and unless she had a life threatening condition, I would say no to sedation.

Still, the matting is a huge problem, and I know that Persians usually need to be groomed often (preferably daily). Most breeders will recommend a periodic bathing and de-greasing as well, although I've seen some groomers recommend products I wouldn't use on a cat. Some products can cause skin irritation or worse, are toxic to your cat.

One thing is for sure, don't get the fur wet or the matting will get worse.

If the matting is severe enough, your only option may be to shave her. Doing it without sedation may be more than most groomers can handle. I would, therefore, ask the vet to do it. Most cats are nervous enough at the vet that they lose a little bit of their fight, and your vet should have the equipment, staff, and expertise to handle it.

Now, if you'd like to try untangling the fur yourself, there are some recommendations I've seen.

I have no personal experience with any of these products, and please do your own research, and ask your vet and a groomer for an opinion before you attempt it.

1. Corn starch. Corn starch has been known to help. Sprinkle it on the matted area, and use your fingers to work it in and separate the fur.

2. Baby oil. I don't like this one because I don't think it's good for your cat to be licking baby oil off of her fur, but some people say it works. You could try an Elizabethan collar to keep her from licking, although most cats hate the collar and will fight to get out of it.

Here's a discussion on the issue...

Corn starch and baby oil for matted cat fur

EQyss products may help if you want to attempt unmatting the fur yourself (Part 2 of my answer coming soon).


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