Also known as dirofilariasis, heartworm disease (HW) is a serious parasitic infection caused by the nematode Dirofilaria immitis which lives in the pulmonary arteries, lungs, and hearts of cats. Heartworms are a type of roundworm, with adult heartworms reaching a length of 12 to 30 cm. Microfilaria (baby heartworms) are present in the blood of an infected animal (in most cases, a dog), when a female mosquito feeds on the blood, microfilaria are also ingested, once, inside the gut of the mosquito, they undergo further development before migrating to the labium (a part of the mouth) of the mosquito. When the infected mosquito feeds on another host (in this case, your cat), the larvae move from the mouthpart and onto the skin of the cat (or dog), from there, they enter the bloodstream via the bite wound left behind by the mosquito.
The Russian Blue has a reputation as a gentle, quiet cat, somewhat shy, but don’t get the wrong idea. This cat may have a reserved nature, but he loves to play (being especially fond of retrieving) and enjoys jumping or climbing to high places where he can study people and situations at his leisure before making up his mind about whether he wants to get involved. Guests will not receive his immediate attention and may never see him unless he decides they are worthy of his notice, but toward family members, especially his favored person, he is ever loyal, following them through the house and even riding on a shoulder. The Russian Blue is a sensitive cat who doesn’t like to be ignored and will be hurt if he doesn’t receive the same amount of affection he gives. Lack of attention can cause him to become anxious or fearful.
This cat breed has a very interesting history. Sometimes referred to as Archangel Blues, the cats are believed to have originated in the Archangel Isles, located in Northern Russia, and may have been pets of Russian czars long time past. They’re considered a natural breed and not sprung from interbreeding programmes. The thick, warm coat is due to the cat needing something to keep warm against the frozen tundras and the cold, harsh winters of the country.

Cat fanciers may think that Russian Blues only have blue coating, but this isn’t always the case. In other cat associations such as New Zealand and Australia, the term “Russians” can be applied to black and white varieties, alongside the traditional blues. Even the U.S. Cat Fanciers Association and TICA allows black-colored Russians or Russian Whites into play in provisional cases.
Four of the five species of the big cats (the Panthera genus – lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard), the exception being the snow leopard can hybridize with each other to produce numerous hybrids. In fact, breeding of two different pantheras to produce hybrid big cats has been banned in many zoos and animal sanctuaries due to no conservation value of the hybrid, and the risk it poses on the mother that gives birth to it.
Thank you for your email. I do think that there might be more going on than stress, and kittens are prone to infectious diseases. If you don't trust that veterinarian that you saw, it would be a good idea to find a second opinion, even if you have to travel a bit to do so, as he could have a problem that needs to be treated. You can also call your veterinarian, let them know that he isn't getting better, and see if they have any other recommendations for him.
I took my senior cat Butters to the vets just a few weeks ago and the vet did just a physical exam. Said he was very healthy for a senior and looked great. Just two weeks before the appointment I had noticed he put on weight out of no where.. so since the visit I have noticed that he’s breathing very heavily and quickly and it shows in his abdominal. No panting though. I also noticed that he is purring more than usual. He was always did purr as he’s a loving and content boy, but I’ve noticed it even when I am not giving him affection and he is sitting next to me. Should I be worried at all?
Sadly Arwen got worse throughout the night. She started to seizure and her breathing got worse. Then she started to not be able to move or blink her right eye and her wyes completely dilated until you could no longer see the pretty green. Finally she started to get severe swelling under her tongue and had even a harder time breathing. I took her to a vet asap but it was too late and she had to be euthanized. My vet thinks she had a massive stroke and even if we could of gotten her there sooner the outcome would of been the same. I've never heard of a cat so young getting a stroke like that, is it that unusual and what could of caused that? She was abused in her previous home and I think that factored into her very nervous disposition, she was very sweet and loving but was scared of just about everything. I guess I'm just trying to find a reason why and how but I'm also still just so upset too.

Thank you for your email. Since Tortie was just seen by your veterinarian and was deemed healthy, her periodic bouts of rapid breathing may be normal, and may follow bouts of exertion or anxiety. If the periods that she is breathing rapidly become more frequent, or more severe, it would be a good idea to have her seen by your veterinarian and examined to make sure that she is okay. It might be helpful to video the episode, since she doesn't seem to breathe that way when she is at an appointment. I hope that she is okay!
It’s a good idea to keep a Russian Blue as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Russian Blues who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.
What makes the Russian Blue more than “any other grey cat?” The many years of selective breeding and careful registration of ancestry via pedigrees allowing only blue shorthaired cats has resulted in a breed with a distinctive appearance and a unique personality that sets it apart from other cats...making the Russian Blue an entertaining and affectionate companion to its family and friends.
My cat has always been healthy for 18 years human age until just last week of April my daughter told me that she is blind banging walls, and when I look closely her breathing was soooo rapid and that’s why I took her to the vet the following day (Thursday) and the vet took an x-ray found out that Shellas lungs was covered with fluids, he did not take a blood test that day coz of her conditions, he gave me pills but so far shellas conditions is not getting any better... what should I do????
Points or Pointed Markings: "Points," or darker shades of the body color, generally include the ears, muzzle, tail, and feet of the cat. The original pointed cat was the Siamese, and many years later, the Himalayan was developed by crossing Siamese with Persian cats. Many other breeds of pointed cats are now accepted by cat registries, including Ragdoll, Ragamuffin, Birman, Exotic, Balinese, and Javanese. Breed registries disallow pointed patterns in most other breeds. Many mixed breed cats display these distinctive points, which may be found in various colors.
A supposed wildcat hybrid Bobcat (white) x domestic cat, with a further mating with a Highland Lynx to produce the curled ears. However, this is a selectively bred, totally domestic cat (no wild cat blood) that is meant to look like a bobcat. The Alpine lynx has longer hind legs and a large but not round head. The toes are tufted. They are intelligent cats.

This breathing may be normal for Gracie, or may be a sign of distress and not being able to get oxygen the way that she needs to. Since I cannot assess her or her respiratory system, it would be best to have her examined by a veterinarian. They'll be able to look at her, listen to her heart and lungs, and assess her general health to see if she is having any breathing issues that need attention.


Queening is a painful process just like childbirth is for humans and some heavy breathing or panting may occur afterwards for a few days due to discomfort. But if you feel that she is straining or in distress you should visit your Veterinarian to check her over to ensure that there isn’t a retained kitten or another issue leading to these symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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