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Tonka is a shelter cat - a 4 year old neutered black and white medium hair male cat.
He was given up to my local shelter after the owner discovered Tonka didn't get along with the owner's other cats. (I didn't observe this behavior at the shelter, and neither did any of the volunteers or vet techs -- what I did discover is it seems Tonka is often "bullied" by other cats, as I saw another cat take a swipe at him while at the shelter! But perhaps he, unknown to me, provokes such attacks! Either way, it's fine, I do not have any other pets at all.)

As a first time cat owner (and lifetime cat lover), I was advised to let a cat "choose you" when visiting the shelter. I knew Tonka wanted to come home with me when he was following me all around the shelter, rubbing against me, even climbing in my lap and rubbing his face under my neck!

Tonka has a Grade IV heart murmur. I don't know much about special needs cats, but Tonka was marked as one and because of it was free at the shelter (I did make a donation anyway). I can't believe this handsome and cuddly gent was at the shelter for so long (I know he was there for at least a month; he's updated on all his shots) -- but they said many people who adopt, don't want to adopt adult cats, nevermind adult cats with "problems". Tonka doesn't take medication nor does he require any special regimine, but the vet tech advised me that his heart murmur is pretty bad and that it could mean a short life for Tonka. At least now he'll have a quality life, though! :)
 

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Congratulations on adopting your first cat! Tonka is gorgeous! I hope the two of you have a very long time together despite his heart murmer. Thank you for taking a special needs cat. I volunteer in a shelter and it is so sad to see wonderful, sweet cats being passed over because they are not "perfect". You must be a good person. :D
Also, welcome to Catforum!
 

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Congrats on your addition to the family! Tonka is just gorgeous and it's great that you're making his life so much better.

By the way, being at a shelter a month doesn't sound that bad compared to my local SPCA. They have several cats who have been there over a year. When we adopted Murphy when he had only been there 1.5 months, we considered that a relatively short time for him.
 

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Welcome and congrats!

My boy Doran also has a grade IV heart murmur, there's a few things I do that I hope help him. For one I try to exercise him lightly a few times a week. Start slow and build up his stamina. Just like in people this should keep his heart strong, so get him moving! lol, not to mention I bet he'd love a playtime.
Since Doran's only 1 yr old I'm not as worried about it now, but I know that keeping him at the right weight is also a good idea, the heavier he is the harder his heart has to work. So a healthy weight is important.

I'm sure your vet will have other suggestions, but I'm sure he'll live a long and happy life with you!
 

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He's quite handsome :) . I think that letting your new cat choose you is an excellent way of doing it--ensures that you two will have chemistry. My shelter kitty also has a heart murmur, but I have no idea what grade it is (how embarrassing). In fact, the shelter was apparently unaware of it entirely, as they made no mention...

Around here I think that over a month is considered a somewhat lengthy shelter stay. A year sounds absolutely horrendous. Poor kitties :(

Congratulations on your new boy. He sounds adorable.
 

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I'm glad you rescued him, the handsome boy :D . Baby has a heart murmur too. She is taking medication for it, so she can live longer with it.
 
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