A 5-month-old male domestic cat presented with a history of rapid, heavy breathing and cyanosis after exercise. Physical examination showed an abnormal respiratory pattern with an increased rate and stress-induced cyanosis. Auscultation revealed tachycardia and a grade 5/6 systolic murmur best heard over the left base. Radiographs showed evidence of right atrial and ventricular enlargement with distended pulmonary vessels and an enlarged ascending aorta. An echocardiographic examination revealed a dilated right atrium, eccentric right ventricular hypertrophy and an overriding aorta associated with a large ventricular septal defect (VSD). The pulmonary trunk could not be identified by echocardiography. Doppler and saline contrast studies showed large right-to-left shunting through the VSD. These findings were compatible with persistent truncus arteriosus, which was confirmed at necropsy.