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High blood pressure in cats: does my cat have feline hypertension

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common problem in cats – particularly older animals. It can have many causes, and can often be successfully managed with medication.

Much like in humans, high blood pressure in cats can go on to cause a range of problems, including heart disease, stroke, and damage to the kidneys or retina. For that reason, it’s important to spot the signs of hypertension early on, to reduce the chance of your cat developing other, more serious, health problems.

Identifying the symptoms of hypertension in cats

If your cat displays any of the following signs or symptoms, she may be suffering from high blood pressure. Get her along to your local vet for a check-up.

  • Lethargy
  • Sudden blindness
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in the urine
  • Protein in the urine
  • Nose bleeds
  • Hyperactivity
  • Stroke-like symptoms
  • Dilated pupils, or bleeding inside the eyeball
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Disorientation, circling or other changes in behaviour

What causes hypertension in cats?

High blood pressure isn’t a disease in itself – instead, it’s usually a sign of an underlying condition. These can include:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Obesity

“In most cases hypertension can be successfully managed, and your cat should go on to enjoy a long and happy life.”

Treating high blood pressure in cats

If your vet suspects hypertension, he or she may need to do more tests to identify the cause of the underlying condition, so this can be addressed and treated. If the underlying condition is serious, they may refer your cat to a specialist.

Treatment often involves a special diet, weight control in overweight cats, and medication to lower the blood pressure – the latter of which can help to avoid any long-term damage. Your vet will usually want to check your cat’s blood pressure every three months.

In most cases hypertension in cats can be successfully managed, and your cat should go on to enjoy a long and happy life.

Want advice on high blood pressure in cats?

For expert advice on feline hypertension, get in touch with your local vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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