Hypertension (high blood pressure) is common in older cats and is usually the result of another medical problem. It’s commonly associated with medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, renal disease, diabetes and obesity. Symptoms of hypertension will depend on the underlying primary cause.
Blood Pressure Readings
Your veterinarian can check your cat’s blood pressure using a special device that’s non-painful, quick and very easy. The blood pressure reading should be a normal part of your older cat’s semi-annual exam. The reading only takes a couple of minutes, doesn’t require any type of sedation and is well tolerated by most cats. And speaking of older cats, it’s a good idea to switch from yearly examinations to semi-annual ones. Have your cat’s blood pressure checked at least every six months unless your veterinarian recommends a different schedule.
Treatment of Hypertension
Treatment involves addressing the primary underlying medical issue(s), appropriate medication for hypertension and dealing with any complications as a result of hypertension. In some cases your veterinarian may also put your cat on a sodium-restricted diet. If hypertension is left untreated, it can cause blindness, kidney problems, stroke and heart disease.
Ask Your Veterinarian
Learn more about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of feline hypertension by talking to your veterinarian. Hypertension is very serious so have your older cat routinely checked and pay attention to any changes in behavior, litter box habits, appetite, water intake and your cat’s physical appearance. Early diagnosis is the key to successful management.
Pam Johnson-Bennett is the star of Psycho Kitty airing on Discovery UK. She is author of seven best-selling books on cat behavior including Think Like a Cat: how to raise a well-adjusted cat – not a sour puss. Think Like a Cat has become known as the cat bible. Pam is considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting. In addition to her television series and public speaking engagements, Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, a private veterinarian-referred behavior company in Nashville, TN. Cat Behavior Associates offers private cat behavior appointments on a limited basis. Pam Johnson-Bennett is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant.