Many cat owners are surprised to find out that their little feline has hypertension, a condition most people associate only with humans. However, you will find that many common human ailments can also be present in your pets, just not always for the same reasons. Primary hypertension in cats is extremely rare, most of the time elevated blood pressure in cats is a secondary symptom of another medical problem. Sadly, this condition can go undetected for many years.
The most common medical conditions resulting in hypertension in cats is renal failure, kidney failure, Cat Kidney Disease and Cat Hyperthyroidism. It is estimated that approximately 20 to 60% of all cats diagnosed with renal failure will also have hypertension and hyperthyroidism is close to 87%. Having your cat checked out by your veterinarian on a regular basis is the best way to catch these conditions early.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
If you begin to see any of the following issues present themselves in your cat, you should see a veterinarian immediately as they could be indicators of hypertension in your cat.
As stated above, often there are no symptoms at all in a cat that has hypertension.
Affects of High Blood Pressure
Untreated hypertension in cats can lead to all kinds of issues so it is important to the longevity of your pet that you get them treated immediately. Some of the affects of hypertension can be:
• Bleeding in the eyes resulting in detached retinas and blindness
• Reduced blood flow to the kidneys can hamper their ability to cleanse toxins from your cats system. These toxins build up and can lead to more rapid kidney failure.
• Hardening of the arteries is a common side effect of hypertension. As the arteries become stiff the heart and kidneys must work that much harder to push blood through the body.
• Poor circulation and narrowing veins can cause multiple problems in the brain including ruptured vessels, blocked arteries which can in turn result in a stroke, coma and death.
• Hypertension often leads to heart problems due to the fact that the heart has to work so much harder. If the left ventricle becomes hardened and enlarged, it can lead to congestive heart failure, which is oftentimes fatal.
The first order of business is to treat the underlying medical problem that resulted in hypertension. Medications and procedures can be administered depending on which disease is the root cause. It is not uncommon for cats to be placed on beta-blockers and other hypertension medications as well as a recommended low sodium diet. Your vet should advise you to have your cats blood pressure checked regularly to watch for any serious changes.