As a cat parent and because you love your cat you must ask yourself this question of what is hypertension in cats? Why not! Hypertension is a well-known disease for humans and sadly, it can affect both dogs and cats the same as in humans. Therefore, feline hypertension which referred to as high blood pressure in cats is a relatively common and potentially severe threat to cats.
Consequently, answering the question of what is hypertension in cats and knowing all the symptoms of hypertension in cats is what you should know to save your cat’s life.
What Is Hypertension In Cats?
Hypertension in cats or referred to as high blood pressure in cats occurs when your cat’s arterial blood pressure higher than the average.
There are two types of hypertension. When other diseases are the cause of hypertension in cats, then it is called secondary hypertension. Meanwhile, the other type is called primary hypertension in cats, which refers to it when it is the primary disease.
Hypertension in cats can be dangerous and may cause severe complications if not appropriately controlled. It may affect many of your cat’s body systems, including the kidneys, heart, nervous system, and eyes.
If your cat suffers from high blood pressure, the chances are there will always be an underlying cause with different symptoms. Unfortunately, your feline friend can’t speak, so it’s up to you as a cat owner to keep a careful eye as your cat enters middle age. In cats, a healthy blood pressure reading is 120-130.
After understanding and answering the question of what is hypertension in cats. You must wonder what causes hypertension in cats. Feline hypertension can be of 2 types and depending on the type you can think of different factors to cause it.
Causes Of Hypertension In Cats
Sadly, the cause of primary hypertension in cats is not known. Nevertheless, feline hypertension can have several risk factors, and it may have a genetic element.
So, how common is primary hypertension in cats? Recent studies have diversified. However, one study found that approximately 87% of cats with hyperthyroidism, and around 65% of cats with chronic renal failure had mild high blood pressure. Also, the average age of cats with hypertension ranged from 4 – 20 years old.
Now, secondary hypertension, which accounts for more than 80% of all hypertension cases, likely due to several factors, including hormonal fluctuation, renal disease, and hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms Of Hypertension In Cats
The symptoms of hypertension in cats can be various and different from cat to cat. As a cat owner, you must pay close attention to your cat and all the changes due to many diseases. The following are just some of the more common symptoms presented by cats with high blood pressure:
- General Weakness
- Protein in the urine
- Blood in the urine
- Bleeding from the nose
- Dilated pupils
- Retinal detachment
- Hemorrhage of the eye
- Swollen or shrunken kidneys
- Heart murmurs
- Palpable thyroid gland
- Involuntary rolling of the eyeballs
Notice that the most common clinical findings are problems and abnormalities with your cat vision. With feline hypertension, your cat may show any abnormalities. However, vision is the most common as it is so sensitive.
As we mentioned before, the abnormalities in the eyes can include Hemorrhage of the eye, Dilated pupils, Retinal detachment, or even blindness. Blindness is obvious and can be noticed when the cat keeps hitting any object in their path.
Hypertension in cats may accompany other health problems and diseases, and it can affect the body’s system. Therefore, your veterinarian may suspect your cat has feline hypertension in case your cat has an underlying illness such as heart conditions (such as heart murmur)or liver and kidney conditions with different clinical signs include increased urination, weight loss, increased water intake, and vomiting.
Also, feline hypertension may cause more serious symptoms such as seizures, nose bleeding, and faint attacks.
Diagnosis Of Hypertension In Cats
After answering different questions related to this critical topic, it is essential to know what to do next. Answering the questions, “what is hypertension in cats and what are the symptoms of hypertension in cats” is vital. But knowing how to diagnose it and what to do next to help our feline friend is the ultimate goal for every cat owner.
High blood pressure in cats is usually measured in the same manner as in humans. An inflatable cuff will be put on the cat’s tail or paw, and standard blood pressure measuring devices will check the pressure.
Also, it is vital to keep the cat still long enough to get an accurate reading. Therefore, you may require help from someone else to keep your cat stay still to have the best reading.
The standards readings for cat blood pressure are:
- 150/95: This reading or below is considered okay. And there is no need for any treatment, as it has minimal risk.
- 150/99 – 159/95: This reading is not serious and intervention is routinely not recommended at these readings.
- 160/119 – 179/100: With this reading, treatment is required to limit the risk of organ damage.
- 180/120: This is serious reading, and immediate treatment should be sought to prevent or limit the degree of other more severe complications.
Usually, your veterinarian will ask you to take 5-7 measurements. However, The first measurement will be dismissed, and the cat’s excitement level during the procedure will be taken into account. If the results are in dispute, the process will need to be repeated on different occasions.
Treatment Of Hypertension In Cats
High blood pressure in cats can cause severe complications if not treated adequately. Therefore, finding the underlying cause of the high blood pressure in cats and treating it is the primary goal of your veterinarian.
Also, veterinarians may prescribe medications to control high blood pressure in cats indefinitely. Usually, they choose either beta-blocker or calcium channel blocker as the main medication to achieve normal blood pressure in cats.
Also, another way to protect your cat from high blood pressure is by taking care of your cat’s diet. Your veterinarian will recommend a decent diet and food with low sodium intake to ensure your cat’s blood pressure stays within normal levels and doesn’t increase.
Another essential thing to do is keep your cat fit with regular exercise and never let it be lazy all day long. Playing with your cat and keeping it away from anything that may increase stress is a great way to keep your cat’s blood pressure controlled.
Keep also in mind to check your cat’s blood pressure regularly. And make sure to visit your veterinarian for regular checkups and lab tests, which is essential to monitor how effective all the management you took and to check if your cat needs better medications for the high blood pressure.
What Is Hypertension In Cats? Let’s Protect Our Cats From This Silent Killer
What is hypertension in cats? After reading this article you have a good idea about the answer to this question and you must have some worries by now since hypertension can be so dangerous and life-threating if not treated. However, taking good measurements and with good management, you can protect your cat and prevent severe complications from developing.
As you may already be concluded, hypertension doesn’t affect only the heart and it may affect the whole body. Therefore, taking care of your cat’s needs is essential. Also, always remember to protect your cat from stress which is really important to prevent high blood pressure in cats.
Our cats are part of our families and they love us as we love them. It is your job to have a close eye on your cat and pay attention to any changes in their behaviors which can show important signs of different diseases and sometimes they are life-threating diseases.
So finally, I hope you found this article useful and informative. Let me know your answer down below. What do you think about high blood pressure in cats? Do you have more information or tips about feline hypertension or how to prevent its complications? Write them down below.
If you have any other questions or different opinions about it, leave a comment below.
“Dogs have owners, cats have staff!” — Unknown
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