Hypertension in Cats

In this very interesting article, learn all about the topic of hypertension in cats. Read on to discover more about this condition!
Hypertension in Cats

Last update: 20 December, 2019

Hypertension in cats can develop silently and poses a serious risk to your pet’s health. Today, we invite you to learn more about the symptoms and ways to prevent and treat this condition.

What is hypertension in cats?

Just like humans, cats can suffer from hypertension and other heart-related conditions.

Hypertension occurs when blood pressure inside your arteries is persistently high. In other words, it’s higher than the normal and healthy parameters.

When it comes to cats, blood pressure levels are considered worrisome when they exceed 160/95 mm/Hg.

A cat lying down.

Hypertension can manifest itself on its own, and be the only condition that affects the animal.

However, cats can also develop this disorder due to other conditions that affect their health. In these cases, hypertension manifests as a secondary pathology, being a symptom in and of itself.

The main causes of this condition

In this regard, feline hypertension is similar to hypertension in humans. Its main cause is related to unhealthy habits that lead to excess weight and physical inactivity.

In these cases, it’s usually the main disease. Thus, you can fight it by changing certain aspects of the animal’s routine.

Many cats develop hypertension as a consequence of hypothyroidism. When it isn’t treated properly, this condition impairs metabolism, favoring excess weight and its associated diseases.

Chronic kidney failure also manifests as a common cause of hypertension in cats. It mainly affects animals that don’t hydrate properly or consume too much protein.

How to measure blood pressure in cats

The technique is very similar to how blood pressure is measured in humans. All you have to do is accommodate the cuff of the device on the animal’s leg and measure their blood pressure.

Although it may seem easy, it can be difficult depending on the experience of the human who handles the animal. Ideally, you should try to avoid stressing the animal so you don’t interfere with the readings.

An emotionally-disturbed cat may be the victim of a false hypertension diagnosis. In other words, the animal may have a high blood pressure measurement due to the context or environment it’s in, not due to a disease.

Therefore, to diagnose hypertension, the veterinarian also has to take each animal’s medical history into account.

Symptoms of feline hypertension

As we mentioned throughout this article, hypertension in cats and humans can develop silently. In addition, its first symptoms could be confused with simple malaise.

Here are the main signs of high blood pressure in cats:

  • First of all, hyperactivity and anxiety
  • Second, sudden weight loss
  • Thirdly, feeding behavior, temperament, or litter box use changes
  • Temporary blindness
  • Finally, urine alterations and kidney damage

In more severe cases, hypertension can cause neurological disorders. The animal starts showing excessive sensitivity to light, blinks frequently, and has difficulty moving. As the disease progresses, the cat may develop ataxia. Ataxia is a lack of coordination of the extremities.

As it’s often an asymptomatic disease, prevention is important. In addition, it’s essential to take your cat to the veterinarian when you recognize any change in the animal’s habits or behavior.

Treatment of the disease

Treatment depends on the cause of the hypertension. In this regard, if the cat has another underlying pathology, treatment should be more specific to fight the main cause.

The veterinarian will determine if your pet needs antihypertensive drugs to help control their blood pressure. Also, it’s worth remembering that this is the only person who can recommend a suitable treatment for each animal.

A cat at the vet.

How to prevent this condition

Hypertension tends to be related to excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle, and other associated diseases. Therefore, a healthy and active routine is essential in order to prevent this condition.

In addition, experts recommend balancing your cat’s diet and encouraging them both physically and mentally to expend energy and lose weight.

The bond between owner and pet is also a powerful ally to the prevention and treatment of various diseases. Caressing your cat and providing it with a peaceful atmosphere can help it become stronger and healthier.

To prevent hypertension in cats, as well as many other diseases, it’s essential to take your cat to the veterinarian regularly. In addition, you have to make sure you keep up with their vaccinations and deworm them from time to time.

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