Just as humans can suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension), so too can cats. This tends to be a condition seen in older cats, and can occur on its own, or the high blood pressure may be caused by an underlying condition such as kidney disease.
One of the problems with high blood pressure is that it can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Eventually it will result in serious signs – usually causing damage to the eyes, kidneys, heart and/or brain. However, by the time signs become obvious (which may include blindness), the changes are often irreversible and permanent.
The key therefore, as with many other diseases, is to detect high blood pressure early, before serious damage is done, and when it can be managed well. For this reason we recommend that blood pressure is measured in all cats at least once a year in the Senior years, and at least twice a year in the Geriatric years. As a number of younger cats will also develop high blood pressure, measuring blood pressure once a year in Adult and Mature cats can also be strongly recommended.
Measuring blood pressure usually takes only a few minutes, and involves placing an inflatable cuff around a leg or the tail (much the same as the cuff used on the arm in humans). It is completely pain-free and very well tolerated by most cats.
There is space in the HealthCare Sheets to record your cat’s blood pressure each time it is measured by your vet.