High Blood Pressure in Cats

High blood pressure in felines may be primary or secondary, caused by a medical condition. Hypertension can be diagnosed and there are treatment options that will focus on decreasing the blood pressure. If the blood pressure is not regularized, this can lead to additional health problems, the most serious being heart disease; organ failure may also be a result of increased blood pressure.

Normal Blood Pressure in Cats

The normal blood pressure in cats may vary slightly from breed to breed and may also depend on the cat’s age. However, the cat is considered healthy if he has a blood pressure between 110 to 160 mm Hg (millimeters of Mercury). When the cat has a blood pressure of over 160 mm Hg, he is diagnosed with hypertension.

Causes of High Blood Pressure in Cats

High blood pressure in cats may be a primary condition; some cats have higher blood pressure and this condition is considered idiopathic.

However, there are also other medical conditions that could contribute to increased blood pressure:

  • Kidney failure
  • Heart disease
  • Increased production of thyroid hormones
  • Problems of the adrenal gland (i.e. tumors located in this area)
  • Central nervous system issues
  • Obesity; most typically, obese cats have clogged arteries, which cause an increased blood pressure

Certain drugs may also have side effects that include hypertension.

Symptoms of Hypertension in Felines

A high blood pressure in felines will affect his activity and behavior. You will notice that your cat is more alert and energetic.

Other symptoms of hypertension may include:

  • Polyuria and polydipsia
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive meowing

There may also be additional symptoms that are indicative of the possible conditions that cause the high blood pressure.

Diagnosing Hypertension in Felines

The blood pressure of the pet can be measured and the vet will establish if the cat has normal values. The cat may be stressed due to the examination, so the blood pressure may be slightly higher due to this.

The vet may also decide to perform additional tests to find any possible underlying conditions and to see if there is any organ damage resulting from the high blood pressure.

Treatment Options for Cat Hypertension

The treatment of hypertension may consist of beta blockers, which will decrease the cat’s blood pressure. Enalapril or benazepril are most commonly administered.

However, if there is an underlying condition causing the high blood pressure, the vet will also need to administer additional treatment. The treatment can consist of drug administration (i.e. to regulate the production of thyroid hormones) or a change in diet (for kidney damage, for example).

The cat will have to be monitored. The vet will measure his blood pressure periodically, to see if there are any changes and to adjust the medication, if needed.

High blood pressure in cats is a condition that requires attention and treatment. If no treatment is administered, the cat may lose his sight and have heart problems; hypertension can ultimately lead to organ failure.