Did you know that – just like in older people – high blood pressure is common in older cats? As many as 25% of cats over the age of nine may have elevated blood pressure. As you can imagine, increased blood pressure means increased load on the cat’s cardiovascular system, and certain organ systems are at higher risk of damage.
Eyes: About 50% of cats diagnosed with high blood pressure have eye damage at the time of diagnosis. This can include haemorrhages in the retina or retinal detachment, both of which can lead to blindness.
Brain: High blood pressure can cause a variety of neurological signs, from depression and lethargy to disorientation, trouble walking, and seizures.
Heart: The increased workload on the heart causes the muscle of the heart wall to thicken and work less efficiently. The cat is also at risk of damage to their blood vessels, which can be catastrophic.
Kidneys: High blood pressure leads to damage to the kidneys, and damaged kidneys can also lead to high blood pressure, due to their important role in fluid balance. It’s important for cats with chronic kidney disease to have their blood pressure measured.
As with any health problems, the earlier high blood pressure is detected the better response to treatment. If you have an older cat, a great way to pro-actively manage their health is to book a geriatric clinic which for a limited period costs just £50 and includes a blood pressure measurement, urine test and a full veterinary health check. Please contact us on 01458 832972 to make an appointment.