Known as the ‘silent killer’ because there are no early warning signs, hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a common and potentially devastating condition affecting one in eight cats over nine years old.
The risk increases as cats age or if cats have other conditions such as chronic kidney disease (where one in three cats suffer with hypertension) or overactive thyroid disease (where an estimated one in four cats suffer with hypertension).
“High blood pressure can cause severe damage to key body organs including the eyes, kidneys, heart and brain,” explains Rosanne Jepson, a specialist in small animal internal medicine at the Royal Veterinary College. “Unfortunately, it is a condition that develops without much warning for the cat owner; a cat may seem perfectly fine until either the blood pressure is checked, or other organs are damaged.”
Ceva Animal Health has launched Feline Hypertension Month in May to raise awareness of feline hypertension and improve the detection and management of high blood pressure in cats. As part of the campaign, owners are being urged to get their cat’s blood pressure checked at least once a year if he or she is over seven years of age, as recommended by ISFM (International Society of Feline Medicine).
Routine blood pressure checks, performed by their veterinary health care team, will help detect hypertension at an early stage and prevent damage to organs such as the eyes, kidneys, heart and nervous system. If blood pressure is found to be high, treatment is available to help reduce blood pressure.