We often get asked about health advice for cats and one of the things we do regularly point out is to ensure regular blood pressure checks especially in older cats.
It’s a complete CAT-ASTROPHE!
- Our feline friends are at risk of a life-threatening health issue just like their owners – high blood pressure
- It’s easy for vets to check for high blood pressure in cats: Finding it early can prevent blindness, kidney damage, heart attacks, and death
They are our constant companion and have been credited with helping their owners get through physical and mental health problems but despite 93% of Brits considering their cat as one of the family, only 18% have been to the vets and had their cat’s blood pressure checked. Yet up to 83% of cats can present blind suddenly or with progressive blindness due to high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the number one check British people expect GPs to make in older people, with 81% of those surveyed saying they would expect a GP to check this in their older patients. A survey of 2001 cat owners by CEVA Animal Health UK revealed four in five cat owners aren’t aware cats can develop high blood pressure.
It is estimated 1 in 5 cats from the age of 9 years old are at risk of developing high blood pressure and if left untreated, high blood pressure can have severe consequences such as loss of vision, kidney failure and brain and heart damage. Only 15% of cat owners suspected a link between feline hypertension and blindness or deterioration of eyesight and after being made aware of the main risks of high blood pressure in cats, namely blindness, seizures and kidney disease, 83% of cat owners say they would ask their vet for a blood pressure test for their cat.
The International Society of Feline Medicine, ISFM the veterinary division of International Cat Care, which campaigns nationally for cat welfare, recommends having blood pressure checks performed every year in cats from the age of 7 years old. The good news is that just like in people, blood pressure checks in cats are easy, quick and pain-free to do so can be included in routine vet visits in all older cats. As part of feline hypertension awareness month many vet clinics are promoting these checks so contact your vet to arrange one for your feline friend.
There is hope if you keep on top of regular check-ups!
We also have a case study by cat owner Lucy Patton from Ceva Animal Health whose own cat Coco, unfortunately, lost his sight due to feline hypertension.
Lucy Patton says “My cat was showing signs of losing his sight and becoming disorientated, walking into things in the home that he has lived in for years. I asked my vet for a blood pressure reading to be taken. The vet informed me his blood pressure was very high and it could be too late to save his sight. We were prescribed a tasty tablet for Coco which we had to give daily.
Coco has now been on medication for 4 months and his sight is showing clear signs of improvement. He is able to locate where his food/water bowls are and his bed which we are extremely glad about. We wish we could have spotted the signs or perhaps been offered a blood pressure check sooner as we now know medication really can help and the sooner it’s started the better”.
For more information on CEVA UK visit https://www.ceva.co.uk/
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