May is Hypertension Awareness Month, and because of this, we are offering 50% off blood pressure screening with a paid exam for the entire month.
Read our article to learn why it's important to monitor your cat's blood pressure!
How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Cats?
Just like their humans, cats get high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. In cats, hypertension is usually associated with kidney disease or hyperthyroidism. Left untreated, hypertension in cats can cause blindness, heart disease, or strokes.
How We Check a Cat's Blood Pressure
We measure blood pressure with a special Doppler ultrasound blood pressure monitor (somewhat similar to what they use to check people’s carotid arteries) and a blood pressure cuff. We sometimes have to shave a small place above the foot or on the tail to apply the device.
Cats often become stressed when they visit the veterinarian and their blood pressure can increase accordingly (the white coat syndrome).
Consequently, we adjust the ‘normal’ ranges accordingly. We measure just the systolic blood pressure (the upper number caused by the heart contracting and pushing the blood out.)
Blood Pressure Ranges in the Cat
- Calm, relaxed BP 140
- Normal nervous BP 140-160
- Borderline hypertensive BP 160-180
- Hypertensive cat BP 180 +
How We Treat Your Cat’s High Blood Pressure
Usually we use a human medication called Norvasc (amlodipine) to treat feline hypertension. If the hypertension is caused by hyperthyroidism, we treat the hyperthyroidism directly, and the high blood usually resolves. If kidney disease is the cause, we treat the kidney disease along with using the Norvasc to control the hypertension. Your cat will need to have its blood pressure rechecked and its medication adjusted periodically to maintain normal pressures.
Talk to a Member of Our Team
If you have any questions about hypertension or your cat's health, or you'd like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (616) 241-6369.