Did you know that May is Feline Hypertension Awareness month?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition in older cats just like in people, affecting around 1 in 5 cats over 9 years of age.
Sometimes cats with high blood pressure may sleep more or just appear to be slowing down; they may be more vocal or appear confused. However, often our feline friends will not exhibit any obvious signs until the disease is already advanced resulting in potentially serious and irreversible damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes. Sadly, cats are often diagnosed only when they suffer severe vision loss or even blindness.
At Priory, we recommend a proactive approach to detect and treat hypertension as early as possible to prevent these irreversible changes. We recommend routine annual blood pressure checks in all cats over seven years old which can be carried out with you in the consulting room. Regular monitoring is also particularly important in cats with underlying health conditions such as chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and heart disease.
Priory Vet Group offers Senior Cat Nurse clinics for a complete head-to-tail check-up including a blood pressure check for all cats over 7years old which are a fantastically cost-effective way of making sure your feline friend gets all the TLC they need in their latter years. Blood-pressure measurements are completely pain-free and well tolerated by most cats, using a mini version of the cuffs we use on people! In addition, all vets and nurses at Priory Vets are trained to use “cat-friendly” techniques to minimise stress for their patients during vet visits.
“Cats can be very good at hiding illness, especially older cats” says Charly, one of Priory’s veterinary nurses, who has additional training in feline medicine. “Detecting these issues early with routine check-ups can make a big difference to their quality of life in the long-run”.