Hypertension in cats

October 29, 2022

Hypertension is very common in cats over 7 years old, and can lead to sudden onset blindness, heart disease, or seizures. It can be a complicating factor in chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, other hormonal conditions, and some tumours.

Recently updated guidelines for routine preventative healthcare recommends annual blood pressure checks for cats over 7 years old and therefore, at Larkmead, we are moving to make this part of our routine recommendations as your cat reaches his or her senior years.

Taking blood pressure measurements is simple and painless, very similar to when we have the cuff on our arm at the doctors. The hardest part is ensuring your cat feels comfortable and therefore the reading is accurate and not a reflection of the stress of coming to the vet!

Over the coming weeks, we are inviting all cats over 7 years old to come in for a free blood pressure check. This will allow us to gather a baseline reading to track in future years and hopefully identify issues before they become problems!

Once you receive your invitation, you can book online – currently clinics are only available at Great Western Park and Cholsey and it is important that you select the appointment type ‘Blood Pressure Check’ (otherwise the right equipment might not be available for the vet!).

We recommend arriving 5-10 mins early for your appointment to allow your cat to destress from the journey.

If practical, bring their bed or a blanket/pillow that is familiar from home.

Once in the consult room, the vet will allow your cat to exit the carrier in their own time and to explore the room.

Once settled, the vet may ask you the vet may ask you to hold and reassure your pet whilst they apply the cuff (either on the forelimb or tail). We don’t usually need to trim any fur but may need to do so on occasion.

Occasionally cats can experience ‘white coat syndrome’, in which case, readings may not be accurate. You may be given a prescription for a mild dose of an anxiety reducing sedative and asked to return at a later date.

If your cat is happy enough, the vet will try to take a few readings a get the average to record on your cats record. If any anomalies are found, the vet will discuss with you.

All being well, there will be no further checks needed at this stage and you will receive a reminder next year to revisit.

If you have any questions, please give us a shout!

Free checks are only available until the end of July 2022 for cats over 7 years old. 

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