Posted on: 4 October 2017Share
If your cat has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you might have a lot of questions. Learning that cats can develop high blood pressure at all surprises many pet owners, but it can also carry a lot of dangerous risks. This guide will explain two of the most common side effects of high blood pressure in cats and offer some tips to protect your kitty from these problems.
Like humans, uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage the entire cardiovascular system of a cat's body. High blood pressure is hard on the veins and arteries that carry blood throughout the body. It can also cause tissue damage in the lungs and heart, which makes it harder for them to function. Over a long period of time, this damage can cause strokes and heart attacks in cats. Unfortunately, these two problems can often prove to be fatal for cats.
Working with your veterinary clinic to control high blood pressure as soon as possible is the best way to avoid these problems from developing.
When blood pressure is high, the damage it can cause isn't limited to the cardiovascular system. The eye is extremely sensitive to pressure changes, which means that high blood pressure can increase the pressure of the eye. It can also reduce the blood flow to the eyes, which can cause permanent damage to all parts of the eye, including the retina.
If the eyes don't receive enough blood flow or their pressure is increased for a long period of time, a cat can actually go blind. This side effect can come on suddenly with uncontrolled high blood pressure. You might discover your cat bumping into things or staring blankly with very large pupils as the first sign of blindness. Unfortunately, by this time, the damage is often irreversible.
The best way to control your cat's high blood pressure is to follow your veterinarian's directions. Your vet will most likely prescribe medication to immediately bring down your cat's blood pressure. However, you can also take steps to help reduce the odds of your cat's blood pressure increasing further.
One positive step is to always make sure your cat is well hydrated. Being dehydrated can increase blood pressure and cause other problems, like kidney damage.
Furthermore, make sure you're not feeding your cat any human foods. Most food people eat contain added sodium, which could increase your cat's blood pressure.
High blood pressure in cats is manageable, especially if you maintain a regular visit schedule with your veterinarian. Talk to your vet to build a plan to keep your kitty's health in good shape.