Early detection of high blood pressure in cats is vital, as there is little middle ground between asymptomatic cats with hypertension and those that present with major organ damage.
Causes of hypertension in cats are thought to be secondary to another disease process.
The most common cause in cats is chronic renal insufficiency and hyperthyroidism. One out of five cats with chronic renal insufficiency have high blood pressure!
Clinical signs of hypertension are very serious and include retinal detachment, blindness, retinal haemorrhage, seizures, incoordination, heart murmur, congestive heart failure, bleeding noses and progression of chronic renal insufficiency.
Measuring blood pressure is relatively straight forward in cats, and can be done in the consult environment. Control of blood pressure is achievable with correction/management of the underlying disease if possible, and medication to reduce the blood pressure to a safe level.