Features

December 2015 Issue

Hypertension A Threat to Cats?

High blood pressure initially has very subtle signs but can lead to damage of the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys.

Hypertension in people can damage the heart, eyes, kidneys and brain. As dangerous as it is for us, hypertension — also known as high blood pressure — can cause equally serious problems for our cats, especially those 7 years of age and older. Yet its symptoms aren’t always evident, even to experts. The disease is insidious, meaning signs may come on slowly or not be that apparent. It’s been called the silent killer for that very reason. “Cats may be a little bit lethargic or may act strangely, but in most cases it’s not obvious,” says cardiologist Bruce Kornreich, DVM, Ph.D., ACVIM, Associate Director of the Feline Health Center at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “The most important thing to keep in mind is target organ damage.”

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