Cats can get high blood pressure, too

We’ve all had our blood pressure taken by our doctor, but did you know that cats can suffer high blood pressure too? The difference is that cats usually suffer from high blood pressure (or hypertension, to give it its official name) as a result of a disease. That means it’s often a sign that something else isn’t right. Usually seen in older cats, it can lead to a raft of health problems including blindness, heart failure and brain disturbances, and it’s commonly linked with chronic kidney failure.

What we still don’t know, however, is whether high blood pressure causes kidney problems in cats, or whether it’s kidney problems that lead to high blood pressure. To find out the answer and develop better treatments, detailed research is underway to solve this riddle once and for all.

Research goals

By studying chemicals and hormones and how they interact in cats, scientists hope to be able to gain a better understanding of the link between kidney failure and feline hypertension. With as many as one in five cats suffering from high blood pressure, it’s hoped that the findings of the research will lead to the development of more effective treatments and prevention. The ultimate goal: a nation of happier, healthier cats.

To that end, researchers at the Royal Veterinary College are conducting a challenging three-­year study to identify the link between blood pressure and kidney disease, working with specialists in human kidney disease at Imperial College London. The outcome of the research looks promising, with researchers reporting that they’re now extremely close to determining the cause of hypertension in cats.

How we’re helping

We’re supporting this vital research with a £114,000 grant to the Royal Veterinary College, along with an £8,000 grant to support further studies into this area conducted by the Animal Health Trust. We hope that in providing a helping hand to this important work, scientists can gain the insights they need in order to make cats happier and healthier in their old age.

 

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