Although cats don't generally consume a high sodium diet like humans often do, cats can still get high blood pressure. Long-term high blood pressure can cause serious health problems for cats, including blindness, so it's important for pet parents to be aware of potential symptoms of this disorder. Read on to learn what these symptoms are and what you should do if you detect them.
Cats typically sleep—on average—15 hours a day, sometimes more than that. However, cats who are experiencing high blood pressure may experience difficulty resting and relaxing. Cats typically become restless with high blood pressure,and may spend more time awake than usual. In addition, cats with high blood pressure may seem unable to simply calm down, roaming around and repeatedly getting back up after trying to lie or sit down.
Another problem cats with high blood pressure often exhibit is an excessive amount of vocalization. Your cat may meow more or become particularly noisy at night or any time they're alone. Vets aren't entirely sure what causes this, except that it may be due to the fact that your cat is uncomfortable and feeling strung out. In essence, they're asking you for help when they cry repeatedly.
One key sign of feline hypertension that's a bit easier to pin down as directly being caused by high blood pressure is dilated pupils. Cats tend to get larger pupils in the dark and when they're either afraid or feeling affectionate. However, if your cat's pupils are constantly large, even when they're at ease in a bright environment, there's a problem.
The reason your cat's pupils are large is because the high blood pressure causes their arteries and veins to become dilated. As the blood flow increases, the pupils become larger, even when they should be responding to bright light by constricting.
This symptom is a particular problem because if high blood pressure is affecting the eyes, your cat could potentially go blind from its disorder. In addition, if your cat is frequently in a bright environment with large, dilated pupils, they're at a higher risk of UV exposure, which could damage their corneas or retinas.
If you think there's a chance that your cat has high blood pressure, visit a vet at an animal hospital like Coastal Carolina Animal Hospital. Your vet will be able to quickly determine if your cat has high blood pressure and can work with you to create a treatment plan to bring your kitty's blood pressure down. Failing to do so could cause organ damage and blindness, or even death if left untreated for a prolonged period of time.