National Hypertension Month – May 2022

May is High Blood Pressure awareness month for humans, and we want to raise awareness amongst the community for our feline patients too!

Did you know that latest figures suggest 1 in 5 cats over the age of nine suffer from high blood pressure. We all know that cats can be very good at masking or hiding signs and symptoms, and over 90% of those patients with a high blood pressure are undiagnosed.

As with humans, hypertension (or high blood pressure) is known as the silent killer. Without treatment, high blood pressure can damage organs and these patients can go on to develop, amongst other things, blindness, heart failure or kidney failure.

If caught early and managed, we can significantly improve and prolong lives. Early diagnosis is key in the success of fighting hypertension, reducing the impact it can have on the rest of the body and improve the cat’s quality of life. We recommend where possible, measuring blood pressure at least once a year in cats over the age of 7. Our senior pet clinics are a useful tool for these patients. To find out more about our Senior Pet Clinics, please click here.

If your pet is diagnosed with a high blood pressure, we will begin treatment in the form of a tablet. It is important to recheck the blood pressure after 14 days to make sure the treatment is working or adjust if needed. High blood pressure can also be a marker of other significant diseases, so when we find a patient with high blood pressure, it might be important to rule out underlying causes or co-conditions. This may involve things such as blood tests and urine tests, all of which can be done in house.

We have all heard of the ‘white coat effect’, and so our blood pressure appointments are all set at 30 minutes, to allow your cat to acclimatise for 10 – 15 minutes before the readings are taken. This is to try and avoid false high readings. That said, taking blood pressure is quick and easy, it doesn’t cause any harm. Our blood pressure appointments are run by our nurses, who spend time getting to know your cat and take the readings. All results are then reviewed by a vet who will determine the next steps.

Normally the cost of a blood pressure check is £30, however for the month of May we are offering FREE blood pressure checks for all cats over the age of seven. Any patients who are identified as being hypertensive will be handed to the care of the vet who will discuss with you the action plan going forward. Those patients started on treatment will then be invited for a second check in two weeks, at a reduced price of £18. It may be that we need to conduct further investigations; all further investigations and any treatment will incur additional costs. Please discuss with our team the additional costs at the time.

We look forward to seeing you and your cat at their FREE blood pressure check, available during hypertension awareness month. Please phone the practice for more information or to make your cat’s appointment.


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