Ceva Animal Health, maker of Amodip, has found that only 20% of the owners of older cats have had a blood pressure check suggested by their vet1, despite the International Society of Feline Medicine recommendation that one be performed annually in cats over seven years old2.

The research also found that awareness of feline hypertension amongst cat owners is very low, with 80% of those questioned unaware that cats could have high blood pressure and nearly 20% believing that it was only an issue in humans.

Amongst those cat owners who are aware of feline hypertension, only 25% said they would consider asking their vet for a blood pressure check for their pet. 

However, once made aware of the risks of high blood pressure, including blindness, seizures and kidney disease, 83% of owners said they would ask their vet for a blood pressure test for their cat.

Dr Natalie Borrill MRCVS, veterinary technical manager for cardionephrology at Ceva Animal Health, said: "Feline hypertension is a common condition in older cats; it is estimated that one in five cats from nine years of age are at risk of suffering from the condition3, but there is a low level of awareness amongst cat owners about this condition.

"By increasing awareness of the disease amongst owners, they will be more inclined to visit the vet with their older cat for regular blood pressure checks. It can also be very helpful for an owner to be present when blood pressure is measured because this can help reduce stress and anxiety in their cat. For more information cat owners can visit amadeus.vet."

The research results were released as part of Feline Hypertension Month, which is running until the end of May to raise awareness of hypertension and improve the detection and management of high blood pressure in cats. As part of the campaign, veterinary practices are being urged to measure their feline patients' blood pressure in cats over the age of seven.

Ceva says it will continue its Mercury Challenge throughout 2019 to increase veterinary professionals' confidence in measuring blood pressure and identifying feline hypertension. Participating practices are given the opportunity to win diagnostic tools to help them identify feline hypertension. 

For information, contact cevauk@ceva.com or visit mercurychallenge.ceva.com.

References

  1. Atomik Research, 2,001 UK cat owners.  March 2019.
  2. Taylor et al., ISFM consensus guidelines on the diagnosis and management of hypertension, JFMS 2017 19(3): 288-303.
  3. Conroy et al., Survival after diagnosis of hypertension in cats attending primary care practice in the UK, JVIM, 2018 32(6): 1846-1855.

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