Vet nurses urged to take older cats' blood pressure annually

Veterinary Nursing News

Vet nurses urged to take older cats' blood pressure annually

Ceva Animal Health is urging vet nurses to take cats' blood pressure annually after they reach the age of seven, as recommended by the International Society of Feline Medicine1, following research carried out by the company in which over 90% of veterinary surgeons agreed that treating hypertension is beneficial in its own right.

According to the company, a similar percentage of respondents believe that senior cats would benefit clinically if they monitored blood pressure routinely in their senior years, and nearly 85% said that anti-hypertensive medication would increase the quality of life for their patients.

Time constraints were cited as the main barrier to routinely measuring blood pressure, but all of those questioned would be happy for a trained RVN to measure blood pressure in cats.

Ceva highlights studies which show show that hypertension affects one in eight cats over nine years old3, with the risk increasing as cats age or if they have other conditions such as chronic kidney disease (where one in three cats suffer with hypertension) or overactive thyroid disease (where an estimated one in four cats suffer with hypertension)4, 5, 6.

Rosanne Jepson, specialist in small animal internal medicine at the Royal Veterinary College said: "High blood pressure can cause severe damage to key body organs including the eyes, kidneys, heart and brain. Unfortunately, it is a condition that develops insidiously without early warning signs for the cat owner; a cat may seem perfectly fine until either the blood pressure is checked, or serious consequences of hypertension suddenly occur."

With this in mind, Ceva says it will host the first Feline Hypertension Month this May, to raise awareness of hypertension and improve the detection and management of high blood pressure in cats.  

The company is also encouraging practices to take part in the 'Mercury Challenge', a study it is launching in the summer which will, it says, be the largest-ever European study into feline hypertension.

For information on feline hypertension, Feline Hypertension Month or the Mercury Challenge, contact your local Ceva Animal Health account manager.


  1. Taylor et al. ISFM consensus guidelines on the diagnosis and management of hypertension, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (2017).
  2. Ceva Market Research into The Veterinary Perceptions of Feline Hypertension, 100 U.K. Vets. March 2017.
  3. Jepson et al, Evaluation of predictors of the development of azotemia in cats, JVIM, 2009;23(4):806-813.
  4. Sansom et al (2004) Blood pressure assessment in healthy cats and cats with hypertensive retinopathy AJVR 65; 245-252.
  5. Syme H.M., Barber P.J., Markwell P.J., and Elliott J., Prevalence of systolic hypertension in cats with chronic renal failure at initial evaluation, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2002;220:1799-1804.
  6. Huhtinen M. et al, (2015) Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of a Chewable Formulation of Amlodipine for the Treatment of Hypertension in Client-Owned Cats, JVIM, 29:786-793.

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  • Couldn't agree more - considered essential in all my consultations and referred to my Geriatric Clinics! I found loads were hypertensive and then referred them to my vet for a work-up. Caught many early and preventative/supportive tx's were prescribed and owners reported pet seemed 'younger'. What's not to like?! Better still would be a home visit to reduce stress on the trip to the nurse consult room but... in the absence of that..

    Creating a work-place quiet and as stress-free environment essential... mine was a feline-only consult room with Feliway plug-ins and away from the hub-bub of the rest of the practice. Letting the patient settle into the base (lid removed) of their cat carrier a great tip; stroking, owner present, letting them settle before consult began (and no sitting in a crowded or 'woofy' waiting room) whatever kept them as calm as possible. Several readings.... I am preaching to the converted (hopefully) so am gonna keep quiet now!!

  • Oh yes - and a small fee payable for the full geriatric consult and a (slightly) reduced vet consultation fee if referred onwards. Then regular 3-6 monthly checks...