May 15

Hypertension – A Cat’s Point of View

Hello everyone, my name is Delilah, “the flippy queen”, Ray. I am working on my 20th birthday this coming April and have been a hypertensive kitty for about one year now. My dad is a veterinarian that works on cats only, so he knew to start checking my pressure at least annually once I turned 10, which was a few years ago. For years I checked out OK, and then my number began to creep up the scale. Once I was over 160, he started medicine, much to my dismay. Daily medicine is never fun in the cat world but this one is definitely worth it. Because I know he wants the best for me, he also checks my blood and urine often, maybe a little too often from my point of view. With this information, he was able to tell the nurses helping me that I have secondary hypertension due to early stage renal (kidney) disease. Without knowing that I have become hypertensive, my kidney disease could have progressed more rapidly and made me more sick in the meantime. With controlling my high blood pressure, my kidney disease will be less significant in my daily life and also allow for the longest “not sick” interval. As much as I like my dad when he is home, I do not like going to work with him. The only thing worse would be a long stay!

The daily pill is kinda lame but dad has become pretty slick about medicating me. He usually sneaks up on me when I am sleeping and quickly drops a ¼ pill down my throat. Sometimes the task is done so quickly that I just go right back to sleep. They say that hypertension is the silent killer. Now that my pressure is controlled, I feel much better and can reflect on some changes that were sneaking up on me. When my pressure would peak, I felt anxious and restless. I would sometimes meow desperately and many times in a row. The family would quickly come to see what was bothering me, and then I would quit. It was a weird feeling that made me uncomfortable, and confused. And I had no idea how detrimental that anxious feeling was to all my organs. When I was at the Cat Clinic of Roswell, the nurses read off the internet all the bad things that could happen to a cat with uncontrolled hypertension. Some of these cats go suddenly blind because of retinal detachment (yes like the boxers!). Other kitties may have a “vascular event” in broad terms and get a devastating insult to another organ. I found out that my kidneys and brain were also at high risk. The more you hear them read, the more that ¼ pill seems not so bad.

And since my dad is a vet, I know he would feel horrible if something preventable happen to me! So I better understand why he is sneaking up on me with that darn pill every morning. And if he misses finding me asleep before he goes to work, he will ask my mom to sneak up on me! At least now I understand that hypertension is real and can have very real consequences, just like in the human species. And once I started medicine I had to go to work with dad again in two weeks for a follow up. Fortunately, my follow up was favorable and hypertension is well controlled. As an older gal, I am happy to have one less thing to worry about. And I do dig snuggling at night in the same spot I have occupied for 2 decades. When I was young, it was just me and dad. Now, I have a whole family worried about me so I have to do the right thing. So get checked out at a Cat Hospital and be proactive with your health!

If you missed it, see Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) – A Doctor’s Point of View.