Hypertension (high blood pressure) is common in older cats and is usually the result of another medical problem. It’s commonly associated with medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, renal disease, diabetes and obesity. When high blood pressure is the original condition it’s called primary hypertension. What causes primary hypertension is not known. High blood pressure as a result of another medical problem is called secondary hypertension. Many cats with chronic renal failure or hyperthyroidism also have hypertension. Symptoms of hypertension will depend on the underlying primary cause. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to stroke, kidney disease, blindness (due to retinal detachment) or heart disease.
Although diseases such as chronic renal failure or hyperthyroidism are more commonly seen in older cats, a cat of any age can develop an underlying medical condition that results in secondary hypertension or can develop primary hypertension itself.