Here's Why Cats With Kidney Disease Are At A Higher Risk Of Blood Pressure Problems

Posted on: 12 January 2019

If your cat has kidney disease, you probably already have your hands full with health concerns. Cats with this debilitating disease need constant care from veterinarians and pet parents in order to help prolong the cat's life and keep its discomfort to a minimum. While simply keeping the kidneys functioning for as long as possible is usually the main goal, your cat can experience some side effects from kidney disease that can affect the entire body. Here's why your cat could be at a higher risk of developing kidney disease and what you can do for your cat.

The Kidney Link

The kidneys are responsible for processing the body's blood in order to remove byproducts, toxins, and to allow healthy blood to flow through to each and every organ in your cat's body. This means that, essentially, your cat's body can only transfer blood as quickly as your cat's kidneys can produce it.

The problem is, when kidneys become damaged from kidney disease, they tend to shrink and create scar tissue. This essentially narrows the access and exit points of the kidneys that allow blood to flow in and then back out again. If the entry and exits become too narrow, your cat's body will compensate by increasing blood pressure to help push the blood through in a timely manner. However, this isn't a long-term solution and can cause long-term high blood pressure in your cat.

Effect on Body

A cat's body is very susceptible to having abnormal blood pressure values. If your cat's blood pressure rises too high for too long, it could cause problems for your cat's heart, arteries, and overall health.

Cats with kidney disease and high blood pressure are also at a higher risk of developing partial or full blindness. This is because high blood pressure can damage the parts of the eye that are responsible for allowing in light and translating that light into a picture that your cat's brain understands. When the eyes are damaged by high blood pressure, this process doesn't work the way it should, and if left alone for too long, can become permanent.

What to Do

If your cat has kidney disease and you're seeing a vet for it, you're doing one of the best things you can for your cat already. If you're concerned about your cat's risk of higher blood pressure, ask your vet to start monitoring it on a regular basis whenever you come in for an exam with your cat. Blood pressure is a little more difficult to take with a cat than a human, since cats are notorious for not wanting to cooperate at vets' offices, but with a trained veterinary assistant and vet on-hand, it can certainly be done.

If your cat has high blood pressure revealed by the test, your vet can help by prescribing medication to help lower the cat's blood pressure. These drugs can reduce the risk of damage to the rest of your cat's body and potentially prolong its life.

Understanding your cat's illness will help you to manage it and to ensure that your kitty lives well. Contact a clinic, like Sylvan Corner Pet Hospital, if you have any concerns or questions about kidney disease in your cat.