Awareness Of Feline Hypertension Is Low Amongst Cat Owners
Recent research amongst cat owners carried out by Ceva Animal Health for Feline Hypertension Month, which runs until the end of May, has revealed that blood pressure is viewed as the most important check a doctor can carry out in older human patients, yet only 20% of owners whose cats are seven years or older say their vet has suggested a blood pressure check1. This is despite the recommendation by ISFM (International Society of Feline Medicine) for vets to perform annual blood pressure checks in cats from the age seven years old2.
Ninety-three per cent of cat owners consider their cat as one of the family but, despite this, awareness of feline hypertension amongst cat owners is 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. For cat owners who are aware of feline hypertension, only a quarter said they would consider asking their vet for a blood pressure check for their pet. Interestingly though, once made aware of the main risks of high blood pressure, namely blindness, seizures and kidney disease, 83% of cat owners say they would ask their vet for a blood pressure test for their cat.
“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,” comments Dr Natalie Borrill MRCVS, veterinary technical manager for cardionephrology at Ceva Animal Health, manufacturer of Amodip®. “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 amodeus.vet.”
Feline Hypertension Month 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 surgeons are being urged to measure their feline patients’ blood pressure in cats from the age of seven, as recommended by ISFM (International Society of Feline Medicine)2.
The company will continue its Mercury Challenge throughout 2019 in a bid to increase veterinary professionals’ confidence in measuring blood pressure and identifying feline hypertension. Since June last year, 128 practices and over 1,000 cats have participated in the popular challenge. It is quick and easy to take part and veterinary professionals can register via the Mercury Challenge website - mercurychallenge.ceva.com. Participating practices will be given the opportunity to win diagnostic tools to help them identify feline hypertension.
For information on Feline Hypertension Month, the Mercury Challenge or feline hypertension, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mercurychallenge.ceva.com.
- Atomik Research, 2,001 UK cat owners. March 2019.
- Taylor et al., ISFM consensus guidelines on the diagnosis and management of hypertension, JFMS 2017 19(3): 288-303.
- 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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