Systemic hypertension (systolic pressure > 170 mm Hg) was diagnosed in 58 cats at an average age of 13 years. Sixty-two percent were azotemic, and 10% were hyperthyroid. Retinal lesions were observed in 48% of cats, and this group tended to have higher blood pressure (average, 262 mm Hg). Echocardiographic changes included increased thickness of the interventricular septum and left ventricular free wall and reduced diastolic left ventricular internal diameter. Survival times for cats that were followed averaged 4 to 7 months, and no significant difference was shown between cats with or without echocardiographic abnormalities.

COMMENTARY: Hypertension is relatively common in older cats and is most often found in conjunction with reduced renal function. Just as in dogs, retinal lesions are associated with severe hypertension.

Spontaneous feline hypertension: Clinical and echocardiographic abnormalities, and survival rate. Chetboul V, Lefebvre HP, Pinhas C, et al. J VET INTERN MED 17:89-95, 2003.