Why Are Cats With Kidney Disease At a Higher Risk of High Blood Pressure?

Posted on

Finding out that your cat has kidney disease can be terribly upsetting. Learning that they may have a higher risk of comorbidities (or in other words, another disease) can be even more worrisome for a pet owner. Unfortunately, kidney disease and high blood pressure often go hand-in-hand for cats. Here's why your cat may be at a higher risk of developing HBP with kidney disease.

How the Kidneys Work

To understand how sick kidneys can cause this problem, you have to understand how kidneys work.

In essence, kidneys are giant filters for your cat's entire blood supply. As the blood circulates around the body through organs and the heart, it also passes through the kidneys. The kidneys pull out harmful substances and flush them out of their blood via your cat's urine. The kidneys need water to perform this task, which is why many cats with kidney disease end up craving water more frequently than their healthy counterparts.


The problem with the kidneys in this filtering process is that the disease can cause scar tissue to form. When scar tissue forms in the kidneys, they don't function as well. But to make matters worse, they can also end up forming partial blockages over the entry or exit points of the kidneys. This means that in order for blood to properly circulate and be filtered, the body has to put more force into pushing it through the kidneys. In other words, your cat's blood pressure goes up.

Checking and Treatment

Seeking regular monitoring and treatment of high blood pressure is crucial if your cat is diagnosed with it. High blood pressure—when left uncontrolled—can cause problems like heart disease and even blindness.

The good news is that high blood pressure can be improved and controlled with medication and regular monitoring.

If your cat is at risk of high blood pressure, your vet may recommend visiting with a specialist. They'll take your cat's blood pressure to determine if it's at a normal level or not. From there, they can prescribe medication to help bring it down. They may also suggest changing your cat's diet to help nurture their kidneys and keep their blood pressure at a safe level. It will ultimately depend on their evaluation of your cat, as no two cats are identical.

Knowing that your cat is dealing with something like kidney disease can be terrible for pet parents. However, by seeking help for your cat and ensuring that their blood pressure is healthy, you can prevent them from having unnecessary complications and keep them happy and comfortable while also reducing your stress.

To find out more, contact a veterinarian specialist.