Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Sudden blindness?

Friday, June 02, 2017

The most common cause of sudden blindness in cats is high blood pressure. Some cats with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, may appear to have headaches. They keep to themselves, are a bit crabby or stare into space.
Older cats, especially if they have kidney disease or hyperthyroidism, may develop high blood pressure.
If hypertension is not controlled the blood vessels at the back of the eye may burst causing instant blindness. More insidiously any existing heart or kidney disease worsens, and vascular dementia develops.
We routinely check the blood pressure of cats older than 10 years of age with a machine that amplifies the sound of their pulse, but is otherwise very similar to the device used on humans. Most cats are like the old chum above, happy and reasonably relaxed - as long as their person is close by.
Treatment is relatively simple and effective. Many cats even regain their sight.

High Blood Pressure

Thursday, July 30, 2015

High Blood Pressure can cause blindness in cats; have you had your senior cat’s blood pressure taken lately? Systemic hypertension – a persistent increase in blood pressure – is commonly recognized in feline practice.

Feline hypertension is commonly found as a complication of other underlying medical conditions (secondary hypertension), although primary hypertension (hypertension without any underlying disease) may also be seen in cats. In contrast to people, where primary hypertension (also called essential hypertension) is most common, secondary hypertension is more common in cats. Primary hypertension accounts of less than 20% of feline cases.

The most common secondary causes of hypertension are chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hyperthyroidism. Other causes include hyperaldosteronism (Conn’s syndrome), chronic blood loss adrenal tumours and erythropoietin therapy

Unfortunately hypertension is often only suspected very late in the course. The target organs most vulnerable to hypertensive damage are the brain (usually behavioural, night vocalization, signs of dementia), heart, kidneys and eyes (blindness). The goal of managing high blood pressure is to identify and treat underlying causes, and to reduce systemic blood pressure to an ideal range with anti-hypertensive medications.

Blood pressure should be evaluated as a routine part of check-ups for all cats past 7 years of age. We can help measure your feline friend’s blood pressure with a Doppler machine at their next visit for their wellness check.

Blood pressure checks

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tiny is just on his way home after having his blood pressure checked. He sat quietly while we wrapped a cuff around his arm. He thought the cold gel we put on his wrist for the Doppler probe was the worst part.

Because a cat's pulse is so small we have to amplify it with the Doppler. We pump the cuff up until we cannot hear the pulse and then slowly let the air out until we hear the pulse. At this point we read his blood pressure from the dial.

Tiny has a heart murmur and kidney problems. Heart disease often lowers the blood pressure but kidney failure increases it. Fortunately Dr Kate found that Tiger's blood pressure is quite normal.


Search Blog

Recent Posts


kitten deaths depomedrol renal disease diarrhoea snuffle return home snuffles panamax fireworks best veterinarian cat enclosures paralysed obese award skin groom flea prevention grass holes in teeth visit fever conflict introductions pain killer sudden blindness hole lame thirsty dental treatment microchip hypertension African wild cat behaviour change bite wet litter urine spraying attack introducing cat thyroid urination head vaccination stress best clinic roundworm rigid head skin cancer introduction allergy, bladder runny eyes plaque slow FIV food puzzles pill hiding strange behaviour twitching poison whiskers weight control hospital cystitis blood fleas corneal ulcer not eating fits new cat blindness polish rolls gifts arthritis behaviour lilly desex carrier blood in urine sucking wool fabric old cat heaing painful fear thiamine deficiency gasping flea treatment dymadon vet visit inflammatory bowel disease cat history unsociable advantage foreign body furball new kitten noisy breathing overweight enteritis high blood pressure signs of pain drinking a lot sick anxiety pheromone cat flu euthanasia radioactive iodine grooming cage sneeze appointment biopsy cat vet hungry eye infection blind spray straining poisonous exercise vision open day marking flu pancreatitis petting cat feline enteritis pet vomiting odour best vet love dilated pupils toxins sun cryptococcosis checkup feliway insulin lump allergy off food health check activity introduce vaccine revolution liver physical activity constipation bad breath rough play hypertrophic cardiomyopathy touch rash drinking more hairball catoberfest vomit on heat spraying sensitive stomach sore eyes lilies seizures stare into space panadol hunched over panleukopaenia goodbye furballs mass opening hours indoor cats dry food appetite teeth lymphoma change FORLS calicivirus senses paralysis tick cortisone christmas urinating outside litter cognitive dysfunction diet diuretics scratching post desexing cat enclosure home tick snakebite best cat clinic jumping wobbles tablet paracetamol sore salivation yowling prey when to go to vet panleukopenia tradesmen abscess cta fight urine scratching scale photo competition ulcers socialisation feline herpesvirus headache eye holiday antiviral sensitive snot brown snake pain dementia mince face rub sick cat pica sense of smell tartar cough train bed senior xylitol blood pressure pred blocked cat litter diabetes litter box hyperthyroidism wool meows a lot aspirin prednisolone learning worming comfortis chlamydia massage free tumour pain relief kidney crytococcosus holidays decision to euthanase eye ulcer urinating paralysis changed hunters lily adipokines ulcerated nose echocardiography new year mouth breathing blood test lick check-up hunter worms New Year's Eve castration ACT permethrin hunting fight cat friendly stiff cat fight IBD aggression hard faeces snakes nails dental fat plants kittens heart disease Canberra Cat Vet cat worms computer enemies runny nose anaemia herpesvirus tapeworm intestine hyperactive abscess,cat fight Canberra itchy mental health of cats annual check panadeine skinny snake bite virus cranky Hill's Metabolic bladder stones kidneys kitten bump blockage breathing difficult obesity scratch vocal rub spey sore ears breeder moving holes ribbon kidney disease body language mycoplasma pet meat heavy breathing snake restless old AIDS cat behaviour asthma weight loss eyes kibble dental check unwell aerokat tooth weight kitten play blue fluid pills nose scabs in season aggressive cat containment ulcer poisoning toxic collapse cancer urinating on curtains or carpet open night information night training poisonous plants pet insurance client night antibiotics poisons hearing birthday string competition


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions