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


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


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