Clinical trial for cats with high blood pressure

Were you aware that cats can develop high blood pressure (hypertension)?   They don’t get it from a high salt diet, smoking or cholesterol plaques, but it does impact them in the same way as it does for humans.  The blood vessels get smaller and the high pressure of the blood pulsing through them can cause the vessels to burst.  This can lead to detached retinas in the eye (sudden blindness in the cat) and embolisms (blood clots) to various organs in the body, leading to a stroke (if in the brain) or sudden paralysis.

While primary high blood pressure is fairly common in humans, it occurs only rarely in cats.  Diseases of the kidney, an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), and diabetes are the most common causes of high blood pressure in cats.

Hypertension is currently treated with a human prescription medication called amlodipine.  It is pretty effective in lowering a cat’s blood pressure, but it isn’t made for cats.  The dose is very small, so the pill often has to be cut in half or smaller, and the tablet crumbles very easily.  It can be compounded into a suspension, to make it easier to give.

There is currently a veterinary pharmaceutical company working on a cat-friendly high blood pressure medication.  They are looking for cats with untreated blood pressure to participate.  Medical care and diagnostics are provided at no cost, along with either the new medication or a placebo.  You could also earn up to $400 for future veterinary costs.  The Cat Care Clinic on Junction Road in Madison is the local clinical trial veterinarian.  Go to for more information.

If you are interested, please let us know so the referral paperwork can be completed.  You can e-mail us at or give us a call at (608) 819-6750.