• Feline;
  • Hyperaldosteronism;
  • Reference ranges;
  • Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system;
  • Stress

A pathogenetic role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system has been implicated in cats in both systemic arterial hypertension and hypokalemic myopathy. Yet, measurement of plasma aldosterone concentrations (PACs) and plasma renin activity (PRA) has not unequivocally pointed to hyperaldosteronism as a cause of these conditions. To obtain appropriate reference ranges, this study included a large number (130) of healthy house cats of different breeds without a history of recent illness and plasma concentrations of urea and creatinine below the upper limit of the respective reference ranges. In addition, the pituitary-adrenocortical axis was studied by measuring plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), and cortisol. Reference ranges for PACs (110–540 pmol/L; 40–195 pg/mL), PRA (60–630 fmol/L/s; 0.3-3 ng/mL/h), and the aldosterone to renin ratio (ARR) (0.3-3.8) were very similar to those established in the same laboratory for humans in a supine position. No breed differences were found. The ARRs in neutered cats were significantly higher than in intact cats, primarily because of low PRA in neutered cats. The ARRs of cats a 5 years of age were significantly higher than those of cats < 5 years of age. The plasma concentrations of ACTH, α-MSH, and cortisol did not correlate significantly with PAC Thus, although blood sampling was performed in cats in nonstandardized positions and was associated with a wide variation of stress responses, the references ranges of PAC, PRA, and ARR were similar to the relatively narrow limits established for humans under standardized conditions. The effects of neutering and aging on PRA and ARR warrant further investigation.