Kidney Failure in Cats

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Kidney failure in cats is associated with older cats. It is possible for younger cats to develop renal failure. It is simply less likely.

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The Kidneys And What They Do

The kidneys are basically filters. They filter the blood, removing undesirable substances and keeping in certain substances as well, such as glucose.

Causes of Kidney Failure

Kidney failure is usually caused by a gradual loss of function over a long period of time. This chronic degeneration can be caused by a number of things either congenital or acquired. Some causes include congenital kidney malformation, bacterial infection, high blood pressure, diseases of the immune system and acute kidney disease resulting from poisoning or the similar.

Kidney Failure In Cats Symptoms

Symptoms and signs of kidney failure in cats include drinking and urinating more than usual, leaking urine, vomiting, diarrhoea, not eating, weight loss, depression, anaemia and weakness.

Diagnosis of Cat Kidney Failure

Both blood and urine are submitted for tests. The kidneys job involves filtering the blood and getting rid of certain waste products. If the kidneys fail, then the levels of these waste products rise in the blood because the kidneys no longer are able to perform their duties. So, the diagnosis of kidney failure is the increase of these waste products in the blood. The waste products looked for in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine levels. The dilution of the urine is analyzed in the urine because if the kidneys fail, they are no longer capable of concentrating the urine.

Treatment of Kidney Failure in Cats

There is no real cure for this disease except a kidney transplant. The aim is to maintain the cat’s life as long as possible with the best quality of life as possible. Kidney transplants are possible and are becoming more frequent. The cat that has a transplanted kidney will need medication for the rest of its life. A result of chronic kidney failure includes anaemia and hypertension, which must also be managed. Cats that become decompensated should be taken to local veterinarians or animal hospitals for treatment. This is life threatening and will need emergency treatment.

The cat can be maintained on dietary therapy consisting of the modification of calcium, protein and phosphorus levels and fluid administration. The protein levels need ot be highly digestible because the kidneys filter the nitrogen produced from protein metabolism. Protein that has low digestibility requires the kidneys to work harder.

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It is also important that the cat drink plenty of fresh water. Cats prefer fresh, clean, running water. This makes kitty water fountains the perfect way to provide water. You can find kitty water fountains as well on amazon.com.

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Also offering canned cat food instead of dry will help maintain hydration.

Final Thoughts

It is becoming more common because cats are living to be older more and more often today. This is due to the fact that people are taking better care of their cats and because of advances in veterinary medicine. As they age, the tendency to develop certain diseases increases, including kidney failure in cats.

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Kidney Failure in Cats, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.