Know the Signs of Kidney Disease in Cat

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Your cat’s kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located in the back of the abdomen, one on each side of the spine. They’re responsible for filtering blood and removing harmful waste products and excess water so that you can eliminate them in your cat’s urine.

While both healthy and diseased kidneys are usually more or less the same size, they may be larger or smaller depending on how much they have to work.

 

What are the signs of kidney disease?

The initial signs of kidney disease can sometimes be mistaken for other ailments, but they shouldn’t be ignored. If you notice your cat is developing any of these symptoms, call your vet immediately to diagnose and treat them.

Any delay could lead to a much graver condition that can result in death if not treated on time.

Here are some common symptoms of kidney disease in cats:

The most common symptom of chronic renal failure is weight loss. This occurs because as your pet’s kidneys fail, they are unable to properly process nutrients from food. As a result, he or she will start eating less and lose weight even though he or she may still feel hungry all the time.

This will continue until his or her body has no choice but to slow down metabolism in order to conserve energy for survival purposes. Your cat might also develop anemia due to insufficient red blood cell production.

Anemia leads to weakness, lethargy, pale gums, and dark-colored urine. If left untreated, it can lead to death. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, increased thirst (polydipsia), and increased urination (polyuria).

In addition to these symptoms, if you notice that your cat isn’t able to jump on furniture anymore or maintain balance while walking around on hardwood floors or tile floors then it could be a sign that something is wrong with their kidneys.

Don’t let any of these signs go unnoticed as they can develop into more serious conditions that will require immediate treatment and intervention.

If left untreated, chronic renal failure can lead to death within six months or less. To prevent such an outcome, schedule regular checkups for your pet at least once every six months and make sure he or she gets regular exercise so as not to put additional strain on his or her kidneys.

The best way to monitor kidney disease is through blood work. Your vet will run tests that measure levels of creatinine and BUN (blood urea nitrogen) which are waste products produced by your pet’s kidneys.

 

How do I know if my cat is at risk?

There are a number of factors that can increase your cat’s risk for developing kidney disease. Although genetics, breed, and age are common causes, there are some behaviors we can control as pet owners that may also play a role.

Here are some signs to look out for: drinking more water than usual (sometimes accompanied by vomiting), decreased appetite, weight loss, and nausea. The onset is often gradual so you might not notice until it’s too late!

 

What causes kidney disease?

The most common cause of kidney disease is a chronic urinary tract infection. Glomerulonephritis, a less common condition than UTI, is also a major cause.

Glomerulonephritis occurs when your cat’s immune system mounts an inflammatory response to proteins found in his own blood, damaging delicate glomeruli (the tiny structures that filter waste and excess water from your cat’s bloodstream).

Other causes include diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, and hypertension. If you notice any signs of kidney disease in your cat, take him to see his veterinarian immediately; early detection may save his life.

In some cases, it can even help reverse damage already done. While there are no drugs available to treat kidney disease directly, medications exist that can manage some of its symptoms.

Since there are so many factors at play in each individual case, no one medication will work for every patient with kidney disease. Talk with your vet about what treatment options are best for your kitty based on her specific symptoms and overall health status.

 

Are some cats more susceptible than others?

While most cats develop kidney disease as they age, certain breeds are known to be more susceptible. These include Persian, Himalayan, Siamese, and Burmese cats. Also at a higher risk are any cat who was born prematurely or suffers from diabetes.

In addition, your veterinarian may suggest that you watch for signs of kidney disease if your cat has high blood pressure or a urinary tract infection. The first step is knowing what to look for.

If you have any concerns about your cat’s health, it’s important to talk with your vet right away. The sooner treatment begins, the better chance your cat will have of avoiding serious complications such as dehydration and potentially fatal infections.

 

How can I keep my cat from developing kidney disease?

Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to prevent kidney disease. If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, consult with your veterinarian about ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle for them.

Some things that can help include keeping your cat at a healthy weight and feeding them only high-quality food. Also, make sure they get plenty of exercise and are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Keep an eye out for symptoms like increased thirst or urination, as well as changes in appetite or behavior—all could be signs that something isn’t right. 

 

How will kidney disease affect my cat?

Canine kidney disease occurs when one or both kidneys fail to function as they should. As a result, waste and fluids are not adequately filtered from your cat’s body, which can lead to potentially fatal complications.

The effects of kidney disease can appear slowly and subtly, so it’s important to know what signs to look for. The earlier you recognize signs that your cat may have kidney disease, the better chance you have of saving its life.

Some symptoms include increased thirst and urination, vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and fatigue. Consult with your veterinarian if you notice any unusual behavior changes in your cat.

Treatment options include dialysis and medications such as ACE inhibitors to control blood pressure levels.

 

Can anything be done to prevent or treat kidney disease?

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent kidney disease from occurring in cats. Once a cat has developed kidney disease, treatment will help them feel better and may be able to extend its life for a few months.

Typically only 3 medications are available for treating kidney disease: Furosemide (Lasix), Amlodipine (Norvasc), and Benazepril hydrochloride (Lotensin). When it comes to renal failure, medication can only treat symptoms of uremia.

A change in diet and fluids is recommended when your cat develops kidney disease. The goal is to keep your pet hydrated while preventing further damage to his kidneys.

A low-protein diet that includes high-quality protein sources such as chicken or fish should be fed, along with plenty of water. If you notice that your pet isn’t urinating regularly or seems lethargic, contact your veterinarian immediately as these could be signs of severe illness.

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