Kidney Disease In Cats: What Do You Need To Know About It?


Kidney diseases are part of a group of diseases wherein the kidney might be abnormal in its own ability to function in a normal way, or might be abnormal in its appearance, or both. These kinds of diseases may result from genetic or inherited problems or disease processes, which may affect the growth and development of the kidney right before or shortly after birth. Most of the patients are less than 5 years old at the time of the prognosis. In this article, we will be discussing mainly about kidney disease in cats –what is it, its causes, symptoms, as well as its prognosis and treatments. Read on to learn more!

Kidney Disease in Cats: What is this feline condition?

In an estimate, there are about 30% middle-aged cats that develop kidney disease, while more than 50% of the senior cats do have the condition. In general, the disease is degenerative and chronic, even though in the case of the acute kidney disease from the injury, recovery is probable. Furthermore, kidneys which have lost their function start allowing the toxic waste in flowing back to the bloodstream. This may be devastating to some other organs. Moreover, the vet treatment may improve greatly the overall quality of life for the cat with the condition.

As most of the cats age, the kidneys may get weak and become lesser effective in producing the concentrated urine. In order to compensate for this, the kidneys actually produce plentiful amounts of urine in the attempt to get rid of waste from the bloodstream. As an addition to the removal of fluid waste, the aid in the regulation of chemicals within the bloodstream, producing enzymes and hormones, as well as keeping the blood pressure at proper levels for the body. Further, the weakened kidneys may slowly become overwhelmed with all of the normal processes, as well as the whole body begins to suffer.

Causes of Cat Kidney Disease

Felines are especially vulnerable to kidney disease in cats. The kidneys of the cats tend to get weaker more easily, and have a hard time recovering. The known causes are as follows:

  • Obesity
  • Kidney infections
  • Ingestion of toxic substances
  • Dental disease
  • Blockages in the urinary tract or bloodstream
  • Traumatic injury to the kidneys
  • Birth defects
  • Genetic predisposition

Symptoms of Cat Kidney Disease

Veterinary care must be required upon the arising of the first symptom. The more symptoms that are existent, the more awful the situation is for your cat. The more common symptoms of cat kidney disease may include the following:

  • Sudden blindness
  • Weakness
  • Low body temperature
  • Itchy skin
  • Dull hair coat
  • Anemia
  • Pale gums
  • Halitosis
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Urination in uncommon places
  • Polyuria
  • Polydipsia
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced appetite

Prognosis of Cat Kidney Disease

The earlier the diagnosis of kidney disease in cats, the better result for the cat. Once you’re at the vet clinic, the veterinarian may need the complete medical history of the cat. Furthermore, blood work may also be needed. Additionally, a biochemical panel may also be taken from the blood work, in order to measure the build-up of waste along with some other compounds in the blood. If undue amounts of creatine are existing, this may be an indication that that the kidneys are no longer properly filtering. Unluckily, this test may just detect the disease after the cat’s kidneys have already lost about 75% of their functionality. 

One more blood test will be made in order to check for symmetric dimethylarginine, which is a waste that’s produced by protein. This particular type of blood test may detect the disease up to 9 mos. earlier than the biochemical panel. Moreover, urinalysis may also be taken to test the chemical, physical, and microscopic urine minutiae. Further, this may identify bacteria if any infections are present as well. Ultrasounds or X-rays, together with biopsy, might also be needed varying on the degree of damage from the condition. 

Treatments for Cat Kidney Disease

Treatment for cats that are suffering from kidney diseases is often symptomatic or supportive. Devoid of a kidney transplant, there’s actually no treatment for congenital or developmental kidney disease. Additionally, cats with high blood pressure level must be changed to a diet that’s low in salt content, and the cats with chronic kidney failure must have phosphorous controlled and protein ingestion restricted moderately.

If the cat has gone through a surgical operation, firm at-home caution should be observed. All cuts must be kept uncontaminated and well-monitored for the possible infection development. If any signs are existent, bring the cat back immediately to the vet. You must also lower all the possible causes of stress at home. If the cat has experienced a renal transplant, this commonly needs the adoption of a healthy, young, shelter cat. Moreover, make adjustments at home to accommodate the new cat. This is while not invading on the healing process of the sick cat. 


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