Kidney disease in cats

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 20.11.2021

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In cats with unhealthy kidneys, the reduced ability to excrete the body's waste products into the urine, which leads to the potential accumulation of toxic substances in the bloodstream. While some kidney diseases in cats occur suddenly, chronic kidney disease manifests itself more slowly over a period of time. Timely examination by a veterinarian followed by maintenance treatment and dietary treatment may allow some cats with kidney disease to maintain a proper quality of life.

What causes kidney disease?

Here are some of the causes of chronic and acute kidney disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • Infection
  • Immunological Disease
  • Congenital or hereditary disease
  • Cancer
  • Reduced blood flow in the kidneys
  • Kidney injury
  • Obstruction of the urinary tract, for example, kidney stones
  • Exposure to toxic substances, especially antifreeze

What are some signs of kidney disease?

If your cat has any of the following symptoms, show it to the veterinarian.

  • Loss / loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Drowsiness or depression
  • Dehydration
  • Change in water consumption
  • Pain in the kidney area
  • Aversion to the tray
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Bleeding breath
  • Constipation
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Urination in abnormal areas or pain during urination
  • Stumbling

Which cats are prone to kidney disease?

Kidney disease often occurs in older cats, but can occur in cats at any age. Cats can be born with kidney pathologies that never function properly. Some breeds, such as Persians, are predisposed to such hereditary kidney diseases.

In addition, street cats have a risk of acute illnesses, because they are more likely to be exposed to toxic substances that cause kidney failure, namely antifreeze.

How is kidney disease diagnosed in cats?

There are several ways to determine if a cat has kidney disease. Your veterinarian will conduct a physical examination and take samples of blood and urine to find out if your pet has kidney disease. Radiography, ultrasound, blood pressure measurement and kidney biopsy can also be performed.

How are kidney diseases treated in cats?

Determine the specific cause of kidney disease can be difficult. Depending on the stage of kidney failure, cats may require emergency medical attention and hospitalization. Acute kidney disease can sometimes be detected early, when kidney damage is minimal. In some cases, long-term maintenance treatment is useful. The following are the possible treatment options:

  • Treatment of the cause of renal failure underlying (eg, antifreeze poisoning, infection)
  • Drugs for strengthening urine output
  • Therapeutic diet
  • Treatment of electrolyte balance disorders
  • Infusion therapy
  • Treatment of anemia
  • Drugs from high blood pressure, vomiting and gastrointestinal diseases
  • Dialysis
  • Kidney transplantation

Should cats with kidney disease have a special diet?

A special diet will not cure kidney disease, but controlling the cat's intake of protein, phosphorus and sodium can help reduce symptoms and contribute to the overall health and longevity of the animal. There are many commercially available veterinary diets for cats with chronic kidney disease.

Remember, changes in the cat's diet should not be abrupt. Talk to the veterinarian about how to gently transfer the cat to a new food.

How can I take care of a cat at home?

Take care of the diet of the cat, strictly adhering to the diet that the veterinarian has appointed. She should always have access to clean fresh water, the house should be as calm as possible, and make sure that the cat undergoes medical examinations and studies recommended by your veterinarian.

How to prevent kidney disease?

Do not give the cat over-the-counter drugs without your vet's directions and make sure that she always has access to fresh water.

What happens if the kidney disease in cats is not treated?

If acute renal failure is not detected and not treated, cats can suffer from varying degrees of irreversible damage to the kidneys and even die. Chronic renal failure causes many secondary problems after a while, including a decrease in the level of calcium, which can lead to demineralization of the bones. Anemia can also occur, as the kidneys lose the ability to produce a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Ultimately, in the absence of treatment, renal failure is fatal.

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