Cats and Kidney Disease: What You Can Do

There are two types of kidney diseases that can affect felines – acute renal failure and chronic renal failure. While acute renal failure can often be treated and in some cases even reversed, chronic renal failure is a much more serious diagnosis because currently, no cure is available for the disease.

But all hope is not lost with a positive diagnosis. There are treatments available for chronic renal failure that can help improve your pet’s prognosis. And the quality of care that’s provided in the pet’s home also plays a significant role in a cat’s ability to live with renal failure.

Chronic Renal Failure in Cats

What Causes Chronic Renal Failure in Cats?

The precise cause of chronic renal failure is not exactly known, but it tends to be found mostly in cats aged seven years or older. Other conditions have also been linked to the disease, including high blood pressure, advanced dental disease, thyroid disorders, certain cancers, and kidney infections or blockages.

Signs of Chronic Renal Failure in Cats

Unlike acute renal failure, which comes on very quickly, chronic renal failure develops very slowly and as such, it can often go undetected until the cat starts showing an extreme decline in health.

But, there are some warning signs that your cat’s kidneys might be failing and these include:

  • Frequent urinating
  • Urinating outside of her litter box
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea or constipation
  • Dry coat
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Brownish-colored tongue
  • Weakness
  • Breath that smells like ammonia
  • Ulcers on the gums or tongue

Treatment Options for Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats

Once a cat has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure, treatment will vary depending on the severity of the case. For instance, if a kidney blockage is discovered, then the cat will undergo surgery in order to clear the blockage. The cat may also need medication therapy and/or to be rehydrated with IV fluids, or to have fluids injected under her skin at home.

A change to a kidney-friendly diet will also be recommended. This type of diet is low in phosphorus and protein, but high in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Plenty of fresh, clean water is also a must. Because cats can be fussy when changing diets, it is recommended that you introduce the new foods gradually into your cat’s feeding cycle. Once she becomes accepting of the new food, you can eliminate her old food entirely.

Medications, Supplements and Environmental Factors

Medications and/or supplements may also be prescribed by your veterinarian. Therapeutic drugs prescribed to cats with chronic renal failure commonly include, but are not limited to, medications for lowering blood pressure, lowering phosphorous levels, promoting kidney function, raising potassium levels, treating anemia, treating gastrointestinal ulcers, and reducing vomiting.

Your home’s environment will also play a role in your cat’s recovery. A cat with renal failure needs a comfortable and serene environment. The more stressful your home is, the worse it will be for your cat. You should also keep to regular check-ups with your veterinarian, so you can help your cat live the best life possible.

If your cat has chronic renal failure, all is not lost. By following your veterinarian’s treatment plan and providing your pet with a loving, serene environment, the prognosis for your pet might just surprise you.

Getting in Touch With Diamondback Drugs

If you need medications for your cat, you can receive a free quote for your pet’s medications from Diamondback Drugs. We can help you save money on your cat’s medications.

As always, be sure to inform your veterinarian about any medications or supplements your cat is currently taking so your vet can make the best treatment decision for your pet’s unique case and help reduce the risk of a potential drug interaction.

Author: Giano Panzarella