Here’s Why Your Cat’s Kidney Health Is Key to Their Overall Well Being
There are two types of kidney disease that cats can develop – acute and chronic kidney disease. Acute kidney disease comes on very rapidly, while chronic kidney disease develops slowly and gradually worsens over time.
Both types can lead to kidney failure, so early detection and treatment is a must. If treatment is administered early enough, there is still a chance that some of the damage that has occurred to the kidneys can be reversed. But the longer a cat goes without treatment, the more likely it will be for the damage to be irreparable.
In this guide, we will help you understand what signs and symptoms you need to watch for that might indicate your cat is having problems with her kidneys, as well as the most common causes of kidney disease in cats.
What Causes a Cat to Develop Kidney Disease?
Acute kidney disease can develop in as quick as a couple of days to a week or more. This type of kidney disease is usually brought on by one or more of the following:
- Trauma to the kidneys or pelvic region
- Kidney infection
- Blockage in the kidneys or blood vessels
- Severe blood loss
- Low blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Ingesting toxic substances or plants (pesticides, antifreeze, lilies, human medications, etc.)
Chronic kidney disease can take months or years to develop and is most commonly found in cats that are older than seven years. This type of kidney disease can be brought on by the above factors as well, but it can also be caused by other health conditions like advanced dental disease, thyroid disorders, high blood pressure, and cancer.
Some breeds are even genetically predisposed to it, like Abyssinians, Persians, Siamese, Russian blues, Maine coons, and Burmese.
Domesticated cats are much higher at risk for kidney disease than cats that live in the wild. This is believed to be due to the fact that indoor cats are fed diets that consist of less pure protein and moisture than what outdoor cats eat.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Cats
The primary challenge of treating kidney disease is that a cat doesn’t display any signs or symptoms that something is wrong until substantial damage to her kidneys has already occurred. But, if you notice that your cat is drinking and urinating more than usual, then this could be a sign that her kidney function might be off. If she is urinating outside of her litter box as well, then this is a strong sign that her kidneys may be starting to fail.
As the illness progresses, other signs may start to show. These can include:
- Poor coat
- Lethargy and weakness
- Bad breath
- Brown-colored tongue
- Ulcers on the tongue or gums
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Increased number of bacterial infections in the bladder or kidneys
Can Kidney Disease in Cats Be Treated?
Treatment for kidney disease involves treating the underlying cause of it. Depending on what is causing your cat’s kidneys to fail, treatment can range from surgery to remove blockages, all the way to adopting a special diet that is easier on the kidneys. Intravenous fluids and prescription medications may also be required.
A kidney-friendly diet will almost always be required. This type of diet needs to be low in protein and phosphorus. You will also want to increase the amount of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids in your cat’s diet. Plenty of fresh, clean water is also an absolute must.
Along with these techniques, you should also try to make your cat’s home environment as peaceful and serene as possible and take her to the vet for routine wellness check-ups.
If your cat is diagnosed with acute or chronic kidney disease and the vet prescribes her medications to treat the underlying cause, then you can get her prescriptions filled at Diamondback Drugs for less. We can customize your cat’s medications into easy-to-administer formulations to help eliminate the stress and worry that often comes with giving doses to a pet.
You can even receive a free quote for the medications so you know the cost before you have your scripts filled. Diamondback Drugs can help you get your cat the essential medications she needs to treat the cause of her kidney disease – try us today!
Author: Giano Panzarella