What is kidney failure in cats?
Your cat’s kidneys play a vital role in maintaining her health. They help control her blood pressure, regulate the bloodstream, produce important hormones, enzymes, and red blood cells, as well as remove metabolic waste from the blood. If her kidneys aren’t able to do their job properly, this can lead to significant & life-threatening problems, such as kidney failure in your cat.
Catching chronic kidney disease (CKD) before symptoms become obvious is important, because typically signs do not appear until 75 percent of kidney function has been lost. Make sure your cat gets regular check-ups. The sooner kidney disease is diagnosed, the more time you have to address the underlying cause or slow the disease’s progression. Make a note to ask your vet about SDMA screening – a kidney function test.
Common causes of Kidney failure in cats
Potential causes of kidney failure in cats include:
- Decreased blood or urine flow to the kidneys
- High blood pressure
- Obstructions such as kidney stones
- Ingestion of toxic substances, such as antifreeze, pesticides, medications and cleaning chemicals
- Advanced dental disease
- Some long-haired breeds (such as Persians and Angoras) have a genetic predisposition to the disease
- Age older than seven years
- A food high in phosphorus or increased levels of protein can increase the disease’s progression
- Outdoor cats have a higher risk for acute problems due to their potential increased exposure to toxins
Signs of cat kidney failure
- Reduced appetite
- Increased thirst
- Frequent or no urination
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Poor coat appearance
- Lethargy and depression
- Weight loss
- Bad breath
- Sore mouth or mouth ulcers
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Increased sleeping
Nutrition and Kidney Disease
If your cat has kidney problems, the right nutrition may be able to make a positive impact on her life and potentially even lengthen her lifespan. Consult with your veterinarian and discuss the best food for your cat’s kidney health.
Specially formulated foods for cats with kidney failure concerns can be beneficial by having less protein and phosphorous than other pet foods. Controlled levels of phosphorus can lessen the severity of the symptoms and progression of kidney damage, while targeted levels of high-quality proteins can help restore normal acid-base levels.