Kidney failure can attack any animals, including cats. Kidney failure in cats is also known as renal failure. It is caused by some conditions that affect the kidneys and related organs.
Healthy kidneys are in charge of eliminating waste from the blood, maintaining normal electrolyte balance, regulating hydration and calcium, managing blood pressure and stimulating red blood cells production. Once the cats experience kidney failure, then these functions will not perform normally.
Kidney failure in cats are classified into two groups: the chronic and the acute ones. The acute kidney failure develops suddenly, in days or weeks. It can happen to cats of all ages and it is commonly caused by poisons, trauma, shock and rapid dehydration, infection in the kidneys, blockages and heart failure.
In contrast, chronic kidney failure is harder to treat. It is found mostly in middle-aged or older cats and this disease develops over months and even years. If you have a cat older than 7 years old, then you need to pay extra attention to its health.
Unlike the causes of acute kidney failure, the causes of chronic kidney failure are mostly unclear, even to vets. However there are some common causes of chronic kidney failure, such as kidney infections, blockages and other conditions such as advanced dental disease, high blood pressure, thyroid problems and even cancer.
How do you know that your cat suffers from kidney failure? Luckily, there are some symptoms indicating kidney failure in cats. When your cat suffers from kidney failure, then the kidneys won’t be able to remove waste from its body and you will notice some symptoms. Here are the most common symptoms of kidney failure in cats.
- Weakness or lethargy – read more about lethargy in cats
- Frequent urinating – don’t misunderstand this condition as the normal condition of the kidneys. Instead, frequent urinating indicates that the kidneys aren’t able to hold water anymore. Urinating outside the litter box is another sign to watch for. If you have problem of cleaning urine, refer to these ways of how to clean cats urine on your bed.
- Weight loss.
- Lack of appetite.
- Bacterial infections of the bladder and kidney.
- Dry coat.
- Constipation – to prevent it, you can feed your cats with these vegetables your pet can eat.
- A brownish-colored tongue.
- Diarrhea, vomiting and bloody or cloudy urine.
- Bad breath (ammonia-like odor).
- Dehydration – get to know more about the causes and treatment of dehydration in cats.
- Excessive thirst – your cat starts to drink a lot of water. Drinking a lot of water indicates that your cat is trying to replace the fluid lost through urinating.
- Mouth ulcers, especially on the gums and tongue.
In acute kidney failure, there are some more indications, such as an arched back or stiff-legged gait and even frequent or no urination. Chronic kidney failure may progress gradually over years, so you may not notice it.
If you see any of these symptoms, then your cat may suffer from advanced kidney failure already. Handling kidney failure in cats must be done as soon as possible. If it is left untreated, then the disease may progress to its end stage.
When reaching the end stage, your cats will experience the other symptoms, such as dull, sunken eyes, inability to walk, body odor, incontinence bladder or bowel seizures, refusal to eat and drink, twitching, blindness, pacing and restlessness, hiding and running away, confusion and many more.
Moreover, handling kidney failure in cats is not an easy job. Each cat may exhibit different symptoms at different times. Besides, those symptoms mentioned above can also indicate other illnesses. That’s why once you suspect your cat showing one of the symptoms above, bring it to the vet so that it can be handled immediately.
Kidney failure in cats can be treated. The goal of treating kidney failure is to slow down the progression of the disease and manage the symptoms. The treatment given will depend on the symptoms and their stages.
The treatment may include intravenous fluids to correct dehydration, vitamin injections, medicines to maintain nausea, and many more.
A kidney diet may also be introduced as the treatment. A kidney diet is low in both protein and phosphorus and enriched with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Remember to always introduce new food to your cat gradually. You can also consult with your vet about the proper diet for your infected cat. Regarding to cats diet, spend time reading about if cat can feeding by vegan diet.
To prevent kidney failure in cats, you have to make sure that you provide a carefully managed diet, plenty of clean and fresh water and do some regular check-ups for your cats. These things will surely help your cat live their best life happily and healthily.