Kidney failure in cats is not a disease to be taken lightly. Even more than human beings, they are sensitive to the failure of this essential filter to detoxify their body. By no longer performing their task properly, your cat kidney allows organic waste to accumulate in the body and its entire metabolism suffers. Prevention is better than cure, so knowing how to recognize symptoms as soon as they appear allows you to react quickly.
Its essential role is to filter the blood so as to rid your animal of toxins which, in high doses, are aggressive for the body. We speak of uremia when urea has accumulated in the blood, it manifests itself by several well-defined symptoms. Vomiting and nausea, a significant loss of appetite and severe weight loss then occur. The cat’s coat, said to be a mirror of health, becomes dull, its gait is shaky, and neurological disturbances can be observed. Only hospitalization with an infusion can lower the urea level.
How does the disease occur?
Two distinct pathologies will make you suspect kidney failure, here are some characteristics:
- Acute renal crisis: The kidney suddenly stops being able to ensure proper elimination of toxins produced by the body. The ailment can be reversible, with the symptoms being so brutal that you should see a veterinarian.
- Chronic syndrome: You only observe disturbances in your cat at an often very advanced stage of the disease. It is therefore insidiously that the kidney is gradually destroyed in an irreversible manner.
What are the symptoms?
These are very numerous but often not very characteristic of the disease in itself. Your cat now feeds sparingly, if at all, and it appears to be slaughtered. His metabolism suffers, he often suffers from diarrhea and vomiting, and he has very bad breath. Cat’s kidneys are failing, so he usually has difficulty urinating or relieves himself too little. Symptoms that are not to be taken lightly! Above all, do not minimize his condition, which needs to be examined by a veterinarian to quickly implement the appropriate treatment.
Why is it so bad?
The functions of the cat kidney are not limited to making urine. It is also a filter for the blood, it is used for the regulation of hormones and helps to maintain homeostasis (constants regulating the blood pH). As this organ is essential for the body, its dysfunction is necessarily a source of disease, whatever its primary origin. Insofar as the kidney no longer manages to function properly, renal failure sets in without any more dam coming to stem it. It ends up becoming chronic over time and causes more or less serious pathologies in your cat.
Stones are one of the pathologies that can seriously affect your cat. People who have been victims of stones themselves, or have simply heard of them, know how painful they are. You should therefore not miss the symptoms which consist of complaints from your cat or even desperate meows on palpation. Your cat’s breath then often takes on an asymptomatic urine odor, he becomes listless, then vomiting occurs. The cat’s kidney no longer able to eliminate urea in the blood, the cat eventually falls into a coma, then dies.
Good hydration helps prevent the formation of urinary stones. An ultrasound can detect with certainty their presence more than undesirable.
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Two scenarios for the same condition. Let’s distinguish what makes the difference:
Acute kidney failure is a condition that occurs suddenly, regardless of an animal’s age and lifestyle.
- The symptoms are too often uncharacteristic, although rather numerous: Your cat loses his appetite, eats little, is depressed, and suffers from diarrhea, often coupled with vomiting. In addition, there is usually foul breath and some difficulty in urinating. These symptoms are worrisome enough that you should have your cat seen by a veterinarian quickly so that treatment can be put in place without delay.
- The origins of this condition are often very varied: they can occur after a significant hemorrhage, be the syndrome of heart failure or result from severe dehydration. Multiple cause and effect relationships, the origin of which can occur after absorption of toxic substances.
- Diagnosis and treatment depend on what a thorough examination of your cat kidney by the veterinarian will reveal. A blood test will assess the levels of urea and creatinine, toxins believed to be eliminated by the kidneys. In the event of imbalance, infusions may be necessary, coupled with an appropriate diet and medication, in order to eliminate the waste that has accumulated therein from the blood.
Additional examinations, such as x-rays, urinalysis, etc., may be recommended in the event of an acute attack.
Chronic renal failure is due to the progressive destruction of In a few rare cases, it can be due to congenital malformations of a kitten but, in the old cat, it represents the second cause of death.
- The symptoms are similar to those of acute cat kidney failure. However, these are latent and therefore more devious, and lead to a much more dramatic outcome. Generally linked to the old age of the cat, the latter is unable to eliminate the toxins produced by its own body. Your little companion then begins to drink more and more and urinate accordingly. Over time his appetite fails, he becomes dehydrated, thinner, has diarrhea, and vomits frequently.
- The origins are thus a function of the age of your animal, they are the consequence of poor functioning of the kidneys simply due to aging. However, the symptoms mentioned above can be observed when, among other pathologies, a cat has diabetes. Fatigue is inevitable when anemia occurs. Hence the importance of taking your cat to the veterinarian, who will be the only one capable of making a diagnosis and providing him with adequate care.
- Diagnosis and treatment will only be reliable after a thorough examination of your cat by a veterinarian. A blood test will measure the molecules generally eliminated by the cat kidney, such as urea and creatinine. These are produced by the body but, in the event of pathology, they show markedly increasing markers in the analyzes. Without proper care, the kidneys suffer irreversible damage, so prevention is better than cure.
Before arriving at such a situation, appropriate treatment will allow your cat to enjoy many good years to come. The treatment depending on the severity of the symptoms, combining it with a suitable diet is to prolong the life of your little companion.
Recommended diet and treatments for proven renal failure
1. Importance of diet
Just as essential as medication, a balanced diet helps control the disease and stop its progression. It helps improve your cat’s quality of life by providing him with significant comfort. To slow the progression of chronic renal failure in cats, it is essential to reduce their food intake of phosphorus. Low phosphorus kibble can help support kidney function in older cats as well as cats with chronic kidney disease. Clinical signs are less evident as your cat receives energy to maintain its organs, muscles, and immune function.
2. When the patient’s appetite
It goes without saying that to provide it with adequate food, your cat must, first of all, accept it and be hungry enough to touch it. Dry food is, therefore, to be preferred: its taste is in no way modified by the nutritional contributions, it is designed to whet the appetite. Several flavors are available in croquettes, in order to vary or find the taste that best suits your delicate palate. The best is to seek the advice of a veterinarian if only to install a protocol that will define the quantities and duration of use of said kibble.
3. Overcome difficulties
In the case of acute renal failure, episodes of seizures are observed. An infusion intended to partially eliminate the toxins accumulated in the blood system then becomes an emergency act. It will allow the cat to rehydrate while serving as support for its suffering organism. A reliable prognosis depends on the kidney damage and will be the condition for the treatment to be put in place. When treatment is prompt, this treatment can allow your cat to extend its life for months or even years. However, avoid sweets, they can be harmful to the kidneys of your companion.
4. More regular monitoring
From the age of 8, you can take care of your cat’s health in a more concrete way than by worrying only about his vaccines. By asking your vet to perform regular blood tests, early kidney failure will be found in the bud. A simple precautionary principle that will allow you to start a suitable diet as soon as possible. Still from the point of view of “prevention is better than cure”, the sooner the necessary measures are taken, the more your cat’s quality of life will be improved and the more likely he will be to remain your companion for a long time.
In short, the sooner you feed your cat a food that is not likely to damage their kidneys, the less likely they are to suffer from long-term kidney failure. If your cat is already suffering from kidney failure, the kibble adapted to his case combined with the right medical treatment can greatly alleviate his suffering and allow him, despite his weakness, to spend many happy days by your side.
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Cat Kidney infection
Especially in winter, the cold can cause inflammation of the kidneys in your cat. But they’re also susceptible to inflammation during the hot summer and fall months. They can catch too cold when wet and don’t move around enough until they are dry. The next day, the cat only gets up with difficulty and with expressions of pain. Many owners then suspect a herniated disc or an injury to the hind legs, but few think of a kidney infection.
- Difficulty urinating: Your cat often goes into the litter box but only urinates a few drops each time
- Uncleanliness: your cat, who is normally very clean, begins to urinate outside of his litter box
- Unusually frequent grooming in the genital area: Unusually frequent grooming in the genital area can be a symptom of an infection, your cat is desperately trying to eliminate the cause on his own.
- Anorexia: Your cat has lost a lot of weight.
- Lethargy: Your cat barely moves and meows often.
- Meowing while urinating: An unusual meowing while urinating may indicate a bladder or cat kidney problem.
- A strong smell of ammonia: A strong smell of ammonia coming out of your cat’s mouth or litter box can be a sign of a cat kidney infection.
If in doubt, call the vet!
Kidney infection causes
- If your cat is sleeping outside without shelter: a damp, cold surface can cause a kidney infection.
- By urinary tract infection: Untreated cystitis has caused bacteria to multiply.
- Obstruction of the urethra: A buildup of protein debris has created a plug.
- Stress: Your cat has been through a stressful and cold situation.
Cat Kidney infection solutions
Kidney infection is no small feat. Only the vet can determine if your cat is really affected.
Nevertheless, these measures can be taken as support and prevention:
- A special diet: a diet adapted to the problem can reduce the risk of (re) infection
- A fountain of water: drinking a lot is essential for the proper functioning of the kidneys. You can help your cat by installing a cat water fountain.