Cat Kidney Failure
Cat Kidney Failure Causes and Symptoms
Cat kidney failure is also called feline kidney failure or feline
renal failure and it's a fairly common occurrence in older cats. but cat kidney failure can also strike
relatively young cats, sometimes as early as four years old. Kidney
failure is a frequent cause of death in older cats.
There are two risk factors that seem to be common in felines who develop cat kidney failure.
Distemper vaccinations. Recent research seems to indicate a link between distemper
vaccinations and cat kidney problems.
A dry food diet. For centuries cats have been getting moisture from the prey they kill
and eat. When domesticated cats eat nothing but dry food, they sometimes don't supplement their diets with enough
water. This lack of water stresses the cat's kidneys over the course of their life.
What are the symptoms of kidney failure in cats?
When cat kidney failure begins to present symptoms, you'll notice that your cat will begin to
drink more water than usual. This is the cat's instinctive way of dealing with a damaged or failing kidney. This
means the cat will also begin to urinate more. This cycle of drinking-and-urinating is usually the first symptom of
Unfortunately, by the time the cat shows this symptom, kidney function has probably dropped to
around 25 percent.
Your vet will probably want to perform a blood test to confirm renal failure.
Sadly, cat kidney failure is incurable. By the time symptoms appear, it's too late to do
anything. It's not even likely that any medical procedure can slow down the progress of the disease as scar tissue
replaces healthy kidney cells. Toxins will also accumulate in the cat's body, and as the disease progress, the cat
will exhibit lethargy, lose weight, vomit of show other general signs of ill health.
Some cats survive longer than other as cat kidney failure progresses. It may not be possible to
control some symptoms with medication the way you can with a human. So the only thing you can hope to do is make
your cat as comfortable as possible during the ordeal.
There are, however, some supplements that seem to help slow the progress of kidney failure in
cats, including omega-3 fatty acids and several anti-oxidants. Talk to your vet.
Your vet might also recommend fluid supplements. This is important because cats with kidney
failure can't drink enough water to compensate for the loss of fluids they're experiencing.
Also see our related article on old dog kidney failure.