Kidney in a Cat – How To Spot the Symptoms of Kidney Failure in Cats

July 27, 2017

in Cat Care

When you recognize the signs of a sick kidney in a cat, you can increase the odds of her living a longer life if you get her into the vet early for treatment. Unfortunately, acute kidney failure is an emergency, but even more of a problem is chronic renal failure. Here’s how you can recognize the symptoms of kidney failure in cats before its too late.

Feline kidneys are vulnerable to a number of life-threatening disorders that can lead to a failing kidney in a cat or chronic renal failure. Your vet would probably agree with the statistics that they see more cats 7 years and older that are showing signs of kidney failure in cats.

Some cats may inherit a gene that makes them vulnerable to feline kidney disease. Cats like the Abyssinian are more genetically predisposed to kidney problems. Also some long-haired breeds like Angoras and Persians.

The main difference between chronic and acute kidney failure in cats is that acute renal failure is a very severe situation that occurs relatively suddenly – over a week or a month. Chronic renal failure creeps up on your cat over a longer time, years even.

The most common cause of kidney failure in cats occurs when your cat swallows a toxic substance like antifreeze, pesticides, cleaning fluids and human medications. Common causes of acute renal failure include blockages that prevent a good flow of blood to the kidney in a cat or stones and inflammations blocking the flow of urine from the kidney into the bladder.

Signs Of Kidney Failure In Cats

Increase in water consumption Increase in urination Weight loss Loss of appetite Occasional vomiting

Your vet may use a couple of terms “polydipsia” or “polyuria”. Polydipsia means that your cat is drinking a lot of water – lots of it. On the other end, polydipsia means that your cat is urinating a lot – lots and lots. In fact, you this may be the first sign your recognize of a problem kidney in a cat. When you clean the litter box you find numerous pee-balls of cat litter, or unusually large ones.

If your vet suspects kidney failure in a cat she will evaluate your cat’s BUN. BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen, as well as the creatinine levels. When these are elevated it means your cat’s kidneys aren’t working right and need extra help.

Treating kidney failure in cats is determined by the actual cause of the condition. If acute kidney failure is caused by a urinary tract blockage the stone must be removed immediately. Treating chronic renal failure is done with a more conservative approach. This may include intravenous fluid therapy and changes to diet.

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