As people who love cats, we want to do anything possible to keep our furry friends happy and healthy. When signs of kidney disease emerge, it may be difficult to know what's going on with your cat. This information is designed to help you assess the situation and if necessary get professional medical advice from a veterinarian.
If you're not sure whether or not your cat has kidney disease, then this guide will take you through some of the most common symptoms so that you can make an informed decision about how best to care for your best friend.
The most common signs of kidney failure are dark colored urine, pale gums, vomiting and diarrhea and increased thirst and urination. A wet litter box and an overly thirsty cat will be the first signs your cat is starting to have problems with his kidneys. Early detection and treatment can give your cat a better chance of living a long life after a kidney disease diagnosis.
1. White Gums (pallor) and Dark-Colored Urine
Cats with acute kidney failure will have very pale gums. This is due to a lack of hemoglobin, which shows up in the urine as well. Urine that is very dark brown or even black is another sign of acute kidney failure.
2. Vomiting and Diarrhea
Cats with kidney disease will sometimes vomit and/or have diarrhea because of the toxins that their kidneys are unable to filter out. This may also include vomiting bile, which is a yellow or green substance made in the gallbladder.
3. General Weakness and Lethargy
If your cat is experiencing these symptoms, he may be feeling very weak and exhausted. If left untreated, his condition could deteriorate rapidly
4. Loss of Appetite
If your cat is not eating normally, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible. Not eating for an extended amount of time can be dangerous to a cat. A change in eating habits for more than a day or two requires a trip to the vet for diagnoses.
5. Increased Thirst and Urination
If your cat is experiencing a loss of appetite, he will also experience increased thirst and urination. This is because what little food he can eat does not have enough calories to sustain his body weight and he must constantly drink. A visit to the vet is highly recommended if you suspect that either of these symptoms are occurring in your cat.
6. Behavioral Changes
If your cat is suffering from kidney disease, he may also experience behavioral changes. This could be anything from an increase in aggression to a decrease in activity level. Cats with this sort of condition will usually show signs of lethargy and weakness.
7. Lack of Energy
Cats who are experiencing kidney failure will usually have very little energy and will not be able to move as they normally would. This is because their bodies are being poisoned by the waste that their kidneys cannot filter out and they do not receive enough nutrients to sustain them.
Cats with kidney failure often have lower levels of red blood cells in their body. This is a result of the fact that many of their organs are under strain, including their kidneys.
9. Rapid Weight Loss
This is a sign that your cat may be suffering from kidney disease. Unless he has started eating less as an effort to lose weight, he can potentially have kidney disease. Cats with kidney failure often become malnourished because their bodies cannot process the food they eat properly. This leads to them being unable to absorb vital nutrients and calories.
10. Swollen Paws and Ankles
If your cat has swollen ankles or paws , it could be a sign of kidney failure. You will probably notice that he is also unusually thirsty because his kidneys cannot filter out all the toxins in his blood
A visit to the vet is recommended if your cat has significantly lost interest in play and other activities that they usually enjoy. This is due to their energy levels being extremely low on account of kidney disease. If you notice this, take them to the vet as soon as possible for diagnosis.
How to Diagnose Kidney Disease in Cats
The veterinarian will usually perform a blood test to investigate whether or not the kidneys are functioning properly. This is done through urine and blood analysis. The vet might also take a tissue sample from the kidney itself.
How to Treat Your Cat's Kidney Disease
Most cats with chronic kidney failure can be treated with either dietary changes or medications. This includes feeding them a diet that is high in protein and low in phosphorus and sodium, which can be supplied through commercial cat food. They will also be given supplements to make up for the nutrients they are not getting from their diet.
Even if your pet has been diagnosed with kidney disease, he can live for many years if he is given the right treatment and care. This all starts with a visit to your vert.
How to Prevent Kidney Disease in Cats
Research has not yet revealed the cause for most cases of kidney failure. However, there are a number of things that you can do to prevent it from happening to your cat.
- Feed him a diet high in protein and low in phosphorus. This will help his body retain necessary nutrients and maintain his energy level.
- Check your pet's kidneys at least once a month by feeling the area where his kidneys are located. If you notice any swollen or hard lumps, take him to the vet immediately.
- Don't overfeed your cat. Your pet should be slim but not skinny. Feeding them an appropriate amount of food will contribute to their overall health.
- Never feed him human food, which is high in sugar and fat. This will contribute to his weight gain and may cause kidney failure over time.
- Make sure that he is always drinking water. When cats are suffering from kidney disease, they become dehydrated on account of the toxins being filtered through their kidneys more than normal. Without enough water, your cat's organs won't be able to function properly
- Don't let him spend a lot of time in the sun. This will dry out his skin and cause it to become cracked, which can lead to infection. Keep him indoors or offer him shade from the sun.
- Make sure that he is regularly groomed. Brush him on a regular basis so that any mats in fur are easily removed. This will stop any dirt and debris from clogging up his kidneys.
What are the Stages of Kidney Disease in Cats
Kidney disease can be broken down into three different stages, each of which has its own symptoms. The first stage is known as early kidney failure and usually occurs when the cat is around 9 years old. Its signs are not particularly noticeable, so it may take a while before you realize that your pet is in any danger
The second stage of kidney disease is known as moderate kidney failure and can be identified when the cat has a BUN (blood urea nitrogen) concentration of 15 or more. This stage usually occurs when the cat is around 12 years old.
The final stage is known as severe kidney failure, which occurs when your pet's BUN reaches 20 or more. It's the last stage of kidney disease and unfortunately doesn't have a very good prognosis. If your pet is still in this stage, it's best to consider other options for end-of-life care.
How Long Can a Cat Live with Kidney Disease?
It is difficult to predict how long your cat will live once he is diagnosed with kidney disease. Some cats may only live for a number of months while others may live for years if they are treated properly. The key here is early detection and treatment
Is Kidney Disease in Cats Painful?
The good news is that animals are unable to feel pain when they have kidney disease. This is why you won't see them visibly expressing their discomfort. Their bodies are unable to register pain in the same way that yours can. Instead, they will just look a bit tired and unwell.
How Does a Cat Feel with Kidney Disease?
The most common symptoms that you will notice are weight loss and lethargy. Other cats who have kidney disease may refuse to eat or drink and this is a big indicator of something being wrong. Some owners also report their pets having difficulty urinating, coughing, vomiting, and blood in the urine.
These are signs that your kitty might have kidney disease. However, you should consult your vet as soon as possible to make sure that it isn't anything more serious.
There are some steps that you can take to help manage your cat's kidney disease. It is important to keep him well-hydrated throughout the day, so he should have access to constant fresh water at all times. You should also ensure that his food doesn't contain too much protein as this can worsen his kidney performance.
How are Cats Diagnosed with Kidney Failure
The signs of kidney disease in cats can be a bit vague and confusing but there are ways of identifying the problem early on. Most vets will take your cat's blood pressure and run a urinalysis on him to check for abnormalities . This will give you a good indication as to the health of his kidneys.
Kidney Failure in Cats - Eyes
If you notice that your cat's eyes are foamy, this is a sign of acute kidney failure. It occurs when the filtration system in the kidneys fails to function properly which results in excess fluid and waste products being retained in the body. If your cat is suffering from this, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.
Kidney Failure in Cats - Ears
If you notice that the inside of your cat's ears are brown or matted with blood, then there is a high chance that he is experiencing kidney disease. This could also be accompanied by bad breath and it's best to have him checked out by the vet as soon as possible.
Kidney Failure in Cats - Skin
If you notice that your cat's skin has become very dry, it could be a sign of kidney disease. The lack of moisture and hydration will cause his body to give off a pungent odor and he may lose his fur. If you notice these symptoms, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with your cat's vet.
Is Kidney Disease Hereditary?
It is possible for a cat to get kidney disease as the result of their genes. If your cat has close relatives who have been diagnosed with it, there's a chance that he will develop it too. However, this is not always the case.
Is Kidney Disease in Cats Contagious?
Kidney disease cannot be transferred from one cat to another.
When to Euthanize a Cat with Terminal Kidney Disease
If your cat is suffering from terminal kidney disease, you may be asked to choose euthanasia when the time comes. If this is something that you are not prepared for, then it's best to prepare yourself psychologically. This will help you cope with his passing and deal with the sadness effectively.
Kidney disease is a serious condition that can be hard to diagnose. If you notice any of the signs we’ve listed, it may be time for a visit with your veterinarian. We hope this article has helped put some fears at ease and assisted in making informed decisions about how best to care for your cat's health.