Understanding Kidney Disease in Cats

Kidney disease in cats must be treated by a veterinarian.Cats are amazing creatures. When it comes down to sheer biology, they are really just small tigers who hang out in our homes!

Despite their insistence otherwise, though, cats are not invincible. They can be injured, succumb to toxin exposure, and grow old just like the rest of us. As cats age they are prone to several conditions that affect their health and well-being.

At Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital we feel that it is important that our feline loving clientele know what these problems are and how they can help their pets. Kidney disease in cats is one of the most diagnosed issues affecting our patients of the feline persuasion, and knowing what to watch for and how to help your pet is the key to their continued health and well being.

Understanding Kidney Disease in Cats

The kidneys are important for normal physiological functioning. The foundation of the urinary tract system, they filter the blood that runs through the body, regulating hydration as well as removing toxins and regulating the levels of many substances within the bloodstream through the production of urine.

The kidneys also produce several important hormones, helping to maintain normal blood pressure as well as red blood cell production. They are essential organs in the normal function of a healthy body.

There are several ways that the kidneys may become impaired. Acute, or sudden, kidney disease may happen as the result of things like a toxin exposure, an infection, or a urinary obstruction. More commonly, though, in cats renal disease is a chronic process. Chronic kidney disease in cats often occurs as normal wear and tear affects the organ as part of the aging process.

As the kidneys become increasingly impaired, several tell-tale signs may occur. These can include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Weight loss
  • Dilute urine
  • Dull, unkempt haircoat
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • High blood pressure

There are other conditions that may present with similar indications, so it is very important to let us know if your cat is showing any of these symptoms. We will start by evaluating your pet and doing some basic diagnostic testing such as blood work in order to determine what might be causing the symptoms in your cat.

Being the Purrfect Cat Owner

While kidney disease in cats is often a long-term condition that happens in an aging body, you can certainly do some things to help support your pet’s urinary tract health. It’s a great time to think about this as part of Happy Cat Month in September.

You can promote healthy kitty kidneys by:

While we may not be able to ward off kidney disease in cats entirely, we can certainly do a lot to slow its progression. By allowing us to work with you as a team, we can do more to ensure that your cat lives a longer, happier life. We are always here to answer additional questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out!