How To Prevent and Detect Cat Kidney Failure

By Valdette Muller| April 20, 2018 | Blog

Kidney failure is the one of the leading causes of death in cats.

While many cases are unpredictable and therefore difficult to prevent, knowing the risk factors and early signs are some of the best ways to catch kidney failure in its earliest stages.

Your cat’s kidneys do many important things. They help manage blood pressure, make hormones, stimulate the bone marrow to make more red blood cells, and remove waste from the blood.

Acute vs. Chronic

There are two types of kidney failure:

Acute: this means that the kidneys have already been damaged, usually as result of toxins, infection or shock.

Chronic: this has to do with damage which is a result of long term stress, or possibly from genetic inheritance. This often results in imminent kidney failure.

What are the causes?

Age: While cats of any age can be diagnosed with the kidney disease (Acute), it is mostly common in older cats. The chance of developing kidney problems in cats doubles, from 9 years and up.

Breed: Some cat breeds are more susceptible to kidney problems than others.

More serious concerns: These can involve poisoning, for example, accidental ingestion of antifreeze, human medication or toxic plant material, which could all bring about immediate kidney failure. Extreme dehydration as result of heat stroke or no access to drinking water for an extended time period, an overwhelming bacterial infection, a urinary obstruction or a decreased blood flow to the kidneys as a result of heart problems or heat stroke can all  trigger kidney failure. If your cat has been through a traumatic experience which resulted in shock and/or blood loss, it is possible that serious kidney problems could occur from the stress induced.

Signs to look out for.

Please ask your vet for advice if you notice the following signs as they could be symptoms of kidney disease. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the better.

  • Decreased appetite
  • Bad breath and a sores in mouth
  • Weight loss and weakness
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination

What can you do to help your cat?

Avoid hazardous items and toxic substances: Ensure keep your cat is kept away from toxic substances such as antifreeze, rat poisons and other pesticides, common household medicines, and certain foods and plants. Keep your cat away from busy roads and any animals that may try to harm your cat.

Get them treated or regularly checked especially once they reach 9 years or older: If your cat is sick or has a bacterial infection, urinary obstructions or any other illness, seek veterinary advice as these could lead to compromised kidney functions especially during their senior years.

Give your cat a balanced diet: Over time a poor quality diet does tax the kidneys. Opt for wet food more than dry food, as wet food tends to have more water in it. Proper hydration can help a cat fight off kidney disease. As wet food can be a little more pricier than dry food, you can always feed your cat a combination of wet and dry food.

Brush your cat’s teeth: Dental disease is surprisingly one of the most common causes of chronic kidney failure as it allows bacteria to slowly contaminate your cat;s blood through toxins in the plaque and tartar found on your cat’s teeth. Maintaining good oral health for your cat is of the utmost importance. You should brush your cat’s teeth between 3 and 5 times a week.

Keep fresh and clean water available for your cat at all times: Keeping your cat regularly hydrated will help prevent any kidney disease. A fountain water dispenser will provide filtered, fresh, flowing water for your cat at all times, encouraging your cat to drink more.

Make sure the litter box is clean and easy to access: Your cat’s kidneys need to flush out waste regularly, so make sure your cat has a litter box they can easily reach.

Annual Blood tests and urine tests: Check ups at the vet along with tests such as annual blood and urine tests are the best way to detect kidney disease early on.




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