The kidney performs important functions. It controls blood pressure, produces hormones and red blood cells, removes metabolic waste, and much more. Needless to say, if your cat is showing symptoms of kidney failure it is a serious issue and they should be checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Studies show kidney failure is one of the major causes of death in older cats. Identifying the signs of kidney failure will help with an early diagnosis, the key to managing kidney problems and slowing down deterioration.
At Catonsville Cat Clinic, we see more of this than we’d like to. Here is a rundown of what to look for.
Causes of Kidney Failure in Cats
There are different causes of kidney failure in cats. The most common cause is age-related deterioration. The risk of getting kidney problems increases in cats between 10 and 15 years.
However, older cats aren’t the only ones at risk; some kittens can be born with kidney disease (hereditary). Other factors like infection, accident, and severe illness can also lead to kidney problems.
Does Dry Cat Food Cause Kidney Failure
Usually, cats that eat dry food don’t take enough water, and low water intake will increase chronic kidney disease.
This means a cat would only be at risk of kidney failure not because of the dry food content but because of low fluid intake common in cats that eat them.
Therefore, it is important to encourage your cats to take water, especially if they have been diagnosed with kidney problems. It is also worth considering wet food in cats with kidney problems as wet food maintains hydration better.
Signs of Kidney Failure
There are two types of kidney failure:
1. Acute Kidney Failure
This type of kidney failure happens suddenly and occurs from a single cause. This could be the ingestion of a poisonous substance, severe dehydration, trauma, shock, infection, bloodstream blockage, or heart failure. If diagnosed in the early stages, acute kidney failure can be reversed.
2. Chronic Kidney Failure
Unlike acute, this develops over a long period and is more common in middle-aged and older cats. This type is harder to treat but it can be slowed down if detected early. It is advised to take your cats for screening once they are seven years or older.
Some major symptoms of kidney failure include:
- Frequent urination due to the kidney inability to hold water
- Increased water consumption to replace fluids lost through urinating
- Bloody urine
- Cloudy urine
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness, tiredness, and lethargy
- Dry coat
- Weight loss
- Soft bones that break easily
- Brown-colored tongue
- Mouth sores
- Bad breath with ammonia smell
- Increased sleeping
If you notice any of the signs, consult a veterinarian immediately. A vet can make the best diagnosis. They will take necessary tests, x-rays, a biopsy to make a proper diagnosis. Also, a vet would recommend the best options and tips to care for your cat. With a special diet, good hydration, and medications, your cat can still live its best life.
Need a Vet? Contact Catonsville Cat Clinic for professional help. We help you provide the best care for your cats.