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Liver Failure in Cats

Any time your cat is sick it can take a toll on you emotionally. Your cat is not just your pet, they are a part of your family. Having a cat with liver failure can be devastating. At Catonsville Cat Clinic we have the experience to help you and your beloved cat through the process.

Why Liver Failure is Bad for your Cat

Every organ of the body has a unique function. The liver is one of the more vital organs with many functions. The liver has a large storage capacity plus a functional reserve. It aids in regeneration, digestion and nutrients conversion in the body. It is also the primary actor for the removal of toxins from the body.

Nonetheless, it is vulnerable to injury or damage because of its functions in detoxification, metabolization, and storage of many toxic compounds in the body.


There are several types of liver disease your cat can have, but most present with similar symptoms. Some common symptoms of liver disease in cats include

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • blood clotting difficulties
  • jaundice
  • weight loss
  • abdominal swelling
  • loss of appetite
  • excessive urination
  • gastrointestinal bleeding

Others include lethargy and behavioral changes. One major characteristic of hepatic lipidosis, a common form or liver disease, is the excessive accumulation of fat in the liver. This is a common cause of liver failure in cats but is potentially reversible.

However, certain factors can increase the possibility of a cat developing liver disease. They include age, breed (for instance, Siamese cats are highly likely to be born with or susceptible to develop some kinds of liver problems), obesity, and medications.

Diagnosing Liver Failure in Cats

Any cat exhibiting liver disease symptoms needs to undergo physical examinations. It is also easy to detect any disease cat by conducting a variety of liver tests. Also, the veterinarian can diagnose and determine irregularities via x-rays and ultrasonography.

There are other less common tests, including nuclear scintigraphy- which primarily helps identify portosystemic shunts and other abnormalities in the blood vessel. Interestingly, early detection of these signs can help proffer the right and early treatment for cats with liver failure.

The liver performs the same function in cats as humans. Diseases in other parts of the body can easily affect the liver’s function and subsequently damage the organ. But liver disease can be effectively managed in cats to the point that it does not result in damage or failure. This can be achieved with timely diagnosis and adequate nutrition.


Irrespective of the cause of the failure, the treatment for liver disease and damage is the same. Cats with failed liver will be anorexic and dehydrated, which can be corrected with intravenous fluids.

More so, many cats with liver failure will have no appetite. But one of the most effective means of reversing fat accumulation, which has resulted in liver failure, is to introduce aggressive feeding.

That way, the cat gets the full caloric requirements within a short period. Nonetheless, taking the cat to a veterinarian for regular checkups is vital in correcting or reversing the failure.

In a nutshell, liver failure is not the same in all cats. It has varying symptoms, but most cats suffer anorexia and weight loss. Early detection of this abnormality can help save the cat. in essence, the role of checking in with a veterinarian is undisputedly essential.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 13th, 2020 at 10:52 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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