Kidney Disease in Cats (May 2019)

Kidney disease in cats is far too common among domestic kitties, so it’s crucial that, as a cat owner, you understand what it is, what the symptoms are, etc.

Unfortunately, to the untrained eye, kidney disease isn’t so easily spotted in cats. The first few symptoms may go totally under the radar.

Kidney disease affects 1 out of 3 cats who are aging or already a senior, but there are a ton of causes, as well.

This, among other reasons, is why it’s so important that your cat visits their vet regularly and you watch your cat’s daily routine as closely as possible.

Kidney Disease in Cats

We need to start out by first asking the big question – what is kidney disease in cats?

Kidney disease is generally grouped up with kidney failure in cats because a hell of a lot of damage is typically done by the time kidney disease is caught in cats.

The disease itself is presented in two different ways – chronic kidney disease in cats and acute kidney disease and/or injury in cats.

Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats

This type of kidney disease occurs due to a steady decline of a cat’s kidneys, hence the word chronic being used.

Acute Kidney Disease and/or Injury in Cats

This type of kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are damaged either through injury or illness.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Cats

Listed below are the most common symptoms of kidney disease seen in cats, both from chronic kidney disease and acute kidney disease:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Subtle weight loss
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Increase in sleeping
  • Unkempt appearance, less grooming
  • Grey, discolored gums
  • Anemia 
  • Oral ulcers
  • Bad breath

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

Causes of Kidney Disease in Cats

Listed below are the most common causes of kidney disease in cats:

  • Hereditary genes – common in Persian and Abyssinian
  • Amyloidosis – problems with the body’s protein
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis – FIP
  • Glomerular disease – damage to the filters of the kidneys
  • Cancer – typically of the kidneys
  • Tubulointerstitial disease – damage to the tubules of the kidneys
  • Toxins – antifreeze, poisonous plants, nonsteroidals, etc.
  • Ureteral obstruction with hydronephrosis – blockage within the kidneys
  • Nephrolithiasis – kidney stones
  • Pyelonephritis – infection of the kidney’s tissues

There are a lot of reasons, which you now know, why kidney disease is so common in cats.

Catching Kidney Disease Early

Bringing your cat to the vet on a regular basis is extremely important. Untreated kidney disease is fatal in cats. Catching it as early as possible can help your cat to live a long, comfortable, healthy life.

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