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Kidney failure in cats: what are its symptoms?

What causes kidney failure in cats?


Does your cat suffer from kidney failure? Renal failure in cats represents a dysfunction of its kidneys, thus resulting in poor elimination of toxins (urea) from the blood. Older cats are particularly affected.

It is one of the most common chronic diseases. It corresponds to an incurable and progressive destruction of the kidneys. Let’s discover together some tips to protect your cat from this, as well as some symptoms that will allow you to recognize kidney failure in your cat and treat it quickly.

What are the symptoms of kidney failure in cats?
Kidney failure in cats is a fairly progressive disease. The symptoms that appear in cats are not yet specific enough and may even go unnoticed at the start of the disease, only to appear as the problem progresses.

Indeed, as a third of your kidneys will remain functional at all times, the behavior of your hairballs will not be affected. Then, we will be able to notice an increasingly marked tiredness as well as more frequent illnesses.

At this more advanced stage, we will observe in the cat:

  • diarrhea;
  • frustrated;
  • Vomiting will become more frequent;
  • The cat may lose its appetite and may even refuse to eat;


His urination will be accompanied by pain and he may stop urinating as a result, or even conversely, he may urinate more frequently.

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Indeed, dehydration is at the origin of a poor filtering of toxins, leading him to drink abundantly, which can lead to incontinence. If left untreated, the symptoms will only get worse as the kidneys break down and lose all function.

How is kidney failure diagnosed?


Kidney failure in cats can be definitively diagnosed with blood tests alone. When your pet’s kidneys fail, the vet can confirm their suspicions by observing high levels of creatinine and urea.

Therefore, further examinations, such as urinalysis and X-rays, will be considered so that the veterinarian can determine the stage of development and, if so, make treatment recommendations.

How to treat kidney failure in cats?


Anti-emetics and diuretics are usually given to relieve your pet of acute kidney failure following challenge treatment by a veterinarian as an infusion.

During this stage, cats must be under veterinary supervision until the toxins are eliminated. The food you give him at home should be changed to reduce the load on his kidneys (the phosphorus and protein intake should be low). In addition, special attention should be paid to the evolution of symptoms.

Treatment of chronic renal failure


If the cat is not treated quickly, sequelae may occur. As a general rule, the kidneys are still very fragile and his veterinarian must carry out follow-up tests to follow his evolution.

If your cat suffers from chronic renal insufficiency, the treatment will be more subtle and expensive: it will be a question of slowing down the destruction of the kidneys, even if the damage already present is irreversible.

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Thanks to monitoring and treatment adapted to the cat’s condition, he can fortunately live a few more years in good conditions. You will have to adjust his diet for the rest of his life, by serving him specific and adapted croquettes.

How to prevent the risk of kidney failure?


There are different causes of kidney failure in cats. The latter can also occur spontaneously, simply as a result of aging organs.

Prophylactic treatment does not exist in this case. However, following a healthy lifestyle and having to update your vaccines will all limit the risk factors.

You should know that certain infectious diseases of parasitic origin, such as Lyme disease, may also be involved. It is therefore very important to ensure good maintenance of regular pest control.

Various other factors can cause this, including poor urination due to kidney stones or nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys). It can also be a side effect of chemotherapy or anti-inflammatories, genetic factors, kidney defects, etc.

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