Kidney failure in cats: veterinarian answers all your questions about this serious disease that affects felines!

 Kidney failure in cats: veterinarian answers all your questions about this serious disease that affects felines!

Tracy Wilkins

Kidney failure in cats is a disease that can be very common when it comes to felines. With no cure, the problem needs constant monitoring and special care to avoid complications. Despite being a serious disease, cats with kidney problems can have quality of life. To answer questions about kidney failure in cats, Patas da Casa talked to veterinarianIzadora Souza, from Rio de Janeiro. Come check it out!

Home Paws: What causes kidney failure in cats?

Izadora Souza: Cats have a greater tendency to suffer from kidney failure than dogs due to a matter of habit and management. They need to ingest a daily amount of water that is unlikely to be ingested only with a water bottle and sometimes not even with the fountain itself (which we always indicate because cats often prefer to drink running water than water from the bottle). So, this ends upcausing an overload of the kidneys, as the body does not receive the necessary amount of water.

IS: Kidney failure can even [be related to other diseases]. It can happen in a cat that has cystitis (inflammation process of the lower urinary tract very common in cat with stress). Sometimes several stress cystitis can predispose to a bacterial infection that can go up to the upper urinary tract and cause a kidney problem. Also, it is not very common for cats to beheart disease, but heart disease can be a primary disease to kidney failure. So yes, there are some diseases that can predispose to kidney failure.

PC: Is there an age for the animal to become renal or does it make no difference?

IS: There is no age at which a cat can become renal, but most of the time, when we have a renal cat that is purely and simply due to lifestyle and management habits, the tendency is for this to manifest itself when the cat is older. We have a greater number of renal patients already at an older age, from 6 or 7 years onwards. But this does not prevent a young cat from having renal disease.As I said, it can even be congenital, having a predisposition to develop it.

PC: Is there a difference between kidney stones and kidney failure?

IS: In kidney failure, the kidney function is impaired. The kidney is not working as it should. A kidney stone is a solid formation that is inside the kidney. There are several types of kidney stones, made of different materials and formed for different reasons (such as a difference in pH or an inadequate diet). Many things predispose to the formation of stones, but it is veryIt is possible and common to have a cat that is insufficient and does not have kidney stones. And there are also patients who have both. But one thing is different from the other.

PC: What are the symptoms of kidney failure in cats?

IS: The cat may increase its water intake, have a decreased appetite (because the increased urea in the blood, which is a consequence of kidney failure, makes the animal nauseous), may vomit and have uremic breath (a very strong acetone smell in the mouth when the urea level is high). The cat may also become listless, prostrate and a little quieter.

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PC: Is there a cure for kidney failure in cats?

IS: Kidney failure has no cure. The kidney is not like the liver. While the liver is an organ that regenerates, the kidney does not. If it is injured, it will remain injured. What we can do is treat in some cases, follow up with a nephrologist and rehydrate the animal with serum. It is a follow-up forever and there is no cure.

PC: Is there a treatment for kidney failure in cats?

IS: The treatment is basically to rehydrate this animal, make fluid and make serum for the rest of his life. How this will be done depends on the tests and the response to treatment. We will adapt how it will be done and how often. It will be necessary to follow up with a specialist forever and change the animal's diet. Sometimes we can enter supportive medications, but it isbasically rehydrate.

PC: How to prevent a cat from becoming renal?

IS: The prevention of kidney failure is very much based on management. Proper feeding with balanced food and increased water intake. This means at least one sachet of wet cat food per day. Some cat specialists even recommend that all cat food should be wet and not give dry food, but sometimes this is not feasible. So the minimum recommended is that the animal eats at least one sachet of wet cat food per least one sachet of wet food with water added. They like the broth, so we can add water to that sachet, mix it up and put it out for the cat to eat every day. It is also always good to have the animal checked annually for follow-up.

PC: What care does a renal cat need?

IS: The renal cat needs to be monitored by a nephrologist. My advice is always to follow up with a specialist, because it is the person who has actually studied everything about that disease and who will be able to monitor that cat for the rest of its life. It is a disease of ups and downs. We can stabilize the animal but, as I said, there is no cure, so it can worsen at any time.It's basically following what the specialist asks. If you are going to do IVs every day, you should do them every day, in addition to repeating the tests when you need to and following what is asked about food, what you should change and what medications you will or will not take.

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PC: Is there kidney transplantation in these cases of kidney failure in cats?

IS: There is a kidney transplant, yes. There is a donor who does a compatibility test, just like in humans. The healthy kidney is taken from one cat and placed in the other. But it is not a very simple thing, it is not something that everyone does. Exist, exist. But have I seen it done or indicated? No. I have seen indication of hemodialysis, which is something a little more viable, cheaper and more possible. OKidney transplantation is available, but hemodialysis is usually indicated.

Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.