Feline Kidney Failure Is Progressive and More Common Than You Think
If you have a cat that is getting up there in age, and you are thinking about rescheduling his yearly exam, don’t. One of the most important tests conducted during a feline physical is a renal function test, and for good reason, too. Our veterinarian here at The Cat Practice in Oak Park, IL wants to make cat parents aware of what they can do to protect their furry little ones from cat kidney failure. Renal disease is the number one cause of death for cats 14 years of age and over.
Cat Kidney Failure Is Progressive
One of the things our doctor wants people to understand is that renal disease in cats is not something that just happens all of a sudden. Kidney disease is often present in felines long before any symptoms of the disease occur. This is one of the reasons why regular checkups every six months are so vital as your cat ages. It should be noted that kidney disease begins for the average feline around the age of eight to 10 years of age. Cats can live another 10 years beyond that with the proper cat care and treatment regimens. There are some instances where the renal function of a feline begins to diminish by the time they are three to four years of age.
Causes of Renal Failure in Cats
There are a number of things that can cause renal failure in cats. It is also important to point out that there are two types of cat kidney failure. There is chronic kidney failure, which is progressive and occurs over the course of months or even years. Chronic kidney failure in cats is the result of a combination of different diseases including, but not limited to:
- Kidney stones
- Amyloidosis which is an overabundance of protein that settles in the kidney and interferes with normal kidney function
- Pyelonephritis which is a bacterial kidney infection
- Viral infections like feline infectious peritonitis and feline leukemia
- Polycystic kidney disease and other congenital malformations
- Kidney tumors
There is also acute kidney failure in cats, where the kidneys fail over a span of days or weeks. Acute kidney failure can often be reversed, if symptoms are caught in time. This is why feline parents should make daily assessments of their cats a part of their cat care routines, especially for cats that are in and out of the house. Acute cat kidney failure often occurs after a cat has ingested some type of poisonous substance like a plant, antifreeze, cleaning fluids, pesticides, or human medications. Other causes of acute translate failure in cats include:
- The combination or low blood pressure and heart failure
- Kidney infections
- Blockages that obstruct or change the blood flow to the kidney and the excretion of urine
Call Us for Help
There are a number of symptoms that indicate that a cat's kidneys are not functioning as they should. You may notice that your cat is going to the bathroom more than usual, he may develop bad breath, be drinking a lot more water, produce urine that is cloudy or blood tinged, a discolored tongue, weight loss, weakness, ulcers on the tongue or in other areas of their mouth, and frequent urination. If you notice any of these signs of kidney failure in your cat, or you would like to know more about it, give us a call here at The Cat Practice, in Oak Park, IL at 708-383-5997 to schedule an appointment today.