Renal insufficiency and other kidney diseases in cats – causes, prevention, treatment

What does it mean if the cat has kidney failure?

“>To understand details about kidney diseases like renal failure in cats, let’s first look at the role of the kidneys in the cat’s body:

The physiological function of the kidneys “>The paired kidneys of a cat fulfill, as in humans, numerous functions and tasks in the metabolism: They are, among other things, for the regulation of blood pressure and a balanced electrolyte and water balance responsible for the organism, they also control the acid-base balance and produce hormones.

The most important task of the kidneys, however, is Urine production by filtering and cleaning the blood of toxins and pollutants.

Each kidney is roughly the shape of a kidney bean out again, and the ureter exits here, which leads the urine further into the urinary bladder.Inside every healthy cat’s kidney there are around 200.000 Functional units called nephrons. Each nephron consists of a kidney body (glomerulus) and a kidney tube (tubule). Through tiny pores in the blood vessels of the kidney corpuscles toxic substances and degradation products of the protein metabolism , but also water is filtered out of the blood fluid.

The pre-urine obtained in this way is transported away via the renal tubules, whereby water in particular, but also sugar and salt molecules are recovered and returned to the blood. The urine is first collected in the renal pelvis and then transported via the ureter to the bladder , from which the urine is finally excreted through the urethra with all the harmful substances it contains.

Restricted kidney function in cats

“>The total amount of blood in a cat depends on the body weight of the animal and accounts for around 5-6%. A cat weighing 5 kilograms has around 270-273 ml of blood that is permanently flows through the kidneys several hundred times a day and has to be filtered.This means an enormous Work performance for the nephrons.Does it come to due to external influences, diseases or the increasing age of the cat Damage to parts of the kidney tissue , the loss of performance of the affected functional units is initially very efficient on the remaining ones , intact nephrons.This additional burden, however, means that eventually larger and larger areas of the organ are damaged, the kidney function continues to decrease, functioning Kidney tissue is replaced by connective tissue. Eventually, complete kidney failure occurs and the cat dies. Chronic Kidney Disease or Chronic Kidney Disease – what is the difference? “>The term “insufficiency” is used in medical terminology to describe the restricted performance of body organs which leads to disease symptoms.

In the case of kidney disease in cats, a distinction must be made between acute renal insufficiency, which usually leads to damage to the tubular cells and directly affecting the general health of the animal, and an insidious and therefore chronic course. (CKD) mainly affects the glomerular cells with their filtering function.

As the function of the kidneys in this form, due to the compensatory capacity of the healthy kidney tissue, persists for a relatively long time and there are initially no externally visible symptoms, the term “insufficiency” is now considered not really appropriate for such a disease process.

While veterinary medicine has so far spoken of “chronic kidney failure” or CNI, more recent specialist literature is increasingly talking about “chronic kidney disease” or CKD in cats. However, both terms mean the same kidney problem. Chronic renal failure in Cats: The Symptoms “>While acute kidney damage (ANS) in cats, i.e. sudden failure, is comparatively rare (only about 0.5% of all clinically ill house tigers are affected), chronic kidney failure or chronic kidney disease is one of the most common diseases especially in older cats.

Due to the gradual progression of renal insufficiency, however, it is often not recognized until late, because externally visible symptoms usually only occur when about 70% of the kidney tissue was irreversibly damaged.

The cat owner gets the first signs that something is wrong with the animal often months or even years after the onset of kidney problems, when the organs are already unable to do their job properly.The symptoms of kidney failure in cats are also very unspecific and can also indicate numerous other feline diseases: Symptoms of renal insufficiency in cats: She has no appetite, but drinks a lot “>For the clinical assessment of the kidney disease and for the decision on therapy, a standardized procedure is used, according to which four stages of the disease are distinguished on the basis of external symptoms, certain blood parameters (especially creatinine and SDMA values) and tissue changes in the kidneys:

The four stages of cat renal failure in comparison First Stage Start of renal tissue changes; Functional performance between 080 and 33% receive; no clinically recognizable symptoms; slightly increased blood creatinine and SDMA levels. Second Stage Marked changes in the tissue of the kidney(s); Functional performance at 32%; mild clinical symptoms such as increased water intake, frequent urination; moderately elevated creatinine and SDMA levels Third Stage Severe tissue changes; Functional performance at 25%; clear clinical symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, dehydration, shaggy coat, uncleanliness; Significantly increased creatinine and SDMA values ​​ Fourth Stage final stage; Functional performance at 06%; severe clinical symptoms due to internal poisoning with metabolic waste products; massively increased creatinine and SDMA levels; Fatal Kidney Failure

Causes of kidney disease in cats “>The reasons leading to kidney disease in cats f can lead are very complex. Here, too, a distinction must be made between the acute and the chronic form, and in many cases the real cause cannot be determined at all . Possible causes of Acute Kidney Injury (ANS):

Inflammation of the kidneys Blood poisoning Multiple Organ inflammation Poisoning (e.g. by antifreeze) Accidents, trauma Tumor diseases Drugs Anesthesia due to a surgical procedure Possible causes of chronic renal failure CRF:

Insufficient fluid intake Infectious diseases (e.g. FIP, FeLV) Circulatory disorders Other kidney diseases (e.g. pelvic inflammatory disease, cysts, tumors) Autoimmune diseases Deficiencies caused by Feeding Error Pollutants and toxins (due to accumulation in the tissue over long periods of time) Urinary stones (kidney or bladder stones) Genetic defects, congenital malformations Traumatic damage to one or both kidneys Age of the cat A healthy cat diet also prevents kidney disease:

},”classic_row_gap_tablet”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:},”classic_row_gap_mobile”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:}}” data-widget_type=”posts.classic”> Diagnostics of chronic renal failure In addition to a thorough general examination, a blood test provides information about the condition of the cat’s kidneys “>As soon as the first signs appear that could indicate a kidney problem in the cat, no time should be wasted and the animal should be presented to the veterinary practice as soon as possible After a detailed questioning of the cat owner about the observed symptoms and the behavior of the cat and a thorough general examination of the cat, the veterinarian will initiate further examination procedures in order to to secure the diagnosis.Based on certain blood values clear conclusions can be drawn about the kidney function be detected in the blood test. As most important markers in the case of renal insufficiency in cats, the creatinine and SDMA values ​​(= symmetrical dimethylarginine) apply, which already exceed the usual limit values ​​at an early stage of the disease .There are certain proteins in the urine of the sick cat detectable that would normally be filtered out. The blood pressure can also often be measured in affected animals elevated. X-rays or ultrasound examinations can be used to changes in the kidneys in terms of size, shape or location. Possible calcium deposits in the kidney tissue or changes in bones due to a lack of minerals can also be determined in this way.

Once the disease has been clearly diagnosed, treatment will be initiated immediately to minimize the health consequences for the cat possible and at best to increase their life expectancy. An overview of the most common cat diseases and their symptoms:

},”classic_row_gap_tablet”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:},”classic_row_gap_mobile”:{“unit”:”px”,”size”:””,”sizes”:}}” data-widget_type=”posts.classic”>

Treatment and prognosis for cats with Chronic Renal Failure “>While damage to the renal ducts, which is common in the acute form of feline renal failure, can often be completely healed with timely intervention, destruction of the renal corpuscles is irreversible. Thus, the chronic form of kidney disease not curable.

Nevertheless, the diagnosis of CNI is not an immediate death sentence for the house cat if it is detected in time. A targeted therapy, which precisely coordinates the three important parameters of nutrition, fluid intake and medication, can significantly improve the cat’s quality of life and, at best, increase its life expectancy by a few years. Treatment must be individually tailored to each animal and carried out by regular check-ups monitored and adjusted if necessary: ​​

“>Cats with renal insufficiency need a special diet. The renal diet contains few, but highly digestible sources of protein and a reduced content of the minerals phosphorus and sodium .High-quality wet food is due to its much higher liquid content is preferable to dry food, as it does not remove additional water from the cat’s body. It is also recommended It is advisable to spread the daily ration over many small portions throughout the day. The cat’s weight should be checked regularly in order to counteract any loss in good time.

Do you want your cat to stay healthy for a long time?
Bad cat food makes cats sick – give your cat something better – our test winner:
Species-appropriate cat food from ANIfit – 99% meat in Swedish food quality, without harmful additives. Try the feed change package now! Exclusive 02% discount voucher for new customers: 02cat stuff Code Copied! “>The fluid requirement of a cat with renal insufficiency is increased because the filtering capacity of the kidneys is reduced due to tissue damage.

It is therefore particularly important that To animate sick velvet paw to drink.However, many cats are really reluctant to drink, so the special ingenuity of the cat owner is often required here.

At the vet and in the There are special drinking solutions for cats available from specialist retailers that are particularly tasty and also contain important nutrients that have a positive effect on kidney function.A special drinking fountain can also encourage some cats to drink more water.

“>If the cat has already lost a lot of liquid and is accordingly dehydrated, it often needs an infusion at the beginning of the treatment to avoid complete renal failure.Has her condition stabilized or if the disease was detected early, different medications These include, among other things, blood pressure lowering agents, agents to stimulate blood formation or anti-inflammatory drugs, medication to prevent nausea and vomiting or antibiotics in the event of an increased susceptibility to infections.

In support of the therapy, care should be taken to ensure that the cat is not exposed to any unnecessary being exposed to stress. A lot of rest, a relaxed environment in which the animal feels safe and secure, and caring handling of the velvet paw can make a decisive contribution to improving the health situation. As in renal failure in cats can be prevented A healthy diet with high-quality wet food is the best way to prevent many diseases in cats “>While not all potential causes of chronic kidney disease in cats can be avoided or prevented, some preventive measures largely prevent this and numerous other diseases of the beloved cat:

Right from the start, make sure your cat is fed a high-quality diet with Wet food made from healthy ingredients that provide the animal with all the essential nutrients. Make sure that there is always enough fresh water available. If the cat is a bad drinker, try different methods to encourage her to drink more water. Poisonous substances must be stored in such a way that the cat cannot reach them. Find out which plants can be harmful to cats. Keep the recommended vaccination dates for the animal, because infectious diseases can also damage the kidneys. If the cat shows signs of illness, don’t wait long and take her to the vet. Have the animal checked regularly – the earlier CKD is detected, the better the treatment success. Routine blood work should be done on older cats.

“>ConclusionKidney diseases are one of the most common health problems in cats. Older animals in particular often suffer from chronic kidney failure, which always leads to death if left untreated. However, if the condition is recognized in time, the symptoms can often be treated well with individual therapy and strict dietary adjustments.

A regular cat check-up can help to identify early forms of kidney failure and prevent serious consequences, so that the cat’s quality of life is maintained and its life expectancy is hardly or not affected at all. 289880 Image sources : Featured image (top): Denis Val / Shutterstock.com2 . from above: metamorworks / Shutterstock.com3. from above: Alexandra Morosanu / Shutterstock.com4. from above: Friends Stock / SHutterstock.com5. from above: Africa Studio /

Scroll to Top