Managing Kidney Disease in Cats: Tips, Symptoms and Treatment
According to the International Society of Feline Medicine, around one in three cats reaching old age suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD). It is a serious and common condition that affects the kidneys and can lead to many complications, including heart disease and high blood pressure. However, with proper management and care, CKD can be slowed down, and your feline companion’s quality of life can be improved. In this article, we will delve into some useful tips, symptoms, and treatments that you can adopt to manage kidney disease in cats.
Understanding Kidney Disease in Cats
The kidneys are responsible for filtering out toxins in the bloodstream. In cats, the two small kidneys can easily become overwhelmed or damaged due to various factors such as genetics, dehydration, diet, toxins, or infection. When the kidneys are damaged, their ability to filter blood is impaired, leading to the buildup of waste products in the bloodstream.
CKD is a progressive disease and often develops over an extended period. In the initial stages of the disease, cats may not exhibit any clinical signs, but with the progression of the disease, they might show the following symptoms:
Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Cats
- Increased thirst and urination
- Weight loss
- Lethargy or decreased activity level
- Poor coat condition or excessive shedding
- Vomiting and Diarrhoea
- Loss of appetite
- Bad breath or foul odours
- Mouth ulcers
If you observe any of these symptoms in your feline friend, take them to the vet immediately. Early detection of CKD can help in slowing down the progression of the disease.
Managing Kidney Disease
Once your cat is diagnosed with CKD, the focus is on managing the symptoms and controlling the progression of the disease. The following tips can help in managing the condition:
Your veterinarian might suggest a special diet for your cat. These diets are low in protein, phosphorus, and sodium, which can help in slowing down the progression of CKD. You can also provide your cat with wet food, which helps in hydration.
Cats with kidney disease tend to drink more water and urinate frequently. So, make sure that you provide your cat with fresh water at all times. You can also add some water to your cat’s food or invest in a drinking fountain to encourage drinking.
Your veterinarian might prescribe medication to manage high blood pressure, decrease phosphorous levels, and stimulate the production of red blood cells.
Regular Vet Visits
Regular vet visits and blood tests can help in monitoring the progression of the disease, and allow for timely interventions.
CKD is a prevalent and serious disease in cats. However, with proper diagnosis and management, cats with CKD can still enjoy a good quality of life. Managing CKD requires a collaborative effort between the vet, the owner and the cat. Being observant and taking care of your cat’s health can go a long way in ensuring a healthy and long life for your feline companion.