What does a Cats’ Kidneys Do?

Cats’ kidneys do many important things just like human kidneys. They help manage blood pressure, make hormones, stimulate the bone marrow to make more red blood cells, and remove waste from the blood1.

Signs of Chronic Kidney Disease

Cats with CKD may experience a buildup of waste products and other compounds in the bloodstream that are normally removed or regulated by the kidneys2. This accumulation may make them feel ill. They may appear lethargic, unkempt, and lose weight2. They may also lose the ability to concentrate their urine appropriately, and as a result they may urinate greater volumes and drink more water to compensate2. The loss of important proteins and vitamins in their urine may contribute to abnormal metabolism and loss of appetite. They may also experience elevated blood pressure (hypertension), which can affect the function of several important systems, including the eyes, brain, and heart2.

What are the Treatment options?

Cats usually do not show signs of kidney disease in early stages. Typically, signs do not appear until 75 percent of kidney function has been lost. With early diagnosis, acute renal failure can be detected and managed. However, Chronic Renal Failure is an incurable condition that mainly affects older cats and is treated with palliative care. Depending on the condition, your vet may recommend fluid therapy, food modification, blood pressure drugs, dialysis or a transplant3. Your vet may also recommend a probiotic product designed for cats (and dogs) with Kidney Failure. It is important to make sure that your cat gets regular checkup at the Vet. With early diagnosis you can help your cat with the symptoms and other treatment options.

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  1. “Cat Kidney (Renal) Failure Symptoms and Causes.” WebMD, WebMD, https://pets.webmd.com/cats/kidney-failure-uremia-symptoms-cats#1.
  2. “Chronic Kidney Disease.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1 Mar. 2019, https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/chronic-kidney-disease.
  3. “Kidney Disease in Cats – Cat Diseases: Hill’s Pet.” Kidney Disease in Cats – Cat Diseases | Hill’s Pet, https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/healthcare/feline-kidney-disease.