If you ask any vet to name the weakest spot in cats, the answer will be the same – kidneys. It is nearly impossible to find cats that didn’t suffer from kidney diseases. According to the statistics cats are more prone to such diseases than dogs.The kidneys are very important organs with many functions including producing hormones, balancing water levels, absorbing minerals, regulating electrolytes, filtering out toxins from blood, keeping the body at a neutral acid level and producing urine.
The kidneys also regulate the amount of water in the blood. They help maintain healthy blood pressure by regulating sodium. They also regulate calcium and vitamin D.It is considered thatolder cats are more likely to sufferfrom kidney diseases but in fact this disease can be found in cats of any age. It occurs when the kidneys lose their function to filter and clear the blood from toxins efficiently. The disease can be chronic (with slow duration) or acute (starting suddenly with fast duration).
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for CRF but early diagnosis and good care including a special diet low in sodium and phosphorusmakeit possible to slow down the loss of kidney function, improving both the quality and length of your cat’s life.
No one knows for sure what exactly causes kidney diseases. Among the reasons that may cause kidney diseases are poisoning with toxins, dehydration, medications, shock, heart failure, congenital diseases, genetics, aging, high blood pressure, decreased blood flow to kidneys, kidney trauma, chronic bacterial infection. Certain breeds of cats often have hereditary kidney problems. Among them are theAbyssinian,Persian,Siamese and Russian Blue cats.
Outdoor cats are also at a very great risk to have acute problems because there are more chances for them to contact with such toxins as antifreeze which can cause kidney failure.
It is important forthe cat owners to know the symptoms of kidneydiseases.
Among the symptoms you can find frequent urinating. Youmay think that it means your cat’s kidneys are working well, but in fact the reason is that they are no longer able to hold water. Urinating outside the litter box is another signal.
Lack of appetite and weight loss
- Drinking a lot of water. This means your cat is trying to replace the fluid she’s lost through urinating.
- Bacterial infections of the bladder and kidney.
- Weight loss and decreased appetite.
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody or cloudy urine.
- Mouth ulcers, especially on the gums and tongue.
- Bad breath with an ammonia-like odor.
- A brownish coloured tongue.
- A dry coat.
- Weakness andindifference.
Acute case can sometimes be determined early on, when there are minimal changes in the structure of kidneys. Sometimes, long-term supportive treatment is very good and it can heal the kidneys. The following are possible treatments: You should take your cat to the veterinary clinic for acheck- up. The veterinarian will prescribe medication and a special diet.
A kidney diet is low in both phosphorus and protein and is enriched with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s important to introduce new foods gradually. You should avoid giving your cat foodcontaining sodium,garlic,onions, grapes, raisins citrus fruits and soybeans. A kidney diet should contain high quality protein. It is used by the body to replace cells and tissues that are continually regenerating. The higher the quality of the protein in the diet, the less wastes the kidneys eliminate. Low quality protein requires the kidneys remove more wastes, which makes them work harder. For example eggs and meat contain higher quality protein.
Kidney diets also contain a lower amount of phosphorus. Phosphorus accumulates in the blood when the kidneys are diseased. Water intake is very important to prevent dehydration. You should try to make your cat drink more water. For this purpose, you can put a lot of bowls of fresh water around the house, or add things such as low-salt chicken broth, tuna juice, or ice cubes to the cat’s water to encourage its fluid intake.
With a carefully managed diet, plenty of fresh, clean water; a serene environmentyou can help your cat live her best life possible.