Kidney Failure in Cats
About Kidney Failure in Cats
Kidney failure in cats is one of the leading causes of feline mortality especially in older animals. There are many reasons for this propensity in the older generation but there is one very scientific and logical cause. Like most organs and body parts the kidneys (in most animals including humans) tend to be overworked throughout the lifetime. In a young healthy animal this isn’t so much of an issue but as the animal ages it can become more so. Let me explain: The kidneys are made up of many tiny tubes called nephrons which may break down or become clogged over time. In a younger animal (or person) as these nephrons breakdown others that have been until needed, unused then take over and the kidneys continue to function normally. Kidney failure in cats occurs when there are no more nephrons left in reserve and it is at this point that the first stages of kidney disease occur.
Nutrition and Kidney Failure in Cats
It is widely suggested that diet is a contributing factor in the onset of premature kidney disease in cats. (and other pets). This is due in part to the load poor diet and toxins place on the kidneys during the animal’s lifespan. Pushing the organs to the point where they are unable to cope any longer with the damage inflicted upon them. The terrible tragedy is that by the time symptoms appear most of the damage has been done and often case it is irreversible. At this point there is no doubt that improved nutrition will not only help slow down the progress of the disease, but also alleviate the continued damage upon the kidneys. The theory being that the harder the kidneys have to work the more acute the symptoms are likely to be. I guess its like a car with a tired engine, if you drive it with your foot to the floor you are more likely to kill the motor than if you drive it gently.
So What Are The Symptoms of Kidney failure in Cats?
There are 4 stages of kidney failure in cats and each one up the scale increases the severity of the condition and each level of severity brings with it a less rosy prognosis for the cat. Because the kidneys main function is the filtering or cleaning of the blood the disease often leads to urinary tract infections and blood in the urine. Other symptoms are an increase in urination accompanied by thirst and weight loss. There may also be depression, anemia and lethargy although symptoms can vary wildly from cat to cat. More serious symptoms can occur in the later stages of the disease and despite being a lot less common they can be very distressing for both the animal and owner. It is only when the illness reaches the later stages that these more distressing symptoms are likely to appear at which point the disease is termed as “chronic”. If you want more detailed information about kidney failure in cats there is a very informative article here.