cat kidney disease symptoms

Cat Kidney Disease Symptoms. Signs, Causes, Solutions.

Your home became heartwarming than before when you added a cat to the family. Perhaps, you and other household members would play with the new feline family member. People would take care of your kitty by feeding and grooming it. These happy times may seem to last forever. 

But, one day, your cat seems lazier than usual. It doesn’t seem like it wants to eat or play. You might brush it off as nothing but a lazy day for your pet. But, those “lazy days” seem like they’re not stopping.  

A trip to the vet tells you that your cat has kidney disease. This ailment may make your feline companion too lethargic and sickly to move. 

If you want to learn more about cat kidney disease symptoms, you’re at the right place! Continue reading to understand this illness. Here, we’ll talk about its symptoms, types, and treatment options.

What are the symptoms of kidney failure in cats?

Aside from being lazy to move, your cat might experience other symptoms of kidney failure. The good news is that you can spot these signs if you’re a caring fur-parent. So, your cat might be experiencing kidney failure if you see it:

  • Drinking more water than before
  • Urinating frequently
  • Losing weight
  • Vomiting
  • Losing appetite
  • Constipated

Also, one tell-tale sign of kidney failure in cats is a brownish-colored tongue. So, observe your kitty as it tries to groom. After all, cats are natural groomers. So, these pets will try to clean their furs with their tongues as much as they can. If your feline friend denotes a dark shade of pink which may almost look brown, then it’s time to visit the vet. 

Brushing off certain symptoms as nothing out of the ordinary might aggravate the disease. For example, your curious cat might try to eat food off of the floor while it’s sick. These food items might not coincide well with its current diet. In fact, that “small chunk” of food might provoke an allergic reaction. This scenario might lead to further health complications, which may endanger the life of your pet. 

Furthermore, take note of these other signs of kidney failure in cats may include:

  • Mouth ulcers
  • Bad breath
  • Dry fur
  • Indifference

Don’t waste time in letting the vet know about any symptoms you see. The pet professional may do several tests to confirm their suspicions. These examinations may include X-rays, ultrasound biopsies, and blood and urine tests. If the results of the tests come out positive, there are treatment options available. 

cat kidney disease symptoms

Types of Kidney Disease

Your four-legged feline family member may be at risk of specific kidney diseases. Two types of kidney failure in cats: acute renal failure and chronic kidney disorder. Let’s take a look at these diseases in more detail, shall we?

Acute Renal Failure

This kidney disease may develop quickly. Your pet might feel the signs of kidney failure in a matter of days or weeks. Also, acute renal failure may happen in all cat breeds. Furthermore, all felines young and old may be at risk of this ailment. 

Acute renal failure (Acute kidney injury) might be the result of particular causes. For instance, your pet might ingest poisonous compounds as it might think they’re foods or drinks. These poisons may include pesticides, cleaning fluids, and toxic plants like lilies. 

Also, pay close attention to human medicine falling on the ground. In fact, one tablet of Ibuprofen may cause a cat’s kidneys to shut down. 

Another cause of acute renal failure is physical trauma. For example, your new feline household member came from an abusive parent. That person might hit the cat forcefully in the pelvis area. This event might lead to a broken pelvis or damaged bladder, which might eventually cause kidney failure. 

Thankfully, acute renal failure is reversible. But, fur-parents need to act fast to improve the chances of a fully recovery. 

Chronic Kidney Disorder

This kidney disease is more difficult to treat than acute renal failure. Chronic kidney disorder tends to be in elderly cats. But, this disorder develops slowly. Hence, the symptoms might not appear until your kitty is about 7 years or older. Once your pet reaches 7 years old, pay special attention to its health.  


Treatment options are available for cats with kidney disease. But, the chances of your cat getting may depend on certain factors. For instance, time is of the essence in this regard. Waste too much time, and it might be difficult for your pet feline to heal. 

However, you might notice the renal failure symptoms as early as possible. If so, then it’s possible that pet doctors can help in the treatment.

You should head to your most trusted veterinarian quickly during the first signs of kidney disease. The vet will start by issuing tests for your pet. These examinations may include:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound

If there is an existence of kidney disease, then the vet proceeds to the next step. This time, the pet doctor might do surgery on kitty. This operation helps remove blockages found in the kidney. Otherwise, an IV treatment might suffice. 

Post-operation techniques are also available. However, these treatment procedures may depend on the symptoms felt by your cat. 

For instance, you might see your feline friend to need more water than the norm. Dehydration might be one of the most common symptoms during pet renal failure. At this time, always ensure that your cat has a steady supply of water. You can also include specific medicines to help lessen dehydration in your pet’s diet. 

Another symptom that might occur during cat kidney disease is metabolic acidosis. This complication may affect many cats with this disorder. Metabolic acidosis occurs when your pet’s body creates excessive amounts of acids. 

Normally, the kidney helps in regulating this function. But, at this time, the organ might fail at doing its job correctly. Your vet might include an IV treatment of sodium bicarbonate. Otherwise, the doctor might make the pet consume potassium citrate orally for a period. 

What cause Kidney Disease in Cats

Different causes of cat kidney disease in cats exist.

Also, it might be challenging for fur-parents to keep an eye on their kitties 24/7.

As a result, the pet might do certain things that are detrimental to its health. 

Below, you’ll find a few of the common causes of cat renal failure:

  • Pyelonophritis

This cause is an infection of the kidney tissues. Pyelonophritis is an infection of the kidney made by bacteria. But, fungal organisms might also be the primary source of the infection. 

  • Kidney Stones

Also called nephrolithiasis, kidney stones may come from chronic bacterial infection. But, your cat may acquire this ailment through genetics. Otherwise, the pet might acquire kidney stones from other diseases. 

  • Toxins

Using certain household items near pets might damage their well-being. For example, using synthetic insecticide may contribute to the development of the disease. Also, your cat may eat certain petals and leaves of plants. These specific floras might cause harm to the kidney, which can cause renal failure. 

  • Feline Infectious Pertonitis (FIP)

FIP is a severe inflammatory condition in cats. This ailment targets the kidney, and it may develop certain symptoms. These signs may include fever and fluid buildup in the abdomen or chest. 

  • Cancer

Cancer cells might negatively affect a cat’s kidney health. Tumors might cause the organ to fail. However, kidney cancer might not be common in felines. Still, you can’t disregard this possibility. 

  • Lack of Protein

Your pet should always follow a balanced diet. The lack of protein consumption may also lead to renal failure. 

  • Hereditary

It’s not rare for kittens to acquire kidney diseases from their parents. If so, then renal failure caused by the genes might be irreversible. 

Can cat recover from kidney disease

Now, your veterinarian might diagnose your cat with kidney disease. If so, then treatment is possible if you acted relatively fast. 

If treatment is possible, then it’s essential to stay by your pet’s side. At this time, your feline family member might be very weak. Forgive the cat for being lethargic for several hours. This weakness might prevent the pet from moving around the house. So, you might see your pet move, but only for a little while. 

Next, make sure that your cat always has water at the ready. Dehydration might be one of the most common problems caused by kidney disease. Also, your pet might urinate more frequently than the norm. Think of it as the cat’s kidneys working on overdrive to flush out the toxins. 

So, it might be an ideal option to put pads near your cat. These items will serve well in cleaning up your pet’s urine. Otherwise, you might be looking at pee puddles in your home. 

Also, it’s time to change your cat’s diet for the better. If your pet’s diet consists of canned food, then it might not be good for your pet’s health. Some foods in cans for cats contain a significant amount of preservatives. These chemicals help preserve the shelf life of the product. But, these artificial ingredients might not be helpful in improving your feline’s health. 

Last, your veterinarian might give your cat dialysis treatments. At this point, the pet should undergo this procedure for the rest of its life. Otherwise, kidney transplant might be the only choice for your cat to heal from this disease.

How do you prevent kidney failure in cats?

Don’t disregard the possibility of your cat developing kidney disease. With that in mind, it’s crucial that you do things to prevent this ailment from manifesting.

First, make sure to clean your cat’s litter box regularly. Waste products in the litter box decompose over time. This decomposition might include harmful chemicals. When ingested, these damaging substances might develop into different illnesses like renal failure. 

While cleaning your pet’s litter box, don’t discourage it from urinating. Let your cat roam around the property if it needs to pee at this moment. 

Next, make sure to give your feline routine checkups. Regular trips to the veterinarian are a must. So, the pet expert can catch any symptom of kidney disease before they worsen. But, remember that laboratory tests might not be cheap. So, it’s essential that you allocate part of your budget for these examinations. 

Also, don’t forget to encourage your cat to drink plenty of water. Fluid consumption is crucial to your pet’s well-being. Water helps flush out the toxins found in its kidneys. This inexpensive (or free) solution will help keep your cat healthy for years to come. 

Another way to help prevent cat kidney disease is wet food. Dry cat food or kibbles can be a good diet option. But, don’t rely on this food option all the time. Mixing your feline’s diet between dry and wet food may help keep its kidneys in check. 

Finally, never let your cat become too fat. Many fur-parents think a fat cat is cute. Yes, many individuals won’t deny that fact. But, obesity can shorten the lifespan of the pet. If your cat is packing in the pounds, this scenario might lead to kidney failure. 

Food for cats with kidney disease

By now, you might wonder, “What should I feed my cat if it has kidney disease?” 

First, know that cats with renal failure might have reduced appetite. It’s essential for your kitty to stay as healthy as possible through eating. But, don’t let your pet eat anything it wants. Instead, fill its diet with the right food to supplement the treatment. 

A special kidney diet is a recommended move to help cats heal from kidney disease. One example is wet and dry cat food filled with essential nutrients. 

These food options for your feline companion may have many positive traits. These characteristics may include:

  • Reduced levels of protein
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Low phosphrous
  • Nutrients to help balance the digestive system

Also, these diet options might include special aromas and flavors. After all, your pet might find it non-appealing to look at conventional food. 

Furthermore, you might notice that special cat food to help kidney disease doesn’t have a lot of protein. It’s because of high levels of this mineral might damage the organ further. At this time, it might be best to introduce this nutrient to your cat’s system slowly. 

Again, mix dry and wet food intake for your pet. Dry food might help in increasing kitty’s appetite. Also, wet food helps in increase fluid intake for your cat. 

These food options for cat kidney disease might also have restricted phosphate content. Foods that are high in phosphorous might negatively affect your pet’s health. In fact, high amounts of this mineral might accelerate renal failure. 

Restrict phosphorous content in your cat’s diet. Doing this step helps protect the kidneys from accumulating additional damage. 


Always take care of your fur-baby. As much as possible, don’t let your cat experience kidney disease. But, in the off chance your pet does have this ailment, contact your veterinarian quickly. Don’t waste time as the disease might aggravate over time. 

Hopefully, this guide helped you to know more about cat kidney disease and its symptoms. Now, you should know how to prevent and treat this feline predicament. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *