Kidney Disease in Cats


Chronic renal failure or kidney disease is one of the most common conditions affecting older cats. In most cases there is a gradual worsening of signs, however the rate of progression varies between individuals.


Occurs when there is long-standing, irreversible damage to the kidneys that impairs their ability to filter and remove waste products from the blood.

In most cases where chronic renal failure is diagnosed, the exact cause of the disease is unknown.


  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Poor coat
  • Smelly breath
  • Vomiting


  • Urine sample: to check the concentrating ability of the kidneys.
  • Blood sample: Urea and creatinine levels are usually increased because the kidneys normally excrete these.


If a specific cause has been found treatment for the cause may be possible (e.g. anti-bacterial medication for a bacterial infection), however in most cases treatment is aimed at managing the renal failure.

  • Diet: Ideally a diet with a low protein and low phosphate content is fed.
  • Water intake: Maintaining a good fluid intake is important, try feeding wet food, pet fountains, flavoured water.
  • Phosphate binders: again to reduce the amount of phosphate that is absorbed.
  • Intravenous fluids: In some cats, usually with advanced renal failure, fluids given intravenously in the hospital can sometimes help.
  • Medications: given to increase blood flow to the kidneys, or to help treat other problems that can develop such as high blood pressure, vomiting and nausea or anaemia.
  • Optimal management of renal failure usually requires repeat investigations at regular intervals (including blood pressure measurement, blood and urine tests) to assess the progression of the disease.

At the Ardmore Veterinary Group we aim to provide the highest standard of professional veterinary care. If you find any of the information displayed incorrect please do not hesitate to call us. We are here to listen and assist in any way we can.

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