How to Deal with Kidney Failure in Cats

Cats with kidney failure should be given special care with diet.
Cats with kidney failure should be given special care with diet. (Image: Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Kidney failure in cats or CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) can be a difficult diagnosis for a pet owner to deal with. However, many owners are unaware a cat with kidney issues can live a long, healthy life if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Learn how to catch this disorder in the early stages and care for a cat with this diagnosis.

Provide adequate fresh water. Many cats do not drink enough water, and inadvertently lower kidney function. If your cat will not drink water from a dish consider purchasing a pet fountain. Cats are more likely to drink water from a fountain because the water is circulated, cooler, filtered and contains less bacteria. Many cats are attracted to moving water.

Provide a diet low in salt, phosphorus and protein. These elements make the kidneys work harder and can increase toxins in the bloodstream. Purchase high quality cat food, and talk to your veterinarian about a prescription diet.

Clean the litter box daily. Switch to a litter box with lower sides if your cat is having trouble stepping in and out of the litter box. Add a second litter box, and always keep the litter boxes away from high-activity areas of the house. Check the litterbox for changes in urine output.

Notice any changes in the urinary habits and behavior of your cat and notify your vet immediately. Excessive thirst, increase or decrease in urination and the inability to pass urine indicate the health of the kidneys is deteriorating rapidly.

Weigh your cat frequently and report any unusual weight gain or loss to your vet. Check your cat's skin and body for signs of dehydration, and take note of any strange lumps or rashes. Check his mouth for ulcers or irritations.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check with your vet before using a flea preventative.
  • Do not let a cat with kidney failure outdoors by himself. In this weakened condition he may not be able to defend himself.

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