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How Many Kidneys Do Cats Have

What Are The Symptoms Of End Stage Kidney Failure In Cats

Kidney Disease and Cats – Everything you need to know

Sometimes, the signs of kidney failure in cats are not caught early enough and the disease progresses to its end stage. Symptoms of end stage kidney failure in cats include general symptoms listed above, as well as dull, sunken eyes, inability to walk, body odor, incontinence in bladder or bowels seizures, confusion, refusal to eat or drink, twitching, blindness, pacing and restlessness, withdrawing, hiding and running away.

Though more than one of these symptoms will be present, you may not see all of them. There may also be a sudden improvement in their symptoms, but do not let this fool you.

With kidney failure, there are no easy answers, as different symptoms may be present at different times. These symptoms can also be signs of other illnesses, which is why early diagnosis, disease management and communication with your vet is critical.

When it comes to symptoms of kidney failure in cats, the stage is key to prognosis. While there is no cure for chronic kidney disease, if its detected and treated early your cats longevity and quality of life can be improved.

Those Amazing Organs Part : The Kidneys

This month, we will start a series on the function of the major organs of the feline body. Everyone knows that organs can potentially fail as pets age, but what do these organs actually do? What are their daily functions in maintaining health? This month we will start with the most common organ to fail in cats: the kidneys.

For those who dont know, the kidneys produce urine and filter toxins out of the body, but they also do much more! They prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body keep levels of electrolytes stable and make substances which help regulate blood pressure, stimulate red blood cell production, and regulate calcium in the body.

The kidneys are relatively tiny organs , but they receive 25% of the cardiac output of the body. For example, the average human adult contains 4.7-5.5 liters of blood, yet the kidneys filter about 180 liters of blood a day. This means your entire blood volume is filtered by the kidneys dozens of times every day! The kidneys receive more blood than any other organ in the body.

The kidneys are vital for regulation of the electrolytes sodium, potassium, and phosphate. They maintain electrolyte concentrations through filtering electrolytes from blood. Needed electrolytes are returned to the blood, while excess electrolytes are excreted into the urine. Normal blood electrolyte levels have a narrow range for health and the kidneys help maintain a balance between daily consumption and excretion.

Create A Healthy Balanced Wellness Routine For Your Cat

A general wellness routine with a healthy cat diet, plenty of mental stimulation and play, and opportunities for rejuvenating rest will be key in keeping your cats body in good shape. Your cat needs daily attention and a routine they can rely on, and only their owner can establish that.

Keeping your cat indoors is a great way to control their routine and keep their daily schedule steady. It also makes it easier for you to monitor their habits. Plus, indoor cats are likely to live much longer than outdoor cats.

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How Long Do Cats With Polycystic Kidney Disease Live

As polycystic kidney disease is an inherited condition, affects cats are born with tiny cysts already present in their kidneys. However, the rate at which these cysts grow and begin to cause problems is highly variable.

The average age of onset of symptoms is around 7 years, but it can vary from approximately 3 to 10 years. Some cats with very small cysts that grow slowly may never show signs of illness within their lifetime.

Just as the age at which we first see signs of PKD is variable, so is the progression of the disease from this point. Some cats with slow progression may live for many years after diagnosis, particularly with appropriate treatment. In other cases, it can progress very fast .

Once your cat has been diagnosed, your veterinarian will recommend appropriate treatment and regular monitoring of their kidney function.

How Are Kidney Issues Diagnosed In Cats

Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats

Your veterinarian will do a blood test and look for two biochemical byproducts to identify if your cat is experiencing kidney disease. With this test, they will be able to give you some idea of how far along the kidney disease has progressed and what options your cat might have. Until recently, this was the only way to diagnose kidney disease in cats which was problematic because the results didnt show kidney issues until they were very advanced.

Medical improvements in testing more recently have made it easier for a veterinarian to predict if a cat is going to suffer from kidney issues and identify kidney failure much earlier in the cats lifespan. This development has allowed for veterinarians and cat owners to be more aggressive in addressing and preventing kidney issues and cats.

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Risk Factors Predictive Diagnostics

A Feb. 1, 2014, JAVMA scientific article examined Risk factors associated with the development of chronic kidney disease in cats evaluated at primary care veterinary hospitals. The retrospective case-control study looked at feline patients examined at Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2010.

According to the abstract: Risk factors for CKD in cats included thin body condition, prior periodontal disease or cystitis, anesthesia or documented dehydration in the preceding year, being a neutered male , and living anywhere in the United States other than the northeast. The probability of CKD decreased with increasing body weight in nondehydrated cats, domestic shorthair breed, and prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and increased when vomiting, polyuria or polydipsia, appetite or energy loss, or halitosis was present at the time of diagnosis or control group inclusion but not when those signs were reported 6 to 12 months earlier. Median weight loss during the preceding 6 to 12 months was 10.8% and 2.1% in cats with and without CKD, respectively.

Dr. Jennifer Ogeer, Antech vice president of medical affairs and commercial marketing, spoke at the AVMA Virtual Convention 2020 on Taking the Surprise out of Chronic Kidney Disease With Artificial Intelligence.

RenalTech provides actionable information that enables veterinarians to formulate targeted, personalized care plans for their feline patients, Dr. Ogeer said.

Does A Cat Know When They Are Dying

Cats, like other animals, are very intuitive and can sense things that humans cannot. Therefore, cats are attuned to their bodies and their environment to the point where they can detect signs associated with death. One extreme example is a cat in Rhode Island named Oscar, who lives in a nursing home.5 Nov 2012

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Do Cats Know When They Are Dying

Cats, like other animals, are very intuitive and can sense things that humans cannot. Therefore, cats are attuned to their bodies and their environment to the point where they can detect signs associated with death. One extreme example is a cat in Rhode Island named Oscar, who lives in a nursing home.5 Nov 2012

How Can You Diagnose Kidney Disease In Cats

Kidney Disease In Cats: Top Holistic Remedies

The only accurate way to diagnose kidney disease in cats is through diagnostic testing. Your veterinarian will often perform diagnostic blood work and urine analysis testing.

The threat of kidney disease in cats is one of the main reasons why routine exams and senior diagnostics are so important. By performing diagnostics at their recommended time, you can catch this disease in the early stages. Catching kidney disease in cats early will help to prolong your cats life, and prolong their quality of life.

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Newborn Kittens Stillbirth Kittens And More Kittens

Cats are pretty bountiful when it comes to fertility and breeding. To draw you a precise picture, lets talk numbers. One unspayed cat and its offsprings can lead to 370,000 cats in a year!

Another shocking way to look at it is that 1female cat can be responsible for a staggering of 20,000 kittens in a 5-yearspan. Insane!

Theres a broad range of how many kittens acat can have per time. You can expect anything between 3 and 8 kittens. Somecats can give birth to 1 kitten, while others can have about 12! There are a lot of determinantal factors whenit comes to the exact number.

How many kittens do cats have? is a hard andtricky question because theres no definite answer to it, it varies accordingto the breed, petting conditions, cats health, and age.

In case its not spayed, a cat can have up to12 kittens per year. Some cat breeds like Ragdolls, Burmese, Mains coons, andRagamuffins have an average of 6 to 8 kittens per litter.

So, lets say that the average cat litter isabout 3 to 4 kittens, and you can expect about 3 litters per year, if the catis left to reproduce, of course.

Treatment Of Chronic Kidney Failure

Once your vet has diagnosed and staged your cats kidney failure, treatment will be discussed. Options can range from medications that lower blood pressure, treatment to reduce protein loss in the urine, intravenous or subcutaneous fluids, potassium replacement, medications to help improve red blood cell levels, and dietary changes.

There are a variety of prescription kidney supportive diets available. These diets can help your cat feel better and live longer, often for years, depending on the stage of kidney failure your cat is experiencing. Since cats can be picky eaters, you may need to try a variety of diets to find one they enjoy, so dont be discouraged if they refuse a few types!

Encouraging your cat to drink more water will also help support the kidneys. Canned foods contain more fluids compared to dry kibble, so feeding your cat canned food and eliminating the kibble may be recommended. Cats also like to drink from moving water, so purchasing a recirculating water bowl might also entice them to drink more.

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Symptoms Of Kidney Failure

If your cats kidneys arent removing waste from his or her body, you may notice many signs. General symptoms of kidney failure in cats can include:

Additionally, indications of acute kidney failure include an arched back or stiff-legged gait , and either frequent or no urination.

Because chronic kidney failure may gradually progress over years, you may not notice it. By the time you see symptoms, the disease may already have advanced.

However, with appropriate treatment some cats that have experienced chronic kidney failure live a good quality of life for years to come.

Symptoms of chronic kidney failure include easily bruising or bleeding, and increased urination.

Are There Different Types Of Kidney Failure In Cats

Cat Kidney Failure Is It Painful

There are two types of kidney failure in cats, and they differ in causes, treatment options and prognosis.

Acute Renal Failure

This type of kidney failure occurs suddenly, within days or weeks. It can happen in cats of any age and typically results from poisons, disorders, diseases, organ failure, medications and other causes.

Acute renal failure can often be reversed if caught in time.

Chronic Kidney Failure

With chronic kidney failure, the kidneys gradually stop working over months or years as they lose the ability to filter the blood of toxins. This type of kidney failure can lead to total kidney failure.

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How Long Can A Cat Live With Chronic Kidney Disease

The life expectancy of a cat with chronic kidney disease will vary with each cat. With proper management of the disease, life expectancy can range anywhere from a few months to several years.

Early diagnosis of the disease truly makes a difference when it comes to prognosis. As long as you follow your veterinarians recommendations for management, you have all the tools needed to prolong their life.

What Are The Causes Of Crf

CRF is the end stage of a number of different disease processes rather than a specific disease in its own right. Diseases or conditions that can eventually lead to CRF include:

1. Congenital malformations of the kidneys – such as polycystic kidney disease in long haired cats

2. Pyelonephritis – bacterial kidney infections

3. Glomerulonephritis – inflammation and damage to the kidney’s filtration membrane

4. Neoplasia – various tumors of the kidney, most commonly lymphosarcoma

5. Amyloidosis – this is the build-up of an unusual protein in the kidney that prevents the kidney from functioning normally

6. Viral infections such as feline leukemia virus or feline infectious peritonitis virus

7. Kidney stones or ureteral stones

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Common Diseases Of The Feline Urinary Tract

There are several types of urinary tract diseases that can affect cats, including:

The urinary tract is a system made up of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra, which work to produce, transport, store, and excrete urine. The urinary tract also rids the body of fluid waste materials and has other vitally important functions, including controlling the volume and composition of the body fluids.

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs. The indentation of the âbeanâ is called the hilus, which is the area where the blood vessels, nerves, and ureters both enter and leave the kidney. The structural and functional unit of the kidney is the nephron, and there are hundreds of these microscopic filtering units, with each having the ability to form urine by itself.

Each nephron consists of a circular ball-shaped cluster of small blood vessels called a glomerulus and a small tube called a renal tubule. Nephrons are responsible for removing urea, which is combined with water and other waste products to produce urine.

Causes And Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Failure

Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats

The cause of CKD in cats has not been fully established by experts. However, some renal diseases have been linked to the development of the condition. These include:

  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis
  • Acute kidney injury in which there is permanent loss of nephrons
  • Polycystic kidney disease

Older cats are more prone to developing chronic kidney failure. Since this is a slow, progressive process, your cat may not show symptoms immediately. You may notice weight loss or muscle mass loss even though your cat is eating well. You might also notice your cat drinking and urinating more than usual. There will be larger urine clumps or pools in the litter box. It’s important to note that diabetes also causes similar symptoms in cats.

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How Does Kidney Failure Occur

Hypersensitivity reactions can occur with any medication, but tend to be very rare for Albon use in cats.

Kidney failure occurs when at least two-thirds of each kidney is damaged. With this much damage, the kidneys cannot perform their essential functions.

Kidney failure can be acute or chronic.

Acute kidney failure occurs when the kidneys suddenly stop working. Some of the many causes of acute kidney failure are toxin ingestion and shock.

Chronic kidney failure, also called chronic kidney disease, develops over many years. It usually begins when cats are about six years old and becomes progressively worse as the nephrons slowly die. When more nephrons die than can be replaced, kidney failure becomes apparent.

Chronic kidney failure is much more common than acute kidney failure in cats, so well focus on chronic kidney failure.

Treatment Of Kidney Disease In Cats

Kidney disease is managed mostly with the aid of medications, diet, and hydration. Specific management is geared toward the underlying cause as well as the stage of the disease. A cat in any stage with an increase in either UPC or high blood pressure will most likely be treated with medication.

Based on the cause, additional therapy may be instituted, such as:

  • Aggressive IV antibiotics, if infection is present

  • Deworming medication for parasites

  • Immunosuppressive-type drugs for auto-immune diseases

  • Antithrombotics

  • Chemotherapy and/or surgery

If a urinary obstruction is noted, relieving the obstruction would be the treatment of choice.

Throughout your cats life, any disease process or illness that could affect hydration should be treated promptly with IV fluids. Drugs prescribed in the future for any other disease process will need to be tailored or substituted for a more kidney-friendly alternative, given that kidney metabolism will be decreased. If not, overdosages and/or worsening of the kidney disease could occur.

Additionally, for all stages of kidney disease, fresh water should always be available. Drinking should be encouraged and adequate nutrition should be given daily. Cats diagnosed with kidney disease are often prescribed a kidney-friendly diet which may include feeding your cat canned, wet foods that contain additional water.

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How Many Kittens Can A Cat Nurse

Well, a cat should have enough milk for all its offsprings. This should suffice for 5 kittens on average.However, if it managed to birth an exceptional number of kittens, it will need an external nutritional supply to feed the offsprings. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why some kittens die within their first week of life.

What Is Kidney Failure In Cats

Increased Kidney Enzymes In Cats

Kidney failure can be caused by a number of conditions that affect the kidneys and related organs.

Healthy kidneys eliminate waste from the blood, maintain a normal electrolyte balance, regulate hydration and calcium, manage blood pressure and stimulate production of red blood cells. If your cat experiences kidney failure, the kidneys are no longer functioning efficiently.

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Cats Sometimes Have Only One Kidney

While rare, some cats are born with only one kidney. Sometimes, cats develop health problems that cause one kidney to fail, leaving them with only one good kidney left to keep them afloat. However, cats can live long and healthy lives with just one kidney to rely on. Clean water, dietary management, fresh air, and a relaxed environment are essential for cats with one kidney.

A veterinarian will likely prescribe a special diet and specific lifestyle guidance to help ensure that a cat living with one kidney can live a long life. However, it is up to the cat owner to ensure that extra precautions are taken to keep a cat with one kidney healthy. Sadly, cats with either one or two kidneys can develop kidney disease.


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