Recognizing Kidney Disease Symptoms in Cats

recognizing kidney disease symptoms in cats

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I currently have a co-worker who has a cat that has been diagnosed with kidney failure. This article is about recognizing kidney disease symptoms in cats. I hope it will help other cat parents recognize the signs of this illness so they can get their cats treated as early as possible.

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Kidney failure is an incurable disease that up to one in every three cats will be diagnosed with in their lifetimes. While there’s still no cure, catching the illness early on is the best way to ensure that your cat lives a long and comfortable life. Unfortunately, many pet parents overlook the key symptoms of kidney disease. This isn’t due to neglect, but simply because the symptoms of kidney disease are often mistaken for signs of other illnesses, or not even recognized as problems at all.

Recognizing these signs can mean the difference between your cat suffering and being supported during its illness. To ensure that your cat receives care as soon as possible if she develops kidney disease, keep an eye out for these three symptoms that may indicate the onset of kidney failure.

Three Important Kidney Disease Symptoms in Cats

1. Excessive Drinking

Cats should drink water regularly to maintain good health, so seeing your kitty drink more may seem like a good thing. Unfortunately, this means that excessive drinking is often overlooked as a symptom of illness. However, it is in fact one of three major kidney disease symptoms in cats.

Cats who are experiencing kidney disease will drink more water in an effort to flush their kidneys and bodies of the toxins that are building up in their blood. Since their kidneys are no longer as effective at performing this task as they once were, consuming more water helps, but it’s not a permanent solution.

You should always encourage your cat to drink a healthy amount of fluid, but if you notice that your cat’s bowl is emptying faster than usual, a vet checkup may be a good idea.


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2. Excessive Urination in Cats

Many pet parents don’t notice how often their cat uses the litter box, but you should take notice if your cat is going more often than usual. Some pet parents will ignore this, especially if their cat is drinking more, assuming that the two go hand-in-hand. While this can be true, if your cat is urinating more than usual, it indicates that the kidneys are working harder to try and flush toxins from the body. If your cat is drinking and urinating excessively, this is one of the kidney disease symptoms in cats.

3. Nausea in Cats Can Indicate Kidney Disease

Lastly, cats with kidney disease often experience nausea that prevents them from eating or causes vomiting. Nausea from kidney disease is the result of the toxins in the blood building up. As your cat’s blood becomes more toxic, they feel more ill, and may stop eating as a result, or throw up when they try to.

A cat’s nausea or vomiting should never be overlooked, as it can indicate a broad range of problems. Some pet parents may experience difficulty trying to determine if a cat is throwing up due to hairballs or kidney disease. The main way to tell the difference is that cats with kidney disease won’t throw up hair, and they may also only vomit up fluid or foam. Since their body is nauseated but not trying to expel a toxic or poisonous substance, there won’t necessarily be food or hair in the vomit. Keep in mind that if your cat is refusing to eat or regularly vomiting combined with excessive drinking and/or urination, you should seek a veterinarian’s help immediately.

With early detection, a veterinarian can work with you and your cat to help bring down his blood toxicity and to support his kidneys as long as possible. Regular vet checkups will help your cat to feel better and spunkier, so don’t overlook seeing a vet.

See this article to learn about other common cat health problems.

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6 thoughts on “Recognizing Kidney Disease Symptoms in Cats

  1. I am so glad to always read more information on how cats behavior out if their ordinary ways can help us know something is wrong. I have always loved cats and recently become more interested in behavioral signs in cats.it has inspired me to write a book. Title. A cats point of view. Wish me luck

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