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What are the stages of kidney failure in cats

Kidney failure is a progressive disease process. Cats with chronic renal failure usually exhibit the following signs:


Weight loss






What are the causes of kidney failure in cats?

In cats, the most common cause of chronic renal failure is chronic kidney diseases (CKD) such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperthyroidism.

Other causes of chronic renal failure include

Injury to the kidneys

Renal infection

Uremia (a toxic accumulation of urea in the blood)

Autoimmune diseases

Chronic renal failure is usually caused by the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Symptoms may be intermittent or continuous. It is important to note that the build-up of urea in the blood that leads to chronic renal failure is progressive, and the prognosis for a cat is poor.

Diagnosis of kidney failure in cats

The diagnosis of kidney failure in cats is based on a combination of clinical signs and laboratory findings.

A diagnosis of chronic renal failure is based on the presence of an abnormal serum creatinine level and a decreased urine output.

The absence of an elevated serum creatinine level and an increased urine output suggests that chronic renal failure is not present.

Tests used to diagnose kidney failure:

Serum creatinine

Urine output

Urine toxicology


Serum electrolyte panel

How is kidney failure in cats treated?

Treatment of chronic renal failure in cats is based on the underlying cause of the disease.

Treatment options include

Glucocorticoid therapy to reduce inflammation in the kidneys

Aminoglycoside therapy to treat infections

Management of diabetes mellitus

Management of hypertension

Nutritional support

Glucocorticoid therapy

Aminoglycoside therapy

Surgical intervention

How do I keep my cat safe from kidney failure?

Kidney failure is a progressive disease. It is important to monitor your cat's health and if you notice any changes, see your veterinarian immediately.

Your veterinarian can recommend preventative measures that will help keep your cat healthy and maintain a quality of life.

See more

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is common in older cats and can affect other parts of their body, including their brain and nervous system, eyes and kidneys, notes International Cat Care. Diagnosing hypertension early can slow down its progress and allow you to address any underlying illnesses. Read more

Clinical evaluation of dietary modification for treatment of spontaneous chronic kidney disease in cats. Read more

Chronic kidney disease in cats often progresses along a continuum from an initial nonazotemic stage (IRIS CKD Stage 1) to end-stage uremia (IRIS CKD Stage 4). In many cats with CKD, the rate of progression is remarkably slow. As veterinarians, we are obligated to address the specific problems Read more

Introduction Chronic kidney disease is diagnosed commonly in dogs and cats. The incidence of the diagnosis of CKD in cats is made 2 to 3 times as frequently compared to dogs and is especially common in geriatric cats. CKD is clinically characterized by the development of variably progressive irreversible intrarenal lesions and loss of renal functions. A variety of interventions (diet and drugs) can slow the progression of the renal disease, improve the quality of life for the patient, and/or extend the quantity of life. Read more

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