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What causes acute kidney failure in cats

Acute renal failure (ARF) is a sudden deterioration of kidney function that causes an increase in the workload of the kidneys and results in failure of renal tubular structure. If renal failure is not treated quickly, the kidneys will be irreversibly damaged. ARF can be caused by many diseases of the kidney, including nephritis, metabolic diseases, urinary tract infections, and neoplasia.

What are the symptoms of acute kidney failure in cats?

The signs of ARF can vary depending on the cause of the disease. In general, however, cats with ARF have:

Muscle weakness





Loss of appetite


How is acute kidney failure in cats diagnosed?

The diagnosis of acute kidney failure in cats is based on clinical signs and a complete general physical examination. A urinalysis can also help to determine the cause of ARF in this disease. A blood test can be performed on an as needed basis to check electrolyte levels and to check for other signs of kidney failure in cats.

What are the risks of acute kidney failure in cats?

The prognosis for treatment of acute kidney failure in cats is good if the disease is diagnosed and treated quickly. However, untreated kidney failure in cats can result in death.

How is acute kidney failure in cats treated?

Optimal treatment for acute kidney failure in cats is achieved through early diagnosis and treatment. Treatment of ARF in cats may include:

Intravenous fluids to treat dehydration

IV antibiotic therapy to treat bacterial infections

Intravenous potassium supplementation to treat low levels of potassium

Intravenous glucose to treat low blood sugar

Treatment of underlying disease

How can I help my cat with acute kidney failure?

It is very important to keep your cat as comfortable as possible during the recovery process. Try not to stress your cat by moving him to a new location, or by introducing new pets or foods. If your cat is vomiting, make sure to keep him hydrated with IV fluids. If your cat is lethargic, try to keep him warm in a quiet, warm environment.

Can acute kidney failure in cats be prevented?

Diagnosis and treatment of acute kidney failure in cats is the best way to prevent this disease.

For more information:

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is a national organization that works to protect animals from cruelty. The ASPCA provides a large variety of educational materials on a wide range of animal-related topics. The ASPCA also provides information on how to find a local or national animal shelter or rescue group, or how to deal with animal cruelty investigations.

See more

What is kidney failure in cats? Kidney failure (also known as renal 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 Read more

How Is Kidney Disease Treated in Cats? Your cat's treatment will depend, to a large extent, on his physical condition and the cause of the kidney disease. If there is an underlying cause that can be identified and treated, your veterinarian will likely do so. In many cases, this will not be possible though. Read more

Cats with pyelonephritis may be able to recover full kidney function, depending on the amount of damage that occurred before treatment. If both of the kidneys have already failed, your veterinarian may prescribe treatments to slow further damage and manage the signs of kidney disease and failure. Read more

Kidney disease, especially chronic kidney disease (CKD), is one of the most common health problems of senior and geriatric cats, and its occurrence is increasing.1 Veterinarians generally accept that an estimated one in three cats is likely to develop kidney disease during their lifetime. Read more

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