The kidneys of a healthy cat are part of an efficient, necessary system that filters waste from his bloodstream and excretes it via urine.
When your cat’s kidneys fail, a condition known as renal failure, nothing in his or her body can take over this vital function. As a result, waste and toxins start to build up in his blood.
Types of Kidney Failure
There are two types of kidney failure in cats: chronic (ongoing) and acute (urgent). Chronic kidney failure causes the kidneys of a cat to gradually fail over time. Acute failure, on the other hand, is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. This is not to say that chronic kidney failure is not risky. It is, in fact, the leading cause of death in domestic cats.
Is Your Cat at Risk?
Chronic and acute kidney failure have different risk factors. A cat’s risk of developing chronic kidney failure can be increased by the following factors:
- Old age
- Poor diet
- Lifelong diet of dry food only
- High blood pressure
- Dental disease
- Low potassium levels
Chronic kidney failure can affect any breed of cat, but Abyssinians and Persians are thought to be at a slightly higher risk.
Acute kidney failure can be caused by urinary tract obstruction, abdominal trauma, infection, or poison. As a result, living outside in cats is a significant risk factor for this type of kidney failure. To reduce her chances of developing a potentially fatal condition, keep your cat indoors where you can monitor her diet and safety. Antifreeze and Easter lilies should also be kept away from your cat’s living area. These are the two most common causes of acute kidney failure in cats caused by poisoning.
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