Have you noticed your cat drinking more than usual? If so, it may pay to get this symptom checked out as it could indicate a problem with your cat’s kidneys.
What role do the kidneys play?
The kidneys are two bean shaped organs which are filtering systems for toxins and protein wastes to then be passed out in urine. They also help manage blood pressure, stimulate bone marrow to make more red blood cells, make hormones, and balance body water, salts and acids.
If the kidneys are not working sufficiently, the kidneys ability to perform these important tasks is compromised. The body will start building up toxins, causing your cat to feel very unwell.
Common signs of kidney insufficiency:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unkempt, lackluster coat
- Smelly breath, often alongside dental disease
- Excessive drinking, and subsequent frequent urination
- Senile behaviour such as disorientation
- Changes in house/toileting behaviour
- Fussiness over food
Cats are designed to eat a high protein diet of small animals and insects, which are approximately 70% water. Because of this, cats’ kidneys were designed to conserve water at all costs, therefore to see your cat drink more frequently (or at all, if you don’t usually) can be considered somewhat abnormal and may be an indication of something going wrong with your cats health.
Did you know Chronic kidney disease, aka CKD, is, unfortunately, a very common ‘old age’ disease in cats and the most common metabolic disease affecting domestic cats? Often by the time we notice our cat is drinking more, there may be less than 30% of kidney function left!
One of the issues in our domesticated cats is evidence that poor oral health can predispose our older cats to CKD, so it is important to check their dental health regularly and treat signs of dental disease as a preventative of CKD.
What can be done?
If you have noticed any of the above clinical signs, or you are otherwise concerned about your cats’ health, make an appointment with your vet.
There are a number of tests that can be carried out to determine the status of your cat’s renal health, and it is important that these tests be carried out promptly as there may be other health issues that are the cause of the clinical signs you are noticing.
If your cat is diagnosed with CKD, we can help manage the disease progression. Your vet will make recommendations that are tailored to suit your cat and your lifestyle. These changes may include prescription diets, nutritional supplements, fluid therapy to maintain hydration and medications.
If you have any questions of concerns, please contact your local Anexa Vet, we’re here to help