First Aid for Cats: Recognizing Symptoms of Kidney Disease


If your cat has kidney disease, the symptoms can be hard to spot. The good news is that you can help prevent this condition by providing clean drinking water and keeping her hydrated. Let's take a closer look at how to recognize the signs of kidney disease in cats and how to keep your pet healthy.

Cats with kidney disease often show no signs of illness

It can be difficult to detect signs of kidney disease in cats until their condition has progressed to a more serious stage. This is because cats are skilled at hiding symptoms of illness early on. Consequently, many cats may have kidney disease without any visible signs of distress, leading to a delay in diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, it is important for cat owners to bring their pets to regular veterinary check-ups, especially as they age. Blood and urine tests can detect the early stages of kidney disease, setting the stage for early intervention and giving you more time to take care of your furry friend.

Providing your cat with fresh, clean water 

Cats are more likely to drink water if it is fresh and available at all times. However, some cats can be picky about their water and refuse to drink from a bowl that has been sitting around for too long. If you suspect that your cat isn't getting enough fluids because she won't drink out of her bowl or only drinks small amounts of liquid at a time, try offering her fresh water in another container such as a shallow dish or even an old juice glass!

Plastic containers can leach chemicals into the liquid they contain over time which could potentially harm your pet's health so use glass or stainless steel containers instead (you can find these at most pet stores). If possible, clean out the bowl every day; otherwise, try changing out half of its contents daily so it doesn't get too dirty between cleaning sessions. Remember: cleanliness counts! Don't forget about cleaning toys and other items used by both humans and pets either--they may harbor bacteria as well!

Cats who are not getting enough water may lose their appetite and become dehydrated

  • Cats who are not getting enough water may lose their appetite and become dehydrated, especially if they are older.
  • As cats age, they can develop kidney disease. This means that their kidneys don't work as well as they used to, which can lead to dehydration as well as other symptoms like vomiting or weakness.
  • If your cat is showing signs of dehydration (such as decreased appetite), take him or her to the vet right away! If left untreated for too long, it could lead to death in some cases

Cats with kidney disease can't urinate as much as healthy cats

Cats with kidney disease can't urinate as much as healthy cats, so they sometimes produce concentrated urine that smells stronger than usual. If your cat suddenly starts producing foul-smelling urine, contact your vet right away to determine whether it's time to begin treatment for kidney disease. If you notice other symptoms of kidney failure (such as loss of appetite), take them to the vet right away--don't wait until tomorrow or next week!

When cats are very sick with kidney failure

When cats are sick with kidney failure they may experience:

  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst and urination (increased frequency, volume)
  • Decreased urine output (decrease in the amount you see on the litter box). Your cat may be producing less urine than normal, or perhaps you're not seeing any at all. If a cat is producing very little fluid, it's a sign that he's getting worse. If this happens suddenly, it could mean he has kidney disease and needs immediate veterinary attention so that his condition doesn't get worse. The kidneys help regulate blood pressure and maintain proper electrolyte levels in the body; they also filter out toxins from our bodies through urine production--so if they're not working properly anymore because of kidney failure then these functions will start failing as well!

You can help prevent kidney disease in your cat 

  • Water is an essential part of a cat's diet, and it's important for you to provide your pet with fresh, clean water at all times. A good rule of thumb is to give your cat one ounce per pound of body weight every day. If you're using a measuring cup or tablespoon, this means that if your cat weighs 10 pounds, she should drink about 2/3 cup (or 7 tablespoons) of water each day.
  • If you notice that your cat isn't drinking enough water on her own--or if she seems dehydrated--you can try adding more moisture into her diet by giving her wet food instead of dry kibble. Wet foods tend to be higher in moisture content than dry food does; plus they contain added nutrients like taurine that are important for proper organ function!


If you notice any changes in your cat's behavior or appearance, take her to the vet as soon as possible. If she has kidney disease, treatment can help prolong her life and make her feel better.


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