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Understanding the causes: Your cat and chronic kidney disease

by Anuj at Scruffy Paws, Jul 07, 19
Table Of Contents
Your cat and chronic kidney disease


“How On Earth Did This Happen?”


This is probably one the first question you’ll ask yourself when faced with a CKD diagnosis for your kitty.

And as you can imagine, the answer isn’t so simple… In fact, it can vary for each individual cat.

But look, before we look into the causes of CKD it is helpful to understand what this condition is and how it can affect your cat.

CKD, also known as kidney failure of insufficiency is when the kidneys no long function correctly to keep up the bodies requirements. Cats like most living beings, require healthy, functioning kidneys, in order to:

  • Excrete waste from the body
  • Regulate the bodies water content
  • Regulate the bodies blood salts levels
  • Regulate the bodies acidity levels
  • The production of a variety of hormones and other substances found in the body

Although the condition is progressive it can be controlled through a variety of treatments.

To help you understand the possible causes of CKD in further detail, below, we’ve outlined two of the most likely factors that can lead to a diagnosis of CKD.

1. Medical conditions

Your cat and chronic kidney disease 1


Underlying medical conditions are the most common cause of CKD in cats, unfortunately these cannot be prevented. These could include but are not limited to:

  • Birth defects
  • Trauma
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Kidney tumours
  • Bacterial infections
  • Inflammation of the kidneys (Glomerulonephritis)


2. Poisoning

In the case of a few exceptions, CKD can sometimes result from toxic poisoning of the kidneys. This can occur if your cat has been exposed to any of the following toxins:

  • Antifreeze
  • Lilies
  • Grapes
  • Raisins

For your cat’s vet to gain an understanding of the causes that may have led to your cats CKD, they will need to carry out tests of your cats blood and urine.

They will also carry out tests to help you understand if any of the underlying causes mentioned above may have contributed to the progression of this condition. Following these tests you will have a better understanding as to whether your cats CKD was caused by a Congenital condition (one that has been present since birth) or an acquired condition (one that has developed in later life).

No matter what the cause of your cats CKD, one of the most important things to remember is that it is no longer about the causes but how you are going to care for your cat going forward, whether that be with medication or via therapy, including for example a prescription diet.

A diagnosis of CKD is by no means a death sentence. Research has shown that cats who receive the correct but simple care and treatment can double their life expectancy. Giving you the opportunity to enjoy many more happy years with your beloved pet, whilst they enjoy the best quality of life. 

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