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The 2 Main Causes Of CKD… Could It Be Prevented? (UPDATED)

by Dr Sara Ochoa DVM, Jul 21, 20
Table Of Contents
Cat Care


How did this happen?

Was it something I did?

Why didn’t I pick up on things sooner?

This is all my fault. 

Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD, is a heartbreaking diagnosis for a pet parent. You’ve been there for your fur baby since Day 1, and the ups and downs of life have brought you two closer together in ways you never imagined. Now? It just feels like everything is so uncertain, like your days together are truly numbered.

Before you read any further, please remember that you are a good pet parent, CKD is not a death sentence, and this is not your fault. 

CKD Definition

Chronic Kidney Disease is the official name given when cats gradually lose function in their kidneys. Part of the renal system, kidneys are responsible for: 

1) Getting rid of waste from the body

2) Regulate the body’s water content (make urine)

3) Balance the body’s blood salt levels

4) Manage acidity levels

5) Producing a variety of hormones and other substances found in the body

CKD is a serious disease for cats because the loss of kidney function leads to a buildup of waste in their bodies, which sets off other conditions that affect other important systems for their eyes, heart, and brain. 

Cat Care 1

Causes of CKD

Causes of CKD can be traced to a pre-existing medical condition, or poisoning as a result of getting exposed to food or chemicals that are dangerous to cats.

Pre-existing medical conditions

If kitty was born with extra special needs around their kidneys, chances are they have already been coping with not so healthy kidney function, which unfortunately, will get worse as they get older. 

Pre-existing conditions can also include:

1) Birth defects

2) Trauma

3) Hypercalcemia

4) Kidney tumours

5) Bacterial infections

6) Inflammation of the kidneys (Glomerulonephritis)

Since a condition they’ve always had is impossible to prevent, the best you can do is get regular check-ups with your vet and keep a super-close eye on changes in behavior in order to manage problems before they get worse. It's tough to notice the existence of these issues until your kitty becomes unwell. And, as a loving cat parent, you have to be kind to yourself and realize you can't solve every problem before it happens. 



The next possibility for causes of CKD is rarer, but just as important and one you can be vigilant about: your cat may have been exposed to toxins that can damage the kidneys. Those toxins include:

1) Antifreeze

2) Lilies

3) Grapes

4) Raisins

Grapes and raisins can suddenly cause developing kidney failure, if they’re your go-to snacks, keep them in the fridge - the farther aways they are from kitty the better. As for lilies? 
The entire flower - even the water in the vase they’ve been in - is toxic for cats. Get rid of them, 
you AND your cat will be happy you did.

 If you think your cat has eaten or been around any of the above, call your vet immediately and get the next steps from there. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to confirm that your cat has CKD, and if the cause was a pre-existing medical condition or a result of poisoning, your vet will most likely use a blood or urine test to make a formal diagnosis. 

Changes in diet is the most effective way to manage CKD, usually including foods that lower the amount of waste in the bloodstream, and higher amounts of Vitamin B and Vitamin C.

Despite what the cause of CKD is for your cat, the most important thing to concentrate on is how you’re both going to move forward, whether with medication, therapy,or 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 improve their life expectancy. Which means the opportunity to enjoy many more happy years with your beloved pet, while they live their best life.

One more thing...

Have you heard of the Kidney Vitalize Chews?

If you're looking to take control of your kitties kidney health, its worth taking a look at them.The active ingredients inside them (Astragalus extract & Rhemannia extract) have been scientifically backed to help reduce proteinuria

Cat support

✅ Provides kidney support for all cats (whether they have CKD or not)

✅ Science backed active ingredients (that have been studied and shown to support kidney health)

✅ Delicious chicken flavour, made with natural ingredients (no artificial colors, flavours or nasties)

✅ Made in the USA (only the best for your best friend! 

How they work

Cat support care

Feed your cat 1-3 soft chews daily (depending on their body weight)

Cat care support 2

Enjoy the natural (and science backed) kidney supporting benefits


Cat support

Feel good knowing your helping improve the quality and longevity of your fur kiddos life

What our customers say

My cat bootsie seems to be doing better already! I think she has put on a little weight, more energy and hasnt had any problems urinating. I break up a chew and mix it in with her morning and afternoon feeding. Thank you so much for your product! And Bootsie thanks you too!

by Rita A

I am so pleased that I have a source to help my kitty with her kidney function!! She's a much healthier kitty after almost 4 months using these chews. I wish they came already crumbled, because that's how I need to mix them into her wet food.... but it is totally worth the effort.

by Jennifer T

I have been using both the joint and kidney products, and the difference in my 17 yr. old Tigger is amazing. She is running around and not limping. Her appetite is much better! She is gaining weight and not drinking as much water. Almost like her old self. Thank you.

by Gloria W

A friend recommended Kidney-Vitalize to help my kitty with kidney disease eat more and get nutrition and kidney support. I showed my vet the ingredients and she approved. Fast forward four months, I am on my second order of three jars. I'm afraid to run out because my boy Blue meows like crazy for them every morning (and evening). His appetite has improved and he has become more playful. He has even gained some weight! I believe that Kidney-Vitalize is an important component of our kidney support regimen and Blue loves them!!! 

by Jo L

Stephanie Pollard  

A cat loving feature writer who’s always interested in the ‘learning as you go,’ during the writing process. For example, during quarantine she learned that ASMR videos of people restoring shoes can be very relaxing (a lot of time has been spent on YouTube), and that she likes her fiance enough to live with him during a global pandemic.  

Related Posts

Vet Review: Scruffy Paws Kidney Vitalize Chews

by Dr Linda Simon MVB MRCVS - Fri, Mar 12, 21

Chronic Kidney Disease: A New Way for Kitty to Live

by Stephanie Pollard - Fri, Oct 16, 20

1 comment

  • My cats seemed to be fine until I started having my yard sprayed for bugs (such as ticks and mosquitoes). I’m sure some landed on the grass and even though I’d lock the cats inside for an hour (as instructed by tech), they would still eat the grass. Do you think this is why both of my cats got kidney disease. I was also told unfiltered water can give it to them. My water is city water but it goes through my pipes and sometimes it has a pink tinge to it so I started using water filters but I’m sure until then that they were drinking that bad water. I lost my best cat – he got a cavity and couldn’t eat and because of kidney disease, they couldn’t clean his teeth since they said it would kill him if they gave him anesthesia. He also had an enlarged heart due to the disease. They said it wouldn’t happen right away but would in a few days. This actually happened to my daughter’s cat. He had kidney disease and was in bad shape, and was operated on for it and my daughter wasn’t expecting him to die and he died in her arms a few days later, as she tried to comfort him.


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