This is the first question EVERYBODY asks when faced with a CKD diagnosis for their kitty. And sadly, the answer isn’t so simple. In fact, it can vary for each individual cat.
But look, before we dive deep into the causes of CKD… it’s helpful to understand what this condition is and how it can affect your little fur monster!
CKD, also known as kidney failure, is when the kidneys no long function correctly to keep up the bodies requirements. Cats like most living beings, require healthy, functioning kidneys.
Because kidneys help do the following:
Anywho… Back to the topic at hand! To help you understand the main causes of CKD a bit better, we’ve outlined the 2 key factors that you need to watch out for to either keep your kitty safe OR understand what caused CKD in your furball in the first place!
Ready? Awesome! Lets go:
The most common cause of CKD is actually something you, the loving cat owner, can’t prevent.
Pre-existing medical conditions, just liked they’re named are pre-existing. This often means your precious kitty has been born with some form of kidney insufficiency already. This over time, with age, will get worse.
Pre-existing conditions could include but are not limited to:
As these are impossible to 'prevent', we suggest scheduling regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your cats behaviour in case of any changes.
But the truth is, 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 realise you can't solve every problem before it happens.
This is a little rarer, but equally as important to keep an eye out for. CKD can sometimes result from toxic poisoning of the kidneys.
And this is where you have to be vigilant. Because kidney damage can occur if your cat has been exposed to any of the following toxins:
In the case of grapes and raisins, we suggest keeping them in the fridge. For lilies, its best to not keep them in the house at all.
If feel your cat has ingested one of the above, get in contact with your vet immediately. They will advise you on what to do next.
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 cat’s 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).
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.
Remember, 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.
Giving you the opportunity to enjoy many more happy years with your beloved pet, whilst they enjoy the best quality of life.
Thankfully veterinary medicine has advanced so there are a range of treatments to help your furkiddo.
It often starts with shifting your cat onto a specialty renal diet (which has been formulated to contain less protein and less phosphorus, which helps reduce the strain on your cats kidneys).
If you want to learn more about this, we suggest speaking with your vet.
You may also wish to consider putting your cat on vet-approved omega 3 essential fatty acid supplements.
Although research with Omega 3 and cats is still at an early stage, we do know they assist humans in dealing with kidney disease.
You can do this by making sure your kitty is hydrated, ideally eating a wet diet and staying away from lillies, grapes and the other items stated above.
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Jennifer T - Results may vary from pet to pet.
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Rita A - Results may vary from pet to pet
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