Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Kidney failure

Thursday, August 07, 2014



Signs of kidney failure don’t appear until at least 70% of kidney function is lost. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood stream, regulate fluid and electrolyte balance, maintain the acid-base balance of the body and remove toxins and drugs. They also help maintain blood pressure and stimulate blood cell production.

Kidney damage accumulates for years before we see any signs. Even then the early signs of kidney failure - increased thirst and urine production - are not easy to pinpoint in our feline friends.


You may notice an increasingly wet litter tray if your cat is only indoors. However if you have other cats you may not pick up increased urine production in a particular cat.


Cats often drink from multiple water sources making it difficult to recognise increased consumption. 


Other signs of kidney failure such as weight loss and poor coat quality are even more insidious.


Sometimes the first thing we see is a cat off her food, vomiting, depressed and dehydrated. The kidneys are already badly affected by this stage.


We diagnose and stage kidney failure with blood tests for the two waste products, urea and creatinine and a urine analysis to measure the kidneys ability to concentrate urine. We also check the urine for protein loss or a urinary tract infection.


Tests for other substances like potassium, phosphorus and calcium as well as blood cell counts help us decide on the best course of treatment.


Annual blood and urine tests, as well as regular body weight checks, help pick kidney failure up as early as possible. If urine concentrating ability is deteriorating, your cat is losing weight or the creatinine is trending up we slow the progression of the disease with a special kidney protective diet. Many cats in the early stages of kidney disease live for years on the right diet and with regular checks.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


information night blockage ACT new kitten sensitive fat advantage renal disease when to go to vet wool pet meat sore ears panadeine snake bite kitten play ulcers christmas introduce rub open night breathing difficult award groom flea prevention cat history herpesvirus blood pressure dental check learning aspirin behaviour FORLS dental treatment food puzzles crytococcosus cranky in season lame holidays anxiety sense of smell pain killer overweight tartar fight kittens cat enclosure ribbon hunters kitten whiskers old new cat hunting cystitis signs of pain rough play breeder poison bed kidney disease constipation scratching post hole checkup wobbles poisonous grass exercise blood paracetamol tick poisonous plants skin cat enclosures urinating outside litter antibiotics senior introduction bite anaemia urinating on curtains or carpet fear feliway seizures hairball face rub rigid head vomiting blindness hungry not eating touch introducing slow eye dymadon computer ulcer hyperthyroidism check-up foreign body pred weight loss cage scale pain relief tapeworm cortisone house call echocardiography arthritis home visit scratching sick fleas abscess,cat fight Canberra Cat Vet yowling enclosure inflammatory bowel disease activity AIDS mycoplasma marking feline AIDS kibble New Year's Eve competition blood in urine best clinic indoor cats snakes vision radioactive iodine hearing snot appointment pain introductions cat vet strange behaviour cat worms head abscess holes in teeth paralysis tick pancreatitis snake intestine enteritis lily desexing lick jumping diabetes pheromone skin cancer hospital birthday urine spraying heavy breathing snuffle sore polish train castration asthma examination stress drinking a lot straining obesity odour vomit old cat mince diarrhoea best vet blind xylitol pet insurance tablet Canberra comfortis training twitching visit euthanasia cat friendly antiviral weight aggressive worms bladder stones bladder lump hyperactive furball corneal ulcer open day lymphoma permethrin outdoor cat roundworm aggression petting cat salivation liver annual check appetite nose scabs skinny sensitive stomach vaccine snakebite cat containment revolution biopsy calicivirus spey ulcerated nose best veterinarian meows a lot mouth breathing dry food plants litter fever cat behaviour painful dental lilly pill opening hours urine socialisation teeth body language gifts panleukopaenia decision to euthanase free sun moving cognitive dysfunction drinking more plaque vaccination tooth unsociable desex itchy urination off food eye ulcer noisy breathing vocal flu vet visit grooming toxins hiding virus paralysis poisoning client night collapse allergy runny eyes African wild cat aerokat blocked cat wet litter enemies chlamydia weight control stiff headache cat conflict Hill's Metabolic love IBD insulin kitten deaths microchip obese goodbye blue worming holes poisons hypertrophic cardiomyopathy tumour behaviour change new year string rolls panleukopenia hard faeces blood test gasping flea treatment carrier scratch toxic bad breath rash dilated pupils bump eyes cancer prednisolone high blood pressure cough furballs catoberfest eye infection nails kidney diuretics panamax dementia senses pet hunched over pica fireworks return home physical activity photo competition mass diet unwell feline enteritis urinating allergy, mental health of cats massage prey depomedrol fits runny nose on heat cat fight health check thyroid kidneys spray adipokines best cat clinic brown snake sneeze tradesmen sudden blindness paralysed cryptococcosis sick cat thirsty hypertension thiamine deficiency hunter home fluid pills cat flu stare into space feline herpesvirus change spraying panadol heaing heart disease holiday litter box changed joints FIV sucking wool fabric lilies restless snuffles cta fight sore eyes attack


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions