Often we see cats presented for urinating in the house or in other inappropriate areas such as the bath, laundry, washing basket etc. There are a number of reasons that our seemingly well-behaved cats may start doing this but there is one particular reason that is fairly common in our older pets – renal failure.
Renal failure is a progressive disease that overtime can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood of waste products, while retaining as much fluid as possible. As cats get older, many of them start to have problems as their kidneys become damaged and do not function properly.
Signs of renal failure in our feline friends:
- Ulcers in the stomach and mouth
- Increased drinking and urination
- Weight loss
- Inappropriate urination
For our senior patients a simple urine test gives a good indication if your cat is showing any signs of renal failure. In addition to urine tests, a blood test can give a more detailed picture of how the kidneys are functioning.
Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. Some cats cope very well with a specialised diet that helps to reduce the production of waste products.
There are also certain types of medication that help the kidneys function more efficiently and support the body to take the strain off the kidneys.
It is important to become familiar with what is normal and what is not for your cat. If a significant increase in thirst and urine output is present, inform your local vet so that early intervention and monitoring can begin. Quality of life for cats with renal failure is very important and both pet owners and veterinarians need to be monitoring this.