Kidney disease, or renal disease, is one of the most common diseases that we see affecting cats. Kidney disease is very serious, as the kidneys are essential for the health of your cat. The role of the kidneys is to filter the blood, excrete excess nitrogen and other toxins, regulate water and electrolyte balance, and produce some hormones. When the filtering components of the kidneys become damaged, they cannot properly carry out their functions properly. This is an irreversible change. The kidneys will be able to function efficiently until approximately 70% of the kidney is lost, at which stage they will start to deteriorate, and we begin to see clinical signs of illness in our cats.
There are two different forms of kidney disease – acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term). Chronic kidney disease is more common, and what we will explore here. Regular monitoring seeks to discover early signs of kidney disease, so we can do our best to slow its progression and give cats a high quality of life for as long as possible.