Feline Acute Renal Failure – Cat Kidney Problems

kidney problems in cats

kidney problems in cats

Feline Acute Renal Failure is not too common but it is often difficult to find out the cause. Cats rely on their kidneys to filter their blood, and so remove waste products from their bodies, by creating urine. If the kidneys become damaged however, this can lead to cat kidney problems, and this may not only affect the flow of urine, but also the volume being produced. A progressive loss of kidney function is usually seen in older cats. Acute renal failure is a much more serious and immediately life-threatening condition, which can strike at any stage, and has a number of causes.

Restoring the correct fluid balance in the cat’s body is vital to ensure the kidneys start to function properly again. If your cat will not drink the liquids she normally enjoys, hospitalisation will be necessary.

What can be done by way of treatment?

The signs of feline acute renal failure are likely to include both vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as loss of appetite and a lack of interest in life. You may notice more specific signs as well, such as changes in your cat’s urinary habits, and increased thirst. There may also he mouth ulcers and touching the back in the vicinity of the kidneys can be painful.


Unfortunately, there are a number of different possible causes of acute renal failure, and it can be difficult to identify the underlying reason immediately. There may be an infection of the kidneys themselves, or it could be that an infection elsewhere in the body has affected their function, for example a blood clot may have given rise to a blockage within the filtration network of the kidney.

Poisoning is another possibility, as with ethylene glycol in anti-freeze which forms oxalate crystals in the kidney tubules. Cats will drink anti-freeze readily, in spite of its deadly effects on their bodies. Examination of a blood sample will reveal the characteristic changes associated with kidney failure, although the general findings will not necessarily reveal whether the problem is caused by acute or long-standing kidney failure. This is why it is important to be able to describe the onset of your cat’s symptoms clearly, to help your vet to try and identify the exact cause.

  • Eel serum can be used as a homeopathic remedy to promote urine flow in cases of acute kidney failure. A 30c dose is usually recommended, being given three times daily over the course of three days.
  • You need to be careful about the ingredients of household cleaning products that you use. Cats may acquire phenol for example from deodorisers, and this will damage their kidneys when licked off their paws.
  • A cat which has longstanding kidney disease can suffer from acute kidney failure as well.

Your cat is likely to need to be hospitalised, so that fluid therapy can be given, to stabilise its condition, along with other treatment if the underlying cause of the problem is known. It will be necessary to ensure the cat’s urinary output is normal, and so diuretic drugs may be needed to encourage flow of urine through the kidneys.

Is there any herbal remedy to help a cat who has this condition?

A type of seaweed sold in health food shops as kombu, made up freshly each day, can help a cat with acute kidney disease. Break off a piece about 2.5cm ( I in) square and crumble it into a small saucepan. Add a cup of water and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Cover and simmer gently for 30 mins, without allowing to boil dry. Allow to cool, then pour it over your cat’s food.