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Kidney Disease in Cats
By: Jane Bicks, D.V.M.
Not all old cats have it, and many young cats do.
One of the most widely propagated health myths about cats is that if
they're old and they're sick they have kidney disease.
And this just isn't true!
Granted, as cats age, there is a gradual, natural deceleration of kidney
function, but this is not kidney disease! And considering the abundance of
inferior protein being foisted on cats these days, it's remarkable that it
The kidneys, which are responsible for gathering and distributing needed
nutrients and eliminating harmful substances from the blood, spend most of
their time excreting waste from nutrient breakdown.
This means that the less quality a protein has, the more work the kidneys
must do. Conversely, more quality protein means less work for the kidneys.
Kidney disease symptoms (scratching, mangy coat, fatigue, increased thirst,
frequent urination), indicative as they might appear, are not proof of the
Without a BUN (blood, urea, nitrogen concentration) test and urine test to
determine the levels at which the kidneys are functioning, no accurate
diagnosis can be made.
Because the disease can strike cats of all ages, I recommend that your pet
be given a BUN and other tests annually after the age of six. The earlier
potential problems are detected, the easier the disease is to prevent.
Prevention Is As Easy As 1 - 2 - 3
- Switch your pet to a high BV (biological value) protein
professional/alternative food and serve it twice daily.
- If the cat is overweight, it's instant shape up time.
- Supplement his diet with:
1/4 teaspoon torula yeast twice daily with food 1/4 teaspoon crushed
garlic (contains potassium) Plenty of fresh water daily
What to do if your Cat has Kidney Problems
If a BUN and other tests show that your cat has a kidney disease or renal
damage that has impaired proper kidney function, you must pay strict attention
to special nutritional guidelines:
- Protein intake must be moderated and limited to highest quality sources;
the extent of protein limitation is determined by how effectively and at
what level, the kidneys are functioning.
(At one time, it was recommended to restrict protein during kidney disease,
but I suggest that it is necessary to limit protein
only when kidney function is very poor.)
- Sodium intake must be restricted.
- Phosphorus intake must be restricted. avoid foods with an inverse
- Provide professional, fixed, formula food with restricted high-quality
protein and minerals.
- Add crushed garlic to make up for potassium loss.
- Supplement his diet with B vitamins.
- Plenty of fresh water.
A few things you should realize about Hairballs
By: Dr. Bicks
Although you may not see hairballs, there may be a whole lot of
hair in your cat's stomach and intestines!
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