Although you undoubtedly do your very best to ensure that your cat is as healthy as possible, as her body gets older she is still likely to start to suffer from any number of medical problems. While prescription medications given to you by our vet may indeed be necessary, there are often other things that you can do to help maintain your cat’s quality of life.
Many cats develop kidney problems at some point during their lifetime, but particularly in advancing age. Much like ours, her kidneys play an important role in keeping your feline healthy. They help to remove toxins from her body, maintain her blood pressure and produce hormones which help make vital new red blood cells. However, as kidney problems develop they will be unable to function an efficiently, and this can cause your kitty’s health to suffer.
Signs that Your Cat is Developing Kidney Problems
Your cat cannot communicate with your verbally, so she will be relying on you to pick up on the signs that she can show you that indicate her kidneys are struggling. These include:
– Poor appetite
– Urinating with greater frequency
– Drinking more
– Bad breath
If you are concerned that your cat may be developing kidney problems, you need to schedule an appointment with our vet as soon as possible. Your professional can undertake the necessary tests to make a formal diagnosis and then recommend a course of action to help treat her.
Feline Renal Diet
If your kitty has been diagnosed with kidney problems, you will almost certainly be advised to pay close attention to her diet, and potentially amend it so that it contains a more suitable blend of nutrients. This is often referred to as a ‘renal diet’ and is recommended both to help reduce the symptoms of renal problems and slow the progression of kidney disease.
You can purchase food specially formulated to meet your cat’s new dietary needs, or our veterinarian may provide you with a prescription for controlled meals. These tend to be based around highly-digestible proteins which reduce the amount of waste your kitty’s kidneys have to deal with.
Your feline friend may not be too impressed with the taste at first as renal diets tend to be less delicious than regular cat food, but you must persevere, and she will soon realize that she must get used to this new food.
How Much Potassium should be Included in My Kitty’s Diet?
If you are feeding a specially formulated food, this will almost certainly be pre-prepared with a safe amount of potassium in. Nevertheless, awareness of potassium levels is crucial when dealing with a cat with renal problems. This is because, although some potassium is necessary in your feline’s diet, her kidneys are responsible for filtering out any excess so that it can be excreted through urination. If her kidneys aren’t working correctly, it could cause a dangerously high amount of potassium to build up in her blood and this can trigger symptoms including muscle spasms, weakness, lethargy, and even cardiac arrhythmias.
However, many cats with renal problems actually suffer from low potassium levels since the more of the mineral is lost from her body each time she urinates – something which is much more frequent in cats with kidney disease.
Our veterinarian will be able to accurately assess the potassium levels in your cat’s body and make a recommendation as to whether a suitable diet for will included potassium supplements.
If you are concerned that your cat may have kidney problems, you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. Contact us and schedule your consultation with our dedicated veterinary team by calling our offices today.