Acute Cat Renal Failure

Acute cat renal failure (kidney failure) usually occurs in younger cats. It's not as common as the chronic form.



Kitty has two kidneys. Their function is to filter his blood and remove toxic waste products from his body. If his kidneys fail, these waste products build up. Prompt treatment is essential to limit long-term damage.


Causes, Signs And Treatment

1) Causes

Possible causes include:

  • Infection (bacterial or viral)
  • Injury of the kidney due to poisoning
  • Major blood loss (e.g. following car accident). The loss of blood deprives the kidneys of oxygen, which damages them
  • Bite from a poisonous snake
  • Severe injury to other parts of the body following accident or major surgery. In this case blood clots and other debris can clog the kidneys up
  • Rupture of the kidney as a result of direct injury to it during an accident


2) Signs

Some or all of the following signs may occur:

  • Appetite loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased or decreased thirst
  • Sudden attraction to water. The cat may hang around his water bowl but not actually drink
  • Increased or decreased urine output
  • Feline incontinence
  • Cat dehydration
  • Cat vomiting
  • Urine may contain blood or pus


3) Treatment

Treatment will vary depending on the cause, and any other major problems (such as injuries sustained from an accident) will obviously need to be fixed. Acute kidney failure treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Vitamins
  • Administration of fluids - via an intravenous drip, or injected under the skin, if necessary
  • Drugs to reduce cat vomiting (and therefore reduce further fluid loss)
Your vet will advise you on the best diet for Kitty to have as his kidneys heal. For advice on health insurance for your cat, click here.


If you suspect your kitty may have acute cat renal failure, you should get him to a vet without delay. The sooner treatment is commenced, the better the chance of limiting long-term damage to his kidneys.




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