Q:

What is feline kidney failure?

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Quick Answer

Feline kidney failure, also known as uremia, is the buildup of toxic waste in the kidneys due to their inability to remove the waste from the blood. Kidney failure is the leading cause of death in house cats; the condition can come on suddenly or progress over a matter of months and often doesn't show its presence until acute damage has already occurred.

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Full Answer

Feline kidney failure can be caused by abdomen injury, antifreeze or Easter lilies poisoning, and shock caused by dehydration or sudden blood loss. The first visible sign of kidney failure is the inability of a cat to hold its bladder as effectively. An owner may notice her cat visiting the litter box more frequently; a determinant may be when the cat begins to urinate beside the box because the box is now being soiled at a much faster rate. The urination rate then decreases as the kidneys begin to fail, which makes the cat retain toxics in the bloodstream. Advanced stages of feline kidney failure cause sluggishness, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of weight, discoloration on the tongue, oral ulcers and the breath having an odor similar to ammonia. Coma and then death are the final stages of feline kidney failure.

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