Weight loss, vomiting, increased intake of water, increased urination and decreased appetite are signs of kidney failure in cats, according to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Mouth ulcers, bad breath, constipation, a dry coat and multiple incidences of bacterial urinary tract infections are other possible signs, states WebMD.
Kidney failure can occur quickly or develop gradually, notes the ASPCA. Kidney trauma, urinary tract blockages and exposure to toxins can cause kidney failure. High blood pressure, infections, cancer and immunological or hereditary diseases are other possible causes of kidney failure. Kidney function sometimes degrades so gradually that by the time symptoms are obvious, it is too late to manage or treat the condition effectively, explains petMD.
Blood and urine tests, X-rays, ultrasounds and biopsies are tools veterinarians use to diagnose kidney failure, according to WebMD. Treatment depends on the cause of the kidney failure. Surgery alleviates urinary tract blockages, and sometimes cats with kidney failure require intravenous fluids or medications.
Veterinarians often recommend a special diet for cats experiencing kidney failure, advises WebMD. The diet includes low levels of protein and phosphorous enriched by vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Such a diet slows the progression of kidney failure but does not stop it, explains Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.