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Loss of Appetite in Cats with Kidney Disease

Posted 2020-05-26

Your cat’s kidneys do many important things. While older cats are at a higher risk and it is more common in older pets, kidney disease can occur in cats and dogs of all ages. It is a very common disease, with 1 in 3 cats being afflicted in their lifetime. It can develop as a sudden onset, or over a prolonged period of years.

These vital organs perform multiple functions – the kidneys remove waste and extra fluid, control blood pressure, help to create red blood cells, keep bones healthy, and regulate essential minerals and nutrients. These all contribute to overall health and vitality of your cat. When they don’t function properly, your kitty may feel weak, tired and be at risk for further infection.

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Copyright – @amy_mac05

Some cats may lose their appetite after the diagnosis of kidney disease, as they may turn up their nose at their new prescription diet. Often times, the buildup of toxic waste products like urea and phosphorus in their system may cause them to feel nauseous. Other factors are dehydration, fluid retention, and constipation. Even painful mouth and tongue ulcers commonly seen in cats with kidney disease, can make it difficult to eat. Sense of taste or smell may be affected, which can also act as an appetite suppressant.

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Gracie is one of our kidney disease fighters, who got started on our kidney support supplements, to maintain overall health of her kidneys and bladder. We are happy she had such positive results quickly, and hope she gets to enjoy more happy days with her brother Kip.

Amy-mcliverty-cat-Gracie-and-kitten-Kip

My 17 year old cat was diagnosed with the beginning of kidney failure. I ordered Tripsy right away, as the prescription food was not to her liking. After a few days, & doses she seems to be happier. Her appetite is back & she is eating up her food. She has emerged from her cat cave & wants to be around people again.

Amy-mcliverty-cat-Gracie

Encouraging a cat with kidney disease to eat

Cats with kidney problems like chronic kidney disease need to maintain a special diet to maintain optimal health and manage their symptoms. They can also become easily dehydrated as more water than normal is lost in the urine, so feeding a diet with high water content can help prevent this. Some kitties can be coaxed to eat by trying a different brand of prescription kidney food, or livening up a meal by adding some tuna water, pumpkin purée or plain yogurt.

If you are willing to cook a homemade diet for your kitty, this can be a much more tasty and palatable option for your kitty. Our in-house veterinarian, Dr. Amanda is able to create a customized nutrition plan for your kitty’s needs.

Reduction of the symptoms of chronic renal disease is the main measure of nutritional management in pets with renal disease. There are several factors to keep in mind. The kidneys have a very high oxygen consumption, which is increased when the kidneys reabsorb sodium.

When the kidneys are damaged this sodium reabsorption is increased, therefore the oxygen consumption is also increased. For this reason, a diet high in antioxidants is very important for pets with renal disease.

Kidney disease is often linked with high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Ensure a diet includes heart-healthy and blood pressure friendly ingredients, along with excess phosphorus and excess protein as these can be a concern in pets with kidney disease.


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Contact an NHV Pet Expert for any questions about kidney disease. We are dedicated to keeping your feline happy and healthy. ❤

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