said this often enough, but I'm going to repeat myself myself:
Cats will hide the symptoms of a condition until it is far into
progression, until the pain or discomfort becomes unbearable.
And this includes one of the deadliest feline ailments of all
(kidney) failure, and specifically Chronic Renal Failure (CRF). The following
excerpt is taken from (in my opinion) the most authoritative site on the
Internet that deals with feline kidney problems.
failure may be either chronic or acute. Chronic Renal Failure (CRF)
is a progressive, irreversible deterioration of kidney function. Because
cats hide their illnesses and the very early signs of CRF are subtle,
this disease may only be recognized when the patient reaches the 70%
deterioration level and more dramatic symptoms are observable. The seemingly
sudden onset may appear to be an acute condition but is most often a
crisis point of CRF."
said, it's pretty clear that we cannot afford to take chances with this
ugly disease. We need to be on the alert for signs of CRF, and we need
to act quickly if we see them. But what are the signs?
thirst. If you have the slightest reason to think your cat is drinking
more than normal, try to confirm it quickly by measuring his/her daily
consumption. In multi-cat households, this will require isolation for
a day or so. A guideline for normal, daily water consumption (an average-weight
cat) is about ¾ of an ounce of water per pound of cat. If total
consumption is more than 8 ounces, it should be investigated. Remember:
If the diet is canned food, water is being ingested with that, as well.
Assuming you use the clumping (scoopable) litter, expect to see two
or three golf-ball-size clumps a day. More than that, and you should
investigate it. In multi-cat households, you'll have to isolate the
cat for a day or so to be sure.
of appetite. If
you observe (or suspect) excessive drinking and/or urinating, watch
for this. If you observe fussy or poor eating habits, it's time for
a visit to the vet.
My opinion is that everyone who owns a cat should have a baby scale,
or some means of verifying a cats weight with accuracy
to the ounce.
An occasional hairball will cause this, BUT
coupled with the other
symptoms, it's a red flag warning of possible kidney problems.
This is generally caused by two conditions that can be related to kidney
problems: Dehydration, and lack of desire to maintain their grooming.
know what you're cat looks like, generally. If he/she seems to be "wasting
away", or has taken on a run-down look
it's time for the vet;
something is wrong.
in charge. Your baby sees the vet once --maybe twice-- a year. When kidneys
have reached a certain level of reduced functionality, it's a race you
cannot afford to lose. Which means you have to catch the very first signs
and react immediately. Once that threshold is reached, understand that
DAYS make the difference.
also that these symptoms individually may not necessarily mean the onset
of CRF: A little extra drinking could merely be from a dry house or hot
weather; fussy eating could be that she/he is just tired of that brand
of food; occasional vomiting could be from a hairball, minor constipation.
So what I'm saying is this: Observation of ONE symptom should have us
looking for others. And if we see others, then Kitty gets tested ASAP.
An unnecessary test done is a minor inconvenience
a necessary test
not done is a death sentence. Left untreated, CRF is a killer of
the highest certainty.
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Please email me at Kathy (at) AssistFeed.com
© 2003-2013 by Kathy Fatheree. All rights reserved.
Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site
are a collection of Kathy's assist feeding experiences as well as the
experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While
every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information,
Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held
responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information
on this site.