There are a number of causes of kidney disease and it can be sudden onset or a chronic illness. Either way, it’s certainly something you want your veterinarian to monitor. Feline kidney disease may present many different symptoms, so if you notice any of these signs be sure to take your cat to the vet.
#1 – Loss of Appetite
When your cat feels ill, it’s perfectly reasonable for him to want to skip out on meals. But not eating can be very dangerous for cats, even if it’s only a meal or two. If you notice your cat has no interest in food, take him to the veterinarian immediately.
#2 – Weight Loss
Often paired with a decrease in appetite, weight loss is a common symptom of feline kidney disease. Weight loss might seem to benefit a cat that’s overweight, but if it’s rapid and/or unplanned, you should check with your vet.
#3 – Bad Breath
Although a cat’s breath doesn’t smell particularly good to us, kidney disease will often lead to an ammonia-like smell coming from your kitty’s mouth. This is as bad a symptom as it is stinky and you should seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
#4 – Vomiting & Diarrhea
Gastrointestinal upset is a common symptom in most feline illnesses, but a prolonged presence of either is definitely a sure sign your cat should see a veterinarian.
#5 – Lethargy
Even the laziest cats will become weak and uninterested in playing or moving around. If you notice your cat sleeping more than usual or moving sluggishly while awake, it’s time to seek a medical opinion.
#6 – Mouth Ulcers
Ulcers on the gums and tongue can often be a sign of kidney disease in cats. Not only are they a sign something is very wrong, they’re uncomfortable and a terrible experience for any kitty. Seek veterinary attention immediately if you notice any ulcers in your cat’s mouth.
#7 – Excessive Thirst
Kidney disease will often make your cat very thirsty, so if you notice an empty water dish or constant drinking it’s probably a good time to make an appointment with your vet.
#8 – Blood in Urine
Blood in the urine can sometimes be a sign of a minor urinary tract infection, but can certainly be a symptom of kidney disease. Regardless of the cause, it’s a sign your cat is in pain and needs veterinary care.
#9 – Dry Coat
Kidney disease can cause very poor coat condition, especially dry and coarse hair. Even with regular grooming you may notice that your cat’s coat is looking worse and worse, which is a sign that something is going wrong.
#10 – Frequent Urination
Cats with kidney disease will often be in and out of the litter box and even urinate all over the house. The urgency is very real and uncomfortable and can be a sign of kidney problems. Be sure to take your cat to the veterinarian if you notice any accidents and don’t take the behavior personally.