How to treat kidney failure in cats

The kidneys are the organs in charge of filtering the blood and producing urine, which eliminates numerous wastes of the animal's metabolism. When they are not able to adequately perform their function, we are faced with a renal failure, also called renal failure (or failure).

In another article published in .com explain how to know if a cat has renal failure, and review the types that can be according to their duration (acute or chronic) and depending on the place of the urinary system that causes the failure (renal, prerenal or postrenal) ; in this we will focus on how to treat kidney failure in cats.

Correct alterations

Before tackling the treatment of any disease, it is necessary to evaluate the general health status of the animal and stabilize it in the case of presenting alterations that could endanger its life.

In addition to anorexia, cats with kidney failure usually have electrolyte imbalances that your veterinarian will detect through a proper analysis and correction.

Correct the cause that causes it

The first goal of treatment should be to eliminate the cause that is causing your cat's kidney failure. The most frequent are usually obstructions due to stones, infections, some toxic substances such as heavy metals or ethylene glycol, diseases in the liver, infections in the uterus, hypotension and hyperthyroidism.

There are also diseases with an associated genetic component that can affect the kidney, being more common in the Persian, Siamese, Abyssinian, Burmese, Maine Coon and Russian Blue races.

Fluid therapy

Fluid therapy is the administration of fluids ("serum") to the animal, usually intravenously, to treat or prevent dehydration, in addition to correcting electrolyte disturbances.

Although sometimes cats with kidney failure have polyuria, that is, they urinate more times than usual, in other cases the opposite occurs, urinate little ( oliguria ) or nothing ( anuria ).

As we have said, the production of urine is necessary to eliminate waste, if not achieved only with the administration of fluids, you can resort to the use of diuretics, such as furosemide or mannitol.


If even the diuretics have failed and the cat still does not produce urine, or in very advanced cases in which the kidney is totally unable to function, you can opt for hemodialysis (filtering the blood with a device) or peritoneal dialysis, which consists of administering fluids through a tube placed in the abdomen and using the peritoneum (an internal membrane of the animal that surrounds the organs) as a filter.

In cats, dialysis is somewhat more complex and much more expensive than in humans, with which in many of these cases euthanasia is usually resorted to.

Specific diet

It is the basis of the treatment, especially in the long term. There are specific foods for cats with kidney problems, which can be purchased at veterinary centers.

These diets are available both in wet form (cans) and dry (feed), and contain substances capable of regulating the pH of the urine, favoring renal function and hindering the formation of stones. They also have low phosphorus content, which minimizes the damage suffered by the kidney, and compounds that protect it, such as antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids.

  • We recommend that you take your cat to the veterinarian at least twice a year for a review.