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Feline Care 101: Chronic Kidney Disease

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the most common disease affecting cats over 7 years of age and is a major cause of suffering and death in senior cats (up to 50% of elderly cats are affected). As cats age, their kidneys begin to lose the ability to function as well as they should. This leads to waste products building up in the blood and a lack of ability to conserve water. The cats become dehydrated despite excessive drinking. The kidneys play a key role in maintaining proper blood pressure, so we often see hypertension in these cats as well.


Signs that may be an indication of CKD include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Drinking and urinating more than usual
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dull, matted coat
  • Sleeping more than normal

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Most often an increase in drinking and urination is the first change noticed, but unfortunately, many of these signs don’t show until the damage has been done. CKD may also be present despite no obvious signs.

If you believe your cat is showing signs of CKD, contact us –your Raleigh, NC vet– for a diagnostic exam!