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Anonymous asked in PetsCats · 3 years ago

Cat diagnosed with Stage 3 Kidney Failure. What should I expect?

This was just diagnosed today while our cat had his pre-anesthesia blood test before having his teeth cleaned. Obviously he was not given a tooth cleaning after the results were revealed.

Our cat is just over 13 years old and has normal blood pressure at this time. We are waiting on urinalysis results and he will be transitioning onto a prescription Kidney Care diet (canned, not dry). Unless the urinalysis shows something odd or something goes wrong at home, he will not be on sub-cutaneous IV fluids given at home, or visiting the vet again for 4-6 weeks.

Please, any respectful or mature perspectives, advice or related stories of your own experiences would be much appreciated.


Previously our cat has been on the highest quality highest protein canned food diet available to us (Wellness, Canidae and MaxCat wet foods, for ex) with no dry food except if we were away for a couple of days which would have been maybe twice a year. This was pre-diagnosis. Thank you for everybody's interest and advice. We are in contact with the vet, however; just looking for perspective, not a diagnosis from amateurs as some seem to be assuming.

Update 2:

He has chosen the Hill's K/D Pate with Tuna as well as Royal Canin E (both canned kidney prescription diets). Let's hope they don't cause him to waste away with the very limited protein. Will talk to the vet about adding skinless bonless natural baked chicken thigh meat as the phosphorous in that is lower than the Royal Canin E. I'm hoping he'll continue to not be finicky--he generally never has been but you never know. Wish him luck. He's always been a shining star for our family.

7 Answers

  • Ken S
    Lv 7
    3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If it is stage 3, it may be too late for this but I would try considering how young he is. Also, why would you not have sub-q's to give at home? That makes no sense since dehydration is a major problem

    Treatment of Chronic Renal Failure

    If your cat is not in final stages, this is not want you want to do. You do not want to put your cat on the

    Vets low protein diet.That guarentees a short life as your cat needs meat protein to survive. There are simply so many better options out there than to hand the poor cat a low amount of poor quality protein - which often results in a poor appetite and muscle wasting since the body is now robbing its own muscle mass to feed itself a decent quality and amount of protein.

    . There are new thoughts on this and the thinking is it is not the amount of protein but the quality of protein that matters.

    The Merck veterinary manual [] says that cats need "4 g of protein of high biologic value per kg body wt/day". That's about 7 calories from protein per pound body weight per day. If a cat isn't a good eater and consumes, say, 20 calories per pound per day, then 7/20 = 35% of calories can safely be from protein. It must be high quality protein, which means meat, fish, milk, and eggs, and not grain or soy.

    I am under the assumption that you have been feeding mostly dry foods. Many use a vegetable based protein instead of animal and that is part of the problem.. Your cat needs protein as it is a carnivore and cutting down on it will lead to other health issues and may cause faster degeneration.

    You want to cut down on phosphorous (no fish allowed now)

    The best way to do this is with a raw diet which you can make yourself or buy. (Making yourself is better) link provided at the bottom

    If you are unwilling to do that then something like the non fish flavors of Wellness or Merrick with NO grains are good alternatives. Wysong is also a good canned choice. This list gives a breakdown. Remember you want low phosphorous

    You should be giving sub-Q fluids as needed.

    You also will want to look into phosphorous binders. Something like aluminum hydroxide

    Ask your vet or look into calcitrol

    You may want to talk to the vet about having injectable Pepcid AC on hand or you can buy it in pill form (ac not plain pepcid) and give 1/4 tab for stomach upset which happens a lot in crf cats due to acid in the stomach.

    I hope this stuff helps, here are many links for you

    Making cat food

    other links. Read, read, read!!!!

    About that vets diet. This report is for dogs but applies to cats

    • ...Show all comments
    • VadaPotata
      Lv 6
      3 years agoReport

      Dry food keeps your cat in a constant state of dehydration and most cat foods don't provide excellent adequate levels of protein. We've been having our pets on Grain Free these past 4 years as well. Dry food was only given if we were away for a night or two which was maybe twice a year.

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  • Deane
    Lv 5
    3 years ago

    Just a suggestion but you could take him to a holistic vet and try different remedies that may help him. I would also suggest either checking out or buying Dr. Pitcarin's Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. This book has recipes for holistic raw diets that may help him through this ordeal.

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  • -_-
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Please make sure your kitty eats ANY food while transitioning. Otherwise they may develop fatty liver and I recently lost my kitty to that, his kidneys also failed him along with other medical problems, but you just need to make sure he eats.

    Ideally, he'll eat the new food, but cats can be stubborn so just be careful.

    • ZotsRule
      Lv 7
      3 years agoReport

      It's so true that when a cat is in Renal Failure wasting away from not eating is often what kills them! I think the key with feeding canned foods is to find the ones your cat loves and ONLY feed those. I have my foods set up for auto delivery so we never run out.

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  • Laura
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    It sounds like you are on the right track.

    This is something you need to be talking with your vet about, not people online. Each case is a bit different, and how you handle things makes a difference too.

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  • mokrie
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    The wet food is vegetarian and most cats won't eat it. I lost my cat the same way and I know your cat does not have long. The only thing I can say is what I did. When the cat would not eat the new food and was at the end of life, I let it eat its favorite foods from before so it could at least die happy. Sometimes doing what's proper is not always what's right for the happiness of a dying animal.

    • Ken S
      Lv 7
      3 years agoReport

      The wet food is vegetarian

      Where do you come up with such nonsense????

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  • 3 years ago

    I have a cat with the same and all I've done is switch her to 100% canned - no kibble - and then she gets a homeopathic kidney supplement. I've done this for a few months and her numbers have gotten much better.

    Don't believe the vet hype that you need to be on their "special" ridiculously expensive prescription foods. You can find better and MUCH less expensive foods at quality pet stores and on sites like Amazon. You just need to look for foods that have the lowest amount of Phosphorus. Here's a really good article about choosing foods A lot of the "prescribed" foods aren't very tasty so your cat won't them and wasting away is the QUICKEST way for a cat to be lost to Kidney Failure. You want foods your cat will DEVOUR so try several and see which they like best and feed them as often as they want to be fed. I fed my cat at least four times a day.

    This is the supplement my cat is on. You only use a few drops of this for each meals so the bottle lasts quite a long time. Prior to her diagnosis she had lost a little weight. This supplement seems to greatly increase her appetite so she put the weight back on!

    Good luck!

  • 3 years ago

    Here are a few links that can hopefully help you out:

    I’m sorry to hear about your cat’s diagnosis. Working in veterinary medicine I can tell you that it’s quite common. Mostly it’s just managing sympotoms and trying to keep the ca as comfortable as possible for as long as you can. Then making the decision to put to sleep when the quality of life has diminished.

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