Increased Fluid Intake
Cats with chronic kidney disease can become dehydrated (reduced ability of the kidneys to conserve water) very quickly so it is very important that your cat always has free access to a fresh supply of water. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on how you can increase your cat’s water intake. Some ways include;
- Placing multiple water bowls throughout the house,
- Adding extra water to your cat’s food, feeding a wet (tin or sachet) diet or even having a cat drinking fountain.
Your veterinarian may suggest changing your cat’s food to one specifically designed for chronic kidney disease. These diets typically contain lower protein and phosphate levels and help to prevent ongoing kidney damage or the build-up of excess waste products in the blood.
Unfortunately, low protein/phosphate diets tend to be less palatable than normal diets so it’s important to manage any change of diet gradually. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your cat’s regular food. Increase the amounts of the new food over days, or even weeks, if your cat is fussy. Your veterinarian may be able to help with ways to ease the transition to the new food.
Your veterinarian may prescribe prescription medication to block the activation of angiotensin as part of the treatment protocol. These drugs are used to expand the blood vessels to help lower the blood pressure in cats and reduce the protein loss through kidneys. Increased loss of protein through the kidneys in CKD is a risk factor for progression of the disease, and it is possible that lowering protein loss may improve survival in some cats with CKD.
With regular monitoring your veterinarian can check on the health of your cat and suggest or prescribe any additional treatment(s) that may be necessary. For instance, your veterinarian may prescribe a treatment for the control of high blood pressure and maintain adequate levels of potassium and phosphate levels. Your veterinarian will also be able to advice on any lifestyle changes that may improve your cat’s quality of life.