Cat CRF Resource Page

What You Need to Know About Cat CRF and Feline Renal Failure Symptoms

What is Feline Chronic Renal Failure?

Feline chronic renal failure, or CRF, is a common illness among cats, and it can affect any cat breed. This condition occurs when a cat's kidneys fail to function effectively, and toxic materials begin to build up inside its body. The increased toxicity can lead to various health problems, including weight loss, loss of appetite, excessive urination, nausea, dehydration, lethargy, stomach irritation, and others. In the advanced stage, it can also cause convulsion and seizures. CRF usually occurs in older cats, and unfortunately it is a terminal condition. It's recommended that you take your cat to the vet for CRF diagnosis when it reaches the age of seven. Early treatment of the disease can reduce the severity of the symptoms and enable your cat to live longer.

How does a cat get CRF?

It's been proven that CRF is caused by a number of kidney-related health problems, which can be hereditary or acquired. Hereditary conditions include polycystic kidney disease, renal dysplasia, and renal hypoplasia. Polycystic kidney disease occurs when there are cysts in the kidneys, while renal dysplasia and renal hypoplasia refer to abnormal developments of the kidneys. Infections and inflammations in the kidneys can also result in CRF. Another known cause of CRF is lymphoma, which is a common renal cancer among cats. This type of cancer can also lead to feline leukemia. Cats that lick or consume toxic materials such as antifreeze and lilies will have a higher chance of developing CRF, as these materials can do significant damage to the kidneys and cause acute renal failure.

Treatments Available

CRF causes the malfunction of nephrons, which are small filters in the kidneys that aid in the proper removal of waste products. As such, most treatment methods for CRF are aimed at decreasing the amount of waste materials in the body. Some of the more widely practiced treatment methods include medication, special diet, hydration therapy, and kidney transplant.

Medications are prescribed to treat individual symptoms affecting your cat. If your cat is suffering from anemia, medications such as Procrit and Epogen can make them more energetic. Calcium imbalance is also a common symptom of CRF, and can be treated with Rocatrol. Periactin and Pepcid Acid Controller are usually used to treat loss of appetite and stomach irritation, respectively.

The ideal diet for cats with CRF has to be low in protein and phosphate. The amount of sodium your cat consumes should also be limited, because sodium can contribute to the development of high blood pressure, which can worsen their CRF condition. Your cat's diet should contain high levels of potassium and vitamin B, because there will be insufficient amounts of these substances as they begin to urinate frequently. Their intake of calories should also be increased to prevent weight loss.

Kidney transplant is an effective way to counter CRF. This surgery replaces one of the kidneys in a cat with CRF with a healthy kidney from another cat. With one functioning kidney, the cat can fight off the disease and live a normal life. However, they'll have to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of their life.

Feline CRF Resources

5 Signs of Renal Disease in Cats

Kidney Failure in Cats

Chronic Kidney Disease: What Does Kidney Failure in Cats Really Mean?

Why Do So Many Domestic Cats Have Chronic Kidney Failure?

Symptoms of Chronic Renal Failure in Cats

Kidney Transplant for Feline CRF