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April 2024

How a Cats Kidneys Start to Fail

Thursday, June 11, 2020
posted by Jim Murphy

It is very common for an older cat to develop kidney disease and most time we don’t even notice this disease in it’s very early stages. Today we’re going to cover reasons why a cats kidneys start to fail. Dr. Karen Becker of has outlined what happens when the kidneys start to fail.

The kidneys are made up of thousands of microscopic funnel-shaped tubes called nephrons. The job of nephrons is to filter and reabsorb fluids. In young healthy animals, there are so many nephrons available that some are held in reserve. As the cat ages or in cases of kidney damage, some nephrons stop functioning and the reserve nephrons take over and start functioning for them. At some point in a kitty’s life, all of the nephrons that can function are functioning.

With no nephrons left in reserve, as damage to the kidneys progresses, signs of chronic kidney disease will start to appear. Because of the system of reserve nephrons, there are no signs of kidney insufficiency until the damage is really significant. When two thirds of the nephrons are lost, the kidneys will no longer be able to conserve water, and the cat will pass larger amounts of dilute urine. By the time that the creatinine levels are elevated on a kitty’s bloodwork, 75 percent of nephrons in both kidneys are gone.

I’ve been discussing ways to recognize this disease but we must realize, when symptoms begin to develop, the disease has already progressed. I’m thankful for the products such as Astro’s oil which really help to prolong life and improve kitty’s quality of life. We will cover more details about this disease so we can better understand what’s going on inside your cat as the disease progresses.

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