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My best, worst cat has kidney failure--Update: he's gone.

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    My best, worst cat has kidney failure--Update: he's gone.

    This is more of a vent than anything. My cat, the best worst cat in the world, the one who makes asshole a verb and then melts my heart with snuggles, has renal failure. He had no symptoms until he suddenly stopped eating a few days ago. For now, he is getting sub-Q fluids and whatever he feels like eating. I won't keep this up indefinitely; it's not fair to him, but the bloodwork showed a high WBC count as well, and there is a glimmer of hope that this is caused by an infection and he can recover if it clears, so I'm giving him a few more days to let the antibiotics work. He does seem better today--ate the most he has in ages and was a bit more active, but while I want to believe there is hope, I'm trying to adjust to the idea of life without him. He's only 12 this spring. I feel cheated out of so much time with him, and with this coming on the heels of a major car repair, and a client behind in paying me for a freelance job, what's killing me the most is that I can't afford to have him cremated and his ashes returned to me. I know that's not really him in that box, but the probability of not being able to bring him home is tearing me up. If I had the power in my lifetime to make just one living creature live forever, it would be my Monster.
    Last edited by HenryisBlaisin'; Feb. 11, 2020, 08:09 PM.

    I'm so sorry. Do the vets think it could be acute vs chronic renal failure?

    Thomas was diagnosed with chronic renal failure and he lived three years after diagnosis. He was very good about the fluids after I got some Terumo ultra thin needles - they made a huge difference in his comfort level. I warmed the bag of fluids up in the sink too - he must've felt better afterwards, because after a little while, when he saw me get the bag of fluids out he would run and jump on the bed, in his spot, waiting for me.

    He always got treats too which may have helped with that. All the cats would lay on the bed beside him while the fluids were running, knowing treats were in store.

    Hugs and jingles for you and your Monster!!


      Original Poster

      The vet thinks it could be acute, a result of nephritis. He had a high white blood count and bacteria in the urine, so the vet thinks there is a chance it's reversible if it is caused by infection. He has shown improvement since starting on an antibiotic in terms of being a bit perkier and eating more, but he's also been on daily fluids, so it's hard to say what the cause is. He ate almost his normal full day amount today on his own for the first time in almost a week, over several snacks, so that's good. He was never a fat cat because I have tried to keep him at a healthy weight, but after the past week he feels like skin and bones. It reminds me of how skinny he was the day I found him, crying, under my front porch, somebody's garbage. I don't know what I will do without him. I love my dog and other two cats, but this one is so special. There isn't a lot of love in my life, but there has been him.


        I'm so sorry. Renal failure is such a bitch

        There are a lot of ways to manage the nausea that comes with renal failure, and how good your management of it is holding is a really good measure of when it's time.

        Famotidine is table stakes, and otc. 1/4 of generic regular strength pepcid twice daily goes a long way. It's tasteless if you grind into wet food. The name brand is a funny shape and hard to split. You're looking for the 10 mg tablets.

        Zofran is really fabulous, too. This one is rx. 1/4 of a 4 mg tab once daily. Don't let them give you the liquid--it's terribly bitter to them.

        Cerenia is also good, but I have far better results pairing with zofran. This is also rx, 1/4 tab of a 16mg/day. I haven't found this very useful alone.

        Once you manage the nausea, mirtazipine can kick in the appetite. Wedgewood sells a transdermal prep in a pen--you apply to the inside ear flap a couple times a week. Soooooo much easier than the pills.

        Famotidine goes into the food easily, but wrap the other stuff in a very small piece of pill pocket--just enough to cover and coat the pills. You can wrap up a few things in a single little packet. It'll slide down easier and not taste bad.

        Fluids will also make them feel better.

        Don't offer a bunch of different food until you've got the nausea under control, or you'll just create aversion. Hit the nausea hard and fast, add mirtazipine, then offer a buffet and see what he wants.

        ​​​​​​Big hugs. Hope he improves and stabilizes for you quickly.


          Hugs and jingles to you and your Monster. I hope it's just an infection and the antibiotics clear it out.


            I hope he continues to improve and eat. It's so hard when it's the really special ones that are sick - I love all my critters but Thomas was special. Sometimes when I was feeling sad about the future I'd hold him and cry.

            I hope you have many more years with Monster.


              Original Poster

              Jesse James (that's his actual name) has been eating better the last day or two--ate almost all of his usual full day's worth yesterday, but over the course of more meals and snacks, and today so far has polished off a good bit as well, and it's not dinnertime yet. He felt well enough to smack my young cat when he tried to steal a bite of his snack. He's still sleeping much of the time, but seems overall brighter. Not sure if it's just the fluids or if the antibiotic is starting to work as well. Again, I'm trying not to get my hopes too high, but if he's feeling better I will take it for as long as it lasts. Thanks to all for the support--it means more than you know, since I'm basically alone here.


                Throw the kitchen sink at him to try to get over this hump. Acute on chronic renal failure can be managed. Hugs to you. We managed an elderly cat (18) for a couple of years with fluid boluses.
                "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


                  Jingles & AO for your beloved Jesse James !

                  ((hugs)) laced with extra strength & patience !

                  please give him some time ... infections hit them hard

                  Come on Monster !!!!!

                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                    Yay for Jesse James! I know you don't want to get your hopes up, but I'm so glad he's doing better today

                    Hope the trend continues for tomorrow!


                      Jingles and lots of hugs for you and JJ. Glad to read the positive update, and will keep you and him in my thoughts.
                      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                        How's your monster cat doing, @henryisBlaising?


                          Original Poster

                          He's hanging in there so far. We have an appointment for more bloodwork on Monday which will tell us if the infection is clearing and if his kidney values are improving at all. He ate his whole breakfast this morning and then a whole second one later when I gave him his daily fluids. We'll see how he does at dinner tonight. He's still sleeping a lot, but I guess that's not completely out of the realm considering how sick he has been. I sort of feel like if it is chronic, we can manage with fluids at least for a while, as long as he is happy and comfortable. I don't know how long that will be, but I am cherishing every minute with him.


                            Good update ~

                            Jingles & AO for Jesse James ~

                            ((hugs)) of support for HB ~
                            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                              Positive thoughts and best wishes for you and JJ.
                              Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women


                                I hope you get good news Monday! But I learned that cats don't read and as hard as it was, as long as they're eating and not uncomfortable, is to go by how they feel and take it day by day. Thomas' kidney levels kept rising over the years but he was always himself so as long as he felt good and did his normal catly stuff I was ok.

                                I do have some Terumo UTW 20 gauge if you wanted to try a couple.

                                Jingles for a good report Monday and most of all, a good weekend!


                                  Original Poster

                                  We got a good report from the vet. We still have one more test to do because Jesse James was a jerk and peed in his carrier on the way to the vet so they couldn't get a sample, but his new bloodwork was very promising--my vet said his recovery so far is "remarkable!" His white blood cell count is normal (I can't remember how high it was, but quite high), and his creatinine has fallen from over 11 to 3.9. It should be under 2, but she said that for the short amount of time, this looks promising. She wants to keep him on antibiotics and fluid therapy for six weeks to give him a chance to really knock out the nephritis and then recheck his kidney function. If there is permanent damage, we may need to continue fluid support, but she sounded very optimistic that he can recover. He's still not cleaning out his bowl at meals, but he's not leaving a lot, and over the course of the day is eating more than he was before in smaller portions.

                                  Thanks to all for the kind thoughts, jingles and message--they mean so, so much. Please keep the healing thoughts coming for a full recovery and many more years. This monster just climbed into my lap for a snuggle for the first time since he got sick. He only stayed a minute, but I'll take it...


                                    That's wonderful news!!! 😃

                                    Lots and lots of jingles and prayers for Jesse James to continue healing! I hope you get a full fledged snuggle soon.


                                      Excellent !!!!

                                      Keep up the good work !!!!

                                      Jingles & AO !!!!

                                      ((hugs)) & some rest for all !!!!

                                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                        Great news!
                                        Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women