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Kidney Disease in Older House Cat

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  • Kidney Disease in Older House Cat

    I will be looking thru old posts, but wanted to get other people experience.

    I took my 16.5 indoor only cat in for shots. She hasn't had in years, but I'm going to start fostering & who knows what little germs they'll drag in. Although they'll be separate, I don't want to take any chances. She had lost quite a bit of weight since her last check up so they ran blood. Everything was excellent except kidneys - shows she's in early stage of kidney disease. Vet was happy we caught so early, said just by switching food that she could gain several years. I'll be picking up a few samples to see what she likes before I order a bunch.

    So - any experience with this? What should I expect? Did they do well on the food, or fail fast? We just lost her sister to kidney disease last October - did not catch it early enough to do anything. I know my vet would be realistic with me, but wanted some first hand experience from others.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Sorry to hear your kitty has CKD. But not all hope is lost... my girl was diagnosed at age 13.5, and she is now 18.5. Still occasionally gets the zoomies and is happy and alert.

    What to expect? Expect your girl to refuse any food prescribed by a vet! That's somewhat tongue-in-cheek because I know many cats will eat prescription food, but mine would not. Nor would she eat grain-free. So she's on low phosphorous canned (wet) food and a dietary supplement.

    What is your girl eating now?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      She on Fromm, yellow label, chicken? Has been for years. Just started giving her some fish oil,
      per vet for dry skin. She gobbles it up. I will keep this in mind, if she won't eat prescription food. Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        What kind of fish oil are you using? Are you getting capsules and squirting out the oil?
        The virtual "woodshed" seems the only remedy for willful fools .

        Comment


        • #5
          Most important thing is to keep them hydrated. Get a fountain, make canned food soup with added water, chicken broth, etc. Learn to give sub q fluids at home- it's easy and cheap- costco had the best price for a case of ringers. You may not be there yet, but you will get there.
          ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
          ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
          ~Vet Tech Student
          Mom to : 1 Horse, 4 Dogs, 3 Cats

          Comment


          • #6
            This does not work for every cat, but it did work for my old siamese Susan years ago when she became dehydrated and had a seizure due to kidney failure. The vet gave her fluids under her skin and gave me more fluids to give her for several days. Suzie revived and lived for another year in good health. Try it. Easy for owner to give the shots subcutaneously. I was in high school and had no problems doing it.

            Comment


            • #7
              The "ease" of giving sub-cutaneous fluids depends greatly on the cat. My 19yo, for instance, yelled the whole time the vet was doing it, and the three of us agreed that I would not even try to put her through that at home. At 19 it is about quality of life, and that was certainly compromising hers!

              I am so sorry you and your kitty are faced with this. Mine will not eat any of the prescription kidney foods. We have tried the 3 brands our vet carries, including 2 different varieties of one brand -- kitty would start out eating the first few cans, then decide not eat any more.

              So vet and I decided to feed her basically whatever she wants to eat -- regular canned cat food -- with tuna water or plain water added to keep her hydrated. Since doing this, her coat is sleek and shiny again and she just feels better.

              OP, feel free to look at any of my threads about this kitty. There are also other good threads on COTH about kidney kitties.

              Best wishes to you and your little girl!
              Rack on!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CindyB59 View Post
                She on Fromm, yellow label, chicken? Has been for years.
                I believe this is a dry food. She needs to be on canned/wet food. I'm surprised your vet didn't suggest a canned food. (or maybe he/she did, and it wasn't explicit in your post)

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Joanne View Post
                  What kind of fish oil are you using? Are you getting capsules and squirting out the oil?
                  Just Costco - yes, she slurps it up & begs for more. Need to ask vet how much, giving her 1 capsule worth

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Rain View Post

                    I believe this is a dry food. She needs to be on canned/wet food. I'm surprised your vet didn't suggest a canned food. (or maybe he/she did, and it wasn't explicit in your post)
                    They said both - canned food & dry food if she wants it. Got samples of all from vet last night, both Hills & Royal Canin. I'll be seeing what she likes - if at all - before I order a bunch.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
                      The "ease" of giving sub-cutaneous fluids depends greatly on the cat. My 19yo, for instance, yelled the whole time the vet was doing it, and the three of us agreed that I would not even try to put her through that at home. At 19 it is about quality of life, and that was certainly compromising hers!

                      I am so sorry you and your kitty are faced with this. Mine will not eat any of the prescription kidney foods. We have tried the 3 brands our vet carries, including 2 different varieties of one brand -- kitty would start out eating the first few cans, then decide not eat any more.

                      So vet and I decided to feed her basically whatever she wants to eat -- regular canned cat food -- with tuna water or plain water added to keep her hydrated. Since doing this, her coat is sleek and shiny again and she just feels better.

                      OP, feel free to look at any of my threads about this kitty. There are also other good threads on COTH about kidney kitties.

                      Best wishes to you and your little girl!
                      Thank you! I am scared she won't eat it too. So far, she ate some canned last night, but haven't noticed her eating the dry. Vet gave me samples of various canned & dry - will be trying them all & then order what she likes.

                      Last old cat I tried the sub q on, didn't go well. She didn't tolerate it. I really dread having to go there.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CindyB59 View Post

                        Last old cat I tried the sub q on, didn't go well. She didn't tolerate it. I really dread having to go there.
                        Me too. My old girl doesn't even like to be brushed (maybe her skin is extra sensitive?) so I have no faith that she'd be okay with getting stabbed a couple times a day.

                        If you can get enough liquid in her (via food or drinking) will that preclude the need for sub-Q fluids? I assume so, but maybe another poster can say for sure.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My 17 yo cat is on Prescription Diet k/d (kidney) and she loves it. She's never been real picky about dry food, but this is the only canned food she has never turned her nose up at.

                          They have both a fish canned food and a chicken one. My cat prefers the fish. Maybe if your cat loves fish oil she would go for other fish based foods.
                          ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                            My 17 yo cat is on Prescription Diet k/d (kidney) and she loves it. She's never been real picky about dry food, but this is the only canned food she has never turned her nose up at.

                            They have both a fish canned food and a chicken one. My cat prefers the fish. Maybe if your cat loves fish oil she would go for other fish based foods.
                            That's Hills, isn't it? I have samples. Tried royal canin last night, she ate it some. She hates seafood treats, but loves fish oil - so who knows what she'll prefer. Whatever she likes, I will buy (and then she won't...). Any rejects I can feed to the barn cats - they aren't picky.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, Hills.
                              ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Rain View Post
                                Sorry to hear your kitty has CKD. But not all hope is lost... my girl was diagnosed at age 13.5, and she is now 18.5. Still occasionally gets the zoomies and is happy and alert.

                                What to expect? Expect your girl to refuse any food prescribed by a vet! That's somewhat tongue-in-cheek because I know many cats will eat prescription food, but mine would not. Nor would she eat grain-free. So she's on low phosphorous canned (wet) food and a dietary supplement.

                                What is your girl eating now?
                                Lol, ain't it the truth! Rosemary lived to be 18 1/2 and Pooter was PTS at over 21, both CRF, neither ate a prescription diet. Rosemary was great at fluid boluses, Pooter not so much. You may consider going to all canned as it is better for renal kitties. This is a great site if you haven't looked it over. There is a ton of info and help: http://felinecrf.org/ In the end, neither of mine died from renal failure, it was other old age maladies.
                                "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Our 15.5 y/o has been on K/D for over 2 yrs and doing very well...she's on the dry food. Her kidney values have improved since she's been on it and no other issues.
                                  ****Indecision may or may not be my problem****

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would switch to all wet food, if you can. My cat got to where he would not eat the prescription diet. At that point, it doesn't matter so much whether it's prescription...we simply fed him whatever wet food he'd eat. Mostly Fancy Feast, which is not terrific for them in any case, but he ate it and that was that.

                                    Do splurge a little and buy your cat a water fountain and change the water daily. It really will encourage the cat to drink more and that's big. I also bought him a little pad that plugged in...when he curled up on the pad, it'd heat up, which felt good to his skinny bones. It's where he spent most of his last year. He sometimes felt good enough in the last year that he zoomied with the young cat, which surprised everyone.

                                    In our case, we did not do the sub-q routine. I knew he would not like it. I could've made him do it, but it wasn't right for us. YMMV. Some cats can go quite a few years with vitamins, meds and food change. Ours did not last as long, but he was a stoic dude, so he was likely feeling poor long before he let me know and was diagnosed at the vet. He was 16.5 years when he passed away.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Sorry to hear about your kitty. Have had several with CRF and it varies how they respond. One did eat the prescription food but the two others (ladies) wouldn't touch it (ate a little of the dry kibble.) If they do eat it, great, but if not, not the end of the world. Mine ate whatever the hell they wanted- fancy feast at one point, then gerber's baby food near the end (she was 17/18, no one knows for sure! my others were 17 and 19 when they passed)

                                      Your kitty may not need Subq for a while, or infrequently enough your vet can do it (I found mine offer more drama at the vet's than at home) but likely there will be a point where she'll need it (kidneys just aren't working and can't drink enough) They feel a lot better I think.

                                      I had a small, very bitchy little girl, always had a been a bit of a wench, and dreaded it when she was dx'd with CRF, but, turns out she was fine with subq. The first time or two she wiggled, but then when she got that it didn't last that long, she just lay on my lap.

                                      Like I said though, you may not need that for a while!! Good luck - I guess most important is that whatever time they have left is loving and pleasant!!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the info. We're trying various things, none of which she's thrilled with. But I've narrowed down RC chicken stew is one she'll eat. Anything with chucks, she just licks the juice off of it.

                                        went to a high end pet food store, guy is somewhat of an expert on kidney disease. Lots of info from him too. I'll be playing with a variety of combos of dry/wet. He gave me samples of things to try too. He suggested goat milk, has anyone fed that?

                                        Comment

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