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Kidney Disease and Your Cat

Did you know that cats don't process water by drinking it the same as their bodies process moisture in their diet?! Giving your cat a healthy diet that regularly consists of canned food (or raw) is mega benneficial to their kidney health. The following article was published by Wapiti Labs. A great comprehensive read on the functionality and risks of the kidneys.

"Cats with chronic kidney disease often show no visible signs early on, which is why early diagnosis can be challenging. More than 30% of cats will get kidney disease at some point in their lives, and as they get older, the likelihood they will develop kidney disease increases. By the time they reach the age of 15, more than half of cats over are afflicted with some form of kidney disease.

Your cat’s kidneys play a central role in many important processes. They help to control the blood pressure and regulate the amount and chemical composition of fluid in the bloodstream. They produce a variety of essential hormones and enzymes, and they contribute to the production of red blood cells. They also remove metabolic waste products from the bloodstream.

Each kidney contains hundreds of thousands of tiny filtration units called nephrons. When waste-laden blood enters the kidneys through the renal artery, it moves through progressively smaller vessels until it reaches these nephrons, where it is filtered through microscopically minute structures called glomeruli. The cleansed blood—about 95 percent of the total fluid volume that originally entered the kidneys—then circulates back to the heart for yet another voyage through the body. The remaining fluid, containing the waste products, is passed along as urine from the kidneys to the bladder through thin tubes called ureters, and is eventually excreted.

Unfortunately, feline kidneys are susceptible to a wide range of conditions that may diminish kidney function, and which, if severe enough, may cause illness and even death. Chronic kidney disease is a common cause of severe illness in cats, particularly older cats. A risk for kidney disease may be inherited, and there is evidence that some breeds such as Persians, Himalayans, and British Shorthairs are more genetically predisposed to this condition. The great majority of cases, however,  are acquired, and they fall into either of two broad categories: acute kidney failure (or injury) or chronic kidney disease. The difference between the two is that acute kidney injury is a severe condition with a relatively sudden onset with clinical signs that become apparent over a period of a week or a month, while chronic kidney disease is a disease that has been present for a long time."