Lives Worth Saving: Cats in Renal Failure

There is a saying amongst veterinarians that “If your cat lives long enough, she will eventually have renal failure.”

Chronic renal failure is an incurable condition that mainly afflicts middle-aged and older cats. It occurs when 75 percent or more of kidney tissue has been destroyed. Unlike acute renal failure, the onset and progression of this condition is gradual, extending over many months or even years. Especially in cats that are seven years of age and older, kidney failure is one of the most frequently observed causes of severe illness.

The exact causes of chronic kidney failure are unknown, although the loss of healthy kidney tissue may be a result of readily recognizable conditions, such as kidney infections or obstructions; some suggest it is more prominent now due to the dry commercial cat foods fed by most cat owners, instead of the moisture rich prey a cat would eat in nature.

By the time a cat is showing signs of chronic renal failure, the underlying cause is for the most part irrelevant, since the loss of healthy kidney tissue will preclude effective treatment of that cause. In some cases, little can be done to prolong the life of a cat diagnosed with late-stage chronic renal failure. On the other hand, it is quite common nowadays, thanks to innovative medical procedures, for some cats to live for one to three years or even longer following early diagnosis.

Austin Pets Alive! does not want to see cats with renal failure be euthanized simply because they are labeled with a disease that is not causing them great harm. We also don’t want to see these cats spend their last years at a shelter, but in a loving home environment. In an effort to give these cats a good quality of life in a home, Austin Pets Alive! now offers a special package for people who adopt a cat with Chronic Renal Failure.

APA! will provide the following at our clinic:

  • Teach adopters how to administer subcutaneous fluids at home and provide the fluids and needles
  • Renal food, as our supply permits
  • Euthanasia when the time comes and there is no longer a quality of life
  • Full details can be found here.

Senior feline, Alyse, was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure while at APA! She is just one of the success stories of this program, recently adopted and living the good life in her forever home.

Alyse: A Senior Cat in Renal Failure

Adopter Cat Reynolds says “Knowing that I can get the food and supplies from APA! is definitely a plus and made it easy for me to consider a special needs cat. Alyse is a happy cat with a manageable condition and I’m glad this program exists to help cats like her who are just as deserving of adoption.”

As Austin Pets Alive! works to keep Austin a No Kill city and continues accepting and helping these deserving cats, we hope this new program helps you consider adopting a cat with chronic renal failure. We believe these cats, too, are lives worth saving.

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