Kitten on a person's hand

Kidney Disease in Cats
– Your Ultimate Guide

The signs of feline kidney disease won’t always be obvious – with PrettyLitter, you can rest easy knowing you’re doing everything you can to protect your furry friend.

Understanding Cat
Kidney Disease

Close-up image of red blood cells illustrating cat kidney disease

What is Cat Kidney Disease?

Your cat’s kidneys help him or her stay healthy by managing your cat’s blood pressure, stimulating red blood cell production, removing waste from the blood, and making important hormones. Kidney disease hinders these important functions and can negatively impact your cat’s wellbeing. Cat kidney disease takes form in two distinct ways:

Acute Renal Failure

This sudden onset kidney disease can happen very suddenly to cats of all ages as a result of poisons, shock, or trauma.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

This slow progression towards kidney failure is found in middle-aged and senior cats, as their kidney function deteriorates over time.

How to Spot Kidney
Disease in Cats

Orange tabby cat looking serious

Kidney failure—especially CDK, which develops slowly over time—is not always immediately detectable. But paying attention to the warning signs can help you gauge your kitty’s health along the way.

Some warning signs include:

  • Frequent urination or urinating where they shouldn’t
  • Dehydration and/or excessive water drinking
  • Weight loss
  • Vomit, diarrhea, or urine containing blood
  • Cloudy urine
  • Foul breath, mouth ulcers, or an unhealthy brown tongue
  • Weakness or lethargy

What Causes Kidney
Disease in Cats?

Close-up of a cat's paws resting on an orange cushion

The acute and chronic versions of kidney disease have drastically different causes, but both are the end result of damage to and dysfunction of the nephrons—the tiny tubes that comprise the kidney’s filtering system.

In Acute Renal Failure, the nephron damage happens very quickly due to ingestion of a poison or chemical, heart failure, bacterial infection, etc. The remaining healthy nephrons are unable to compensate for the sudden loss of function, which precipitates total kidney failure.

With Chronic Kidney Disease, on the other hand, the damage builds up slowly, until too many nephrons stop working and the kidneys lose function altogether. This is often the result of slowly developing conditions, such as an autoimmune disorder—in which a cat’s body attacks its own healthy organs— or kidney cysts—which slowly grow to destroy the tissue.

How to Prevent Kidney
Disease in Cats?

Gray cat drinking from a white bowl

There are ways to help slow or mitigate the potential onset of this condition and keep your cat as healthy as possible for all nine lives:

Proper Diet

Feed your cat moisture-rich, balanced and healthy meals.


Supply your cat with a constant stream of fresh drinking water.

Healthy Lifestyle

Help your cat maintain a healthy weight to avoid obesity and diabetes, which can be linked to kidney failure.

Standard Check-Ups

Bring your kitty to the vet twice a year.

Stay Vigilant

Use PrettyLitter’s smart technology to check for blood and monitor your cat’s pH balance.

Frequently Asked

PrettyLitter package and bowl of litter with paw prints and scooper

See The Signs of Kidney Disease Sooner with PrettyLitter

When it comes to cat kidney disease, early detection is everything—it’s for reasons like this that we made PrettyLitter in the first place. Our color-changing smart technology alerts you to potential health issues, including the early symptoms of kidney failure.

Your fur baby deserves every advantage in the world — that starts with PrettyLitter.