Kidney failure is probably the most common problem seen in elderly cats. It is also a symptom of polycystic kidney disease PKD, a hereditary condition which is often found in Persian cats.

Symptoms
These include a seemingly insatiable thirst, the passing of large amounts of urine either in one go or at very frequent intervals, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weight loss, halitosis and anaemia.

Causes
For various reasons, including infections and physical damage, the nephrons parts of the kidneys that remove waste products from the blood may fail to do their job properly, and this leads to chronic renal failure. This is an extremely serious and usually irreversible condition with a very poor chance of recovery. The condition rarely occurs in cats under 5 years of age.

What to do
Renal failure is life-threatening. Don’t hesitate to contact the vet if you suspect this condition in your cat.

Treatment
Treatment of an affected cat may include a period of intensive care, during which the cat will have fluids administered via an intravenous drip, and a special diet, coupled with a restful lifestyle and a prescribed course of medication. A cat suffering from renal failure will die, and you may choose to have him put to sleep.