kidney disease in cats

Kidney Disease In Cats: Stages, Symptoms, Causes (Coping & Unique Healing Option)

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No cat parent wants to think about the terrible diseases that can happen to their beloved felines. Yet we all know that it’s important to be educated on serious conditions such as kidney disease in cats.

Knowledge is power, and by the end of this article, you should know everything you need to know about kidney disease, including:

  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Disease progression
  • Raw or commercial kidney diet (which is best for your cat)
  • What choices you have at every stage

What Is Kidney Disease In Cats?

Kidneys have the important job of eliminating protein waste, producing urine, and balancing the salts, acids, and water in your cat’s body.

They contribute to healthy blood pressure, make hormones, and are responsible for signaling bone marrow to create more red blood cells.

Aprils hand over bubs before going to the vet kidney disease
This my angel Bubs before we took him to the vet for the last time.

Kidney disease can interrupt any of these processes to catastrophic effects.

Kidney disease is also known as:

  • Renal disease
  • Kidney failure

It’s a frighteningly common problem for senior cats and even some younger felines.

Renal disease can either be congenital, which means it existed at birth, or it could be developmental, which means it developed over time.

For congenital and developmental, early diagnosis greatly increases the effectiveness of treatment and your cat’s quality of life.

Though it can be hard to detect, astute pet parents and veterinarians may be able to see the signs before it’s too late.

Two Categories of Kidney Disease

There are two categories of kidney disease in cats: Chronic and Acute.

While the symptoms and signs of each are similar, knowing which category your cat’s kidney failure falls under can affect the treatment options available.

Chronic Kidney Disease

This is persistent and happens slowly over time.

This is sometimes a congenital problem, meaning kidney issues were already present at birth.

It may be caused by structural abnormalities or other, more hidden issues.

It can also happen due to illness, ingestion of toxic substances, or an injury.

Affected cats are often able to compensate for years before noticeable symptoms arise.

Many of the symptoms of renal issues are difficult to notice individually.

This is especially true for chronic, congenital renal disease before it’s diagnosed.

Many of the signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease can be mistakenly attributed to your cat’s personality or normal habits.

For example, dehydration is one of the symptoms but is difficult to recognize in cats if they’ve always been picky drinkers.

Acute Kidney Disease

This happens quickly, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier to spot.

Acute kidney disease is usually due to a severe injury or ingestion of a toxic substance.

We all know that cats are masters at hiding injuries and illnesses, so the triggering factor for their acute renal disease may go unnoticed.

The symptoms come on quickly and can progress rapidly if not treated right away.

Why is chronic kidney disease common in domestic cats?

bubs beautiful face
Bubs beautiful face…

It’s been long noted that chronic kidney disease is common in domestic cats but not in wild cats.

But why?

Some vets believe it has to do with the nature of provided protein shortly after kittens are weaned.

Cats in their natural habitats will eat what they were designed to eat:

Fresh meat.

Domestic cats, however, are generally fed commercial pet foods.

Other people believe it has to do with the amount of moisture in their diets. Both theories can be argued for years, but it doesn’t really solve the problem.

The truth is that nobody knows for certain.

What we do know is that well-fed, properly maintained felines can and do live long happy lives.

And even those diagnosed with some forms of kidney disease can still have happy days ahead with the proper care.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of kidney issues early on greatly increases your cat’s chances of survival.

What Are The Signs Of Kidney Disease In Cats?

The signs of renal disease in cats are often frustratingly subtle.

Since many cats are naturally finicky, it can be difficult to distinguish between a cat developing a new, endearing quirk or the symptom of a serious disease.

Even so, it’s important to note any sudden changes in your cat’s behavior or habits.

Keep a close eye out for the following signs of kidney failure in your cat.

  • Increased Thirst

One of the earliest signs of kidney disease is increased thirst.

If your cat suddenly camps out by the water bowl and is constantly drinking, you should take note.

Since some cats will only drink when nobody is watching which makes this sign difficult to catch.

It’s also hard to tell if one cat is drinking more if he shares a water bowl with other pets.

If you suspect your cat is drinking more, but he’s hiding or there are other pets in the household, try isolating your kitty and monitoring his water intake for 24 hours.

  • Frequent Urination

For cats that go outdoors to relieve themselves, frequent urination may be impossible to detect.

For indoor cat parents, seeing larger clumps in clumping litter or finding a flooded litter box could be an early sign of kidney disease.

Pay attention to your cat’s bathroom habits if they seem to be changing.

  • Subtle Weight Loss

Weight loss due to kidney disease can happen slowly.

That makes it harder to notice, especially in cats who are picky eaters or who often skip meals.

I don’t feel it’s excessive to weigh your cat every day for a week or more to log any changes.

Isn’t it worth a few minutes each day to save your cat’s life?

  • Decreased Appetite

Once kidney disease has progressed to moderate or severe, you may notice a decrease in your cat’s appetite.

Picky eaters make this symptom tougher to recognize.

If you suspect your picky cat may be suffering from kidney failure, you can try giving her a coveted treat.

If she refuses, and she has any of the other signs listed here, it’s worth a trip to your vet.

Bubs laying on the floor in pain from kidney failure
Here, Bubs hasn’t eaten in 2 days.
  • Unexplained Vomiting

Some cats just vomit as a normal part of their lives.

My female Sphynx, Neffie, throws up daily.

After extensive testing, the vet reported, “She just pukes a lot!” This has earned her the nickname “The Regurgitator” in our household.

However, if your cat is not prone to vomiting for no reason, pay close attention if he begins throwing up.

Of course, you’ll want to check for the obvious culprits: a change in diet, stressors in the home, or possible ingestion of a non-food item.

If you can’t find an obvious environmental reason for your cat’s sudden vomiting, and he shows any of the other signs listed here, he may be suffering from kidney failure.

  • Sudden or Increased Weight Loss

Unlike the subtle weight loss mentioned above, sudden weight loss is usually obvious.

Combined with a loss of appetite and vomiting, quickly decreasing weight is a major sign of trouble.

It can trigger dehydration and malnutrition, both of which put extreme strain on your cat’s already taxed kidneys.

Get to the vet immediately!

  • Changing Sleep Patterns

A normal, healthy cat can sleep for over 12 – 16 hours a day.

Since cats tend to sleep so much, it’s difficult to notice when they’re sleeping more.

The easiest way to figure this out is to be aware of your cat’s normal sleep patterns.

For example, if she’s normally awake during dinner time, purring and twirling around your ankles for table scraps, but she is suddenly sound asleep when dinner is served, that is cause for concern.

  • Lack of Energy

It’s no secret that cats can be lazy just for the heck of it.

For many cat lovers, that’s an endearing trait. Even if your kitty falls into the “lazy” category, there are probably times where she is playful, affectionate, and social.

If your feline friend suddenly shirks social interaction or refuses to play with a favorite toy, it may be a sign of trouble.

Beyond play time or social time, a cat that walks with a drooping tail and/or an unsteady stride should be seen by a vet immediately.

  • Change in Grooming Habits

Meticulous grooming is the hallmark of cathood.

All cats take great pride in their appearance, so it’s usually obvious when they stop grooming themselves. Look for unkempt fur, dirty paws, and a “mucky” rear end.

Bubs laying on his back

Other Signs of Kidney Disease In Cats

Among the symptoms already listed, keep an eye out for the following signs of kidney disease.

  • Pale gums. Healthy cat gums should be pink. If you notice your cat’s gums are a lighter shade of pink or extremely pale, that can be a sign of anemia, which goes along with kidney disease.
  • Bad breath. Though many cat owners have commented that their cat’s breath smells faintly of fish, unusual bad breath is a worrisome sign. If your cat’s breath suddenly smells like ammonia, check his mouth. Oral ulcers often accompany kidney disease and can cause terrible breath.
  • Bloody urine. Finding a puddle of bloody urine in the litter box or on the floor is startling for pet parents. It’s also a major sign of trouble. Waste no time getting to the vet.
  • Enlarged abdomen. With long-haired breeds, an enlarged abdomen may be difficult to detect until it’s too late. It’s important to feel your cat’s body and come to recognize unusual growths or enlargement of the abdomen.

What are the specific types of feline kidney disease?

There are many types of kidney disease in cats. Some are congenital and some are developmental.

Your veterinarian will be able to tell you which type your cat has.

While I can’t get into every specific type of renal disease, here are some types you may encounter.

  • Renal agenesis is the failure of kidney formation: sometimes kidneys don’t form at all.
  • Renal dysplasia: means abnormal kidney development.
  • If one or both kidneys are displaced, your cat may be diagnosed with renal ectopia.
  • And then there is polycystic kidney disease which comes with the formation of cysts throughout the kidney tissue.

Kidneys are complex.

That means there are a lot of things that could go wrong.

Structural issues, blood vessel problems, responses to outside influences, all the way down to the cells that make up the kidneys—there’s so much to know about these small but important organs.

While listing all of the exact diseases and congenital problems are beyond the scope of this article, I found a comprehensive list right here.

This informative video can also help shed some light on kidney failure in cats:

What Causes Kidney Disease In Cats?

The causes of renal failure in felines range from hereditary to environmental and everything in between.

Kidneys are delicate and prone to injury, infection, and problems with diet. Sometimes, there is no real reason behind kidney issues other than age. Unfortunately, some veterinary medications can also cause kidney damage over time.

Common causes of kidney disease include:

  • ages greater than 7 years old
  • infection
  • kidney stones
  • cancer
  • urinary blockage
  • polycystic kidney disease.

Your cat’s specific breed may predispose him to kidney disease.

At-risk breeds include:

  • Himalayan
  • Persian
  • Abyssinian


Poisons are one of the leading causes of renal failure in cats.

Poisoning is easily avoidable by taking care to keep all toxic chemicals out of your kitty’s environment.

But what should you look for?

  • Antifreeze
  • Pesticides
  • Ibuprofen and other human medications
  • Toxic plants such as lilies
  • Cleaning fluids

It’s important to remember that simply removing these toxic substances from your cat’s environment may not be enough.

Things like antifreeze or caustic cleaning fluids may be tracked into the house on your shoes or on your clothes.

Be vigilant about cleaning up and keeping these substances out of your kitty’s reach.


Any trauma to your cat’s body could trigger renal failure.

This is especially true for any injuries that involve a broken pelvis or a damaged bladder.

Bring your cat to the vet if he suffers any traumatic injuries.


Like cats, kidney infections come in all shapes and sizes.

Many of them are curable, but if left untreated, kidney infections can quickly lead to renal failure.

Some causes of kidney infections include kidney stones, birth defects, and blockages of the urinary tract.

Other Diseases

Many other common feline diseases can lead to kidney failure.

Advanced dental disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and thyroid issues can all be to blame.

Kidney stones and blockages can each affect overall kidney health, too.

How Is Feline Kidney Disease Diagnosed?

If you are concerned that your cat may be suffering from kidney disease, even if they’re not showing any of the symptoms listed here, it’s worth the peace of mind to visit your veterinarian.

She can run a series of tests to either set your mind at ease or diagnose the problem and begin treatment right away.

At the vet’s office, your kitty will have a series of quick and painless blood tests done, which includes a chemical blood profile and a complete blood count.

Your vet will also perform a urinalysis and complete physical exam.

Anemia is common in cats with chronic kidney disease.

Your vet will also check electrolyte levels and blood pressure.

If your cat is suffering from renal issues, creatine and blood urea nitrogen will be high.

Ultrasound and x-rays are often used to measure the size and shape of cats’ kidneys.

BUBS Xray size of left kidney

As you can see above for my Bubs, his left kidney was almost double to size of a normal kidney.

Also see, that you really can’t see his right kidney.

Below is another view showing the size of his right kidney versus his left:

Bubs Xray size of left and right kidney

Kitties suffering chronic renal failure often have abnormally small kidneys, which are easy to see on ultrasound and x-rays.

In some cases, your vet may decide to do a biopsy.

This small tissue sample is a reliable way to diagnose kidney problems.

Is there any way to prevent kidney disease in cats?

Unfortunately, no.

Cats with congenital renal issues are already set up for possible kidney failure in the future; nothing you do will prevent that.

Proper care and consideration for your cat’s unique needs can help prolong their life and stave off the disease, however.

Be vigilant!

For acute cases, the only way to prevent renal failure would be to prevent all injuries or other damaging outside influences.

That’s not always possible, though it doesn’t hurt to try.

Keep your cat’s life easy, stress-free, and safe to help avoid injuries or poisoning.

Though you can’t 100% prevent kidney problems in cats predisposed to them or those whose kidneys were accidentally compromised in some way, you can make every effort to follow your vet’s advice for slowing down the progression of the disease.

What are the treatments for kidney disease in cats?

There is no known cure for chronic renal failure, but the symptoms can be treated.

If caught early, there are a number of treatments that can prolong your kitty’s life and help him live more comfortably.

The longer you wait for a diagnosis, however, the fewer options there will be.

bubs in the hospital

Fluid Therapy

One of the first treatment your kitty will receive is fluid therapy.

Because the kidneys are not functioning properly, your cat may be extremely dehydrated.

Fluid therapy helps replace depleted fluid levels. It’s a quick way to help your cat start to feel better.

You may be asked to supplement your kitty’s fluid intake subcutaneously.

That involves injecting fluids directly under the skin. It is relatively painless but highly effective.

Kidney Diet For Cats

Fluid therapy alone is not enough to treat renal disease.

Your vet will likely prescribe a new, stricter diet for your cat.

You can either follow your vet’s advice or opt for making your cat a healthy raw diet.

Just note, not all vets are right or know everything.

Use your best judgment.

Too much protein can compound the problem, for example.

At the same time, you don’t want to restrict too much protein or your cat could suffer other health problems.

The kidney diet includes lower amounts of:

  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Sodium.

This simple switch in food is often enough to help your kitty perk up.

Unfortunately, the kidney diet doesn’t taste very good. Many cats refuse this change, so it’s best to go about the switch slowly.

If your picky kitty is still resistance to the new kidney diet, ask your vet if you can add a little bit of tuna juice to her food.

Some cats really enjoy low-sodium chicken stock.

There are also special flavor enhancers on the market to help make your cat’s new diet more palatable.

Supplements For Cats With Kidney Disease

Along with a new, healthier diet, your vet may recommend supplements.

Phosphorus binders are one common supplement for cats suffering renal failure.

Vitamin D supplements are another favorite.

It’s important to avoid any home remedies or herbal supplements.

Your sweet kitty is depending on you to make good decisions regarding her care now that she is suffering from kidney disease.

Some herbal supplements will do much more harm than good. It’s just not worth the risk.

Be sure to follow your vet’s dietary and supplement advice carefully.

Blood Transfusions

A severely anemic cat may be treated with a blood transfusion.

It’s not usually the first option, but for a very sick cat, it may be the best choice.

Feline blood transfusions are complicated and come with additional risks, however.


Even though you can’t cure renal failure, there is a handful of medications that can help improve your cat’s quality of life.

  • H-2 receptor blockers
  • Erythropoietin for red blood cell production
  • Anti-hypertensives to help decrease blood pressure
  • Benazepril for later stages of kidney disease

Unproven Treatments For Kidney Disease In Cats

It’s scary when your beloved companion is diagnosed with kidney disease.

The thought of losing your best friend may push you to investigate unproven treatments.

While nobody can blame you for exploring every available avenue, you should never treat your cat for renal failure without the supervision of your veterinary team.

With that said, some controversial and complex therapies can be discussed with your vet.

They include hemodialysis, which removes toxic waste products from the bloodstream, and kidney transplantation.

Or I came across this site that delved into the area of holistic healing using the EFT Tapping Method.

The author here states that her tapping method literally helped cure her cat’s kidney disease.

It may sound a bit woo-woo or just plain unbelievable but keep an open mind.

Not all vets are right.

Not all vets know holistic ways of healing.

Not all vets know everything.

When you feel totally helpless and your cat is suffering, you WILL try anything to make them better.

What Are The Stages Of Kidney Disease In Cats?

According to the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS), there are four stages of kidney disease.

Stage 1: Early Kidney Insufficiency

At this early stage, your vet will often find a large amount of protein in your cat’s urine.

High blood pressure and a creatine level greater than 1.5 will likely be noted.

Treatment at this stage includes annual blood pressure, blood tests, and urine testing.

Dental care recommendations are common to prevent periodontal disease, which can exacerbate renal problems.

Calcitriol therapy will help replace vitamin D.

Abdominal x-rays may be ordered to rule out kidney stones.

Stage 2: Late Stage Kidney Insufficiency

Stage 2 kidney disease in cats will show creatinine levels above 2.2.

Your vet will note that your cat’s urine is not being concentrated, which is a clear sign that the kidneys are failing.

Stage 2 renal failure treatment includes everything in stage 1 plus a potassium supplement.

Your cat will likely be started on the kidney diet mentioned above.

Your vet may prescribe the medication Benazepril to help decrease blood pressure within the kidneys.

Blood pressure and all blood and urine testing should be increased to twice a year.

Stage 3: Early Kidney Failure

As your cat enters stage 3 of renal failure, her creatine levels will rise above 3.5.

Treatment for stage 3 kidney disease includes everything listed in stage 1 and 2.

At this point, your vet may recommend blood tests every 3 to 6 months.

Urine testing will be once a year or more.

Azodyl may be prescribed; this probiotic supplement helps trap nitrogen waste products in the intestines.

Cats in stage 3 renal failure may not be able to drink enough water.

Subcutaneous fluids may be required.

If your cat is suffering from nausea, vomiting, and GI ulcers, your vet will likely prescribe medications to keep her more comfortable.

Stage 4: Cat’s Kidneys Are Now Functioning At Less Than 15%.

With creatine levels above 5, stage 4 kidney disease in cats can be scary.

Treatments from stage 1 through 3 will continue.

Anemia will likely be a problem at this point, so your vet will want to treat that with medications.

Making your pet comfortable will be a top priority now.

Acute renal failure or any sudden worsening of symptoms could require extended hospitalization for your cat.

cat left kidney atrophy
Image credit: FMV ULisboa

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Cat With Kidney Disease?

I know that this is the biggest question on the minds of any pet parent facing renal failure with their cats.

As much as I wish I could give you an answer, there simply isn’t one set in stone.

Life expectancy for cats with kidney disease can be as short as a month or extend out for many years. There are far too many factors for each individual cat to give a direct answer to everyone.

For acute renal failure, life expectancy is heavily influenced by the original cause of the renal failure and any complications since.

If it was due to traumatic injury, and you responded immediately, your cat’s life expectancy will be greater than if he had received no treatment at all.

At the same time, certain injuries just can’t be treated.

Cats suffering chronic renal failure tend to have a higher life expectancy than those suffering from acute renal failure.

This is especially true if the disease is caught early and intervention begins immediately.

Can Kidney Disease In Cats Be Reversed?

As with most of the questions posed in this article, this one has a multi-faceted answer. It really depends on a lot of factors.

Chronic kidney disease can’t usually be reversed. The fact that its chronic means it’s been happening over a period of time or has happened repeatedly.

Each episode causes damage, which builds up over time.

Acute kidney disease, however, may be reversed if treated quickly.

That’s not to say your cat’s kidneys will fully recover and never cause him any further issues, but fast treatment could mitigate damages to the point that your kitty’s life isn’t shortened.

When Should I Consider Euthanizing My Cat With Kidney Disease?

This is another of those questions that no cat parent wants to be faced with.

My best suggestion is to consider your cat’s quality of life.

But how do you do that when your heart is breaking?

Below are the last moments we had with our Bubs:

One of the simplest ways to decide what constitutes a good quality of life for your cat is to consider her habits and behaviors before she got sick.

You know her best after all.

  • Think of her favorite activities. Is she able to enjoy those now?
  • Think of her favorite foods. Is she allowed to eat those, or is her diet limited?
  • If she’s allowed to have her favorite foods, has she been refusing them?
  • Think about social time. Has your cat been avoiding you? Has she been avoiding her favorite playmates?
  • Can she reach her favorite lounging spots on her own or does she require your help?

You can also consider how your cat is feeling now.

  • Is he in pain?
  • Does his medication cause him to vomit or feel ill most of the time?
  • Is he able to use his litter box, or does he have frequent accidents?
  • Is he interested in grooming himself, or has he simply stopped caring?
  • Can he breathe well or is he struggling for each breath?

How to Deal with the Loss of Your Cat

I remember waking up the day after I said goodbye to my precious feline companion Garrus.

It felt like my whole world had ended.

I missed his good morning meow, his strangely loud purr, and his sweet little trilling when I poured my cereal.

That morning, I stared at my bowl, my spoon perched on the edge, and I just cried. He was gone and I was lost.

Dealing with the loss of a cat is never easy, but there are many things you can do to help you make it through the toughest days.

One thing that helped me was talking with friends and family who knew Garrus. We shared stories and laughed at my silly little boy’s antics.

We cried together and hugged.

If you’re not feeling social or like you can face other humans right now, that’s okay, too.

You can reach out to other pet parents on message boards and social media.

They’ll listen to your story and offer support and kindness from afar.

Look at pictures and videos of your angel kitty.

It may be hard at first, but simply seeing them as they were in life can heal a broken heart.

Did you know that the other pets in your household are grieving too?

Spending some quality time with your other pets can soothe you both.

Journaling or simply writing out your feelings is an incredibly therapeutic way to handle the loss of your cat.

You can keep the writing or throw it out, but just getting it out on paper can help a lot.

Did you have a ceremony for your cat?

This is one of my family’s ways of saying goodbye.

We all get together and say a few words, blow kisses, and spend a few moments in quiet reflection near the grave or the ashes.

Above all else, remember that you have the right to grieve.

You have lost someone incredibly important to you, so it’s okay to take time for yourself.

Another story to tell from Toki, Cat Veteran chief editor:

A week or so prior December 15, 2018, I noticed my big Bubs sleeping by my back garage door where the laundry room was.

It happened a few times over a few days and I didn’t think anything of it.

Then one-morning mid-week, he threw up all his morning food.

We have been feeding our cats a cooked diet for over 6 months now.

No biggie, I cleaned it up and thought he must’ve eaten too fast.

Come to the second feeding, again he threw it up. Not normal.

We took him to the vet where they gave him intravenous fluids, an anti-nausea injection and a Barium sulfate solution to see if he had a blockage.

During the exam, the vets saw nothing wrong, he looked great but felt he was tender near his tummy area.

Basically, the barium is a white radio-opaque metallic powder that was given to him and when he swallowed it, the barium would coat the inside walls of his GI tract.

He ended up pooping later that day with the white powder all over it. No blockage.

He also ate and kept it down after coming home from the vet because of that anti-nausea injection.

That was the last time he ever ate again.

The next morning, he didn’t show up to feeding time.

He ALWAYS was there. He loved eating. He loved eating everyone’s food too.

He lay on his chair just looking at me with glassy eyes. So sad.

I immediately took him back to the vet where we did blood work.

page 1 of bubs blood work

page 2 of Bubs blood work

This is where it revealed his kidneys were shot.

His levels are so high, they didn’t register. Turns out, one of the kidneys was already non-functioning and his other was almost double the normal size.

It worked too hard and it failed.

They tried to do the 48 hour IV fluids but he wasn’t peeing. So they had to stop.

All that excess water to going into his body, lungs and he was having a hard time breathing.

His kidney stopped functioning. There wasn’t anything we could do, he was suffering.

It was the saddest day, to date, of my life.

He went from seemingly fine to being gone within a matter of days.

I felt helpless, responsible and totally blame myself. I still do.

I should’ve done senior blood work every 6 months after 10 years old.

We would’ve caught it.

I still say his name and I still feel him. He’ll just jump on my lap and snuggle trying to eat my food.

I miss him dearly. He’ll never be replaced. Ever.

We cope by telling stories and looking at pictures.

Things will come up that my other 3 cats do and that will spark a conversation about him.

Bubs close up on cat tree
To my dear loving Bubs, I love & miss you so. Wait for us at Rainbow Bridge, we’ll see you then! RIP Bubs December 15, 2018, at 2 pm.

You’re Not Alone.

I know it may feel hopeless right now, but there is a light for you.

If your cat was just diagnosed, is progressing through kidney disease, or you’ve recently had to say goodbye, you are not alone.

Everyone here at understands your struggle.

I hope this article has been educational and comforting in some way during this difficult time.

24 thoughts on “Kidney Disease In Cats: Stages, Symptoms, Causes (Coping & Unique Healing Option)”

    1. Cathi Sutherland

      I have always had cats and my last one was put to sleep in my lap. He was very old and failing. I believe it was kidney disease but that was many years ago. My now senior new big boy is starting kidney disease. Thanks for the article as it was such a help with the info provided and knowing cat vet also understands the loss us cat moms and dads feel.

  1. HELLO, Who ever BUBS daddy is; I want to express my deepest sympathies. Your SAD story hits me in so many ways. I have a cat named Charlie aka Prince Charles, Charles Barkley, Little sea otter, Little man and other names. Charles is the remaining feline of his family. He had his brother Willy and their surrogate father; “Raymond”, And Angel. Raymond (my soul kitty), Wiily and Charlie, are all orange. Raymond was striped, Willy and Charlie, more tabbied. Raymond passed his unique traits to Willy and Charlie. Willy weighing in at 23lbs, got the gentle yet I’ll beat your butt for no reason. Charlie weighing in at 19lbs got the ALL OVER gentle, loving, part of Raymond. Angel was a feral cat that turned housed cat when we moved to AZ. 2005 is when I brought Willy and Charlie home. They were 13 weeks old. As they got bigger, they would flank poor Angel, chasing her from the litter box, just all over f’in with her. In a way, I think Willy and Charlie caused her death. She was lying on the floor, struggling to breathe. We went to the emergency, and as we pulled up, Angel craned her neck up, let out a cry, BOOM dead.
    I died inside. So much, I went to get another little girl kitty. She was pure white, most beautiful cat I ever had. Willy and Charlie are 3 yrs old now. Candy was from a rescue. When I adopted her, she was 4 yrs old. She took NO SH*T from the boys. Everyone got along fine. Willy ALWAYS beat Charlie up. Charlie was low man on totem pole. Then 2013, RAYMOND, MY BEEGA, MY HANDSOME had to go to the RAINBOW. He had liver cancer. He was just short of his 13th birthday. Willy and Charlie go CRAZY. Mad at the world. Fought each other etc. I put them on PROZAC. It made them lifeless. I stopped the PROZAC. They were fine then. Candy decided that Willy was her boyfriend. She’d have him lick her head, they’d sleep together etc. Charlie was Willy’s toy to play and also beat up. Nonetheless, they were all fine. So from 2013 to 2016 all was good. Then Willy suddenly died due to a mass in his lungs.

    To all that read this, know this: Willy loved to suckle on a Lupe of carpet in the cat tower. All the years he suckled, formed a mass in his lungs. Of course we did not know that. So Willy died 2016. This left Charlie and Candy. Candy expected Charlie to be her boyfriend and do the same as Willy. Thru her training him, he got smacked so many times. Eventually, they clicked. Now we’re in 2018. Candy goes to the Rainbow, Cancer in her nose.
    Now Charlie is lost. He becomes very attached to us, howls night and day. I wait from November to January to see if Charlie gets back to his normal ‘always happy’. He didn’t. So I adopted Oscar. Siamese/Snowball reject at Petsmart. Oscar is 2 1/2 yrs old. He weighs 5lbs. Oscar looked to Charlie for comfort. Oscar begins vomiting and has really bad diarrhea.. Take Oscar to vet. I find Oscar has what could turn to Cancer. His small intestine is squished by this muscularis surrounding. His lymph nodes are unusually large. Aspiration done, no cancer yet.
    I myself, am at the age where this is the last time around for me, because I’m older, that I decide I’m going to have my FINAL Cat Family. I adopt 2 young kitties, one 7 months, the other 13 weeks. Oscar out of his mind with the newbies. Charles gets upset, gets feline herpes. Now I got Oscar in Jan. 2019, Raydar and Augi in Feb. 2019. By march, Charlie is excepting the newbies, even plays with them. Charlie is currently 13 yrs old.
    Due to Oscar’s ordeal, I was always looking and his vomit daily. Then one day I saw Charlie make a huge vomit. Didn’t pay much attention. Because Oscar was the focus, when Charlie threw up, I was OK, because that meant Oscar hadn’t.
    Now Charlie isn’t eating. And Charlie LOVES his food, my food. He doesn’t eat for 2 days, has thrown up now for about 9 days! He begins to not socialize, screams at the other cats, doesn’t sit on Mommy or Daddy’s lap. He stays isolated. Yep time to take him to the VET.
    BAD NEWS, HIS KIDNEYS ARE VERY IRRATATED! From what? Vet doesn’t know. No bacteria in his urine, but his kidney enzymes are high. He’s sent home with medicine. Back to the vet about 1 month later. His enzymes have tripled! More medicine, more unhappy Charlie. He has constant diarrhea, stopped vomiting with the anti-nausea shot. Got fluids under the skin 2 x. Also given the appetite medicine to increase hunger. So as of now, Charlie has lost 2 lbs, short period of time. He does eat, not like before, still has diarrhea, very agitated with other cats, very lethargic, we switch having him in our laps. He just sleeps. So, I’m scarred as hell, like with the others. Is my Charlie going to rainbow heaven? I won’t handle it. No way! Charlie is my friend. We talk, he has quite the vocabulary. And now his vocabulary is very sad. He looks at me and just cries out. He’s so uncomfortable. The vet has NOT indicated that he’s in renal failure. She says the medicine Charlie is prescribed, is to help protect his kidneys. But getting the medicine in Charlie, is about 1 % on a scale of 1 being bad, 5 being good. I do believe the medicine makes him throw up. So I don’t know. Charlie has lived a life of losing his family, having to get use to a new family, and has and before he got sick, learned how to finally be the ALPHA. But now he’s sick. So Mr. Bubs Daddy, I think I’m living your story. I hope not. Once again, your story is so fitting to those of us that cats are OUR FAMILY. Thank you. If you read this, and find something you can add/share, life my spirits, I’d appreciate it. Loving and warm thoughts to you and Bubs. Charlie’s Mommy Margot

  2. Dorothy Osuna Schenk

    To Bubs family and all those whom commented, we are all connected thru the love of our children cats and dogs and other feathered or 4 legged alike. I cry for those we said goodbye to and those who still fight like Charlie whom I hope is still with his family. My deepest heartfelt sympathies and courage to those that had to maké the decision to put the suffering at ease it’s the most sickening feeling to not be able to make them well or keep them well and to say goodbye. My Sheldon my lovely grey girl I’m sorry baby I love you. She had renal failure and wouldn’t eat for 4 days even with med help so I held her as she left me was hard. I’m so sad I miss her.

  3. My Ashe is losing his battle with chronic kidney disease. His mouth now hurts so much he won’t eat anything. Almost 2 days No treats. Not even super soft wet food that I mash to a soup. I suspect mouth sores. He won’t let me look. Vet tomorrow. I’m broken. He’s between 14 and 15. I know, good life. But I love him. I don’t want him miserable, but saying goodbye is so sad…

  4. Hello, fellow cat lovers. We just had our beloved cat Lucky put to sleep yesterday due to acute renal failure. She was my 20 year old son’s best friend for 14 years, and had a special relationship with each of us. We are all in shock because she was so full of life and kitten-like until just a few days ago. I found that she had vomited (just liquid) twice the day before yesterday, but I thought she just had a stomach upset. Then I found her sleeping in a place that was odd for her, and she just didn’t seem right. After that she slept for hours in her old box on top of the dryer, and when she hardly raised her head, and didn’t sleep with my son in her usual place that night, we knew something was really wrong. We all hoped that she would be better the next morning (yesterday), but she was so weak and dazed that we took her to an emergency vet. The people there were wonderful, but when they ran tests, they found that she had acute kidney failure, very low blood pressure, a severe heart murmur, and a low red blood cell count. There was really nothing they could do at that point. My husband and son went in and said goodbye to her, but I stayed in the car because I knew I would cry and make it much harder on my son. I’m glad he got to hold her one more time. He told me that she tried to crawl up to his shoulder like she always did, but she didn’t have the strength. That just about broke my heart. I keep expecting to see her in her usual places in the house. I turn around from cooking to say something to her (we had great conversations), but she’s not there, nor is she outside the bathroom to greet me when I get up during the night. I can’t stop crying, and when I think of what a loss this is to my son, I am grief stricken. Lucky was such a large presence in our lives, and now there is a big hole. Thank you for reading this and understanding, and for your wonderful article, and thank you also to the other people who shared their stories. Blessings to you all. Robin

  5. Thank you. I’m beginning this journey with my Siamese boy named Somchai. He is 8 years old and my favorite of my three cats. It has happened suddenly. We are starting the subcutaneous water therapy. I’m devastated.

    1. I was devastated too, to lose my beautiful Siamese to this retched disease. Long story short, she went from her usual playing happily, to nonstop vomiting in one day, to being gone a few days later. It was in November of 2015. I still feel distraught when I think of her. But wonder what kind of life she would’ve had if we hadn’t taken her in. She just showed up in the backyard a few years earlier and was sweet to us from the get go. Bless your heart as you travel this road. You’re not alone.

  6. Katherine Gallagher

    I had to put my cat silver down yesterday and I’m traumatized. My cat had all the signs above and she was between 14 or 15. The vet said her blood levels were too high and off chart. they said even with treatment my cat may only live another month. I decided to put her down yesterday in case the treatments didn’t work. I did not want her suffering through this.

  7. My story mirrors most that are here, because every one posting here would have moved heaven and earth to saved their beloved pet, and I am absolutely no different. Most pets leave an indelible mark on our hearts, you wouldn’t be human if they didn’t. This latest one, however, we adopted in 2007 has carved an unusually large hole in my heart. He became ‘my’ cat exclusively.

    In March of 2006 I suffered a gran-mal seizure and nearly died. After recovering I was put on anti-seizure medication for the next four years and it was a devastatingly dark place to be. I was emotionally unstable and struggled a lot.

    We adopted our very handsome white male kitten, about 6-7 months old, with blue almond shaped eyes and an indomitable personality and very light gold points. His adoption name was Klancy, and he became my life-preserver. He followed me everywhere, curled on my lap in front of television, begged for a drink from the sink faucet, and even curled inside my underwear and looked at me on the toilet. He was a mess, but exactly what the doctor ordered. We bonded in ways I had never bonded with other animals, and quite possibly he was sent to help me to mitigate the terrible effects of the medication I endured.

    Fast forward four years, and I was taken off my anti-seizure medication and our relationship deepened further. He slept with me every night, had his nose in my dinner plate, jumped on my lap in front of the computer, and would follow me room-to-room. We live rural and he got to enjoy an acre of fenced yarding which was his absolute kingdom. He was, without a doubt, an animal that found a way to the deepest places in my heart, places I didn’t even know existed.

    At a routine vet check she noticed he had lost a little weight. She dug a little further and said he was slightly hypertensive and had a slightly elevated creatinine level. This was when he was about 10-11 years old and we started him immediately on Hills kidney food and a new liquid blood pressure medication called Semintra. A follow-up exam was not promising as he was continuing to loose weight, and I dismissed part of it because he really did not like the Hills prescription food. The vet asked for permission to do extensive testing, x-ray and comprehensive labs when the ugly truth finally surfaced. He only had one functioning kidney, and his creatinine level was still rising.

    The vet suggested subcutaneous hydration therapy and we took him to the vets office three times a week for 100ml of saline hydration therapy. It seemed like a small price to pay to buy time. To date, he has had 16 bags of saline, each 1000ml over a span of some 49 weeks, or approximately 16,000ml of hydration. Did it help? Absolutely. For most of that time his appetite and activity seemed almost normal.
    As his weight continued to fall and his blood work continued to crash, we opted to let him eat more of what he liked in an effort to keep his weight up. He started this journey at nearly 14LBS and a month ago he weighed 7.1LBS. Recently, he stopped eating altogether, even his beloved treats. Just yesterday he stopped drinking water, and we have taken to force-feeding him liquified food and water. It’s not going well as he refuses to swallow very much.

    Today I got up and he was in his usual spot in our bedroom, and he let out a loud moan and went into a seizure. I watched in horror as he seized for what appeared to be 10 minutes, gasping for air. Part of me was grateful the end came so quickly, but a bigger part of me cried like a little boy. In complete surprise, while I was stroking him he began purring and opened his eyes and sat up looking around. He later walked across the deck to his spot and laid down, very weak and exhausted looking. I got an eyedropper and tried to give him some Purina Hydration formula, and he got maybe 5-6ml.

    This is probably the beginning of the end, there is little hope he can survive much longer. I am supposed to have him to the vet tomorrow for another 150ml of subcutaneous hydration, but it seems like maybe the time has to come to cuddle him all night tonight and say goodbye. I had had a consultation with our vet last week about the possibility of referring our boy for blood transfusions, but the vet said his veins are so far gone it is almost impossible to get enough blood to do lab. I even called the University of Georgia school of veterinary medicine to ask about kidney transplants, and we briefly discussed the possibility of trying to transfuse him back to health to undergo the surgery. Now it appears that is a bridge too far, especially at 14 years old.

    Today I had my wife hold him on her lap while we both were seated at my piano, and I played a Joe Cocker song “You Are So Beautiful” for him. Obviously I was crying too hard to sing very much, but I did get through part of it. After the song ended I held him on my lap and thanked him for being the perfect pet in my life that showed up when I absolutely needed him to show up. I will miss him terribly, he was beyond special. Looking at my phone, I have 586 photos of him going back to soon after we adopted him. I know the rest of you are suffering right along with us, and nothing can ever ease the pain of losing your best and most loyal friend. It’s SO hard.

    1. It isn’t likely you will ever see my response because it is June 2023 now. I feel a connection to you as I also had a grand mal seizure. I was in my driveway and broke 5 bones in my face. I almost died as well. My husband and daughter found me face down in a pool of blood. I have MS and we learned that day that I’m epileptic as well. My life changed dramatically. My worst MS symptom is fatigue. My brother and sister in law are both Vets and animals just end up here! We had two cats, litter mates, that were my nurses and a Golden retriever to supervise. Bella, the cutest black and grey tabby ever, would be on my chest. She was my daughter’s baby and the nicest cat I’ve ever had. Joe is a long haired orange lion who only likes myself and my daughter. He would nap on my legs while Bella was on my chest. He’s super naughty and I love him so much. I could be so hot with those cats all over me, have to pee, be uncomfortable…..but I wouldn’t disturb them. They were such comfort to me, especially during the times that I was really sick. Bella raised Laura and when she left for college she cried the most about leaving her best friend, her advisor, her 100% unconditional love baby behind. We had to euthanize Bella a few months ago as her kidney disease had gotten to that point. A vet came to the house and my daughter held her. We will miss her forever. Joe also has kidney disease and I don’t think he will make it through the summer. The first two weeks after Bella was gone he paced and cried, a sad sad howl of a meow. So, now I just have a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat most of the time. I know I will have to make that decision soon and it tears me up. I hope you are well and I know you have a cat!
      Erin Noller

  8. Marilyn Machold

    I am going through this with my 12 year old Calico Phoebe…..She was raised with a jack Russell (Maggie) who lived to be 17 yrs old…Phoebe was always where Maggie was …after her pal passed. She began to howl and 7 myths ago we got a new kitten….which took time for the two of them to connect….but then Phoebe lost slot of weight and I had her checked and they told me she had Stage 2 kidney failure…My heart is broken…How I will deal with her loss…We are so connected….Have tears I have to close.

  9. I found your article while I was desperately hoping to find a super-secret cure for feline kidney failure. This is unfortunately my second time to have a fur-child come down with kidney-failure. Thank you so much for writing this article. Thanks to all of you who replied with your own stories of loss. It helps to know there are other pet parents out there that understand this kind of heartache. Man, it hurts.

    We lost our LillyBugs on December 31, 2020 (17 years old). She was absolutely the love of our lives and a miracle for sure. She had previously survived a combination of a saddle blood clot and a blood clot in her heart (diagnosed April 2017 – unspecified cardiomyopathy) at the same time! This happened (manifested?) after she went in for a dental cleaning and I don’t know why. The Vet sent her home while she was vomiting profusely and clearly not well from dental surgery. I don’t know how we made it through that, but we did. We saw a pet cardiologist regularly and took medication twice a day. Taking care of my LillyBugs was my religion. I knew that it was my responsibility to make sure she had her medication or risk heart attack or blood clot. Whatever it took, we bent over backwards for her. She paid us back a million-fold with her snuggles of love, two-different purrs, cute looks, showing off with her flops, playing follow-me and much more! She is easily the cutest most photogenic cat I have ever laid my eyes on. (diluted caliby with nose freckles, leg warmers, and split colored chin!)

    It was Christmas Eve when we took her to the Emergency Pet Clinic. Diagnosis was horrible “acute kidney failure” and one kidney had shrunken and wasn’t even being used. I was so shocked by this diagnosis you could have knocked me over with a feather – I always thought it would be her heart. I was positive (aka psychotic to think) ‘this could not be true because I had religiously taken care of her and made sure she had her Vetmedin, Lasix, Benazepril, Plavix, and Miralax daily’! Either one of us would have given an arm, leg or kidney to save her. Anything! We had two of the fluid treatments + the other meds. My mind knew it was going to heal her, but my heart couldn’t let go. We could not bring ourselves to put her down. In our minds, we thought that choice was best left for God. I begged and pleaded with him to take her. That’s a decision we will struggle with for the rest of our lives.

    Last week our Bo (19 years old) started having symptoms just like LillyBugs. He slowly started eating less and less, weight loss, etc. Then I noticed a foul odor coming from his mouth. We leaped onto that. It was only going to be that and then he would be okay. He would come to the kitchen when I made him chicken and chicken broth. I thought there was hope. We got him an antibiotic shot and pain shot. He didn’t get better. Took him back to the Vet for the labs. I knew what it was, but for a day or two I pretended it could just be an abscess in his mouth. Here we are not able to get the whatever it is to take him to the vet. We know we can’t let him suffer or let this drag on like we did with Bugs. I hate this. It’s so horrible. My heart aches. It is so broken. I’m not ready for him to go…..

    Thanks for letting me write this. He’s sitting here right beside me… I know it’s going to end soon.


    My heart goes out to you all who unfortunately know what this feels like. Take care!

  10. It has now been exactly one week – to the hour, since I had to have Ms. Jezabel put to sleep. She was in Stage 4 and her levels were over 590. She had dropped to under 5lbs and I could see she was in pain. The progression from stage 3 to stage 4 for her was literally weeks.
    As a single man living alone for many years, Jezabel was not just my cat, not just my roommate or my best friend, she was my reason for coming home from work. She was my who I needed to take care of. She as my “child” – crazy as that may sound to others.
    As I approached a full week to the hour from her passing, I surrounded myself with her photos, her blanket and talked to her. It was both heart breaking and comforting. I am so thankful for the 15 years I had with her and she had with me. We provided love, support and caring unconditionally to eachother. When it comes to the life skills of simply loving someone – unconditional love, and loyalty, we human species could learn a whole lot from our animal species. I think they are way more intelligent than us in many life skills.
    God bless my little Jezabel.

  11. Bridgett Mayeux

    Thank you so very much ? We lost our best buddy in the world, Vata Man, in the same way. Ok, then gone. Stage II, happy, just turned 15 years, then got a kidney stone and went into the ICU for 10 days and never came out. We still have his sister, now 16. It broke my heart in ways I didn’t think possible. Your article about your dear Bubs was so informative, and comforting. We are never alone. Thank you.

  12. So sorry for you loss! They are part of the family.
    I soon may have to face a decision too.
    My cuddle kitty (we have three) has kidney failure.
    And it all started with constipation. After three visits at the vet
    (and a lot of money), she still was not better. So I sat down and
    spent all my free time on the internet to do some research.
    Figuring it all by myself out. And like you wrote…should have done
    some yearly blood test or even twice per year. Maybe would have been caught eary enough. Am still learning so much. At least I can’t say I haven’t tried anything possible. She is 13 years old, like her brother. Also I do blame a lot on the commercial pet food which is out there. If we ever get another pet….I would start right from the beginning with homemade food. Certainly wish there would be more holistic vets availble!

  13. 53 year old man with tears running down his face after a trip to the vet with my beloved boy, Sari, just 7. His cretanin level was 9.3. It happened so fast. He went from a slightly fat, super active, big personality cat to looking poorly in such a short time – a couple of weeks ago I started to notice that he was a little lack luster, drinking a lot, and his stools were noticeably dry, but his appetite was still good and he was grooming, so I thought it was something small that would pass. I didn’t react fast enough because I wrongly assumed that CKD only affected senior cats…I still thought of him as my baby because I also have a beautiful 21 year old cat, Lily. The vet said that he has a 50/50 chance of seeing out the year. The thought of losing him is so horrible. He’s my best friend in the world. We hang out together constantly because I work from home. I’ve got to pull myself together now and do all of the things I can to give him as long a life as possible and not cry all the time… could be weeks, or months, but my priority is to make ever day count. I feel for all of you going through something similar. Cats are such incredible companions. Much love

  14. I am going through this now with Felix, who we found on our back deck a year ago. He weighed next to nothing and I took him to the vet who told me he was over 10 years old. Felix was a sweet, long-haired ginger and white cat, very beautiful and so good, a real gentleman. After subsequent vet visits the diagnosis of kidney disease was made and thru drugs and diet we bought him some time, we tried to give him his best life. He gained two pounds and he seemed better.
    Within the last month he started loosing weight, not eating, not grooming, less active. We tried appetite stimulant, subcutaneous hydration at home, now I’m hand feeding him tiny piece of beef or chicken, he won’t eat unless I hand feed. The time is coming,, I want him to die naturally. It was so awful putting our 16 yr old Yorkie to sleep, several years ago, I swore I wouldn’t do it again, to any animal. It’s only been a year with Felix but we’ve formed a bond, he is loving and thankful for us and we are for him, he has given us a beautiful year together. It’s so sad we didn’t have more time.

  15. Note on CKD stages forum

    Thank you for this post. It was very informative and just what I needed to read. My sweet best friend was diagnosed nearly 2 years with CKD and is now in stage 4 as of this week. I am heartbroken. She is tired and her back legs are so weak that she can only stumble a short distance before having to sit or lay down to rest. She only eats when I bring the food to her. I will be giving her Sub Q fluids and different foods she likes but she has still lost a lot of weight. I’m terrified but I’m preparing for the end. I want her to pass peacefully, and it will be a hard decision, but I do not want to have her suffer. She had to get IV fluids over Thanksgiving weekend and now has a heart murmur. I’m just so sad. She hasn’t meowed since she’s been home. Before the vet visit, she had stopped eating for two days and I knew she needed an intervention. But the last stay in the ICU… that was her first and will be her only time there. I’m not going to prolong her life if she is so unwell. I’m not ready and I don’t think I ever will be ready. But I have to do what is best for her. She just turned seventeen last month.

    My dear sweet darling, I would go to moon and back for you. I would cross heaven and hell to keep you warm, safe, and comfortable. And when you show me that you are too tired to continue, if you stop eating again and don’t even want treats, I will let you cross the rainbow bridge where I know you’ll be waiting for me. I have tears in my eyes as I type but I’m going to be strong for her. She has been my supportive friend for all these years and all I can do now is return the favor.

    I love you, Pixel. Forever and ever and always. No matter what happens or when your time to go home is, my heart and soul will always be bound with yours and we will always be together.

  16. hi there.
    to all of you, may I extend heartfelt thoughts and hugs for I know only too well how difficult it is when one of our beloveds (4-legged in this case) become ill.
    My cat, too, was diagnosed with kidney failure Dec. 2021. I knew that I didn’t want to subject her to the side effects and discomforts of traditional things (medication to encourage appetite which she took one of and turned into a maniacal feline)…or have to give her IV anything.
    I did some research and found two products online – one called Kidney Restore, the other called Kidney support Gold. I started her on both in February 2021.
    Also went to 3 vets just to see if they all agreed of her dx; which they did.
    Finally, in May 2022, the latest vet repeated her bloods and all her kidney function tests had normalized….so unbelievably so that he thought that maybe they had misdiagnosed her. (that 3 different vets, all doing the IDEXX panel for geriatric felines could misdiagnose was unlikely, so I am truly believe that the 2 “meds” I have been giving her, were the answer).
    She still has kidney failure for sure…the large “balls” of urine in the litter box confirm that; but her blood levels are normal, though her urine concentration is weak (also an indicator that she has kidney failure in spite of the normalized blood test levels).
    I live day to day, knowing what the end result will be, but all I can hope (as I am sure you all know), is that she doesn’t have an “acute” situation of any kind and that her end will come before she suffers..
    and so it goes….
    a blessed 2023 to all of you. Be safe…

  17. What an amazing writing to stumble upon in my search about kidney disease in cats. Our beloved Shima, a 14 year old Himalayan beauty with cornflower blue eyes, is withering at a fast rate. Once the biggest in our kitty crew, and the one to always show up for treats or mealtimes fastest before the rest, now she is a shadow of herself. She’s gone from 13+ pounds to now less than 8 pounds. The vet has done all the tests to determine kidneys
    as the problem – one kidney is small, the other extra large – the vet said likely the small one has stopped functioning, and along with the customary xrays/sonogram/blood/urine
    tests – all look bad. Shima too is laying in the laundry room by the garage door, as far away from the rest of “us” that she can be – in the quietest part of the house where she feels safe.
    She used to clamor to sit with us wherever we were, and especially at night she would lay and cuddle with my husband on the couch. She was feisty and the “boss”, albeit being the youngest in the kitty group. She began going downhill about 2 months ago, I noted that she was losing weight, that her coat was not it’s usually glossy soft and that light seemed to be hurting her eyes. She was not grooming like normal. Thus began all the testing at the vet’s office just to find out the very sad news that her kidney disease was advanced. So at this point we have a literal smorgashbord of food and treats that we are enticing with her to eat – along with her highest value prized treat of raw organic hamburger. Even with 2 different appetite stimulants, she is eating very little. We are syringe feeding her “Recovery” liquid, for hydration/vitamin/minerals, plus giving her a high calorie liquid supplement food via syringe as well. She is also getting a weekly B12 shot and subQ fluids almost every day. I sat with her in the laundry room tonight, she was strangely quiet yet purred loudly when brushed/touched (she has the most amazing 3 tone purr sound) as now I must do her grooming for her, very softly/carefully as she’s so skinny now I don’t want to hurt her in any way with the brush. She did stand up to drink the fresh water I brought in but only sniffed at her food (brought her 3 different kinds including raw burger), she ate zero. So as I laid on the floor with her, stroking her so softly, listening to her sweet purring and looking into her spectacular vivid blue eyes, I’ve finally come to agree with the cruelty of the fact that it’s time for her to leave us and this beautiful life that we’ve shared together. The sadness is overwhelming, but my fear of losing her and selfishness of wanting her with us just a little longer, is not a valid reason for perpetuating her suffering, only in order to stave off my own. Yes, we all will die, and rationally I know letting her go is best for her, that the painful end is inevitable and if we wait too much longer then she will only suffer that much more. Right now all I can think of is the little snowball of a kitten with bright blue inquisitive eyes staring at us from outside our back sliding glass door, she captured our hearts with that one look and we brought her in and became her forever family, without hesitation. She tamed in less than a day, loving being touched from the start. Going from a little feral kitten to a regal indoor cat in record time. How we spoiled her along with the others. The rest is history and it seems it was truly just yesterday that she came into our lives that December day. How lucky a day that was to have her choose our door to peer into, and how fortunate we are to have had the love and companionship of our oh so precious Shima – the hardest and hottest tears are falling as I write this, as the reality of love is that it will eventually cause an equal and evenly distributed pain. Love does not come without that promise. Springtime is not forever. So tomorrow I must make the call that I never wanted to make. Forgive me Shima. One day we will play together again, that I promise. But for now I go to the laundry room to pet you a little more yet tonight, to hear your wonderful purr, just one more time.

    1. I am so touched by your story. We have a kitty who came to our door about a year and a half ago. It turned out she was over 17 years old (by her chip). We could not locate her owners so we took her in. She suffers from calicivirus and feline herpes virus, and CKD. We became her “hospice” home. She is now in kidney failure and I know her end is near. I will not let her suffer beyond that which she tells me “ It’s time”. I’ve had to make this decision for 11 other rescue kitties over the past 32 years. It’s always hard; it’s always painful; and yet it’s always the right thing to do when you know your precious kitty is suffering too much. Miss Callie is still eating her special liquid diet. She is still moving about….very slowly, and she still wants to be loved. But she is peeing very little. She’s been on Renelex for over a year. I believe that has helped keep her quality of life up so she was happy. She just suffers from congestion due to the viruses and now the weakness of the CKD. I won’t let her pass in a painful way, and I know she will tell me when it’s time to cross that beautiful bridge to meet all her brothers and sisters she never knew. We pet lovers who bring these guys into our hearts and homes know the agony of letting go, but it’s also important to remember that we have given them the best lives, no matter how long that was, that they could have had. Rest in peace, Shima…..and all the others who have touched our lives. Miss Callie, my sweet 19 year old friend, will live another day of being loved, but I will know when it’s time to say…”til we meet again…”.

  18. Leo will turn 19 on 22/29/23 if he survives. He is my first cat & I’m a senior myself with a number of medical issues. He was adopted as a senior 11 1/2 years old & is my great love, along with my two sons, one of whom died @ age 40. I have just learned to give sub q fluids @ home. My heart is broken seeing him feel so sick. There will never be another Leo. New friends are waiting for you over the Rainbow Bridge my sweet boy. Your ashes will be mixed with mine & Brian’s when the time comes so we’ll all be together again. ????????????

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