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Does anyone have a cat with renal failure?

(40 Posts)
WonderOnTheUp Wed 24-Feb-16 21:42:07

Just wondered if anyone is experiencing (or has experienced) looking after a cat with renal failure?

My lovely boy is 13 and was diagnosed with this about 4 years ago. We tried the renal diet food but he just wouldn't take to it. He hadn't needed IV fluids yet but think we are heading that way this week sad

This isn't my first cat with this problem, we had a fabulous cat with sudden onset of renal failure and although we treated him with fluids and diet, we took him to be pts when he could no longer eat and was so weak (this happened within 2 weeks of diagnosis)

Please don't flame me but I feel like I don't want to go down the aggressive treatment route. He hates vets, tablets are a battle. the only thing that may help him would be some fluids. He's still eating, just sleeping more and generally appears a little weaker. I don't want to put him through lots of repeat blood tests and injections, rather he enjoy the time we have left? The other part of me doesn't want him suffering either and treatment would help with that. It feels like a double edged sword.

Does anyone have any wise words/advice please?

cozietoesie Wed 24-Feb-16 21:56:05

I did have once - a boy of the same age. It didn't end so well, I'm afraid.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 24-Feb-16 22:07:02

When ever I diagnose a cat with renal failure I always advise owners that once we have made this diagnosis there is never a wrong time to PTS. We are all very individual about how much intervention we want for our pets and as vets we understand this.
I myself choose to PTS my beautiful moggy girl the day she was diagnosed, because she had other conditions while medication would have to be reduced to help the renal failure, but her life would have been less pleasant.
If I go down the route of fluids with a cat with renal failure ( which I do quite often) I just make sure owners understand that we are boarding a roller coaster with the fluids lifting us up to a high and then we travel to a low again, each time push up hill we don't quite go as far and each time we hit the bottom it gets lower and the lows get closer together.
It sounds like you gave managed your cat really well for four years.

cozietoesie Wed 24-Feb-16 22:45:09

Yes it does sound like that.

And from my memory, that push up a hill really is pushing and the hitting the bottom is a great big thud. It's not so good for either of you.

WonderOnTheUp Thu 25-Feb-16 06:51:28

Thank you both for your replies.

Cozietosie - I'm sorry you experienced something similar. The first of our cats to have this just deteriorated so fast, we tried to treat, knowing that it was not a long term thing but with hindsight I wish I let him go sooner.

Lonecatwithkitten - thank you, it's good to hear it from a vet's perspective! You sound a lovely vet.
I don't want him to suffer and had promised that when I saw that change in him I'd let him go. I can see this change is starting to happen. He's still eating, enjoys a bit of basking in the sunshine snd the odd play fight with our youngest cat. He's worshipped by our other 2 cats, the spend hours grooming him! But my out and about boy now spends most of his time indoors and is getting a little weaker. I will have to make the decision very soon I think.

cozietoesie Thu 25-Feb-16 09:05:16

It's so hard. You can seize upon every good time thinking that they're coming through it but without really taking in the general decline.

I too wish, with hindsight, that I'd let him go when the sun was still shining for him. I just couldn't though - and he tried his best for me, himself, everything. I think that Lone's words about there being no 'wrong time' in those circumstances give one pause for reflection.

Take care.

MrsJayy Thu 25-Feb-16 09:10:48

My cat lived for 6 months with renal failure our vet was wonderful and she had medication but no invasive treatment we decided to pts when she started to refuse food its heartbreaking though

MrsJayy Thu 25-Feb-16 09:13:55

Also the painkiller she was on were having an effect on her kidneys that really was the decision made as she also had an athritic hip

cozietoesie Thu 25-Feb-16 09:16:59

It is heartbreaking. You can become focussed on the small victories - the tiny victories in fact - 'he ate some chicken today' - without standing back and looking at the general picture.

I'm actually at, or close to, that stage with my current old boy so I'm not speaking in a vacuum here. Whatever you tell yourself about cats' lack of foreknowledge, the prospect of the loss is just so difficult.

MrsJayy Thu 25-Feb-16 09:20:42

Yeah you concentrate on little things to give you hope jaycat would eat a miniscule bit of food and i would think its great between her last check up and being pts was a week i think i was hoping she would die herself iyswim

Mouseinahole Thu 25-Feb-16 09:22:10

I have just (Tuesday) had to have my 18 year old Tonk pts with massive catastrophic renal failure. He wouldn't even look at any food at all, wouldn't drink and was bleeding...It was heart breaking but he was only I'll for a few days we think so he didn't suffer much.
Thinking of you.

Mouseinahole Thu 25-Feb-16 09:26:44

Lonecat that was so reassuring. When we decided to have him taken off the rehydration drip our vet said,'That isn't the wrong decision at all but it has to be yours. He is a very poorly cat but he may rally for a few days.'
We couldn't bear to see our beautiful boy so very very sick. He didn't even look up when we petted him, his ears were cold and he was making a very strange noise.
I feel guilty but I think it was the kindest thing. He had a lovely life.

isamonster Thu 25-Feb-16 09:26:55

My cat has renal failure. He's 16, nearly 17. We control it with the food and semintra which does help a lot. He has recently had to have fluids at the vet's, the last time before that was 18 months ago... I have been very much led by what the vet tells me about how advanced it is. He's an indoor cat and still enjoys lying in that patch of sunshine or cuddling up to me in bed... For now, I am confident he isn't suffering but that is always my top concern.

WonderOnTheUp Thu 25-Feb-16 15:22:49

Yes cozie, the idea that there is no wrong time actually helps to come to terms with the decision, whatever decision that is made as it's such a difficult thing to do. I hope your old boy is ok.

I remember the "little victories" well - our cat went from refusing food to eating the smallest morsel of whatever I could tempt him with, it gave me hope that he would at least rally around for a bit longer but a few days later he stopped eating again and we decided to pts.

Isamonster, it's really interesting to read that your cat had fluids 18 months ago and has been fine in the meantime. It's made me consider trying one go at fluids and seeing how it goes.

I'm sorry about your cats mouseinahole and MrsJayy too, it is a so hard as they are part of the family.

Mookbark Thu 25-Feb-16 15:32:07

My 19 year old has had renal failure for about 3 months now. She is on a renal diet and is eating quite well. She also has simintra and amlodipine each day - one is a liquid and the other can be crushed so she has it quite happily in her evening food. When she was reviewed recently she had actually put a bit of weight on! I'm happy she isn't suffering at the moment and we will continue. I think if we got to the stage of needing IV fluids, I might think the time had come to say goodbye.

bigredballoon Thu 25-Feb-16 15:44:50

Really sorry to hear this, massive feline friend here.

Yes, I lost one of mine at 17 to renal failure, happened very quickly over 2 weeks and I had to make the PTS decision thereafter.

I now have another old boy 21, tiny, scraggy and with a heart murmur, reduced kidney function, deaf as a post, arthritis and IBS (permanently on steroids), but he eats well, sleeps lot, purrs loudly, can still get up and down the stairs with a stop halfway so we keep him going.

I know we are on borrowed time though and I certainly would not prolong his life if the quality of it deteriorated so he had to have invasive treatment.

isamonster Thu 25-Feb-16 15:47:33

Well, my vets in UK now and before in France told me it could help to flush their system of toxins and make them feel better and told me to expect a crisis from time to time. My old boy was really sick 18 months ago and I asked if it was time then to PTS but the vets said no, we rehome cats with worse stats than him. I have been delighted to have more time with him but I wouldn't put him through it if the situation were too advanced. He eats well most of the time and has also put on weight.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 25-Feb-16 16:40:10

Wonder the difficulty is we just can't predict how long the fluids will last. I often use them and I have done cats who gain a lot and do really well after fluids and others who head down hill the moment we stop the I/v.
You can only make the best decision for you and your cat and as I said at the start it is different for everyone. So many factors come into play. When I made my decision my beautiful girl had arthritis, pleural effusion and then developed renal failure. For me and for my girl fluids was the wrong decision.

WonderOnTheUp Fri 26-Feb-16 20:08:19

Hi again, just thought I would post a little update.

I took my cat to the vet today, outlined my concerns. His impression was that he didn't seem too bad and we had bloods taken. He felt the weakness with jumping up occasionally was due to the start of arthritis. Blood results came back and were positive (well as positive as they could be!) no real change to the bloods in 4 1/2 years so still stage 2 borderline stage 3! As he's still eating and drinking and vet happy with results we are just going to carry on as normal! No medication or fluids needed. Really pleased to be having longer with my old boy.

isamonster Fri 26-Feb-16 20:29:25

That's good to hear... My oldie is curled over one arm as I type this, purring away... Enjoy time with your cat and try not to panic.

MrsJayy Fri 26-Feb-16 20:32:36

Thats good news well better than expected

cozietoesie Fri 26-Feb-16 20:52:41

That's better news. smile

Wolfiefan Fri 26-Feb-16 20:55:07

That sounds really good news. Hoping it continues. Xx

isamonster Fri 26-Feb-16 21:01:01

Rereading my message, I'm worried I sound patronising... Didn't mean to. I totally understand what this is like. A journey you can't predict so you have to manage it as best you can. I'm delighted the news is good!

isamonster Fri 26-Feb-16 21:01:58

Rereading my message, I'm worried I sound patronising... Didn't mean to. I totally understand what this is like. A journey you can't predict so you have to manage it as best you can. I'm delighted the news is good and stays the way for a long time.

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