When to euthanize a cat with kidney failure

Sad tabby cat

If it is already difficult to euthanize an elderly cat that can no longer have a good quality of life, doing it to a furry that is sick costs horrors. Before making that decision I think that it is very important to talk to the vet, try other alternatives and, most importantly, observe the animal Well, he will be the one to tell us how he is.

Based on this, when to euthanize a cat with kidney failure? This is a very common disease in domestic cats, and unfortunately it can be fatal. When do you have to make that decision?

What is kidney disease in cats?

Depression in cats is common

Kidney failure is a progressive disease that affects the kidneys. It usually manifests itself in older cats (from the age of 10). It can be acute, that is, it appears almost suddenly for no apparent reason and / or also chronic, which is forever.

Final phase of kidney failure in cats

Once it becomes chronic, the kidneys can no longer filter toxins and waste from the body, so that their health is further weakened. It is when the life of the animal is in serious danger.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms are:

  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Weakness
  • Increase in water intake
  • Urinate more times
  • Hypertension
  • Anemia
  • Vomiting

How is it diagnosed?

Take your cat to the vet if you think he has had

Whenever we see that our beloved cat shows one or more symptoms, we must take him to the vet as soon as possible, especially if we suspect that he could have a serious disease such as kidney failure. Once there, what they will do will be a blood test and a urine test to make the diagnosis.

Likewise, he will also ask us a series of questions, such as if we have noticed that he goes to the sandbox more times, if he drinks more water than usual, if he has lost appetite or if we notice him lethargic, for example. The more information we can give you, the better, that is why it is interesting to keep something like a »diary», in which we note when you started to feel bad, what are the symptoms that appear, and other information that we think may be useful .

What is your treatment?

The treatment goes through administer the medication indicated by the veterinarian and for changing his diet. This has to be low in protein of plant origin and phosphorus, in addition, you have to make sure that you drink enough. For that, what we can do is buy him a fountain type drinker, which will be much more pleasant than the conventional drinker. Likewise, we can give it chicken broth -boneless- or fish -boneless-.

Related article:
Diet for cats with chronic kidney failure

But also we should keep him company and give him a lot of love. We must give them reasons to want to move on, and that can only be done like this, with pampering, with company and with prizes (cat treats, for instance). Respecting him at all times, being patient, always keeping him in mind.

When should it be sacrificed?

Euthanizing a cat is never easy. But you have to think about it, that is, If it is an animal that can no longer lead a normal life and is suffering, and if veterinary treatment no longer relieves it, then it may be the best option.

However, before making the decision, talk to your vet. He will know how to advise you much better than I can. But from your own experience, if your cat you see that he no longer wants to continue living, that he spends the day in a corner, without eating, showing no interest in anything, lethargic and without courage, it may be time to let him go.

It would not be good, neither for him nor for you, to prolong his pain. I know well that you get to love a cat very much, that it is a small animal but that conquers your heart as few do, that it can become your confidant and your life partner. Saying goodbye to him hurts, and it hurts as much as you want it to.

But you have to try to think of him, only him.

How is death from kidney failure in cats?

Sad adult cat

It will depend on whether he is in treatment or not, and whether it is decided to euthanize him or not. If it is being treated and it has already reached the point where the animal, for not wanting to continue living, is taken to the vet to be euthanized, euthanasia will end the pain. First you will be injected with anesthesia, which will put you asleep, and then the lethal injection.

On the contrary, if it is an animal that does not receive any treatment, it will have a hard time until the pain itself consumes it.

I hope that everything you have been able to read here has been of some use to you. Remember that saying goodbye to the cat will never, never be easy, but all the good times you spend together are sure to be unforgettable.

Much encouragement.

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  1.   little wolf said

    It will hurt me to have to give him autanasia, but it would be harder to see him suffer, I will stay here always loving her until I die and her memories will die with mine, but I will not let her suffer if I can help it.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Lobozito.
      Yes, it is very hard to see them suffer 🙁
      Sometimes there is no other choice but to make that decision.
      Cheer up.

      1.    Pillar said

        I have a six year old cat. He was recently diagnosed with severe kidney failure. Medication is impossible, and it gets worse and worse. Now, he is in a state of lethargy and seeks to be secluded in a corner. He no longer wants to eat anything. This next Monday, I will take him to the vet again, but I am seeing him very badly.
        I am not going to let him suffer. Hopefully they can do something, if not, I will have to euthanize him. That will never be an easy decision. It is very hard, but I have to think only of the best for him.

        1.    Monica sanchez said

          Hello Pilar.
          I'm really sorry about your cat.
          And I understand you. One of my cats had chronic gingivitis, there was a point where she did not want to eat anything, and in the end there was no choice but to sacrifice her. It was all skin and bones.

          Sometimes there is no choice but to euthanize animals, to avoid suffering.

          It's very hard, but… as you say, you have to think of the best for them.

          Cheer up.

      2.    frank dew said

        Just reading your opinions and experiences makes me sad, at this moment one of our kittens is at the vet waiting for studies receiving serum and medicine to find out the reason, although he already told me that it is most likely kidney failure and I am very sad just thinking that I have to sleep, I'm suffering horrors just thinking about it?

        1.    Monica sanchez said

          Good cheer, Rocío.

          Hopefully he can recover.

    2.    Lourdes Visent Toledo said

      We had to put our Chloe to sleep on February 29
      It started with symptoms very similar to other illnesses in February of last year.
      Multiple diseases such as IVF and Fel, mycoplasma, kidney lymphoma, thyroid, urinary infections, were ruled out from the vet.
      The diagnosis after months of testing was that he suffered from kidney failure and immune-mediated anemia.
      He had been on treatment since September for kidney failure and corticosteroids, thanks to which he did not lose his appetite and remained physically well until his last day.
      Unfortunately, the function of his organs also deteriorated.
      We controlled her a lot with analytics, ultrasounds and everything that they were proposing to us at the vet.
      The night before his death he was fine, but at dawn he did not appear to order his food.
      He had hidden under the sofa and was not moving, he had gone into shock from sudden acute kidney failure. It was not a month since her last analysis and ultrasound, in which her creatinine, urea and phosphorous levels had improved considerably.
      We did not expect it to be so fast! We knew that he was not going to live long, but he was only 3 and a half years old ...
      We are left with the consolation that we have done everything possible to give her the best quality of life and that we do not let her suffer.
      Now it's time to learn to live without it, these are very sad days.
      I recommend that those who may be in this situation follow the advice in this article and do not expect to go to the vet.
      All the best

      1.    Monica sanchez said

        Hi Lourdes.

        We are sorry to read you say that your cat is gone And even more so since she was so young ...
        From my own experience, I know that it is very hard when they leave, like this, suddenly (one of mine passed away at the age of five, during a car accident last year).

        Now yes, you have to learn to live without it. Very hard days will come, but really, a lot, a lot of encouragement.

    3.    Haydee marchisio said

      Good afternoon, I had to euthanize my 16-year-old cat Felipe, at the request of the veterinarian, he had diabetes and started with kidney problems, he did not want to eat, I gave him chopped dry food and added water with a syringe; he was dehydrated I injected him with serum 2 times a day. According to the cardiologist, his heart and blood pressure were fine. The last day, despite having given him insulin, his glucose did not drop, I took him for a consultation, and he did nothing, only pressure me to euthanize him. Today I feel that he forced me, my kitten did not suffer, I would like to know your opinion. Thank you very much, greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

      1.    Monica sanchez said

        Hi Haydee.

        Ugh, I don't know what to tell the truth.
        On the one hand, I do think that perhaps he forced you a little, but also if he no longer ate by himself ... what life would he have?

        I do not know. Much encouragement!

  2.   Karmen said

    It is a very complicated and difficult situation, but we cannot be selfish and have them suffering, I believe that people who love animals ... by our side live a very full life and that is what we must do until their last days, love, darling and happiness
    And always thinking of passing the duel and giving the opportunity to another life
    I have always been afraid of cats and when I met them… .from that moment… I cannot live without them

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Karmen.
      Yes, indeed. Loving an animal is not only taking care of it every day, but also preventing it from suffering.
      It is very hard to make those kinds of decisions, but when absolutely nothing can be done for him ... there is no other choice. 🙁
      Cheer up.

  3.   magda emilia salinas barraza said

    My beloved blanquillo: you are no longer by my side physically but I can feel that we will always be together. What we did was so that you would not suffer more always thinking that you will be in a better place, we can only thank you for being our "baby", give us so much joy, and make us so happy, I know that somehow you will come back and we will be waiting for you. rest .... we will love you eternally forever. (15/02/20. Blanquillo)

  4.   imil said

    My knife was diagnosed with kidney failure, he has anemia and is very underweight, the vet also says that his liver does not work at its best, but we do not see him that he does not want to eat at all, he stands near the plate of Food, he can be there for hours looking at it, but he does not eat it. He likes veal liver very much, we know that it is not advisable to give it to him at this time, but it breaks our soul to see that just by smelling it, he begins to sing and purr, As if crying out for it, my husband does not have the heart not to give it to him and in the end we have given it to him, it is the only thing he eats and if he could, he would eat it by kilos I have bought him even fresh salmon, but nothing, he wants nothing more than your liver.
    I feel very bad, I do not know what to do, seeing him without eating, breaks my soul, knowing that a food that he likes and eats, we should not give it to him.
    The vet has said that it is that his mind wants, but his body cannot, I think he is wrong, because if the mind does not want then the body is degraded, but you can see it in the eyes that it wants to eat, but as if not He likes nothing. He uses his food and turns around, sits down to look at it, and that's it.
    He stands up to us, every time we make food. It is something typical of him, waiting to see if we give him something. Almost always, we gave him small pieces of meat (before seasoning it) or fish. And he is there with his face waiting like always.But we hit him, he sniffs it and turns around.I'm very sad.I can't believe it's going away.The vet told us that he recommended euthanasia, but we don't have the heart to do it, just as we don't have the heart to see it like that bad 🙁

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Imil.

      I don't want to question the professionalism of your vet, but have you thought about asking for a second vet opinion?

      Is that if you want to eat that, it is because you want to eat. In other words, if I didn't want to live, I wouldn't have an appetite.

      Much encouragement!!

  5.   Susan hellen said

    Greetings ?. My 18-year-old cat suffers from kidney failure and I try to follow her treatment as best I can, but there is something I cannot deal with and that is her crying. For three days, morning, noon and night, hour, minute by second, she cries all day and does not sleep at all. As much as I wake up loving him, I fall asleep and he cries again. Nobody can sleep and never gets tired, it looks like a machine. For quarantine covid 19 they are not attending. Please, any similar experience and what did you put into practice that was the best for you? They tell me to give him valerian. Thank you ?

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Susan.

      We are sorry to read you say that your cat is wrong. We are not veterinarians, so we recommend you contact one by phone.

      Much encouragement.

  6.   Antonio said

    My cat was doing great and suddenly she started vomiting nonstop. I did a complete analysis and they told me to enter it urgently, which I did at that very moment.

    He had acute kidney failure ... my cat? but it was great and I honestly did not believe the news.

    They told me that he had blood levels that were going to make him die of a heart attack at any moment ... but instead you saw the cat so shiny that it was hard to believe it.

    His kidneys stopped working 100%, he did not create a drop of urine so they could not even analyze it for infections.

    They tried to find an explanation for a poisoning but it is impossible, I have nothing that can cause that if I even buy a special product to scrub floors that does not cause harm.

    An ultrasound showed that the kidneys did not present deformities but there were some stones. Could this be?

    The only alternative they gave me was dialysis and they didn't guarantee anything, my vet told me that she was going to stay under anesthesia and where I entered it they told me that only one out of every 2 cats came out of dialysis but I also don't understand how they offered me that alternative when I had absolutely no kidney function.

    I asked if I could wait another day to see if the fluid therapy would work for him and they said no, that it was best to give him a little more time on dialysis or euthanize him.

    I chose to euthanize him because even the dialysis would be the next day and he had been ill for 4 days, he could die at any moment, in the carrier, in a cage, in the sedation of the dialysis ... that if he left it.

    I do not know if I am wrong and it is costing me horrors to assume it but I preferred that he did not suffer more and that he died in my arms.

    I have always known about kidney problems in cats and I bought water sources, wet food, quality feed ... I do not understand how life has taken him with 8 years.

    Wherever you are, I hope you forgive me.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Antonio.

      Much encouragement. From my own experience I know that it is very hard to make the decision to… let it go. In 2018 I had to take it because one of my cats was very ill. He had feline chronic stomatitis gingivitis. It became all skin and bones, because it could not and did not want to eat.

      It was the hardest and hardest thing I ever did in my life. But you know? It is also love not wanting an animal, your four-legged companion, to suffer more. Be calm, really, because nobody has to forgive you anything, because there is nothing to forgive.

      If you let me give you one last piece of advice, say goodbye to him, at your own pace. It was very good for me to take one of his photos, sit in a chair, close my eyes, and tell him everything I felt. It was very hard, but the next day the pain gradually lessened.

      Much encouragement.

  7.   Mercedes said

    I am very sad ... my cat was diagnosed last week with kidney failure with a creatinine of 13 ... they gave me no hope after being hospitalized for 3 days ... I have him at home and he does not want to eat anything ... he vomits if I force him and I give him the medication to make him hungry ... I spoke with the vet today and she told me that it was my decision to put him to sleep .. I am going to have him this weekend giving him all the affection and love he deserves .. he has been a very cat good that I took him out of the kennel 8 years ago ... he already had then they calculated 3 ... he was stuck in a milestone for many months. And I want to think that with me he has been happy and cared for and that his end has come ... I'm broken ... but I think it's the best for him.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Mercedes.
      Of course it has been a happy cat. You took him out of the kennel and you have loved him.

      It is very hard to have to say goodbye to them, but in situations like the one you are telling us, sometimes there is no other choice, so that they stop suffering from their illness.

      Much, much encouragement.



    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Rosalía.

      When a cat is so bad, when it suffers and does not want to eat or feel like anything, it is best to put it to sleep. It is a terrible experience, but it is the best thing for him. And that can only be done by a qualified vet.

      A lot of encouragement.