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Has Anyone Had To Go Through A Cat With Chronic Renal Failure?
11/25/10 | Me

Posted on 11/25/2010 8:54:14 AM PST by NoGrayZone

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To: NoGrayZone
My cat Sara was 18 when she went through the first stages of kidney failure. She seemed fine enough in other ways but started spending a lot of time at her water bowl. When I came home from work one day and found blood all over the floor around her litter box, I knew it was time to say good bye.

My ex-husband and I took her to the vet and stayed with her during the very quick euthanasia procedure. We decided it was the most compassionate thing we could do. I am getting choked up right now at the memory, so I truly feel empathy at what you are going through.

I'm one of those people some would call a "kook" because I believe our pets go to heaven and that God's love for his creatures is what carries them there.

51 posted on 11/25/2010 10:11:24 AM PST by arasina (So there.)
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To: NoGrayZone
They also won’t keep her overnight because she Hasn't had her rabbi shot and I won’t allow them to give it to her

Please forgive me, I don't mean any disrespect, and understand completely the horrible situation you are going through, but I don't understand about not giving her the rabbi's shot so she can be in the vet's overnight. I mean I'd think that would be the least of your problems. I may have missed the reason for keeping her there overnight, but if it's something that would help her, and in her condition, I'd think the shot would be all right.

52 posted on 11/25/2010 10:12:19 AM PST by mupcat
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To: NoGrayZone

You can ask the vet to take a blood test that just checks for kidney disease. He will check the bun level and one other level (forgot what it is). Its a lot cheaper just to check these rather than having a complete blood test taken. You don’t even need to see the vet to have the blood test. There is a great forum for people who have cats with this disease.It is Feline-CRF-Support at Yahoo groups. They have a lot of information and also support. If your cat is not too far a long in the disease there is a lot you can do to slow it down. Having the blood test is really important to see where your cat is at. I lost my 13 year old cat last fall and did everything to try to help her but she was too far a long before I caught it. Don’t give up at this point. Its very possible she just needs a change of diet.

53 posted on 11/25/2010 10:15:06 AM PST by sjeann
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To: NoGrayZone

We did dialysis on our elderly kitty. You introduce normal saline IV solution under the cat’s skin with an IV needle and instill about 250 ml. You need to do this a couple of times a week. I’m a former paramedic and my wife is a nurse, but the process was hard on us and very uncomfortable for our cat. At best you are buying only a few days. In the end we made the tough decision to have him put to sleep after his kidney failure advanced to causing seizures. There comes a time when you have to let go. However, consider adopting a new kitty. All of out three cats are from animal shelters.

54 posted on 11/25/2010 10:30:03 AM PST by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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To: NoGrayZone
NoGrayZone said: "It does feel lonely and knowing you and so many others are here and have had to go through the same is very comforting."

I'd be curious to know how old you are?

I'm in my sixties and have experienced the loss of many pets. Recently a male relative in his thirties experienced losing a cat. We were very surprised at how affected he was. It turns out that he never had pets as a kid and had never experienced such a loss before.

It's just a fact of life that humans outlive most pets by multiples of their lifetimes.

One of our cats has spent more time in the hospital than my wife and I put together. The cat suffered an unidentified illness, a gaping wound that wouldn't heal, and finally a poisoning by anti-freeze that appeared initially to leave the cat permanently disabled. She's alive in great part because she has the nicest personality of any cat we have ever owned.

After the anti-freeze poisoning she came within a day of being put down because she was obviously too dizzy to walk and wasn't taking in fluids or food. I'm glad I gave her just one more day to improve. She now seems completely recovered.

55 posted on 11/25/2010 10:32:10 AM PST by William Tell
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To: arasina

I guess that makes me a “kook” as well! Our pets are innocents and I believe God gave them to us for help and comfort.

Therefore, I believe they do go to heaven, as any innocent would.

I’m so sorry for your loss. It sucks big time. =(

56 posted on 11/25/2010 10:48:04 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: NoGrayZone
Thanks. It was very tough for a long time for us. We vowed no more pets. And it stayed that way for well over a decade.

Then our youngest daughter, 25, thought we needed 'someone to keep us (me) company' and she wanted a pet too, so she brought home a Yellow Lab Puppy as a 'surprise'.

It was more of a shock and the first thing I said, was 'get it out of here'. But after three minutes of looking at that little bundle it was too late, I had a dog. That was a little over three years ago now 'Honey' is our (my) baby (82# of muscle).

But we still miss our cat, we'll never forget him.

57 posted on 11/25/2010 10:51:14 AM PST by Condor51 (SAT CONG!)
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To: pj_627

No, it never gets easier, pretty sucky. Funny you say that about your sick little one, with the pooping and peeing. I laid down old towels, which she goes on instead of the floor.

I feel so guilty when I get angry about having to clean up her “messes”, which finally made me do the old towel thing.

Seems she likes to go on them more than the liter boxes. I just throw it away and put a new one down.

I just hope my selfishness doesn’t get in the way of determining when the time comes.

She is now laying down on my computer desk as I type (she LOVES it up there). She seems to still truly enjoy walking back and forth, in my way, as I try to read my FR!

I take that as a sign she is NOT ready to go yet!!

58 posted on 11/25/2010 10:55:01 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: NoGrayZone

I just lost my last grrey kitty last Dec to renal failure.It is not something you are going to want to extend her life for as it is very painful for the cat.Mine came on quickly and he was just short of his 10th birthday.You need to find out how much loss she/he has, anything over 70% and you are only going to make their suffering worse. I am sorry.By the time we found out ours had it he was in the over 80% failure range and started retching that foul stuff up and wouldn’t eat.We decided as much as we loved him I couldn’t force him to stay that way and we decided to put him down.

59 posted on 11/25/2010 11:04:18 AM PST by chris_bdba
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To: mupcat
My reasons against yearly shots, including rabbi shots were formed years ago. I had a close friend who had at least 4-6 cats at a time (she would take in strays).

She was so compliant about taking the cats in for their yearly check ups and shots; however, most of them seemed to get sick and die at such a young age.

We had a discussion about their yearly immunization shots, etc, then I started researching them. The research lead me to believe that the yearly immunization shots were not so healthy.

Now a days, especially with holistic vets, they give a blood test to determine how much immunization is still left in their little system. Most research seems to indicate 1 a year is WAY too much for such a small animal....ESPECIALLY if they are strictly indoor cats.

The last time I was at the vet, she said she would take Kitty overnight, but would not again unless she had a rabbi shot. I advised the vet Kitty has NEVER been outside nor has ever tried to get outside.

She said, well, just in case. I know my cats. They have no desire to get outside, probably because they know they rule the roost here and why ruin a good thing, lol.

Perhaps it's just that vet office I have a problem with. The last time I took kitty in for her hip dysplsia and “old cat back” was a traumatic experience, for both Kitty and I.

60 posted on 11/25/2010 11:05:32 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: NoGrayZone

My cat Annie has Kidney disease. She is on Prescription Hills K/D for Kidney Health both dry and wet food and she is doing great. Her levels on her blood tests actually went back to almost normal. She is 14 years old. I would suggest that and see if that helps some.

I am sorry to hear this. I can’t imagine loosing my cat :o(

61 posted on 11/25/2010 11:08:41 AM PST by Lemondropkid31 (God surpasses our dreams when we grab the hand of Christ and walk the path he has chosen for us.)
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To: NoGrayZone

I am so very sorry for this situation!

62 posted on 11/25/2010 11:11:51 AM PST by BobNative
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To: NoGrayZone; Slings and Arrows

My Rocket has CRF, but he’s only 15. We give him Hip Action treats for his arthritis, three pieces every other day. We find that if he gets them every day, he tires of them, so we alternate days, and he eats them.

We feed him Fancy Feast, Classic only, no soy, no fish, no grains (he has allergies too). There are only about five different flavors, but it seems to be all right by him and our three other cats.

We dumped our old, incompetent vet and now go to an AHA vet. When we brought Rocky in the first time back in April, this vet gave him “months” to live, but after the regimen we established, his last tests (from last Saturday) showed weight gain and a normalization of his blood analysis to the point that his prognosis is “years” because the progression of his kidney failure has been “halted.” (Quotes from the vet.)

He gets food on demand. Whenever he asks for food, I feed him, 24/7. He gets 150 ml subcutaneous saline once a week, and fortunately, he’s a drinker, so his little face is in the water bowl much more often than our precious first cat who died of CRF.

I hope that this helps you.

63 posted on 11/25/2010 11:15:07 AM PST by TheOldLady (The only way to run our country is conservatively.)
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To: The Great RJ
"However, consider adopting a new kitty. All of out three cats are from animal shelters."

I actually have 3. Kitty is my eldest. They are all "throw aways". The last one Mimi was a stray that decided to stay in our backyard (probably because I gave them crunchies).

I took her, well him, in last January because I could no longer bear the guilt of having her outside. I took her to the vet to have all tests and shots (I did get all my cats their immunizations shots once, when I first got them).

But Kitty was my first responsibility since I left home and has been with me for almost 19 years now (12/9 is our anniversary).

64 posted on 11/25/2010 11:15:34 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: William Tell
I'm 40. I've had pets all my life and each time any of them died I was devastated. But Kitty is different. I left a bad home when I was 19 and got Kitty when I was 21. She was my first "responsibility", besides myself. She has been through so much with me and for such a long period of time.
65 posted on 11/25/2010 11:19:01 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: Condor51

Awwww, I’m so glad you have your little one!! How can anyone look into their eyes and say no!!

66 posted on 11/25/2010 11:22:38 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: chris_bdba

She’s still eating and drinking. She pukes a lot when she does her poo, probably from straining.

Then afterwards, she goes and eats and drinks then climbs on top of her pillow and washes her face before she settles down.

The one thing I have noticed is that she is not cleaning her entire body like she used to. I know that is a very bad sign.

67 posted on 11/25/2010 11:25:47 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: Lemondropkid31

Another FReeper suggested the same. I will stop by my vets tomorrow and pick it up. Thank you!

68 posted on 11/25/2010 11:31:53 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: NoGrayZone
The last time I was at the vet, she said she would take Kitty overnight, but would not again unless she had a rabbi shot

Thanks for the explanation. I guess what I'm confused about is although I'm sure after reading your thoughts about the shot, you'd never continue them, it sounds like there is some reason the vet wants her in the office overnight, and if that's the case, then just having the shot one time doesn't sound as if it would be that bad---especially considering your baby is in a very precarious state anyway. You'll do what's best though, I'm sure.

69 posted on 11/25/2010 11:48:12 AM PST by mupcat
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To: NoGrayZone

Lost a dog and a cat so far this year. Cat passed away than the dog the next month.

Have a young cat though.

70 posted on 11/25/2010 11:51:09 AM PST by BenKenobi (Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.)
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To: NoGrayZone
Not saying it is but the same symptoms apply to Feline Diabetes. I had two with FD and gave them insulin shots.

You really need to take your baby to the vet because whether it's FD of CRF, there are things to do that will really make kitty a lot more comfortable.

With CRF, you might be able to give Subqutaneous fluids, which makes your baby feel so much better.

My Tortie is 18 and she has Hyper Thyroid. The same symptoms can also be attributed to hyper T. Again, there are meds which will kitty feel much better.

I may have missed it if someone else gave you all this info (I haven't read the entire thread yet) but I wish you and you baby well. We never like to see our kitty companions in pain!

71 posted on 11/25/2010 12:10:08 PM PST by CAluvdubya (Palin 2012...YOU BETCHA!.)
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To: Slings and Arrows
I have had several Siamese cats with renal failure. I have had to give them the equivalent of dialysis several times a week. The cats were 14 years old and from the same litter. Each cat developed renal failure just after the previous one passed on. I did this procedure for about 4 years. Its simply a water bag, obtained from the vet, with a very sharp needle and performing a sub-q water transfer, flushing the kidneys with water. If you have the time to do this check with the vet. Its not a pretty sight when she is ready to pass on. Best to put her down while she still has some dignity. IMHO
72 posted on 11/25/2010 12:17:24 PM PST by duckman (My Grandma Isn't Shovel Ready!)
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To: NoGrayZone
One more thing about not using the litterbox.....Cats will associate pain with the litter box and that is one reason they don't want to use it.

When my Tortie has a Urinary Tract Infection, she will not use the box.

When my Diabetic didn't used the box, he flooded it, but sometimes he wouldn't use the box (until his blood glucose levels were more under control)

As I said, all three diseases have the same symptoms that you mentioned so w/o testing for them, you don't know for sure that's truly CRF.

Maybe you could find another vet that you like? The cost of these diseases is a little high initially, but the internet guided me towards the best people, who then led me to the best money saving indeas. Worth a try?

73 posted on 11/25/2010 12:20:49 PM PST by CAluvdubya (Palin 2012...YOU BETCHA!.)
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To: NoGrayZone

“......I feel so guilty when I get angry about having to clean up her “messes”, which finally made me do the old towel thing.”.......

Hey I understand that, have had to fight anger within myself as well. I HATE messes. But she’s not doing it on purpose...I know that. I know that when a kitty, who in the past ALWAYS used the box properly, starts NOT doing so.... that it is a sign of two things....physical illness or senility.

So I strive for the patience I’d use with an elderly HUMAN..... struck with dementia and a decaying body. A human being deserves to be treated with compassion and dignity during the last phase of life...... and our kitties and doggies also deserve understanding and love. I try to give it, as I know you do.

But hey, we ARE human..... and this stage of the life cycle is as difficult....if not MORE so, for us.... who have to watch and wait and make it is for the kitty. It frays our nerves....because we care...we love. You are NOT being selfish when you’ve reacted with displeasure to the litter problem. Like I said, we/you are human.

Sounds like your little girl still has some pleasure in her life. I think when the time comes to decide, you’ll know.... and you’ll make that decision with HER in mind.

Okay, I’ve waxed philosophical enough for one day. There’s turkey waiting. I hope you have a lovely day, in spite of your worries. There’s life and there’s hope.


74 posted on 11/25/2010 12:26:13 PM PST by pj_627
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To: NoGrayZone

Your welcome. I hope it works!

75 posted on 11/25/2010 12:37:03 PM PST by Lemondropkid31 (God surpasses our dreams when we grab the hand of Christ and walk the path he has chosen for us.)
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To: NoGrayZone

Dearest NoGrayZone,

I have a cat that is diabetic and visit a forum called and CRF often seems to be a complication of diabetes. In my heart I’ve already resolved that when the time comes for Atlas...and his time will come...I will not be selfish.

Yesterday the most horrible thing happened though. My other cat, my precious Krueger. The lap cat, the naptime buddy cat, the one to greet me when I get home friend, the snuggle up by the fireplace feline...was sick. He had seemed fine just wasn’t keeping his food down. So, a call to the vet, led to a vet trip, and that led to an x-ray to see what was going on. A tumor filled his abdominal cavity, there was no stool in his colon...the mass encased his entire intestines and blocked off all food passage.

Krueger was not fine, was not going to be fine, and the vet said he was not in pain, but uncomfortable right now. Without food being able to pass through his body would begin to shut down this weekend. While Krueger appeared full of hours this would change. Surgery and chemotherapy would only prolong his life a few months if what level of quality one really wouldn’t know. Krueger was most likely at Stage 4 lymphoma....

I wasn’t ready to let Krueger go, I’m still not, but I did. The doctor said Krueger wouldn’t know I was there, but I told the, I have to be there, hold him, talk to him. Krueger was still under gas in the x-ray and as I tearfully sobbed his situation to him his ears moved to listen, his paws tried to knit to my touch...I told him he would not suffer and with that I let him go.

Today I am still not OK, my very best feline friend isn’t here today. I believe though God has one of the best parts of His creation snuggled in His lap today.

Get your kitty to the vet, ringers lactate will be needed with the CRF. The vet can teach you to do this at home for your cat. It doesn’t need to be done in the office every time. You have time to say your good bye, take it for now.

This page will give you an overview of the treatment of CRF/Diabetic kitties and includes the links to the CRF Support List and the CRF Food pages. ... ailure.htm

Another great site for explaining CRF (thank you Steph & Cuddles!): ... ilure.html

Of course, there’s the main CRF caregivers site at:

And for comprehensive CRF information or for all you CRF kitties across the pond (or meow with a British accent), go to this link as well or just go anyway - it’s the best site for CRF info:

Want to find fluids, needles, etc. at the best prices? Go to this great CRF Supplies page at:

Thanks to Steph & Cuddles, here’s a fantastic site for learning to administer SQ fluids! ... juice.html

And here are some other SQ fluid links given to us by Chris & Cleo:
Videos on Administering SubQ Fluids: [Mar Vista Animal Medical Center]

Acupressure trick for cat stressed during SubQs: ... _peg_trick

Many thanks to for the links.

76 posted on 11/25/2010 12:38:49 PM PST by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: NoGrayZone

We made the choice to put our cocker spaniel to sleep last Fri. It was a very difficult decision. She was elderly, blind and had cancer. To have kept her here would have been selfish on out part, she was suffering.
I will pray for you and your cat, I know how hard this is.

77 posted on 11/25/2010 12:53:45 PM PST by kalee (The offences we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: NoGrayZone

I had a cat with renal failure. One of the mistakes people make is thinking they have to buy a special kind of food, especially since most cats really hate the recommended food. Not only that, but since it’s a kibble it robs their body of hydration they desperately need. Even in healthy cats dry foods can cause dehydration. Observe how often a healthy cat will head to the water bowl after crunching on kibble. Feed your cat whatever she’ll eat. Moist food is a great choice and most cats like it. Keeping weight on her is vital and it’s easier to do if she’s given food she loves. Give her fish oil everyday as it adds fat and antioxidants. Just poke a hole in the capsule and squirt it on her food. I had my vet show me how to give my cat fluids subcutaneously. It was hard the first couple of time but seeing how much better she felt was worth it.

I also bought Dr. Pitcairn’s book and made his recipe for CRF cats. Here it is if you want to try it yourself. If your cat will eat it raw that’s better for her if not you can bake it for about 20 mins BEFORE mixing in the vitamins. I just bought a basic cat vitamin with taurine in it because it has most of the individual vits listed in the recipe (cats are obligate carnivores and need taurine to survive). And I would add fish oil to each serving. Raw meat is the only natural source for taurine so it must be supplemented, especially in a cat whose system is already compromised.

1 1/3 cups ground chicken, turkey or lean heart
4 cups cooked white rice
4 eggs
2 tablespoons cold-pressed safflower, soy or corn oil (I actually used olive oil)
1,500 milligrams calcium
1/8 teaspoon iodized salt
1/8 teaspoon potassium chloride (optional)
1 teaspoon parsley, finely grated carrot or other vegetable (optional)
5,000 IU vitamin A
Taurine and other cat vitamins (about 5 days’ worth)
50 milligram level B complex (or 10 milligrams per day)
2,500 milligrams vitamin C

Grind the vitamins. I have an old coffee grinder I used to grind them.
Mix everything together in a large bowl.

Good luck. I know how hard this is.


78 posted on 11/25/2010 2:07:43 PM PST by gardencatz (Proud mom US Marine! It can't always be someone else's son.)
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To: NoGrayZone; mupcat

I’m with you. Every cat I’ve had that wasn’t vaccinated has lived well into his/her late teens. Not so the ones I had vaccinated. I even lost a cat to feline leukemia AFTER he was vaccinated. My older cat, Alice, lived in the same house never had the vaccine and lived to be 17.


79 posted on 11/25/2010 2:27:07 PM PST by gardencatz (Proud mom US Marine! It can't always be someone else's son.)
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To: NoGrayZone


80 posted on 11/25/2010 2:56:38 PM PST by Pagey (B. Hussein Obama has no experience running anything, except his pedestrian mouth.)
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To: EBH; NoGrayZone; Kaylee
I am so sorry for the loss you all have shared with us. I, too, have had the dreaded decision to make with a much-loved pet. How much they show us about life! They come into our lives and, for however much time they are in it, they touch our hearts and bring out what is best in us. They are, in a way, God's little messengers - almost like angels - and we understand in a small way how much God also loves us and grieves with us when we are in pain and wants what is best for us. He is the God of all comfort and I pray that each of you finds comfort, strength and grace to endure the loss, remember the joy and to be open to loving and nurturing the other “angels” he will gift us with.
81 posted on 11/25/2010 5:39:08 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.)
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To: NoGrayZone
NoGrayZone wrote: "Has Anyone Had To Go Through A Cat With Chronic Renal Failure?

For the last couple of months, I thought my elder kitty was just going senile. She turned 19 this summer and has the usual "old cat" look....frail back and hind legs, loss of muscle and weight and just looks "old". She also started tinkling and pooping outside her liter box and seemed obsessed with her water bowl (hovering over it for hours).

She has hip dysplasia and "old cat back", which cortisone shots took care of 2-3 years ago, then they stopped working. I found Syn-Flex for pets online and she made a miraculous recovery.

The vets did all kinds of tests, etc last time I bought her in and nothing came back. I started seeing weird symptoms for the past month, but just assumed she was getting senile.

I looked up her symptoms and found CRF, which is common at her age. There is no cure, it only gets worse. I do not want to bring her to the vets. Last time she was there (my original vet is now elder and seemed to have lost some of his mind, perhaps senility is creeping in. I heard that in the vets office). I don't like the other vets there, nor trust them from my last experience.

There is also no cure for it.....just things to do to ease any symptoms to make them more comfortable.

I found, online, Tinkle Tonic, which seems to ease a lot of symptoms for this disease.

I was just wondering if any FReepers had to or are dealing with this and perhaps can give me some helpful advice.

I have been crying for the past 4 days. I know her time is near and 19 years just doesn't seem long enough."

"Has Anyone Had To Go Through A Cat With Chronic Renal Failure? "

Yes, I have. While kidney failure is generally a downhill slope, there have been many advances made to not only make your kitty more comfortable but in some cases, lengthen a cat's life. There have also been some miracles and seeming complete recoveries from feline chronic renal failure but they are extremely rare especially in older cats.

Some cats can live up to 25 years, I personally know of one cat who was 25 years old when she passed away. Your cat could rally and I hope she does. :)

Following your getting your cat accurately diagnosed by a competent Vet, and if your cat actually has chronic renal failure, KD cat food is a good start. They have changed the formula over the years and the taste is now something most cats love, especially the canned KD cat food flavored with chicken.

Recent research shows that onions and onion powder can cause renal failure in cats. Do not ever give your cat any food which contains onions; nor food which has even been cooked with onions such as baked, boiled or fried chicken; nor anything which has onion powder or any type onion flavoring in it. Unfortunately that means don't share any human food leftovers.

However, don't worry if you already have - CRF is very common in older cats and the onion warning only came out in recent years.

Eating is a sign of health. Your cat should eat a good amount every day, preferably twice a day. If she skips a meal, write it down. Then if that trend continues for one more day, take her to the Vet right away. They have all sorts of inexpensive non-harmful medicines which will stimulate her appetite.

Also always have several jars on hand of strained turkey baby food with nothing added to it for the occasional times where your cat won't eat. Again she should eat every day.

You can entice most sick cats to eat again with turkey baby food. She will want to lick it off your hands then you can give it to her in teaspoonfuls then when she improves she'll go through a jar a feeding and often several a times a day.

However, no matter how much turkey baby food she eats, still you should take your cat to the Vet whenever her appetite decreases.

Appetite or not, right now your Vet will want to assess your kitty's current condition by taking blood and urine samples to see how her kidneys and liver are functioning.

Your cat might have an infection rather than renal failure or she might have an infection combined with the failing kidneys.

If you feel your kitty is too frail right now to undergo a blood test, then the Vet will still most likely insist upon a urine test if your cat has not had one in awhile.

They only withdraw a small sample of blood, but for whatever reason, my CRF cats always went into a serious decline following a blood draw. That decline included appetite, pep, hydration levels and lasted a week. That's a dangerous decline for any cat who is already on the down slope of health with CRF.

I finally found a Vet who listened. He said that all Vets should listen to Pet owners because no Vet can follow you home and observe how your cat is doing following a Vet clinic visit. An attentive and caring owner's input is crucial in assessing a Pet's health.

Also the sad fact is that most times, once a cat has been diagnosed as having CRF, that diagnosis doesn't change, only the prognosis changes and that's basically good or bad. Prognosis can be accurately assessed from a thorough physical exam, if the Vet is willing to trust his or her impressions from that physical exam and finally is willing to listen carefully to an owner's observations.

In my opinion, Vets who are insecure about their diagnostic skills will always prefer to rely solely upon numbers to diagnose and in this case, to assess the rate of kidney decline.

Again my opinion, but those type of insecure Vets will label diagnosis by exam and history taking as "guess work" while more secure yet old fashioned Vets call it simply “good diagnosis.”

For the urine sample, that's something you can easily get and again, only my opinion, probably should at least try, rather than add any stress to your kitty by allowing the Vet or his assistants to withdraw the urine sample. If you feel that your kitty is too frail, your Vet should accept your help in obtaining a sample from home.

It is simple if you don't mind watching carefully where your kitty prefers going. Just place an unused and clean freezer strength clear ziplock bag in her favorite spot to go and then wait until she goes on the bag and pour the sample into either a sterile glass jar, or even another clean unused ziplock bag.

Refrigerate the sample until you can take it in to the Vet. They should culture the sample, because if she has an infection, they need to prescribe the right antibiotic.

However, if you are willing the Vet might make a good first guess on which type bacteria is involved in a bladder/kidney infection, and prescribe the right antibiotic on the first try without the added expense and time delay of a cultured specimen.

They can centrifuge a urine sample in the Vet clinic which again, will only indicate there is an infection and it will not pinpoint the type of bacteria.

If your cat does not tolerate a prescribed oral antibiotic, for example if they give her something which she fights taking, if she throws it up, if she foams at the mouth whenever you prepare to give it to her, and please do give it an honest try, then go immediately back to the vet and ask, then demand if necessary another antibiotic which she will tolerate and take.

They have antibiotics in pill form and liquid. They have good tasting antibiotics for the most picky and sickest cats. If she has a kidney/bladder infection, she will need to keep the antibiotics down. She also cannot afford becoming more dehydrated from vomiting.

If your Vet blocks your attempts to collect urine samples, if your Vet ignores or discounts your observations, or input, if your Vet refuses to help you learn how to make your cat more comfortable and prolong her life as much as possible, then start calling around your area to find another Vet. A good Vet will gladly listen to a long term owner's personal observations of a geriatric cat and in most cases, will help you make your cat more comfortable.

After getting assessing your cat's current condition, your Vet might recommend regular, frequent and possibly daily sub-cutaneous injections of lactated Ringers solution.

That's something else a good Vet clinic should be able to help you learn how to do yourself rather than transporting your kitty back and forth to the clinic.

It's very simple for even the most squeamish pet owner to learn. Vet clinics usually start out selling you a bag of lactated Ringers, the set-up and then they will often throw the needles in for free. They should show you how to set-up the bag, then demonstrate how they give your cat one injection from the set-up Ringers bag, letting you try it also while you're still there.

If after a few weeks of you giving your cat regular or even daily lactated Ringers injections, and if you have finished the first bag of fluids, and depending upon your cat's weight, size and condition, the bag will have lasted a few weeks or more.

If your kitty has improved at all, if she has even a little of her spunk back, if she improves as much as they usually do, you'll still need to continue the frequent or daily sub-cutaneous lactated Ringers injections indefinitely.

Vet clinics range widely on how much they charge for a bag of lactated Ringers and set-ups. Where I live, they charge anywhere from $25-35 per bag which cost should include a set-up.

Costco Pharmacy online will accept a valid Veterinarian’s prescription for lactated Ringers and also set-ups. The prescriptions can be faxed directly to Costco's Online Pharamcy by the Vet clinic.

I have forgotten the exact costs but an entire case of Lactated Ringers plus the box of set-ups, all totaled together, were only a couple dollars more than what the Vet Clinic charged me for just one bag, that was the first bag of lactated Ringers plus the one set-up which they first sold me.

Unopened unused bags of Lactated Ringers keep well in any home environment as long as they're kept in the original shipping box, and not subject to heat or freezing temperatures.

This might all sound very complicated, but it's a lot simpler doing it rather than explaining.

You sound like you love your cat and have taken good care of her so it's critical for you to find a Vet who will support you in your efforts to make her as comfortable as possible in the remaining years you have with her. Not all Vets have equal compassion but the ones who do I believe make up for the others.

Once a geriatric cat has been officially diagnosed as having chronic renal failure then continual assessments especially blood tests, in my opinion are more about the vet racking up a bill than about good Veterinarian medical practice. Keep good records, ask for exact results on all blood and urine tests. You are also entitled to keep any x-ray films they take.

Then if you relocate or switch vets, the new vet will have “proof” that your cat's condition is what you say it is. Even some of the best vets get antsy about taking the word of an owner yet they will gladly accept good records and requested lab values.

My preference in Vets especially when dealing with geriatric cats has been the Vet who can first take an adequate history from an owner, then after a physical exam, can make a good initial diagnosis, followed by a recommended course of treatment, and next give a prognosis and last of all, use lab values simply to verify all of the above.

Unfortunately many Vets these days insist upon lab work immediately after giving only a cursory physical exam of the Pet. In many cases, if the owner is willing, the vet will then suggest x-rays, ultra-sounds and anything they think you'll pay for. The sky or your bank account unfortunately becomes the limit.

One Vet talked me into getting x-rays for one of my cats who had CRF and then once he got the x-rays, claimed he wasn't sure what he was looking at and then told me he needed to refer the x-rays out to a radiologist friend of his.

That hurt on many levels, the most important being trust. That Vet took my concern for my cat and started playing a particularly nasty form of building a bill. The game starts with guilt-tripping an owner into unnecessary procedures and the game ends when either the Pet dies, or when the costs go beyond the owner's ability to pay.

Repeating tests in a geriatric cat who has been diagnosed with a chronic debilitating illness such as chronic renal failure, often has nothing to do with helping the Pet get better. Unfortunately sometimes it's all about the Vet earning a few more dollars.

It was years ago that I fell for it by allowing him to x-ray my cat, but I stopped that game when he claimed he needed to refer the x-rays out to his radiologist friend for another reading of the films.

Because I no longer trusted him, I then began second guessing everything he had recommended and I stopped taking my cat in to him which is also not good.

Pet owners need Vets they can trust and those Vets should be worthy of trust.

Ask around. If you have local Pet Food Stores, especially the independently owned Pet Food Stores, go ask the clerks if they have a favorite Vet. Hang out in the Cat food aisle and ask other customers. There's always a way to find a good Vet.

The best Vet Clinics I have found were not part of a large nationwide or statewide chain but were solely owned and operated by one Vet or a small group of Vets.

Occasionally the large chains will hire good Vets but then those good Vets always seem to leave in favor of smaller less centrally controlled Clinics and in rare cases, they will buy a retiring Vet's clinic.

Another idea is to attend a cat show in your area and ask several cat breeders which Vet they could recommend.

Good luck!

82 posted on 11/25/2010 5:42:44 PM PST by bd476
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To: arasina; NoGrayZone

Well, I’m a kook then too. I believe our pets will be in heaven, as well. I’d pull out my file of reasons why, but honestly, it’s been painful enough reading this thread this far; I need to go think of something else.

But I did so because I know your pain NGZ. We had to put our beloved 14 yo Emma to sleep in early March, and the pain is still very raw. Emma was unlike any cat I’d ever owned. Whenever anyone in the house would be injured or would cry, Emma would come from wherever she was in the house to sit with them. She was loving and trusting, and here I go, welling with tears.

Our Lord was once man and he knows about our earthly love and pain and what love and joy our animals bring. I cannot believe that our Lord would see our pets as insignificant. He loved animals of all kinds and He loves us! Therefore I believe Emma will be there with Him. Think about it — animals are without sin, which is why I believe they were sacrificed on altars before the Lord. From all the artist renderings, little lambs are in heaven, too. And that ark which Noah was instructed to build? It was for the animals which were saved!

And I’m not here to debate anyone...and I won’t.

Just love on your kitty. Do whatever you are able to do medically, but then know there are scores of us who have been there; and who are there right now. (Even Mark Levin took this week off from his radio show to spend it with his dying dog.) It’s pain that’s almost too difficult to imagine, but that’s to be expected when love is mutual and still so strong, and has been given so freely for nearly two decades.

God bless.

83 posted on 11/25/2010 5:56:07 PM PST by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (*********************End automatic pay raises for congresscritters**)
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To: getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL; NoGrayZone; Kaylee

You Chose Tears

The little orange boy stopped. Behind him, kitties were playing, chasing each other and wrestling in the warm sunshine. It looked like so much fun, but in front of him, through the clear stillness of the pond’s water, he could see his mommy. And she was crying.

He pawed at the water, trying to get at her, and when that didn’t work, he jumped into the shallow water. All that got him was wet, and Mommy’s image danced away in the ripples. “Mommy!” he cried.

“Is something wrong?”

The little orange boy turned around. A lady was standing at the edge of the pond, her eyes sad but filled with love. The little orange boy sighed and walked out of the water. “There’s been a mistake,” he said. “I’m not supposed to be here.” He looked back at the water. It was starting to still again and his mommy’s image was coming back. “I’m just a baby. Mommy said it had to be a mistake. She said I wasn’t supposed to come here yet.”

The kind lady sighed and sat down on the grass. The little orange boy climbed into her lap. It wasn’t Mommy’s lap, but it was almost as good. When she started to pet him and scratch behind his ears like he liked, he started to chitter and chatter and grind his teeth in happiness. He hadn’t wanted to, but he couldn’t help it. “I’m afraid there is no mistake. You are supposed to be here, and your mommy knows it deep down in her heart.” the lady said.

The little orange boy sighed and laid his head on the lady’s leg. “But she’s so sad. It hurts me to see her cry. And Daddy too.”

“But they knew right from the beginning this would happen.”

“That I was sick?” That surprised the little orange boy. No one had ever said anything and he had listened when they thought he was sleeping. All he had heard them talk about was how cute he was or how fast he was or how big he was getting.

“No, not that you were sick,” the lady said. “But you see, they chose tears.”

“No, they didn’t,” the little orange boy argued. “Who would choose to cry?”

The lady gently brushed the top of his head with a kiss. It made him feel safe and loved and warm-but he still worried about his mommy. “Let me tell you a story,” the lady said.

The little orange boy looked up and saw other animals gathering around.

Cats—Big Boy and Snowball and Bear and Abby and little Cleo and Robin. Merlin and Toby and Iggy and Zachary. Sweetie and Kamatte and Obie.

Dogs too—Sally and Baby and Morgan and Rocky and Belle. Even a lizard named Clyde and some rats named Saffron and Becky and a ferret named Pippin. They all lay down near the kind lady and looked up at her, waiting.

She smiled at them and began:


A long long time ago, the Loving Ones went to the Angel in Charge. They were lonesome and asked the angel to help them.

The angel took them to a wall of windows and let them look out the first window at all sorts of things-dolls and stuffed animals and cars and toys and sporting events.

“Here are things you can love,” the angel said. “They will keep you from being lonesome.”

“Oh, thank you,” the Loving Ones said. “These are just what we need.”

“You have chosen Pleasure,” the angel told them.

But after a time the Loving Ones came back to the Angel in Charge. “Things are okay to love,” they said, “but they don’t care that we love them.”

The Angel in Charge led them over to the second window. It looked out at all sorts of wild animals. “Here are animals to love,” he said. “They will know you love them.”

So the Loving Ones hurried out to care for the wild animals. “You have chosen Satisfaction,” the angel said.

Some of the Loving Ones worked at zoos and wild animal preserves, some just had bird feeders in their yards, but after a time they all came back to the Angel in Charge.

“They know we love them,” they told the angel, “but they don’t love us back. We want to be loved in return.”

So the angel took them to the third window and showed them lots of people walking around, hurrying places. “Here are people for you to love,” the angel told them. So the Loving Ones hurried off to find other people to love. “You have chosen Commitment,” the angel said.

But after a time a lot of Loving Ones came back to the Angel in Charge. “People were okay to love,” they said, “but sometimes they stopped loving us and left. They broke our hearts.”

The angel just shook his head. “I cannot help you.” he said. “You will have to be satisfied with the choices I gave you.”

As the Loving Ones were leaving, someone saw a window off to one side and hurried to look out. Through it, they could see puppies and kittens and dogs and cats and lizards and hamsters and ferrets. The other Loving Ones hurried over. “What about these?” they asked.

But the angel just tried to shoo them away. “Those are Personal Empathy Trainers,” he said, “but there’s a problem with their system operations.”

“Would they know that we love them?” someone asked.

“Yes,” the angel said.

“Would they love us back?” another asked.

“Yes.” the angel said.

“Will they stop loving us?” someone else asked.

“No,” the angel admitted. “They will love you forever.”

“Then these are what we want.” the Loving Ones said.

But the angel was very upset. “You don’t understand,” he told them. “You will have to feed these animals.”

“That’s all right,” the Loving Ones said.

“You will have to clean up after them and take care of them forever.”

“We don’t care.”

The Loving Ones did not listen. They went down to where the Pets were and picked them up, seeing the love in their own hearts reflected in the animals’ eyes.

“They were not programmed right,” the angel said. “We can’t offer a warranty. We don’t know how durable they are. Some of their systems malfunction very quickly, others last a long time.”

But the Loving Ones did not care. They were holding the warm little bodies and finding their hearts so filled with love that they thought they would burst. “We will take our chances.” they said.

“You do not understand.” The angel tried one more time. “They are so dependent on you that even the most well-made of them is not designed to outlive you. You are destined to suffer their loss.”

The Loving Ones looked at the sweetness in their arms and nodded. “That is how it should be. It is a fair trade for the love they offer.”

The angel just watched them all go, shaking his head. “You have chosen Tears.” he whispered.


“So it is,” the kind lady told the animals, “and so each mommy and daddy knows. When they take a baby into their heart, they know that one day it will leave them, and they will cry.”

The little orange boy sat up. “So why do they take us in?” he asked.

“Because even a moment of your love is worth years of pain later.”

“Oh.” The little orange boy got off the lady’s lap and went back to the edge of the pond. His mommy was still there and still crying. “Will she ever stop crying?” he asked the kind lady.

She nodded. “You see, the Angel felt sorry for the Loving Ones, knowing how much they would suffer. He couldn’t take the tears away but he made them special.”

She dipped her hand into the pond and let the water trickle off her fingers. “He made them healing tears, formed from the special water here. Each tear holds bits of all the happy times of snuggling and petting and shared love. And the promise of love once again. As your mommy cries, she is healing.

“In time, she will be less sad and she will smile when she thinks of you. And then she will open her heart again to another little baby.”

“But then she will cry again one day,” the little orange boy said.

The lady just smiled at him as she got to her feet. “No, she will love again. That is all she will think about.” She picked up Big Boy and Snowball and gave them hugs, then scratched Morgan’s ear just how she liked.
“Look,” she said, “the butterflies have come. Shall we go over to play?”

The other animals all ran ahead, but the little orange boy wasn’t ready to leave his mommy. “Will I ever get to be with her again?”

The kind lady nodded. “You’ll be in the eyes of every kitty she looks at. You’ll be in the brux and boggle of every cat she pets. And late at night, when she’s fast asleep, your spirit will snuggle up close to her and you both will feel at peace. One day soon, you can even send her a rainbow to tell her you’re safe and waiting here for when it’s her turn to come.”

“I would like that.” the little orange boy said and took one long look at his mommy. He saw her smile slightly through her tears, and he knew she had remembered the time he almost fell into the bathtub.

“I love you, Mommy,” he whispered. “It’s okay if you cry.” He glanced over at the others, running and playing and laughing with the butterflies. “Uh, Mommy? I gotta go play now, okay? But I’ll be around, I promise.”

Then he turned and raced after the others.

by Anne Kolaczyk

84 posted on 11/25/2010 6:11:40 PM PST by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: gardencatz

In N.C. it is illegal to not vaccinate house pets against rabies. In fact, you must pay a license fee of $10 per pet per year (it is sent in to a different agency and not the vet) and if you do not, your fee doubles and then penalties are assessed. I tried to explain that my two cats are completely, strictly indoor only cats, but it does not matter, they MUST get annual rabies shots.

85 posted on 11/25/2010 6:45:38 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.)
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That was really beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

86 posted on 11/25/2010 7:10:16 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.)
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To: bd476

Excellent idea. I will stop in my local pet store and ask them. I don’t trust the vets I have now and I do need to get to her one ASAP.

Thanks for your great advice!

87 posted on 11/26/2010 2:29:07 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: teenyelliott

Your kitty looks just exactly like my Old Bob. He was unique. He had Feline Leukemia. We had to help him pass about 2 years ago. It was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever done. Everyone told me it was the right thing to do but I keep thinking he trusted me and I felt like I let him down. But now I know he just wanted to not be sick and I couldn’t do that for him so now I know it was the right thing to do. My son had a beautiful 3 legged Siamese who got kidney failure and had to be put down. They didn’t want to do it so long story short. He wound up weighing only 4 pounds, so severely dehydrated he had no bodily fluids left. He couldn’t even walk anymore. They wound up having to have him euthanized anyway.

88 posted on 11/26/2010 2:33:15 AM PST by beckysueb
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That is heart breaking, but uplifting. It certainly is a keeper.

89 posted on 11/26/2010 2:37:25 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: pj_627

Thanks. Thanksgiving was good. It was nice spending it w/ the family. I hope yours was great as well.

90 posted on 11/26/2010 2:40:15 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: NoGrayZone

Over the years I have had many cats that lived to an old age, then died from a variety of causes. It is never easy. As the human in the relationship you have to make yourself end your kitty’s chronic suffering if that is the case. very hard but necessary. I lost my Schmeckel Kitty several months ago (see my personal page) and still cry. He just wore out from a variety of illnesses. I had to send him over the Rainbow Bridge for kindness’ sake. My thoughts are with you.

91 posted on 11/26/2010 7:46:57 AM PST by pabianice
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To: NoGrayZone

You need to join the yahoo group for CRF cats. They are SO will learn alot in there.

92 posted on 11/26/2010 10:14:53 AM PST by Fawn (CANCER SUCKS)
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To: NoGrayZone

My heart goes out to you, believe me, I’ve been there and done that many times. I wish I could put a hand on your shoulder and give you a hug. I’ve lost multiple cats to kidney failure myself, but I did have a success story or two. I just wanted to drop by quick and let you know that we are not all alone here. I’ll post my experiences but that will be a little later, I have to go to my 25th high school reunion.

93 posted on 11/26/2010 4:37:14 PM PST by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: NoGrayZone

I lost my little companion Wednesday morning. He was almost twenty by final reckoning. He started having the wobblies then stopped eating and finally stopped drinking. I miss him so ... his name was Crooked Tail. Had three tail joints crooked at 30 degrees and his tail was not full length. He was a s,art kitty, very vocal and loved lap time. I have a few questions for God, when the time comes.

94 posted on 11/26/2010 7:44:13 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: NoGrayZone
Yeah, I'm back from my reunion. I can understand your sadness, I've been there too. CRF is a common problem in cats, too bad we can't do more for it, I mean, we can land a man on the Moon yet kidney problems still plague animals and people too. B-(

Gettin g back to what I've said, I have had experience with this too, between subcutanious fluids and special diets, I've had wide varying degrees of success and failures.

One big success I had was keeping my Burmese cat, Muffin alive for 2 and a half years with CRF using a combination special diet and conventional foods. Sometimes you have to mix the special kidney diet foods with a little bit of regular to get the kitty to eat it. She died a month shy of 17, but being diagnosed at 14 and a half, I consider that a victory.


Muffin: b. 8-21-1987 d. 7-09-2004

Then I had Corky, we had to give her fluids for about 9 or 10 months. She also had diabeties from before and sometimes she did take fits where we thought she was dying, then she'd bounce back and be normal. She lived to by 18 and a half, my second oldest cat. Still, I'd consider that a victory.


Corky: b. 5-12-1989 d. 9-07-2007

Then we had Greystone, he had CRF yet barely made it to 5 years old. He was a grey and white Tuxedo cat. He lived for about 3 weeks after diagnosis. We did what we could but he crashed and burned basically. B-( That I consider a defeat. A quick note, we still have his mother, she's 10 and his brother and sister, G.W. (9) and Whitey (9).


Greystone: b.4-15?-2001 d. 4-15-2006

Honorable mention. Since this is about CRF and not cancer, I still have to mention my oldest, Pansy. She had thyroid problems for the last 2 or 3 years of her life but she chugged on until the last month or so. She had lymphoma, cancer. In humans, it is one of the more "easily curable" cancers, but there are the somewhat rare times you have complications. She lived to be 19 years and 8 days. When she passed away, an online friend came on to comfort me, he was going through lymphoma himself and was tired from the chemo he was receiving, but we both loved our cats very much. Unfortunately, my friend was one of the ones that had complications so he passed on 4 months after Pansy.


Pansy: b.8-19-1987 d. 8-27-2006

P.S., here she is getting ready to "zot!" She used to run on 120 VAC, 60 cycle power. B-)

My heart goes out to you and anyone else here with kitties with CRF. You never say die, I know it is a roll of the dice and like the old 1970's era car commercials said, "your mileage may var," but it is worth a try, at least in that case, you know you did what you could no matter what happens.

95 posted on 11/26/2010 10:47:13 PM PST by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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My condolences. I remember you mentioning Crooked Tail from time to time. My heart and prayers go out to you.

96 posted on 11/26/2010 10:50:15 PM PST by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL

I’m also a “kook” that believes our pets go to heaven. Tell you the truth, if they would not be there, then I really wouldn’t want to go there. Still, I won’t debate it with anyone, but I’ll leave it go with one thought. I think and know God would want us to be happy in heaven so He would bring the souls/spirits of our pets up into heaven for us to meet up with them again one day.

97 posted on 11/26/2010 10:53:50 PM PST by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry for your loss. That is terrible =(

Did you read post 84? It made me cry and also gave me some comfort. I hope it helps you.

98 posted on 11/27/2010 2:49:46 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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To: NoGrayZone
I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

The following may not help right now, but perhaps for the next kitty who finds you.

I have read things which suggest that long-term feeding of mostly dry cat foods increases the likelihood that the kitty will have renal failure at the end.

So... it might be a good idea to feed cats wet food and not rely just on dry food. Maybe even to eventually switch your kitties over to a raw, homemade diet. There is all sorts of information on this topic all over the internet.

Cats evolved as desert animals, and they get much of their moisture from the juices of the meat they eat (whether it's a hamburger or a mouse burger). They typically don't drink as much water as dogs.

99 posted on 11/27/2010 9:45:51 PM PST by pbmaltzman
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To: pbmaltzman; All

Thanks. I have been giving my 3 more canned food. I get the grain free natural ones....with the first few ing’s being only protein.

I am bringing her to the vet today @ 3:30. I was able to get a urine sample so they won’t have to get it from her.

Here’s hoping for the best.

100 posted on 11/29/2010 3:09:08 AM PST by NoGrayZone (This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. - PJ O'Rourke)
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