Defining CRF in Cats
Chronic renal failure (CRF) is a progressive disease caused by long-term insult to the kidneys. This over time, damages their ability to concentrate urine and remove waste products from circulation. The word “renal” means anything pertaining to the kidneys. Chronic renal failure is one of the most common causes of death in domestic cats. Unfortunately, most owners don’t notice the symptoms of CRF until their cat’s kidneys have been damaged beyond repair. Usually, by the time CRF is diagnosed, about 70% of functional kidney tissue has already been destroyed. Once clinical signs appear, the kidneys have lost most of their ability to filter waste products. This includes circulating blood, excreting the end-products of metabolism in the urine, regulating blood pressure, contributing to red blood cell production and regulating the concentrations of hydrogen, sodium, potassium, phosphate and other electrolytes in the cat’s system. Chronic renal failure is always progressive, irreversible and eventually fatal.