As cat owners, we all love our furry friends a tremendous amount. That’s why it’s a painful experience when you learn that your cat is suffering from an illness, like Kidney disease. If you’ve noticed a change in your cat’s behaviour like a loss of appetite, vomiting and even whole loss of energy that is not like them, this could be due to the disease. Finding out this information is always hard to handle and the first step you’ll want to take is to desperately look for a solution to remove their symptoms. Though there are many routes you can take, many people are turning to CBD to help. Despite CBD not being able to directly target the kidney disease itself, it is aiding many elder cats to take away their symptoms and enhance their life. But before we get into effects of CBD, its important you know exactly what you’re dealing with when it comes to this disease.

Kidney Disease In Cats

Kidney disease – which is also named renal failure – can affect the correct function of your feline friends’ kidneys. It’s not a rare problem, as the disease will affect up to 30% of cats in their lifetime. As of right now, there’s 2 core forms of the disease that your cat can suffer from. Acute renal failure, which can develop over a couple days to weeks and is most generally caused by poison. Secondly, the more aggressive and commonly found type of the disease is called chronic kidney failure. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a cure found for this illness and its particular causes are not very clear either. This condition is found more in mature cats and develops over a longer period of time than acute renal failure.

This scarily common issue is caused by a multitude of different things. The most common source of acute kidney disease being poisons and toxic substances. You may not know, but there are a host of household items that can cause serious harm to your cat’s kidneys like antifreeze, ibuprofen, aspirin and other medications. There are also certain flora and fauna that are venomous to cats, like true lilies for example.

Common Causes Of Acute Kidney Failure

If cats get their paws on this plant and take a nibble or drink from the water in the vase, it can cause severe damage or even failure to their kidneys. Other common causes of cats suffering from acute kidney failure are:

  • Certain infections like pyelonephritis. This can cause serious swelling and irritation of the kidneys.
  • Kidney stones. These can be very dangerous to your cat as they don’t appear to cause any sort of symptom to make you aware of them. However, they can create blockages in their kidneys leading to infection and renal failure. Kidney stones also can cause other places like the ureter to block, which can obstruct the passage of urine. This can cause the kidneys to become inflamed and injured. If left undiagnosed for too long, the blockages made from kidney stones can be lethal.
  • Shock. Shock can be caused by a quick and sudden reduction of blood or dehydration, this can be from severely vomiting or having diarrhoea. Basically, anything that can cause a massive loss of fluid. These can shock your cat’s system and affect their kidneys.
  • Heart failure/ low blood pressure. Both of these issues can cause a deadly reduction of blood flow to your cat’s kidneys.

As for the source of chronic kidney disease, these are way less noticeable despite it being the more common form of the disease. This form of kidney disease is more commonly found in middle-aged to older cats. This is due to them having their kidneys worn down over time due to issues like blockages and infections. If you own an older cat who has in the past been susceptible to blockages or kidney stones, its vital that you get your friend’s kidneys checked out regularly via your vet. They’ll usually take some blood and urine samples to test, perhaps x-rays and ultrasounds too to keep an eye out for the health of your cat’s kidneys.

Not many people realize how important the kidneys are, for humans and cats alike. Kidneys are essential in order for the body to function properly. They rid the blood of toxins and produce urine to carry these bad toxic substances out of our body, therefore keeping us happy and healthy. As well as sorting out toxins, kidneys also have the important role of helping sustain a healthy blood pressure and help produce hormones and red blood cells.

Symptoms Of Kidney Diseases

If your cat is having trouble with their kidneys, its means that they might have an accumulation of toxins in their blood – causing an extensive range of issues. Problems like acidosis, which is when blood becomes acidified. It’s a result of kidney failure caused by a gathering of acids. Kidney disease can also cause your cat to suffer with anaemia due to the lack of red blood cells being produced. Because there is a direct link between kidneys and urine production, cats suffering with kidney disease tend to urinate more frequently than most. This is due to their kidneys not being able to properly distillate urine. This overly constistant urination can cause a host of other issues for your cat as they can lose important minerals, proteins and vitamins. Here are some other common symptoms to look out for:

  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Urinating more often
  • Drinking loads of water
  • Constipation
  • Bacterial infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood/cloudy urine
  • Messy appearance and a dry coat

Its not all doom and gloom however, as acute kidney disease can actually be helped and overturned (so long as it is quickly diagnosed by a vet). The particular treatment your vet will suggest can vary and depends on the individual cause of the problem. Some treatments might contain of a mix of both surgery, intravenous solutions, medication and dietary changes. For cats with chronic kidney disease however, I’m afraid there is no cure. This doesn’t mean it can’t be treated though. Instead of having a treatment focused on reversing the issue, its exclusively focused on diminishing the symptoms of the illness. Although your pet will have to live with this condition, there are methods to improve their quality of life. That’s where people have turned to CBD supplements for their cats.

CBD cannot cure the disease, unfortunately. But it can help decrease your cat’s side effects from it as well as improve their quality of life as they age. In fact, CBD is fetching more and more popularity as a natural supplement to aid your cat as they go into their older years. CBD has a tonne of health benefits that can help mature cats deal and tackle their symptoms of kidney disease.

CBD can help cats fix their vomiting, diarrhea and lack of appetite, all of which are common side effects of kidney disease (and other conditions like IBD too). You might not be too concerned at first about your cat skipping lunch or having a messy bowl movement however, the effects of these can become very grave. For example, a bad bowl movement or vomiting can cause your cat to become dehydrated. In serious cases, dehydration can go on to cause acute kidney disease. In not so serious cases, it can cause cats to drink excessively – an already related issue to chronic kidney disease.

British Journal of Pharmacology Study

Its always important to keep your cat as healthy as they can be, especially when they start to get a bit older. We need to ensure that they get all the nutrients that are essential to them in order to live out their lives in a happy and healthy manner. In recent scientific studies, CBD has shown to be really effective at improving appetite in cats, as well as stop nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. For instance, a study made in 2012 from the British Journal of Pharmacology revealed that CBD assisted with the decreased feeling of nausea when administered to rats. CBD stimulates the Endocannabinoid system that both human and cats share. This system manages all a variety of types of bodily functions. In particular, this study revealed that CBD helped activate a serotonin receptor in the brain called 5-HT1A. This calmed the feeling of nausea and vomiting in the animals that were administered the CBD. In a different study conducted in 2017 that was printed in the Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies, a similar result was produced using CBD. More studies are showing that CBD can help ease other symptoms that could possibly affect your cat’s appetite like stress, anxiety and even digested tract issues like IBD. These are only a few examples of the immense research that has been conducted over the years that show how much using CBD can help ease your cat’s kidney disease symptoms. Which is why a lot of cat owners have chosen to go down this route.

The Endocannabinoid System

As well as lessening symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, CBD can also promote homeostasis. This means it can maintain a correct balance in the body. CBD has been revealed to do this by raising the activity of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS for short).  The ECS plays a key role in upholding the homeostatic balance needed within our bodies to keep them operating properly and healthily. For example, studies have shown that the ECS can help manage irritation, swelling, pain, nausea, digestive health and so on. So, this brands CBD a striking health supplement to many cat owners whose kitties cope with chronic situations like kidney disease. On top of all these positives, more research has shown that CBD also helps increase anandamide levels in the brain (otherwise known as the bliss molecule). This molecule plays an active role in pain variation, appetite encouragement, memory, cognition and so much more.

So now that we’ve gone through the science on how it can help, I’m sure you’re wanting to know if it actually does help. More importantly, if it’s safe. In short, yes. A lot of research has been done into the use of CBD and what we’ve learnt from all those studies is that there have been effectively no side effects caused by it. Better yet, it is impossible to administer a fatal dosage. These are only a couple reasons as to why pet owners all over are turning to CBD to treat their furry friends.

There are many cases of success stories online about cats and CBD. Take Arthur, for instance. He is a 14-year-old mature cat who unfortunately suffers with chronic kidney disease. His owners realized that he was losing weight rapidly consequently due to him having little to no appetite and vomiting. Following this, his owners decided to treat him with CBD and have seen nothing but positive results since. Now, Arthur is able to maintain a healthy weight and enjoy his food once again. Another similar story is that of Finn. Finn suffers from the same condition which was instigating a huge impact on her general health. Her owners also turned to CBD to see if that could help curb her multiple symptoms, which luckily it did. She is now back to her usual self again. Finally, is the story of Kitty the cat. She struggled with lymphoma and extreme appetite loss. Her condition got so severe that she hadn’t voluntarily eaten for close to 3 months. In a desperate effort to get her back on the mend, her owners turned to CBD. With that, her owners managed to get kitty back onto her food and her health improved day by day. Of course, these are only a few of the amazing success stories. However, it does give an idea on how amazing CBD can be for cats who suffer from kidney disease and a host of other issues.

There are a few different ways and CBD products you can administer to your cat.  The first being HolistaPet’s capsules. Holistapet creates a vast range of different CBD products for pets and has a line explicitly intended for cats. Their capsules are made with turmeric, hemp seed and CBD extract, which all offer a host of different health benefits for your cat suffering with kidney disease. They’re very easy to administer as 1 capsule is given for every 10lbs of body weight. Capsules can also be easily hidden and assorted into your cat’s food if they aren’t open to the idea of being given the medication straight. Another capsule CBD product on the market is by Canna-pet. Although not being aimed for cats specifically, they still do a great job in calming your cat’s symptoms. Again, they can easily be mixed up in food to be administered. Holistapet also do a CBD cat treat option instead of capsules, with each bite containing 2mg of CBD. They a very popular choice on the market and easy to give to your furry friend as it looks and tastes like a treat!


It’s always good to look out for signs that your cat might be struggling with a problem, because the sooner you can spot them, the sooner you can help them. CBD may be controversial, but you can’t fault the research being put in to ensure it’s safe and more importantly, more likely to help give your cat the quality of life it truly deserves.

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