- Helping Your CRF Cat
a low protein/low salt/low phosphorus diet and put the food
dish in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home.
track of the quantity of food your cat eats. This information
will be helpful to your veterinarian.
of old food and start with fresh each time you feed the
cat. Clean the food bowl daily.
you store cat food in the refrigerator, always warm the
food to room temperature before serving.
not give your cat table scraps.
cats sometimes have difficulty eating and chewing. If this
is true with your cat, try placing the food in a mound rather
than in a level pile. Elevating the plate or bowl a few
inches from the floor may help the cat to eat easier, too.
Breaking the food into smaller pieces can also help an older
cat to eat.
- While it's important that all cats have fresh water daily, it is crucial that CRF cats have access to fresh water continually. It's advisable to have at least two bowls of fresh water located in different areas of the house for your CRF cat.
- We believe that cats should be given bottled water rather than tap water whenever possible. Spring water is free of most of the chemicals found in tap water.
- Standing water tends to get warm and stale and can gather bacteria, dust and small flying insects even when the water is changed and the bowl is washed every day.
- You might consider investing in a filter for your water faucet or an automated waterer for your cat which will deliver continuous, fresh, filtered water. This may encourage your cat to drink more water than it would from a regular water bowl. While we are not affiliated with any companies that manufacture waterers, we have been told (both by vets and CRF caregivers) that cats seem to prefer fresh flowing water and that water consumption increases when using an automated waterer device.
- Some cats drink from spigots and toilet bowls. If your cat drinks from the toilet, PLEASE make absolutely certain that you are not using any toxic cleaners or toilet bowl deodorizers, etc.
- Because CRF cats tend to have upset stomachs, water at room temperature is usually preferable to cold water although some cats prefer ice water.
- Cats drink more water when they eat dry food and they drink more when the weather is warm.
- There is no set amount of water for a normal cat to drink each day. More than six to eight ounces per day is usually considered excessive for a normal cat. CRF cats may drink more than this daily.
love, affection and companionship.
stressful situations for the cat and provide a calm environment.
the cat from extreme heat and cold and keep it indoors.
comfortable, warm places in quiet areas away from normal
household traffic and drafts. Form an afghan, blanket or
comforter into a nest or buy a cat bed. Bedding material
should be washed on a regular basis.
with CRF are often nauseous, so be gentle when handling
cats usually do not groom themselves as frequently as they
should. Continue to brush and groom the cat daily, but be
very gentle around the sub-Q injection area.
and trim your cat's claws frequently or have your veterinarian
do it. It's important to learn the correct procedure; otherwise
you may cut too close and injure a blood vessel.
is sometimes difficult for older cats and CRF cats may also
have low potassium levels which can lead to muscle weakness.
This may cause difficulty and pain when they try to climb
stairs, jump to windowsills or jump onto furniture. Ramps
and low pieces of furniture strategically placed will help
your cat to continue on with its normal activities.
importance of an identification tag and collar or microchip
implant cannot be stressed enough, particularly in the case
of a CRF cat, who could die quickly without the proper care.
Even if your cat is a complete indoor cat, there are circumstances
in which it may escape. Wherever you live, natural disasters
can happen. If your house catches fire or you have a severe
earthquake, tornado or hurricane, your cat could be lost
in the confusion. It's well worth the small investment you'll
make and you'll feel much better whenever you leave your
cat home alone.
CRF cats may still be able to play, they tire easily. It's
important to watch for increased, labored or rapid breathing.
as much time as possible with your cat and treasure every
the litter box daily as needed. Change litter and wash the
litter box at least once a week or more.
possible, have two litter boxes and position them in quiet,
in a new litter box with lower sides if your cat has difficulty
climbing into his current one.
into the habit of doing these frequent checks:
your cat's litter box habits for any changes of routine
in urination or bowel movements.
track of your cat's water consumption.
your cat frequently.
your cat's skin and coat on a regular basis for sores and
for anemia on a regular basis. Get to know the color of
your cat's gums, tongue and insides of ears and check for
for dehydration on a regular basis by doing the pinch test.
Gently pinch your cat's skin at the neck. If it does not
snap back into place, check with your veterinarian. You
can also feel the gums for dryness.
your cat's mouth regularly for oral ulcers and halitosis.
your cat's eyes regularly for any changes.
your cat's daily routine and note any changes for your veterinarian.
your cat goes outside (not a good idea for CRF cats or,
in our opinion, for any cat), check regularly for parasites.
- Should you or shouldn’t you?
gave Avatar all of his vaccinations for most of his life.
When he was newly-diagnosed with CRF, we began to question
whether it was necessary to continue regularly scheduled vaccinations
since he was a totally indoor cat.
were, however, outside neighborhood cats who came to visit
him. Though they all looked healthy, we couldn’t be sure that
a sneeze through a screen wouldn’t be dangerous to Avatar.
It was only in the last two years of his life that we made
the decision, with our vet’s blessing, to stop all vaccinations.
said, we cannot endorse that decision for anyone else. It
all depends on your feelings on the issue, your individual
cat and his habits – whether your cat goes outside (not something
we recommend), if you are a multi-cat family with other cats
that may have infectious diseases, what your vet advises,
protocols have changed somewhat within the last few years
with longer intervals between booster shots. We have provided
some links below that may be helpful to you:
While research continues, it is extremely interesting that there may be a correlation between the FVRCP vaccine and chronic renal failure in cats.
are prone to anemia and fleas could increase the risk. Since
fleas consume blood, contributing to anemia even in otherwise
healthy cats, it would seem that the risk imposed by a flea
infestation would be more serious to a CRF cat than any side
effects from the use of flea-control medication. However,
we recommend talking to your vet before using any flea-control
products on your CRF cat.
of the flea product, Revolution,
recommend not giving it to "sick, weak
and underweight animals".
your veterinarian on a regular basis.
know your cat best. Always have as many details and observations
as possible ready when you talk to your veterinarian. If
necessary, make a list to take with you to the vet's.