Have you noticed your cat drinking more than usual? Increased thirst and urination can be the first sign of serious kidney problems in your cat. Sadly it is common for kidney function to progressively reduce as cats get older. Also known as renal failure, other signs include weight loss, smelly breath and a poor appetite. Affected cats can become dehydrated, lethargic and may vomit. To investigate for kidney disease your vet can perform a clinical exam and collect blood and urine samples. These tests will rule out other causes of excessive thirst in cats including diabetes and hyperthyroid disease. Early diagnosis can aid in the treatment of kidney failure however unfortunately the condition is not curable. Severely affected cats may need to be hospitalised on intravenous fluids to correct dehydration and reduce levels of the toxic kidney by-products. After this special renal food from your vet is the only proven form of ongoing treatment. These diets come in wet and dry varieties, different flavours and need to be fed as the sole diet to be effective. Remember to help your cat stay healthy in their older years with a regular check up with your vet. This is Claude the kitten at our clinic for his checkup.