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C2006-07

Dear Christopher Cat

My cat A.J. is 10 years old. Our last cat died of kidney failure, and I want to keep A.J. from developing the same problem. What can I do to prevent the disease?

Christopher Responds

My mom periodically runs blood tests and a urinalysis to make sure I am healthy and to identify problems early, while they can be treated.

I suggest you request the same lab work, which will tell you about the functioning of A.J.’s kidneys and other organs.

At the same time, ask your veterinarian to examine A.J.’s teeth and advise you if they need to be professionally cleaned.

That may sound strange, but over the years, I’ve noticed that my cat friends with gum disease also had kidney problems.

That’s because bacteria from infected gums travel through the blood to the kidneys, where they establish infections.
Chronic kidney infection leads to diminished function and eventually kidney failure.

If A.J.’s mouth is healthy, keep it that way by feeding only dry food, which keeps the teeth and gums cleaner than moist food. If he lets you, brush his teeth with pet toothpaste.

Finally, keep A.J. indoors, safe from toxins, such as antifreeze, that cause kidney failure.

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