My cat has kidney disease. What should I do?

Kidney disease can be difficult to handle with the right care and treatment, it's possible to improve your cat's quality of life and potentially slow the progression of the disease. Here are some general steps that you should take, but remember to consult with your veterinarian for the best course of action.

1. **Veterinary Care**: This is the most important step. If you suspect your cat has kidney disease, or if your cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease, it is essential to work closely with your vet to manage your cat's condition. Your vet can provide medications and treatments that can help manage symptoms and slow disease progression.

2. **Dietary Management**: Many veterinarians recommend a diet lower in protein and phosphorous for cats with kidney disease. These diets are designed to reduce the amount of waste that the kidneys need to filter, which can help the kidneys work more efficiently and slow the progression of the disease. Always consult with your vet before making any changes to your cat's diet.

3. **Hydration**: Cats with kidney disease often struggle to concentrate their urine, so they can become dehydrated more easily. Encouraging hydration can be a critical part of managing kidney disease. This could include providing fresh water at all times, using a cat water fountain to encourage drinking, or feeding wet cat food.

4. **Monitor Weight and Appetite**: Weight loss and decreased appetite can be signs that the disease is progressing. Regularly monitor your cat's weight and eating habits and report any significant changes to your vet.

5. **Regular Vet Checkups**: Regular vet visits can help monitor the progression of your cat's disease and adjust treatment plans as necessary. Your vet might also suggest running blood and urine tests periodically to keep track of your cat's kidney function.

6. **Comfort and Love**: Kidney disease can make your cat feel unwell. Providing a comfortable and stress-free environment, along with lots of love and affection, can help improve your cat's quality of life.

Remember, every cat is unique and what works best will depend on the severity of the kidney disease, your cat's overall health, and its personal preferences. Always work closely with your vet to develop a care plan tailored to your cat's needs.