Why are domestic cats plagued with renal issues?

According to an article I read 1 in 3 cats suffers from kidney disease, why is the number so high?

Here is the article:http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/kidney-disease-in-cats-what-cat-owners-should-know

Trying to get my male cat to drink more water is a trial. I add water to his wet food and I have water cups in several places along with leaving one tap dripping. What else should I try?

I’ve had many cats over the years, in fact, my current cat Ed is 18 yrs. old

I’ve only had one that died of kidney failure which was likely due to engine coolant (ethylene glycol) poisoning.

It may be genetic but I’d lean towards an environmental cause. They may be ingesting toxins either in their food, their litter, or from other sources such as contaminated water, mice, grooming themselves, coolant, etc…

Domestic cats are probably just living long enough to get kidney failure. You don’t have outdoor only cats living to 15-20 years of age.

I’m going with this. Non-domestic cats simply don’t live long enough to develop kidney problems.

From my understanding, cats evolved from a desert (i.e., arid climate) animal, and were constructed to get a lot of their water from their food. Many people feed them dry food, and offer very little food with moisture in it. From a hydration perspective, cats would do better on wet food or even hunting their own food. Modern life has interrupted that.

I do think that there is merit to the idea that domestic cats live longer and therefore kidney disease is seen more often. I can think of a way to examine that.

I would like to hear from any Dopers living in Britain about their experiences with cats and kidney disease. Many cats there (most) are outdoors at least part time. The world’s oldest cats often come from Britain. Do British cats experience kidney disease at the same rates? I don’t know if any dietary study has been done comparing British cat diet with US cat diet (for example), but I would be curious.

I still think this is a big contributor. My oldest cats (17 & 18) both died or renal failure, while my youngest cat to die (age 4) had a heart defect, and my next youngest, (age 14) had a liver mass.

Cats in Britain may live a long time because of a number of factors: one is probably the quality of vet care, but another is probably willingness of people to invest in vet care. Cats, even ones kept as pets, probably don’t live as long in, say, Mexico, because people can’t invest in vet care when a cat is sick. The climate in Britain may be a factor as well.

I would think that you can’t really make a blanket statement about “cats in the US,” since there are so many different climates. Maybe places where it’s damp and temperate, the way it is in much of the UK, like, say, Seattle, has pet cat longevity, and then it might turn out to have something to do with cats not dehydrating as much.

A lot of pet food in the US really isn’t that great a diet for the pet in question. If you buy cat food based on what’s cheapest it may not be all that good long term for the cat.

We give our cats plenty of water, so I hope this won’t become a problem for them.

In fact, when I noticed the cats were drinking from my bedside water glass, I decided to dissuade them from drinking from it by providing a cat water bowl on my nightstand. This turned out to be immensely popular. Both cats drink out of it (I think some of it isn’t thirst, but territorial – they both have to prove that they have access to the Water Dish). they’ve come to expect it. If the dish runs dry, or even low, they’ll come to us and complain about it. they get excited when a refilled water dish is brought in.

I keep the water dish by their food bowls cleaned and filled, too.

Reading online, there seems to be a ton of suggested causes including diet (dry/wet, types of protein, etc), environmental chemicals (stuff the cat noses at or licks), genetics (esp. Persians and Abyssinian), litter boxes (either material or cleaning habits), even medications or vaccines for FIV or Feline leukemia.

I’m inclined to agree with the “they just live that long now” theory since, if that many things can possibly cause it, the odds aren’t in your favor the older you get.

One thing is that cats don’t like to drink right by their food

Try getting one of the kitty fountains that constantly circulates and aerates the water.

Seconded. Cats prefer moving water.

We used to leave cups and bowls of water on the floor for our animals and noticed one of our cats would always paw at the cup or bowl until the water moved before drinking. We got her a fountain and she loves it. They’re relatively cheap; they run about $20-30. Most have some sort of filter system, and the filters need replacing every month or so, but the filters are also cheap (price will vary depending on your fountain; they almost all use their own proprietary filter, but they generally run about $2 apiece).

Fountains are a good way to go, but even then some cats just won’t drink. One of mine pretty much ignores any water, moving or not. I tried multiple fountains, bowls everywhere - nothing worked. Since he is also prone to struvite formation( which necessitated a couple of pricey stays at the emergency vet when he was young )I eventually went to an all wet diet( non-prescription ), which cured his ills. Not a big deal, except it makes cat-sitting a bigger chore when I go out of town.

I discovered the “They drink more when the bowl isn’t by the food” by accident. One of my current cats likes to play in the water bowl (she likes to play in water in general), and will soak the dry food if it’s next to the water, so now the water is on the other side of the kitchen. They both drink more.

This cat will play in the toilet if a lid gets left up, or in the bath water while it’s draining, so my son has to remember to close the door after he takes a bath (me too, if I take a bath instead of showering). Sometimes I run a inch of clean water in the tub just for her to play in. Weirdo.

Never stopped our cats. They’ll drink, noisily, from the bowl near the wet and dry food dishes.

When we had dogs, there were a couple of cats who always had to drink from the dog bowl. I think they were making a point.

Just to point out - the article’s only cite for the 1 in 3 number is from a single Vet, who coincidentally works for the same company as the website and the new kidney disease screening test they’re recommending. So not really an unbiased source.

this thread is a wonderful opportunity to post a link to the
cat with the weirdest way to drink water

Mine is fine drinking next to her food as well. But the issue is that she’ll often knock a piece of food into the water on accident and then decide that the contaminated water is no longer worth drinking. So we fill that water and have a separate inverted-jug style water contraption for her a little further away.

I don’t know how she’d survive the North African desert, drinking her rare water out of puddles and stuff.

I noticed as well that the 1-in-3 was coming from someone selling you a product designed to fight kidney issues but some casual web searching suggests that renal issues ARE common in cats even if not exactly 33% common.