Kidney Disease: Stage 1 of 4

Understanding kidney disease will help you work with us to provide the best care for your cat. Detecting kidney disease early and beginning monitoring and management could add quantity and quality to your cat’s life.

What defines Stage 1 Chronic Kidney Disease in cats?

  • A normal blood creatinine or a normal-mild elevation in SDMA
  • Inadequate urine concentrating ability
  • Protein loss in urine
  • Serial measurements of the above that increase over time

How do we substage Stage 1 CKD in cats?

  • Urine Protein:Creatinine measurement in two samples, at least two weeks apart, then every 2-3 months
  • Systolic blood pressure monitoring, over up to 1-2 weeks

With proper treatment of the above, cats can improve and move from a higher Stage of CKD to a lower one.

How do we treat Stage 1 CKD in cats?

Treatment must be tailored to each individual cat. It is aimed at slowing the progression of CKD and prolonging kidney function and quality of life.

Management of dehydration:

  • Have fresh water available at all times for drinking
  • If ill and fluids are lost, correct dehydration right away

Systemic hypertension:

  • Goal of a systolic blood pressure below 160mmHG
  • Calcium channel blocker, such as amlodipine and/or telmisartan
  • Consider dietary sodium restriction
  • Once stable, recheck blood pressure every 3 months

Proteinuria (protein in urine):

  • Feed a clinical renal diet, prescribed by your veterinarian
  • A Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitor, ACE inhibitor, or other prescription medication may be prescribed

Monitoring Stage 1 Chronic Kidney Disease:

  • Chronic condition exam every 3 months
  • Reassess blood pressure and urine protein every 3-6 months
  • Reassess blood chemistries every 3-6 months
  • Home observation for decreased appetite, increased thirst or urination, increased vomiting, lethargy

When should I feed a kidney prescription diet?

Many factors play a role in our recommendation to prescribe a kidney disease diet. These include:

  • Urine protein level
  • Blood phosphorus level
  • General stage of CKD
  • Your individual cat’s preferences

Sometimes a high quality Senior Diet is better for a cat’s renal health than a kidney prescription diet. Please never make diet changes for your cat without consulting with us.

We are here to help you understand all of your options to keep your cat healthy. We know you bring your cats to us because you love them, and we are grateful to be a part of their care.

Schedule an Appointment with one of our Feline Veterinarians 


Information also available at IRIS – Kidney Guidelines Website

Madison East Side

Cat Care Clinic - East

1006 E. Washington Ave.

Madison, WI 53703

Directions to East Clinic

Madison West Side

Cat Care Clinic - West

322 Junction Rd.

Madison, WI 53717

Directions to West Clinic
Image Description

Title of Card

Longer form card description

Image Description

Title of Card

Longer form card description

Image Description

Title of Card

Longer form card description

COVID-19 Care Updates • Modified August 1, 2021