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Chronic Renal (Kidney) Failure in Cats

What do my cat's kidneys do?

The kidneys have many functions. They principally act to remove waste products from the blood stream, retain essential nutrients such potassium at the correct level, maintain hydration and produce urine.

What is chronic renal failure?

The kidneys have a large amount of spare capacity to perform th... Read More

Cystitis and Lower Urinary Tract Disease

What is cystitis?

Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation in the urinary bladder. The term cystitis does not imply a specific underlying cause.


In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra) are often grouped under the term feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). This is due to the fact that it can be difficult to distinguish between diseases of the bladder and urethra, and many diseases will affect both structures. It is more correct to call the condition Feline Idiopathic Lower Urinary Tract Disease (iF... Read More

Liver Biopsy by Frank Utchen, DVM

Question: Dr. Utchen My 12-year old cat has been losing weight and not eating very well for a while. The vet did some blood tests, and says my cat needs a liver biopsy. Don’t the blood tests tell us what we need to know?  


Blood tests tell us which organ in the body is diseased. Sometimes this is all that is needed in order to proceed in treating a patient, but often a tissue sample of that organ is needed in order to determine precisely what is causing that organ to malfunction. 

For example, sometimes there is an infection present. Other times, t... Read More

Hepatic Lipidosis -- Fatty Liver by Frank Utchen, DVM

Dear Dr. Utchen, I recently boarded my cat for several weeks while we went away on a family vacation only to come back to a very ill cat -- she had stopped eating and developed a condition call Lipidosis. Was this brought on by the fact that she was boarded, or would she have gotten sick anyway?

Answer: Hepatic Lipidosis, or "fatty liver", is a condition where excess fat accumulates within the cells of the liver, leading to liver failure of different degrees. It is a serious condition that is far easier to treat in the early stages compared to the advanced stages.

We don't always know why this condition occurs in cats, b... Read More

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