Please note that all payments are made in US dollars and

are not tax deductible since I am a private individual


Just Diagnosed? Click Here








This site is dedicated to my three CKD cats:











Site Overview

Just Diagnosed? Start Here

Search This Site




What Happens in CKD

Causes of CKD

How Bad is It?

Is There Any Hope?

Acute Kidney Injury



Phosphorus Control


(High Blood Pressure)



Potassium Imbalances

Pyelonephritis (Kidney Infections) and Urinary Tract Infections

Metabolic Acidosis

Kidney Stones



Nausea, Vomiting, Appetite Loss and Excess Stomach Acid

Maintaining Hydration

The B Vitamins (Including Methylcobalamin)




Ways of Assessing Food Content, Including What is Dry Matter Analysis

How to Use the Food Data Tables

USA Canned Food Data

USA Dry Food Data

USA Cat Food Brands: Contact Details and Helpfulness Ratings

USA Food Data Book



Coping with CKD

Tanya's Support Group

Success Stories



Important: Crashing

Alphabetical List of Symptoms and Treatments

Fluid and Urinary  Imbalances (Dehydration, Overhydration and Urinary Issues)

Waste Product Regulation Imbalances (Vomiting, Appetite Loss, Excess Stomach Acid, Gastro-intestinal Problems, Mouth Ulcers Etc.)

Phosphorus and Calcium Imbalances

Miscellaneous Symptoms (Pain, Hiding Etc.)



Early Detection

Blood Chemistry: Kidney Function, Potassium, Other Tests (ALT, Amylase, (Cholesterol, Etc.)

Calcium, Phosphorus, Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) and Secondary Hyperparathyroidism

Complete Blood Count (CBC): Red and White Blood Cells: Anaemia and Infection

Urinalysis (Urine Tests)

Other Tests: Ultrasound, Biopsy, X-rays etc.

Renomegaly (Enlarged Kidneys)

Which Tests to Have and Frequency of Testing

Factors that Affect Test Results

Normal Ranges

International and US Measuring Systems



Which Treatments are Essential

Fluid and Urinary Issues (Fluid Retention, Infections, Incontinence)

Waste Product Regulation (Mouth Ulcers, GI Bleeding, Antioxidants, Adsorbents, Azodyl, Astro's CRF Oil)

Phosphorus, Calcium and Secondary Hyperparathyroidism (Calcitriol)

Phosphorus Binders

Steroids, Stem Cell Transplants and Kidney Transplants

Antibiotics and Painkillers

Holistic Treatments (Including Slippery Elm Bark)

ESAs (Aranesp, Epogen etc.) for Severe Anaemia

General Health Issues in a CKD Cat: Fleas, Arthritis, Dementia, Vaccinations

Tips on Medicating Your Cat

Supplies: What to Buy and Where to Find It

Obtaining Supplies Cheaply in the UK, USA and Canada

Working with Your Vet and Recordkeeping



Nutritional Requirements of CKD Cats

The B Vitamins (Including Methylcobalamin)

What to Feed (and What to Avoid)

Persuading Your Cat to Eat

2007 Food Recall USA



Oral Fluids

Intravenous Fluids

Subcutaneous Fluids

Tips on Giving Subcutaneous Fluids

How to Give Subcutaneous Fluids with a Giving Set

How to Give Subcutaneous Fluids with a Syringe

Subcutaneous Fluids - Winning Your Vet's Support




Heart Problems



Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)


Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Dental Problems




What to Buy and Where to Find It


USA Online

USA Local (Fluids)




The Final Hours

Other People's Losses

Coping with Your Loss




Feline CKD Research, Including Participation Opportunities

CKD Research in Other Species

Share This Site: A Notice for Your Vet's Bulletin Board or Your Local Pet Shop

Canine Kidney Disease

Other Illnesses (Cancer, Liver) and Behavioural Problems

Diese Webseite auf Deutsch



My Three CKD Cats: Tanya, Thomas and Ollie

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Contact Me




Hello, and welcome to my website, though I am sorry you need to be here.


My name is Helen, and I have had three cats with CKD, Tanya, Thomas and Ollie (their photos are above). I created this website because I know first hand the shock and fear of the diagnosis, and how helpless it can make you feel, and I wanted to give people the detailed, practical information that would have helped me the first time I received the CKD diagnosis.


People arriving here usually fall into one of two camps. If your cat has just been diagnosed with CKD, you are probably feeling shell-shocked and frightened. Your cat may be in the midst of a crisis, perhaps on intravenous fluids (IV, or a drip, or a flush) at the vet's. If your cat has high bloodwork values, you may not even have been offered any treatment, but instead told that there is no hope and you should just put your cat to sleep.


Or maybe you've caught things early, but are anxious to find out all you can about this disease so you can keep your cat as stable as possible. Alternatively, perhaps your cat has had CKD for a while, but you are now realising that you need to become more proactive if you want him or her to remain well. 


Whatever your situation, please take a deep breath and don't give up hope, because it may well be possible to help your cat.


This website is extremely comprehensive, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it will answer 99% of your questions about kidney disease in cats, but on the other hand it may seem a bit overwhelming to start with. Try not to worry, just read the Key Issues section and dip into the other sections that interest you. it will eventually start to make sense. And above all, get food into your cat.


My Books

Over 1500 US cat foods

in order of brand and

phosphorus content

This website in book forrm.

Aims of the Site


This site shares all the information and tips I know, in great detail, in order to help your cat feel better and hopefully extend his/her life. I am not a vet myself, just an ordinary person who has educated herself about CKD in cats.


If you are a vet visiting this site because your client has mentioned it to you, I can imagine your heart is sinking about now. It may reassure you to know that I have a post-graduate diploma in companion animal behaviour so I am used to reading scientific articles, and I do try to cite veterinary sources to support what I say. Many vets do recommend the site, including a number of vet schools and veterinary specialists (see the reviews below).


I try to share the information I have using layman's language. My goals are to:

  • describe the symptoms that you may be seeing now or which you may see in the future;

  • explain what these symptoms and your cat's test results may mean;

  • discuss treatments that can often help, many of which are not very expensive (the most commonly used treatments can usually be obtained for around US$5-10 a week in total);

  • cover the emotional aspects of living with CKD and help you to cope with it, including at the end of your CKD journey. 

The site provides information on an international basis, aiming to help you wherever you happen to live, although in practice much of the information relates to the USA and Europe since these are the areas where the most information and treatments are available. 


What is Kidney Disease?


There are two main kinds of kidney disease:

  • Chronic Kidney Disease, abbreviated as CKD; and

  • Acute Kidney Injury, abbreviated as AKI.

Kidney disease used to be known as kidney failure, and you may therefore see references in some of my links to Chronic Renal Failure (CRF), or Acute Renal Failure (ARF). I used to use these expressions myself, but these days the academic literature prefers the less scary and more accurate expression, kidney disease, so that is what I use throughout the site.


AKI is a serious condition which usually comes on suddenly and which is often triggered by a particular event or "insult", such as your cat eating something poisonous. Lilies and antifreeze are both extremely toxic to cats and may cause AKI. Cats with AKI are normally hospitalized for treatment, which usually includes intravenous fluids (IV fluids, also known as a drip); depending on the cause of the AKI, other treatments may also be offered. AKI is hard to treat, but if the cat survives the initial crisis, he/she can often regain much or sometimes all of his or her normal kidney function.


CKD may also manifest itself very suddenly and require IV treatment at the vet's, but in contrast to AKI it is an ongoing disease in which it is not possible to regain lost kidney function; so the goal is to keep the remaining function for as long as possible.


This site is primarily designed for people with a cat with the chronic form of the disease (CKD), but may be of some use to those with a cat with AKI. Please visit the Acute Kidney Injury page for more information.


Where to Start


This site is extremely comprehensive, as you can see from the number of links in the sidebar on the left. But don't panic, you won't need to learn about every single aspect.


Most people who arrive here for the first time have three overwhelming concerns:

  • they want to know how severe their cat's case is

  • they want to know how best to help their cat, and quickly

  • in particular they want to know how to get their cat to eat

I therefore recommend that you read these pages first:

These pages will get you started quickly so you can hit the ground running. Then, later on, you can gradually get up to speed on CKD in more detail. The Site Overview - Finding What You Need page provides a brief summary of the contents of each page, so if you're not sure where to find something, check here, or just check the sidebar on the left.


If Your Vet Has Recommended Immediate Euthanasia


Please read the Just Diagnosed? What You Need to Know First page urgently. Unfortunately, some vets are not overly familiar with the latest treatments for CKD, and may recommend euthanasia prematurely. You need to educate yourself and work out how severe your cat's case is before you make this irrevocable decision. 


Oh, and do not panic if your vet says your cat has lost 70% of kidney function — it's actually normal for CKD not to be diagnosed until this much function has been lost. What matters is how well your cat can manage with the function that is left, and a lot of cats do well.


My Three CKD Cats


This website is named in honour of Tanya, who was my first CKD cat. Unfortunately Tanya did not receive as much proactive care as Thomas and Ollie, because at the time that she was diagnosed (1998), I did not know about the treatment options described on this website (and of course many of them were not available back then). I tried desperately to find information to help her but I was not online, so my options were limited. Once I got online, I vowed that nobody else should have to go through that, so I created this website.


Thomas, in contrast, had much more severe CKD yet survived longer than Tanya because he received more proactive treatment.


Ollie was a somewhat different case: he came to me a week before his sixteenth birthday with relatively mild CKD but with a host of other health problems which ultimately took him from me.


You can read more about all of them here. You can also read some Success Stories here, some of whom survived for years with CKD. I can't promise the same success for your cat, but in most cases it's certainly worth a try.


Other Urinary Tract Problems


I sometimes hear from people whose cats have lower urinary tract problems rather than kidney problems. Lower urinary tract problems are relatively common in cats, but do not automatically lead to kidney problems. So please be sure your cat has kidney issues before deciding this is the website to help your cat, because treating for the wrong condition is at best pointless and at worst dangerous.


If you are not sure, ask your vet if your cat has CKD or another condition that would fall into the category of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).


Is Chronic Kidney Disease Terminal?


Sadly, yes, CKD is terminal. BUT that does not necessarily mean death is imminent: it is often possible to buy the cat months or even years of quality life. In fact, with appropriate treatment, quite a few CKD cats not only live for a long time, they eventually die of other causes, with the CKD firmly under control at the time of death.


An analogy used by my vet is that a CKD cat is approaching the edge of a precipice: the cat may approach the precipice very slowly, taking years to reach it; the cat may approach quite quickly; whichever way the cat approaches the precipice, it may be possible to grab the cat and pull him/her back even after he/ she has started to fall over the edge, and this could be done several times if you move quickly enough.


The good news is there are almost certainly a few things you can do to help your cat. This site is geared towards slowing the progression towards the precipice, and may also be able to help pull your cat back if he/she has started to fall over the edge, while simultaneously trying to make the cat's remaining time more comfortable. CKD cats can look very ill at diagnosis, but improve dramatically with treatment, so I strongly recommend trying treatments for a few weeks before considering euthanasia.


Good luck on your CKD journey.




Back to Top of Page


Tanya's CKD Support Group


Need help and support? Available online now,

the support group allows you to talk to others fighting this disease

who can offer help and support as you make your CKD journey.

Join now, it's quick, easy and free (I pay the costs associated with it).


To join, click here


or enter your e-mail address in the box below and click Subscribe.



Once you apply to join, you will receive an e-mail asking for your name, country of residence, cat's name and age and reason for joining the group - you have to respond to this before your membership will be approved.


You can read more about the group and how it works here.


Any problems, please contact the group moderators







I make some money from the book version of the site, but it contains nothing that is not already included on the website. I also make some money from the book version of the food data. Since I am an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, i.e. if you click on the link to my books on Amazon, I also receive commission on anything else you may buy at the same time.


Apart from that, I have no financial interest in any products or services mentioned here (including any of my other links to Amazon from which I do nor earn commission), nor do I accept advertisements. I also do not make any money from my support group; in fact, I pay the cost of running that.


If you would like to thank me in some way, please:

  • pay me the compliment of telling your vet about this site, so that other cats may benefit. You can print out a flier for your vet's bulletin board if you wish.

  • If you can afford it, you might also wish to make a small donation to your local branch of Cats Protection (UK) or your local shelter in memory of Tanya, Thomas and Ollie.

  • If you would prefer to make a donation to fund CKD research, please click here.

  • If you would prefer that I benefit directly, you can buy the book version of this website or the food data book (though please only buy if you need them).

  • If you do buy one of my books and like it, please give it a positive review on Amazon.

I am currently accepting financial donations. There is a Donate button at the top of the page. Please note any donation you choose to make is not tax deductible since I am a private individual.

  • But if funds are tight right now and you need them to pay for your cat's care, please just go and hug your cat (-:


Recommendations and Awards


This website was launched on 24 July 2000, so I've been running it for twenty two years now! Here are some of the recommendations and awards I've received over that time. Although I am not a vet, as you can see, a number of highly respected vets and vet schools recommend the site.




Special Award

Dr Jim Richards Cornell Feline Health Center Veterinary Issues Award

Cat Writers' Association Annual Communication Contest 2019

Sponsored by Cornell University’s Feline Health Center

Presented to the highest quality entry on the topic of technological advances, research, new medical developments, or innovations in feline veterinary medicine.

August 2020




Special Award

Catster/Belvoir Marketing Group Lorie Huston Health Award

Cat Writers' Association Annual Communication Contest 2019

Judged on excellence of writing and technical accuracy;

significance of the topic and public education impact on feline health

August 2020




Special Award

Catster/Belvoir Marketing Group Lorie Huston Health Award

Cat Writers' Association Annual Communication Contest 2018

Judged on excellence of writing and technical accuracy;

significance of the topic and public education impact on feline health

May 2019




Recommended by

Veterinary Partner

October 2018




Recommended by

Dr Ana Lara

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Oncology

President of the European Society of Veterinary Oncology

June 2018




Certificate of Excellence and Muse Medallion Winner

Cat Writers' Association Annual Communication Contest

March 2018




Recommended in

Veterinary Record

November 2017




Recommended by

Dr Jessica Quimby

Researcher into CKD in cats

Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

March 2017




Featured in

Pet Health Network

December 2016




Recommended by

Dr Margie Scherk

November 2015




Recommended by

Dr Mark E Peterson

Animal Endocrine Clinic

May 2015




Recommended by

Professor Daničlle Gunn-Moore

Professor of Feline Medicine

University of Edinburgh, Scotland

May 2013



Recommended by


the newsletter of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

May 2011




Recommended by

Dr Sarah Caney

Vet Professionals

May 2008


Recommended by the

American Association of Feline Practitioners





Recommended by the

Pet Community Website

August 2008




Recommended by

Dr Katherine James, DVM, PhD

Urology and Nephrology Specialist

Veterinary Information Network

March 2007

"You might be interested to know that I refer veterinarians to the information on your site quite often.

It came up recently regarding one of the experimental therapies and

I just linked to your site and said the folks that run that site are knowledgeable and responsible

and if they say it there, it's been researched and is up-to-date.

I consider what you do in trying to help cat owners to be the work of "angels"."





Recommended in the

International Cat Care Journal

Volume 43(4) 2005



The Best of the Net Award

February 2002.


Recommended in the

International Cat Care Journal

Volume 40(3) 2002




Recommended in

Your Cat magazine

December 2000


Share This Site: A Notice for Your Vet's Bulletin Board or Your Local Pet Shop






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Website last updated: 14 May 2023












I have tried very hard to ensure that the information provided in this website is accurate, but I am NOT a vet, just an ordinary person who has lived through CKD with three cats. Veterinary information changes frequently and I make no representation, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability of the information for your cat. This website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat any cat. Before trying any of the treatments described herein, you MUST consult a qualified veterinarian and obtain professional advice on the correct regimen for your cat and his or her particular requirements; and you should only use any treatments described here with the full knowledge and approval of your vet. No responsibility can be accepted. By continuing to visit and use this website, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.


If your cat appears to be in pain or distress, do not waste time on the internet, contact your vet immediately.




Copyright © Tanya's Feline CKD Website 2000-2023. All rights reserved.






This site is run by a private individual who happens to hate the loss of privacy experienced in modern life. Therefore the site does not contain any trackers (which follow you to other sites to identify your interests so they can target advertisements at you online), though if you click on the links to my books on Amazon, Amazon may be able to identify you (depending upon your computer or phone settings).


I use a counter to check how many people visit the site and to determine which pages are the most popular, but the counter does not identify you to me personally. It does log your IP address but that tells me nothing about you, though it may provide information to the company which provides me with the counter, depending upon your settings.


 If you apply to join my support group, I keep your response (containing your e-mail address, first name, cat's name and age, country of residence and anything else you choose to share with me) in case of future problems with your membership. 


If you make a donation, I will be told your e-mail address and which bank made the payment.


The only information I hold about you otherwise is anything you choose to tell me in an e-mail sent to me personally via this website. I keep your e-mail in an e-mail folder in case I need to refer to it in the future (e.g. in case you write to me again). The e-mail folder is on my personal laptop and a back up hard drive. If you do not wish me to keep your e-mail, please let me know when you write to me.




This site was created using Microsoft software, and therefore it is best viewed in Internet Explorer. I know it doesn't always display too well in other browsers, but I'm not an IT expert so I'm afraid I don't know how to change that. I would love it to display perfectly everywhere, but my focus is on making the information available. I am trying to teach myself to use another type of software, in the hope that using it will enable the site to display better in the future.


This site may not be reproduced or reprinted, on the internet or elsewhere, without the express written permission of the site owner, who can be contacted via the Contact Me page. This website is massive; I suggest you just buy the books.


This site is a labour of love on my part. Please do not steal from me by taking credit for my work.

If you wish to link to this site, please feel free to do so. Please make it clear that this is a link and not your own work. I would appreciate being informed of your link.