CKD is very common in cats

It is mainly a problem in mature and senior cats (seven years and older),
affecting an estimated
30-40% of cats over 10 years
81% of cats over 15 years.
About 10% of the cases occur in cats less than three years old.

Cats don't have enough Nephrons

When it comes to kidney function, the key word to remember is nephron. Nephrons are the ‘functional units’ of the kidney. Initially, we are born with more nephrons than required. However, aging and various diseases can gradually lead to the loss of nephrons due to natural deterioration or damage. If a significant number of nephrons are lost, it can result in renal failure.
Cats have a higher risk of developing kidney disease compared to other species due to their relatively lower number of "spare" nephrons from birth.  For example:
cats start out with about 200,000 nephrons in each kidney
dogs have about 400,000 per kidney
humans have somewhere around 1,000,000 in each kidney
We can help our cats live longer lives with good diets and advances in medical care, but we can’t give them more nephrons.

AIM gets stuck in the cat's kidney

AIM is a protein in the blood that supports kidney health by removing the waste that accumulates in the body. The problem is, AIM could get stuck up with immunoglobulin (IgM) antibodies so that it can't destroy the dead cells and other debris in a cat, causing kidney problems and renal diseases.

Cats not drinking enough water

The domestic cat we know today can trace its lineage back to desert-dwelling ancestors. As a result, cats have a lower natural drive for thirst compared to dogs, and their sensitivity to thirst is somewhat dulled. Unlike dogs, cats don't typically drink water voluntarily. And When cats don't consume enough water and their urine becomes highly concentrated, it can increase their risk of developing urinary tract problems and kidney disease.
A cat should drink 30-50g water per kilogram of body weight, a responsible pet parents should measure the approximate amount of water they drink instead of guessing. 

Cats need wet food

It has become increasingly common for people to exclusively feed their cats dry food. This is often done for the sake of convenience and cost-effectiveness. Even cat snacks have evolved to include options like freeze-dried raw meat or Temptation kibbles.
Both canned and fresh food generally have a high water content of around 75%. On the other hand, dry foods contain a significantly lower moisture content of only 10%. Feeding wet food will help keep your cats hydrated as well as a lower risk of illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, constipation and obesity. In their natural habitat, cats consume prey such as mice, which consist of approximately 70 percent water.

Human Products

There are numerous household products that can be harmful to cats  when exposed to them. It may be necessary to put additional strain on the kidney in order to effectively eliminate toxins from the body. Including chemicals for house cleaning and air freshener. Some plants or flower ingredients that are highly toxic to cats are used in cosmetic products, lotions, perfumes, hair products, etc. Additionally, toxic foods such as chocolate, coffee, and flower tea can be harmful if cats come into contact with them. Please remember to wipe your mouth before kissing them... just a friendly reminder!

Brushing a cat's teeth can be challenging

There is a significant relationship between dental health and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats. When dental hygiene is neglected, harmful bacteria can accumulate on the teeth and gums, leading to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease not only affects the mouth but also allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream. These bacteria can then travel to various organs, including the kidneys, potentially causing inflammation and damage over time.


Cats have a higher risk of developing kidney disease due to their relatively lower number of "spare" nephrons from birth. AIM gets stuck in the cat's kidney, unable to destroy the dead cells, which ultimately leads to the death of nephrons. Furthermore, cats  have a lower natural drive for thirst, and many pet owners are opting for dry food as a convenient option. When all the different issues are combined, it increases the risk for cats to develop kidney disease even further.

The anatomy and physiology of the kidney