Firstly thanks for everything; your wisdom has kept us going when exhaustion and frustration loomed heavy.

We have had 4 cats diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD). One sadly died last year (Yoda, aged 7, diagnosed at stage 4+). Snowball is stage 3/4. Monkey and Squirrel stage 2. Snowball (almost 9) & Yoda are Birmans. Monkey is a Bengal aged 5, Squirrel is a Savannah also 5.

We believe there must be a common environmental exposure. We're frustrated by the lack of knowledge in this area. The vets say, it is just 'bad luck' as our theories on food or contaminated water they dismiss as they've never seen that before (black swan?!). What do you think?


Hello Nicky and kitties!

Bad luck will never be a satisfactory answer when you have had four cats diagnosed with CKD, right?

I completely understand that. If all the people in your home came down with the same medical issues, it would be considered suspicious.

And it’s frustrating because CKD is what I call an “umbrella term”. There are many types of CKD (approximately thirteen of them), but we never really talk about that too much in clinic. It’s actively being researched but it’s still poorly understood.

We just call it CKD when the common bottom denominator shows up withing the standard diagnostic tests. This makes your search for an underlying cause even more fuzzy.

This means is that the underlying cause will be different for different cats. That much we know. We haven't found the “Lord of the Rings” of CKD yet...we don’t yet have “one ring to rule them all”.

So environmental contamination or renal toxins will be the answer for some cats, and not for others as to why they developed CKD.

So in your case, it’s OK to go looking. It’s OK to ensure that their basics of life, water purity, and food choices are as optimum as you can make it. Because even if it turns out to be not their underlying cause - at least you did something to try.