Kidney Failure Average Cost

From 429 quotes ranging from $200 - 35,000

Average Cost


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What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure can either develop slowly due to a chronic disease or occur suddenly due to poisoning or trauma. Both types must be addressed immediately in order to save the cat's life.

The kidneys are responsible for several necessary life functions, which include maintaining proper blood pressure levels, filtering toxins and wastes from the bloodstream, excreting the wastes through urine, contributing to the production of red blood cells, and producing a variety of essential enzymes and hormones. Approximately 30 percent of cats will develop kidney disease during their lifetime; many of these cases will progress to kidney failure. When the kidneys fail to perform properly, the cat's life is at risk.

Symptoms of Kidney Failure in Cats

Depending on the type of kidney failure the cat is experiencing, symptoms can progress slowly or begin suddenly. These symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst due to the buildup of toxins and waste in the bloodstream (polydipsia)
  • Increased urinary output
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bad breath that smells like ammonia
  • Oral ulcers on the tongue and gums
  • Dry coat
  • Constipation
  • Brown-colored tongue
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Indifference


There are two different types of kidney failure:

  • Acute, which develops within days or weeks
  • Chronic, which develops slowly over time due to chronic kidney disease

Causes of Kidney Failure in Cats

There are several of causes of kidney failure in cats, which vary depending on the type the cat is experiencing. These causes include:


  • Poisons, such as antifreeze, pesticides or cleaning fluids
  • Heart failure with low blood pressure that prevents enough blood from flowing to the kidneys
  • Trauma from an accident
  • Shock from dehydration or rapid blood loss
  • Kidney infection
  • Urinary tract obstruction


  • Congenital and hereditary abnormalities
  • Fungal infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Repeated urinary infections that wear the kidneys down over time
  • Kidney cancer
  • Medications, such as acetaminophen
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Advanced dental disease
  • Thyroid problems

Diagnosis of Kidney Failure in Cats

The veterinarian will need to know all of the symptoms the cat is experiencing and when the symptoms first began. If a recent poisoning or trauma occurred, the veterinarian will need to be given details about these incidents. The veterinarian will physically examine the cat, listening to its heart and lungs and taking its blood pressure.

A urinalysis and a biochemical profile will be taken. The urinalysis will look for protein in the urine that has leaked through damaged kidneys and will measure the urine specific gravity (USG). Because kidney failure results in the kidneys no longer filtering the wastes from the urine, a cat who has kidney failure will have urine with a gravity that is much like distilled water. The biochemical profile will look for waste products in the blood that the kidneys should have filtered out; high numbers of these products are indicative of kidney failure.

Treatment of Kidney Failure in Cats

Acute Kidney Failure Treatment

Cats who have acute kidney failure due to trauma or poisoning will often recover once the primary issue that caused the kidney failure is addressed. This may include surgery, medications, fluid therapy or blood transfusions. If the kidneys don't respond after the primary issue is treated, other courses of treatment will need to occur in order to address the kidney failure.


Hemodialysis or dialysis is a procedure in which a machine acts like the kidneys, filtering out the wastes and toxins that build up in the bloodstream. Dialysis can be used to treat cats with chronic kidney disease or to remove a poison from a cat with acute kidney disease. Unfortunately, dialysis is only available at certain veterinary hospitals in the United States and can be extremely costly. 

Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplants in cats require an experienced team of veterinary surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nursing staff. As such, they are only performed in a few veterinary hospitals in the United States. During the kidney transplant, a healthy kidney from a deceased donor cat will be transplanted into the cat with kidney failure. Medications will need to be administered in order to ensure the cat's body doesn't reject the donor kidney.

Recovery of Kidney Failure in Cats

Cats who recovered from acute kidney failure will need to follow up with the veterinarian to ensure that the kidneys are still functioning properly with repeated testing. There is no cure for chronic kidney failure. Cats who are unable to have dialysis or a transplant have a poor prognosis. Many owners opt to have their cat euthanized as a result. Cats who received a transplant will need to follow up continually with the veterinarian to ensure that the transplanted kidney is still functioning properly. Cats who are receiving dialysis will need to continue with dialysis for the rest of their life or until kidney transplantation is possible.

Kidney Failure Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Maine Coon
11 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

He has been peeing since t released

11 month old Maine Coon was diagnosed with struvite crystals. He had a blockage the mobile vet released him of urine my daughter did not have $1100 for catheter and overnight stay. He has been given 1/2tsp apple cider vinegar with 1/2tsp water 2x a day and he is drinking now and going to bathroom. I had taken him to emergency vet day and a half later because he eas so lethargic I thiught he was blocked again, they said he was not blocked. But he is barely eating and getting so skinny what can we do to help thhis little guy. His sister watches iver him but he does not play.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1724 Recommendations
It is possible that Simon is just a little sore from the urinary stones and is causing him some discomfort, in addition to any other therapy dietary management should be carried out to ensure that the urine is at a pH where urinary stones do not form easily. You can get a prescription diet for urinary stones from your Veterinarian or some pet shops. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Boo Boo kitty
Domestic " Morris
12 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Symptoms of my 12 year old cat include: thirst, loss of appetite, vomiting, will only slurp up the gravy or chicken broth from boiled chicken as his supper, foamy urine towards the end of urination. Sleeps a lot but I thought it was because of his age

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1724 Recommendations
There are a few different causes of foamy urine, but couple this with the other symptoms and Boo Boo Kitty’s age then we may be looking at kidney failure; you should visit your Veterinarian for blood tests and urinalysis to determine the underlying cause and to look at dietary management. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

My cat went under anesthetic for a dental his kidneys were fine before hand after the anesthetic he had acute renal failure was this due to poorly managed anesthetic,he had blood tests before hand and the vet said his kidneys were fine he gradually stopped eating then she gave him an antibiotic injection day later she had him on fluids for 6 hours,took him to another vet who put him in hospital for 48 hours took him home for the weekend another blood test Monday morning and his kidneys had stopped working,had to let him pass on advice from the vet as he was so weak, am absolutely devastated I need to know if this happened due to poorly managed anesthetic

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1724 Recommendations
Renal failure from anaesthesia is not necessarily due to poor anaesthetic management but due to a reaction by the body to the anaesthesia; every medicine comes with some side effects which can vary in severity and many only affect a portion of the animal population. Unfortunately some animals (also some humans) can have a severe reaction to anaesthesia (or any other medication) which may result in undesirable effects. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Orange tabby
9 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Appetite

My cat developed chronic kidney disease, and doesn’t seem to be showing a lot of symptoms other than loss of appetite and fear. how much time will he live until?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1724 Recommendations
Life expectancy is dependent on the severity of the condition and management given; it is important to keep hydration and to offer dietary management as a minimum; also there are various causes of kidney disease, the underlying cause of the kidney disease will give an indication of life expectancy. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Maine Coon
11 and a half
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms


My cat has kidney issues and is currently on herbal medication, eating raw beef kidney and was doing very well. His numbers were coming way down. Then he developed repeated uti infections and they found he has a rod bacteria. They want to put him on SMZ for 46 days, twice a day. Is this going to harm his kidneys or cause problems down the road, or possibly undo all the good we have done so far with the herbal treatment? Thank you.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1724 Recommendations

Sulfamethoxazole (SMZ) and trimethoprim (TMP) is used a combination antibiotic which may cause crystals to form in the kidneys in dehydrated animals and may cause a worsening of symptoms in animals with severe liver or kidney disease. If you have concerns, raise them with your Veterinarian and they will explain Bugsy’s individual treatment plan. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Shorthaired Domestic
18 Years
Has Symptoms
Lethargic, Lessened Appetite, Some Difficulty With
Extreme Thirst
My cat is 18 and was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. One vet told me there is little hope and another told me not to give up on her. It is pretty advanced and they suggest I give her fluids at home. Not sure I can do this myself. Thoughts?