In humans, as in cats, the liver is one of the most important organs. It takes on numerous tasks, filters toxins out of the body, forms, and stores various hormones, and is responsible for the nutrient balance.
What are the causes of liver disease in cats?
When your cat’s liver goes on strike, it’s often due to:
- obstruction of the bile ducts by stones
- Infections caused by viruses or bacteria
- Damage to the liver after an accident or from poison
- the consequences of metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus
In addition, seemingly harmless symptoms such as obesity or loss of appetite can lead to liver damage. If your cat weighs too much, this can affect the fat metabolism in the liver and lead to organ disorders over the long term. Do you have any concerns about this? Our vet team of Dr. Fressnapf is there for you online for all questions relating to the health of your house cat – fast and uncomplicated. The experienced veterinarians will clarify the causes with you, inspect your house cat via video chat if necessary and advise you on further therapeutic measures. You will also find competent advisors for nutrition-related problems who will deal with your case individually and look for the best solutions.
Symptoms of impaired liver function
Because there are so many causes of liver disease in cats, it can be difficult for cat owners to recognize the signs.
A relatively noticeable symptom, on the other hand, is jaundice (icterus), in which the eyes and mucous membranes turn yellow.
If you observe your kitty and notice that she is no longer really fit, a visit to the veterinarian is advisable. A thorough examination with palpation, urine, and blood tests quickly reveals a liver disease.
Emergency: hepatic lipidosis – when the cat’s fat metabolism is derailed
Extreme caution is required if your velvet paw does not or cannot eat any food for several days in a row. This can be the case, for example, if she was locked up, her mouth is injured or she is not holding anything down due to nausea and vomiting. In this case, the liver switches to fat metabolism and now uses the fat deposits stored in the body to generate energy. In the long run, the liver cannot cope with this large amount of fat building blocks, so-called fatty liver occurs, in which the liver cells gradually die off.
Important: If your cat does not eat anything for several days, it is an acute emergency. The cat has to go to the veterinarian or the veterinary clinic as soon as possible because it can no longer eat on its own and is in a life-threatening condition.
The treatment of liver diseases in cats – that helps your cat
In order to lower the liver values in the cat, the vet usually administers medication that stabilizes the circulatory system and promotes blood flow to the liver. In addition, he treats the cause of the liver disorder, as far as it is known.
In the case of inflammation caused by bacteria, antibiotics may be appropriate, and after an accident, treatment of the injuries. The long-term goal is to relieve the animal’s liver and alleviate the consequences of liver disease. This works very well with a special diet.
Liver diet – which food is suitable for cats with liver diseases?
A liver-friendly diet should provide your kitty with enough energy and nutrients so that it can maintain its weight. At the same time, the goal is to keep the toxins in the body as low as possible, since the detoxification function of the liver is disturbed. Along with this, such a diet provides the organ with an opportunity to heal and regenerate damaged areas.
If you follow the diet consistently and without exception, your velvet paw can have a largely normal life despite liver disease. It is important that you take her to the vet for regular check-ups to check liver values and general condition