Feline Proteinuria Causes

Proteinuria is a condition that is described as an excess of protein in the urine of the cat. Typically, the cat's urine contains a low quantity of proteins, but if the proteins are in higher amounts, the cat should be checked. There are a few possible causes leading to an excessive release of proteins in the cat's urine.

Types of Proteinuria

The glomerulus is the organ that is responsible for filtering the proteins from the cat's system. Albumin and a number of other smaller proteins are filtered in the cat's body. Proteinuria may be of three types:

  • Preglomerular
  • Postglomerular
  • Glomerular, if the glomerulus is affected

Causes of Proteinuria

Proteinuria can be due to a number of medical conditions:

  • Immune system diseases such as lupus erythematosus, which attack the body's own organs
  • Infections affecting the urinary tract, which can change the composition of the urine
  • Lyme disease, caused by a tick bite
  • Diabetes or an excess of glucose in the blood that cannot be properly assimilated
  • Hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing's disease
  • High blood pressure, may be genetic or acquired
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Heartworms
  • Lungworms
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Inflammation of the glomerulus
  • Cancer

Additional Symptoms

Cats that have proteinuria may present a number of additional symptoms that are specific for each underlying condition. The symptoms may include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Agitation
  • Jaundice

Diagnosing Proteinuria

An analysis of the urine is sufficient to determine if the proteins secreted in the urine are in excess. The ratio between protein and creatinine in the urine will be abnormal and will indicate how severe the problem is. However, the vet will have to perform additional tests to determine the main cause leading to the secretion of an excess amount of proteins in the urine.

Treating Proteinuria

The excess of proteins in the urine should be treated by identifying the underlying cause and administering proper medication.

Immune system diseases cannot be treated, but may be managed with a few immune system suppressants. Steroids are commonly prescribed, but the cat's response should be monitored because the steroids can influence the proteins in the urine and may not always be the best solution.

Infections can be treated with antibiotics.

Cancerous cells can be stopped from developing by administering chemotherapy and if the tumor is identified, it should be removed.

The vet may also recommend a diet that is poor in proteins. This can help if the cat has a kidney problem or liver damage, but may also help reducing the amount of protein that is lost.

Hypertensive drugs are also available for felines.

Omega 3 fatty acids can offer immune system support and can influence the cat's condition, balancing the proteins in the urine.