Liver Support for Cats

Liver support for cats can help ease the symptoms of liver disease. Liver disease occurs when your cat's liver becomes damaged by toxins or disease, and can no longer function properly. Liver support can help increase your cat's liver functioning after it's been damaged. Here's what you should know about liver disease and liver support for cats.

Liver Disease in Cats

Your cat's liver serves an important purpose in his body. The liver cleans the body of toxins and the toxic byproducts of metabolic processes. It also produces enzymes, hormones and bile. The liver stores fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, K and D. 

Liver disease in cats can occur for a number of reasons. Exposure to toxins is a primary cause of liver disease and failure. Cancer can cause your cat's liver to fail. Infection by bacteria or viruses is a common cause of liver disease.

Hepatic Lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, is common in cats who stop eating, especially overweight cats. If your cat stops eating, his body will begin to use stored fat cells as fuel. Because filtering toxins and metabolic byproducts from the blood is part of the liver's role, fat begins to accumulate in the liver, causing fatty liver disease and liver failure.

Symptoms of Liver Disease in Cats

Symptoms of feline liver disease may vary depending on the cause of the disease. Cats with liver disease often experience jaundice, a yellowing of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes, which occurs when the liver can no longer efficiently remove toxins from the body. Other symptoms of feline liver disease and liver failure include:

  • Increased urination and excessive thirst
  • Enlarged liver
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Halitosis
  • Seizures

Supportive Therapy for Liver Disease in Cats

If your cat has liver disease, he'll need supportive care to recover. The type of care varies depending on the cause and severity of your cat's liver disease. Liver failure may require hospitalization and veterinary care.

If your cat has fatty liver disease, he will probably need to be tube fed. Cats with fatty liver disease have lost the desire to eat on their own and will need to be tube fed a protein-rich food for as long as eight weeks. They may also need fluid therapy to treat dehydration.

If your cat's liver has been damaged by disease or by exposure to toxins, herbal supplements can support liver function. Milk thistle is a popular herb that contains the antioxidant silymarin. This antioxidant helps to keep toxins out of the liver so that it can perform its other important functions more efficiently. It helps to prevent the cell damage caused by free radicals, and it can help ease inflammation of the liver.

Other helpful liver support supplements include Vitamin E, which has well-known antioxidant properties. Burdock is used in feline liver support to help cleanse the blood of toxins. Vitamin B12 can help your cat digest his food and absorb the nutrients while producing fewer toxic byproducts.