Uremic Gastritis in Cats

Uremic gastritis appears in cats as the result of chronic kidney failure. While kidney failure is not a condition that can be cured, there are methods of treatment that can be used to successfully reduce the discomfort associated with uremic gastritis. Because kidney failure is a debilitating condition, it is important to try to treat associated uremic gastritis to help lengthen the life of the kidneys.

Uremic Gastritis Explained

The primary function of the kidneys is to filter wastes and toxins from the system through urination. When kidney function is decreased, these wastes remain in a cat's body and cause a toxic effect. Uremia is a term that is used to generally describe a condition in which waste products are retained in the bloodstream. Gastritis refers to inflammation of the stomach. Uremic gastritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the stomach and digestive upset due to the retention of these toxins in the bloodstream.

Signs and Symptoms

Chronic kidney failure is a condition that desperately requires recognition. While it may not initially be apparent that kidney failure is the culprit, the signs and symptoms of uremic gastritis in cats will undoubtedly prove that something is not right. Any of the following symptoms may indicate a case of uremic gastritis:

  • Diarrhetic and loose stools
  • Apparent loss of control of bowels (house accidents)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting or regurgitation
  • Lethargy and lack of activity
  • Fever of about 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Loss of interest in food


Uremic gastritis is very easily diagnosed with a blood test consisting of a chemistry profile. The results from this test will have a blood urea nitrogen (BUN) level. Blood urea nitrogen is simply protein and waste products that are detected in the blood, ultimately detecting a failure in kidney function to remove such waste. When symptoms of stomach upset, abdominal pain, diarrhea and loss of appetite are interpreted with a BUN level exceeding 25, a diagnosis of uremic gastritis can be concluded.

Treatment Options

The overall goal of treating uremic gastritis is the attempt to prolong the life of kidney function. So long as the kidneys are failing, there is the likelihood for recurrence of uremic gastritis. The best treatment option is fluid therapy, in which saline fluids are administered intravenously to help rid the body of the toxins left behind. Fluids are usually administered for two days, and then a repeat chemistry profile is taken to recheck the BUN level. If the BUN level has returned to normal (between 1 and 25), then the symptoms of uremic gastritis should subside.

The fluid therapy may also help to jump-start the remaining kidney cells that are still functioning, which helps to prolong kidney function and reduce instances of uremic gastritis. Keep in mind, however, that there will eventually be a relapse of symptoms when the toxins build up again. When a relapse occurs, fluid therapy will be again administered to stimulate the same response.