Your Pet Question:
My neutered male cat is ten-years-old. In the last year his coat has lost its shine and looks scruffy. His vet says his kidneys are not working properly, but not to the extent that he requires insulin. He drinks a lot of water and is on a vet recommended diet, which is rather expensive, but is not gaining weight. What else can be done for him?
The Expert Says:
There is some confusion here, because kidney problems are not an indication for insulin therapy (diabetes is). An unkempt hair coat usually means that the pet is getting a poor quality diet (probably not the case here), or that there are underlying health issues. He’s probably not grooming normally because he doesn’t feel well. Let’s assume the latter. Has your pet had any blood and urine tests done to diagnose kidney disease or diabetes? If not, then that is where you should start to determine the underlying cause. Both kidney disease and diabetes are common causes of increased thirst, weight loss, and a poor coat. (There are other diseases to consider as well.) Once a diagnosis is made, then the appropriate therapy (which may involve medication and/or yet another diet) can be started and your cat’s coat will not only improve, but he will be a happier, healthier kitty as well!
Jay Thrush DVM is the owner of Brandon Hills Veterinary Clinic in Brandon, Manitoba.