Stage 3 Kidney Disease: Cats Life Expectancy


Cat parents dread hearing the words “kidney disease” come from their veterinarian. Yet, as cats age, they become more susceptible to kidney-related problems, including renal failure. If your cat has already reached stage 3 kidney disease, you may be wondering how long you have left. This article is going to detail everything you need to know, such as the stage 3 kidney disease cat life expectancy, symptoms, and more.

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Table of Contents

What is Kidney Disease in Cats?

There are two kinds of kidney disease that cats can get as they age: acute kidney disease and chronic kidney disease. The first form is when your cat’s kidneys shut down unexpectedly, usually as a result of ingesting something poisonous. Antifreeze, which has a sweet, enticing scent, is one of the main causes of acute kidney disease. Fortunately, acute kidney disease can be treated, and the prognosis is great when caught early.

Chronic kidney disease has a few stages but eventually leads to chronic renal failure. The disease slowly progresses and cannot be cured. Because of this, chronic kidney disease is the leading cause of death in older cats. That said, with proper treatment, your cat can live for many happy years.

Signs of Stage 3 Kidney Disease

There are four stages of kidney disease. When looking at the medical evaluation of stage 3 kidney disease, it is marked by the following conditions:

  • Moderately elevated SDMA (between 26-38 ug/dL)
  • Blood creatinine level of 2.9 to 5.0 mg/dL
  • 76-90% of kidney function has been lost
  • Above measurements increase over time
  • Protein loss in urine
  • Inadequate urine concentration

A cat that has chronic kidney disease will need continuous evaluation and blood work done. Most of the time, prescription medications are given to your cat to maintain their quality of life for as long as possible.

How Fast Does Kidney Disease Progress in Cats?

The rate of progression varies, based on the speed of diagnosis and the treatments provided. Without a proper diet and medication, kidney disease can develop rapidly. On the other hand, treatment can slow the progress of kidney disease for several years.

What is the Life Expectancy of Stage 3 Kidney Disease in Cats?

While stage 3 kidney disease often means end of life for many cats, it truly depends on their willpower, treatment, and health. The median life expectancy for cats diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease is about 679 days (1.86 years). However, some cats have survived for 6 years in stage 3 kidney disease.

During this time, a quality of life decision may have to be made.

What Are The Symptoms of a Cat Dying of Kidney Failure?

Around stage 3 and stage 4 of kidney disease, the kidneys have lost nearly all function and cannot remove toxins from the body. You may notice more symptoms as your cat creeps closer to kidney failure, but there are some cats that show little to no symptoms early in stage 3.

Here are tell-tale symptoms when a cat has gone into renal failure, including:

  • Frequent drinking and urination
  • Incontinence
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dull coat
  • Large pupils (as a sign of elevated blood pressure)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (may have blood)
  • Muscle weakness

The More You Know About Kidney Disease, The Better

Chronic kidney disease is no doubt a frightening thought. You don’t want your cat to suffer through the final stages, so knowing about the stage 3 kidney disease cat life expectancy and symptoms is important. Fortunately, with good treatment and care, you can keep your cat healthy and around for longer, even when they are in stage 3.


How long can a cat survive with stage 3 kidney disease?

In general, some cats with stage 3 CKD can live for several months to several years with the right care. It’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your cat’s individual needs.

How bad is stage 3 kidney disease in cats?

Cats with stage 3 CKD typically require more proactive management than those in earlier stages. Treatment may involve dietary changes, medications to manage symptoms, subcutaneous fluids to maintain hydration, and regular veterinary check-ups.

Can stage 3 kidney disease be reversed in cats?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive condition that cannot be reversed, but its progression can be slowed down and managed with proper veterinary care and lifestyle adjustments.