February 2008 Issue

Kidneys: Small Organs with Huge Responsibilities

Unfortunately, they are susceptible to a wide range of life-threatening disorders.

Despite their relatively small size, your catís kidneys play a huge role in many life-sustaining processes.These two bean-shaped little organs ó situated just behind the catís rib cage, one on either side of its spine ó filter waste from the blood. In doing so, they also help control blood pressure and regulate the amount and chemical consistency of fluid in the bloodstream. In addition, they produce a variety of vitally needed hormones and enzymes and contribute to the production of red blood cells. Since about 25 percent of the blood that enters your catís circulatory system with each heartbeat travels directly to the kidneys, their well-being is essential to your catís health. Unfortunately, feline kidneys are vulnerable to a wide range of serious disorders. Indeed, kidney (renal) disease is a major cause severe illness and death in cats, especially after the age of seven years.

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