Potassium for cats is extremely important, especially in older cats and in some cases, may make the difference on how long they live or how healthy they will live.
Low potassium levels in older cats can lead to chronic renal failure. Chronic Renal Failure, CRF, if advanced, is an incurable condition for your cat, with the only exception being a kidney transplant.
Potassium and Cats
However, delaying or even preventing this process has changed this very bleak potential situation.
If you supplement potassium for cats properly, they can now live a much longer life than they used to as well as a much healthier life.
As your feline ages, just like you and me, several things will start to happen in your companion.
First, your cats immune system will start to become weaker and it will not be able to fend off foreign invasion like it used to.
As a result, chronic forms of diseases that come with aging will affect your cat much quicker.
Potassium for cats and the correct levels are critical, but especially in geriatric cats, as it serves many functions in the body of your cat.
Potassium is an electrolyte that performs several functions in your cat’s body, as it helps in regulating nerve impulses and muscle tone.
This will include the contracting of their muscles, especially as they age.
This mineral also helps to maintain normal blood pressure levels, several heart functions, as well as balancing their body’s acidity and alkali levels, as well as the electrolyte levels.
These are extremely important in balancing the water levels in your pet’s body.
However, perhaps more important than balancing the water levels in your cat, will be in the role it plays in the cells and cellular structures.
These cellular processes will play an even more important role for your cat as they age, especially in the skeletal and cardiac muscles.
By nature, the movement of potassium into extracellular fluid form your cats muscle cells will determine the contraction of the muscle tissues.
Your cat’s cells are constantly working, and potassium is critical in this process, as it is pumped into the cells, and then assists in pumping sodium out of the cells, which keeps the fluid volume at a balanced state.
There are an estimated 40 % of all cats that will suffer from a potassium deficiency, and this number grows dramatically as your cat ages.
Potassium for cats is a must as they age.
Your cat will obtain most of the potassium through their diet, but if the required levels are not in that diet, they will need to be supplemented.
This will include potassium tablets, liquid potassium, powder forms that can mixed with their food, or gel forms of potassium.
Your cat’s kidneys regulate the levels of potassium by excreting it through their urine.
Potassium for cats can and will correct a deficiency as is most often caused by an excessive loss due to kidney issues.
This is opposed to a low dietary intake, making supplements of some form all that more important to your geriatric feline.
The largest threat to you cat with a low potassium level is referred to as Hypokalemia and this condition it is usually associated with kidney failure, also known as Chronic Renal Failure.
If you start early in having your veterinarian check potassium for cats levels, and supplement them properly and watch for the signs of this developing condition, you could add years to the life of your cat.
The symptoms to watch for in your cat will be muscle weakness and pain, as well as a stiffened posture and or a gait, caused by the fluid imbalances to begin with.
As these progress, there will be an almost complete resistance by your cat to even move at all.
The next critical signs to watch for will be an inability to raise their head due to the muscle weakness in the ventral or neck area.
They will also have an either gradual or a very sudden increased thirst, followed by an increased need to urinate due to the developing kidney failure.
Almost any type of cat food in today’s environment will contain 0.6 levels of potassium, which is adequate for your feline, but that is not the problem with potassium for cats.
The problem is with poorly functioning kidneys that leak potassium into the urine of your cat, and then your cat disposes it.
Acidify in the urine can also lead to crystals in your cat, which is another whole new set of challenges with potassium for cats.
Your aging cat faces two major challenges with maintain potassium levels.
The first is with the leaking issues, and the second is with effectively absorbing the potassium that is present in their food, also a result of weakened kidneys.
The treatment for your feline with potassium deficiency is today very easy as mentioned earlier with oral potassium supplements in various forms.
Severe deficiencies, if they are caught before too much damage has been inflicted, can be treated with intravenous potassium until they have been stabilized, than your cat will naturally have to be on supplements for the rest of their lives.
There is one thing for certain with older cats; potassium for cats and the appropriate levels will not be an option, they will be a necessity to constantly watch for as a cat owner.