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Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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Feline Glomerulonephritis

Glomeruli are tiny blood vessels in the kidneys that do the first step of filtering blood to form urine. They filter out toxins and leave proteins.

Glomerulonephritis is a disease when the glomeruli become inflamed. This causes protein loss and is one of the main causes of kidney failure.


A few things can cause inflammation:

In most cases, the underlying cause is not found.


The most common sign of glomerulonephritis is blood in the urine.

Other signs may include:

If you notice any of the above signs, bring your cat to the veterinarian immediately. Glomerulonephritis can lead to a nephrotic syndrome where their damaged kidneys leak protein from the blood into the urine.

Cats with nephrotic syndrome will have:


If there is a lot of protein on a urinalysis, your veterinarian will perform other tests to diagnose glomerulonephritis, including:


The best method is to treat the underlying cause. However, in most cases, no underlying cause is determined. In those cases, some treatment options will include:


Most cases of glomerulonephritis are idiopathic (no known cause), and therefore there is no way to prevent it.

It is also difficult to prevent because of the infectious, inflammatory, and cancerous diseases that lead to it.

You should bring your cat for annual exams with your veterinarian to ensure that it remains healthy and free of such diseases.


Glomerulonephritis is a serious condition, requiring extensive treatments and management.

Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM

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