A new test for kidney function

We sometimes organize events or presentations in my cat club (Siameslinjen), and last Saturday we had a guest veterinary Linnéa Brandt who held an excellent presentation on a subject of older cats (on a cell level cats start aging from about 7 years of age, so in a way, all cats older than 7 years are – older cats). One of the leading death causes in older cats (more than one third) is a chronic kidney disease (CKD).

During the presentation I learned about one thing I did not know before – there is a new test available that can help us discover the scary kidney disease earlier than before, during an annual control of our senior furry family members – the IDEXX SDMA blood test.

SDMA typically increases when there is on average a 40% decrease in kidney function. This occurs earlier than creatinine, which doesn’t increase until there is up to 75% loss of kidney function!

We have tested our older cats (most recently Leroy a few months ago, Leroy is 9,5 years old now), and their urea and creatinine were fine, but – they would be fine until 75% of kidney function is already gone! I want to catch this bad condition early, if it is bound to happen, and adjust their diets in time and have them live long and good quality lives! I have mailed one of our veterinaries about the tests, asked if they perform it. I know it is not done readily in Sweden yet, but some veterinaries send it to Idexx laboratory in Germany.

I just wanted to share this with you who may read, to know about this great new test! You may read more here.

Albert hears well (as if we didn’t know that…)

We took Albert to an animal hospital today. Not our usual one, but to the one with a special equipment; we had to test Albert’s hearing. He is white, and all cats that have dominant white pigment, must not be deaf if they will be used in breeding.

White Siamese are different than other all-white cats; they are not deaf more often than non-white cats (that is – if parents are not carriers of red pigment). If you want to know more about white Siamese (Foreign Whites), you can read an interesting article here. Another interesting and informative post about Foreign Whites, in Swedish, can be found here.

We know that Albert is not deaf, but the test had to be done anyway.

Poor Albert, we had to let the veterinary sedate him and put all these needles it the little one to examine the response in his brain to the sound waves. Look at our poor kitten, he is sleeping. His eyes are not completely closed, and they put him special eye-drops to keep them moist since he cannot blink while sedated.

All these needles and drugs... Not fun! You know that I am not deaf, I only have selective hearing!

I did not walk all over Jocke's orchids because I did not hear his 'NO'. I just could not resist admiring them!

Well, his hearing IS excellent, even the machine said so, and now we have all the pappers if we are going to use him for breeding. He is our little furry baby, and he will not be stud for a long time (cats, especially male, are much happier and more relaxed when neutered. They think only about cuddling and playing, not about girls, girls, girls… maumaumau). But, it would be good for awfully slim numbers of white Siamese in Scandinavia if he had some white (or masked) offspring that could also contribute further to the Siamese and FW gene pool in Sweden.

BTW, there is no difference between masked offsprings of white Siamese and other masked siamese with ‘ordinary’ (non-white) Siamese parents. The white gene is dominant (if a cat is white, it can pass the white gene further, if it is not white, it cannot be a dominant white gene carrier and pass it further on its offspring).

Albert, almost 8 months old, is examined and healthy, and his hearing is fine (we have never had any doubts about that 🙂 ). If an owner of a non-red color carrier Siamese lady is interested in meeting Albert in winter/spring 2011, you may mail us at info [at) lavoixcats.se so we can talk about it. We live in Stockholm, Sweden.


It is getting cold in Stockholm and we lighted a fire for the first time this autumn last week. Albert never saw a fire before and he was completely hypnotized by the view. And – the warmth! The sounds!

Later when the fireplace cooled down he jumped over the protection and put his head into the chimney. He looks like panda now. I managed to clean his body, but not around the eyes.

But this is how it looked when there was fire!

Last week we tested Leroy’s blood values, urea and creatinine, and everything was fine. We checked him once earlier, before he was paired with Hannah. We also tested Josssan before she was paired. I thought to test the cats every few years, because one can detect problems with kidneys well before the symptoms show. If the issues are detected early, a change in cat’s diet can prevent illness and a possible kidney failure. Siamese are not more predisposed to urinary tract diseases than the other cat races are, but I feel that if there is something one can do so that they can live long and healthy lives, I want to do it. And that includes occasional tests.