Cirrhosis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment How To Recognize Cirrhosis In Cats and How To Treat It

Cirrhosis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

In cats, cirrhosis is a severe liver disease that, if untreated, can result in several health issues, including mortality. We discuss this disease further here.

Cirrhosis is a condition that is commonly associated with humans, but did you know that cats can also suffer from this liver disease? Cirrhosis in cats is a serious condition that can lead to several health complications and even death if left untreated.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at cirrhosis in cats, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and tips for managing the condition at home.


Cirrhosis in cats is typically caused by long-term liver damage, which leads to the formation of scar tissue in the liver. There are several potential causes of liver damage in cats, including:

  • Chronic hepatitis: Cats with hepatitis have long-term liver inflammation, which can eventually lead to cirrhosis if left untreated.

  • Exposure to toxins: Cats can be exposed to a wide variety of toxins that can damage the liver, including drugs, chemicals, and household poisons.

  • Infectious diseases: Some infectious conditions, including feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and the feline leukemia virus (FeLV), can harm the liver and result in cirrhosis.

  • Obesity: The chance of liver illness, among other cat health issues, increases with obesity.

  • Genetics: Some breeds of cats may be more prone to developing liver disease and cirrhosis than others.

  • Cat psoriasis: Cat psoriasis and liver disease often go hand and hand. Left untreated, it can give rise to cirrhosis, liver scarring, and end-stage liver failure in cats.


Cirrhosis in cats can be difficult to identify because the symptoms are vague and can mirror those of other health issues. However, there are a few cirrhosis symptoms and signs that owners of pets should be mindful of, such as:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Vomiting and diarrhea

  • Lethargy

  • Jaundice

  • Orangish pee

  • Ascites

  • Behavioral changes

Treatment and Management Options

The fundamental cause and seriousness of the condition will determine the best course of action for treating and managing feline cirrhosis. Cirrhosis may occasionally be irreversible, so the aim of therapy is to reduce the disease's progression and control symptoms. Here are some treatment and management options for feline liver diseases:

  • Medications: To help control symptoms and stop the illness from getting worse, your doctor may recommend medical treatment. These may include diuretics to manage ascites, antibiotics to prevent infections, and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation.

  • Dietary changes: A special diet may be recommended to help support liver function and manage symptoms. This may include a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates, as well as supplements to support liver function.

  • Fluid therapy: Cats with ascites may require fluid therapy to help manage the buildup of fluid in the abdomen.

  • Surgery: Surgery may occasionally be needed to remove tumors or obstructions causing liver injury.

  • Management of underlying conditions: If cirrhosis is caused by an underlying condition, such as chronic hepatitis or feline leukemia virus, managing that condition will be a crucial part of treatment.

  • Supportive care: Cats with cirrhosis may require supportive care, such as IV fluids, to manage dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

  • Monitoring: Regular monitoring of liver function and symptoms will be important to help manage the disease and adjust treatment as needed.

Prevention Tips

Even though not all feline cases of cirrhosis can be avoided, there are some things you can do to lower your cat's chance of contracting the liver condition:

  • Vaccinations: Keeping your cat's vaccinations up to date can help avoid viral infections like feline leukemia virus and feline infectious peritonitis, which can harm the liver.

  • Toxin exposure should be avoided: Be aware of possible toxins in your home and take precautions to keep your cat safe from them. This might entail keeping household cleaners and pesticides out of reach, staying away from toxic plants in your house, and not giving your cat potentially poisonous human foods.

  • Provide a healthy diet: Feeding your cat a healthy, balanced diet can help to support liver function and overall health. Avoid feeding your cat high-fat or high-protein diets, which can put additional stress on the liver.

  • Regular veterinary checkups: Regular veterinary checkups can help to identify and manage health problems early, including liver disease in cats.

  • Manage underlying conditions: If your cat has an underlying condition that can contribute to liver damage, such as diabetes or obesity, work with your veterinarian to manage that condition effectively.

  • Avoid unnecessary medications: Some medications can be toxic to cats and can cause liver damage. Only give your cat medications that are prescribed by a veterinarian, and be sure to follow the dosing instructions carefully.

By taking these preventative measures, you can help to reduce your cat's risk of developing liver disease and potentially prevent cirrhosis. If you have concerns about your cat's liver health, talk to your veterinarian about appropriate screening and prevention strategies.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like

Image for Triaditis in Cats: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Triaditis in Cats: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Understanding Triaditis and How To Conquer It

Read More
Image for All About Liver Disease in Dogs and Cats
All About Liver Disease in Dogs and Cats

A Serious Condition With Many Causes

Read More
Image for Cat and Dog Liver Shunt Treatment and Prevention
Cat and Dog Liver Shunt Treatment and Prevention

What Can Be Done About a Liver Shunt

Read More