Is Revolution Safe For Cats With Kidney Disease? (Read This Before Applying)

Is Revolution Safe For Cats With Kidney Disease

A few years ago, I brought my cat to the vet as he lost his appetite out of the blue and was starting to drink more water. After running a complete blood test and urinalysis, the vet told me that my cat’s kidneys were less than optimal.

That set me back quite a bit emotionally as I know how debilitating chronic kidney disease can be for cats. Thankfully he has been stable all this while with his daily medication.

Ever since my cat’s kidney debacle, I’ve started being more cautious when medicating my cat as certain medicines can put more strain on his kidney functions.

It can be worrying for many cat owners when giving revolution to their cats with an existing kidney condition.

In this article, we will take a look at the safety profile of Revolution and what are your options when it comes to anti-parasitic treatments for your cat.

What Happens When Your Cat Has Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease or CKD is one of the most common medical conditions that affect cats as they get older.

When a cat has CKD, it means that the cat’s kidneys are no longer as effective when it comes to filtering out wastes and toxins that are present in the cat’s blood.

This can cause a build-up of these harmful substances in your cat’s body over time which can lead to a whole host of health problems.

In fact, the kidney does more than just filter waste and toxins.

They also help to:

  • Regulate hydration
  • Produce hormones
  • Stimulate production of red blood cells
  • Manage blood pressure

It would be best to try and keep your cat’s kidneys under as little stress as usual.

What Does Revolution Do For Cats?

Revolution is an anti-parasitic medication that helps to eradicate and prevent heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, ear mites and fleas in cats.

Revolution Plus is an ungraded version of Revolution that also helps to prevent and eliminate a wide range of ticks.

It is a topical solution that you need to apply to your cat’s skin. I will always rub the solution between my cat’s shoulder blades. This is an ideal spot as your cat isn’t able to lick the spot.

The active ingredient found in Revolution is called selamectin which works by affecting the nerve and muscle cells of these parasites and thus removing them effectively.

What Are The Side Effects Of Revolution On Cats?

cat on human's lap

Revolution can be a strong drug for some cats and they can start to show some side effects. These side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Seizures

If you do notice that your cat is behaving strangely after applying Revolution, it would be wise to let your vet know. Some side effects might be temporary while others will require medical attention.

Is Revolution Safe For Cats With Kidney Disease?

It largely depends on what purpose are you using Revolution on your cat. Is your cat having a flea infestation, internal parasites or both?

Given that Revolution works on both surface and internal parasites, it is made to be absorbed into both your cat’s skin and bloodstream.

Over time, the cat’s kidneys will filter and remove the chemicals from the bloodstream and out via its urine.

The problem with cats that have renal disease is that the kidneys might not be able to effectively subdue and remove the chemicals in the solution.

This is one conversation that you need to have with your vet before applying Revolution to your cat.

The instructions clearly state that Revolution should not be given to pets that are currently sick, underweight or debilitated.

If your cat is currently not in the best of shape due to its kidney disease, applying revolution to your cat at this point wouldn’t be the best option.

For peace of mind, your vet might suggest doing a blood test to see how your cat is holding up before applying Revolution.

It is best to wait until your cat is feeling better before using it.

Can Cats With CKD Have Flea Treatment?

Cats with CKD can definitely have flea treatment. My cat got one not too long ago for fleas and I had no idea where he got it from.

He is strictly an indoor cat so I’m suspecting he might have gotten it from my dog who is surprisingly flea-free.

One thing to note with kidney disease in cats is that it isn’t a death sentence. As long as you catch it early, your cat can still have a healthy and good life.

If you really wish to be extra cautious with flea treatment for your cat, use one that only stays within your cat’s skin and is removed when your cat shed its skin.

The solution isn’t made to enter your cat’s bloodstream which might start to put stress on the kidneys.

What Are The Other Options Besides Revolution?

Revolution isn’t the only alternative in the market if you are just looking for a flea treatment.

It also doubles up as a dewormer which explains why it needs to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Brands like Advantage and Frontline have flea treatments that work in such a manner whereby the active ingredient only resides within the skin.

Is Revolution Safe For Older Cats?

senior cat

I have friends that have used Revolution on their senior cats without any problems. Cats that are older than 11 years old are called seniors.

As long as your cat is in good shape, it should not have any issues handling Revolution.

During the clinical test of Revolution, cats were given up to 10 times the recommended dosage without any problems.

The safety profile for Revolution seems rather good but as always, please check with your vet if your cat has some underlying health problems.

There’s a reason why many of these treatments are only available via prescription only due to their potent active ingredients.

What Should Cats With Kidney Disease Avoid?

Kidney disease in cats is something that can be hard to prevent even with the best intentions. It is just a problem that comes with being a cat and is 3x more common in felines and than dogs.

The one thing that can really help lower the risk of getting kidney disease as well as help cats with existing CKD is diet.

A diet that is low in salt, preservatives, by-products, filler, etc is one that you should be giving your cat.

Cats with CKD are not able to concentrate their urine to remove their waste effectively. This means that they need to be drinking more water in order to do the same job.

I am not a fan of kibbles or dry food for cats as they do not contain any level of hydration at all which is the opposite of what we want.

Cats evolve from the desert and do not have a high thirst level.

They get most of their hydration from the live prey that they eat. Therefore, giving your cat wet food or a raw meat diet will be much more suitable.

You can encourage your cat to drink more water by adding homemade water tuna to its food or getting it a water fountain to drink from.

Eliminate cat treats or human food that are high in salt as they can increase your cat’s blood pressure and give the kidneys more work to do.

I know of many vets that recommend a prescriptive diet or one that is lesser in protein.

But cats are obligate carnivores in nature and derive their energy source from animal protein.

I have seen the ingredients list of those prescriptive diets and I’m appalled at the type of low-quality ingredients used.

My cat is still on his usual raw meat diet even after being diagnosed with CKD and he is doing great.

How To Keep Your Cat Parasite Free?

If you only have one cat at home, the best and easiest way of keeping your cat parasite free is to keep it indoors.

Allowing your cat to roam outside increases the risk of it getting parasites from other animals and its environment.

Furthermore, your cat might run away when it is outside which will cause you tons of anxiety and regret.

For pet owners that have both cats and dogs at home, your dogs can be a medium for transporting these parasites back to your site.

It is always good to regularly get your dog checked for worms, tick and fleas.

It is possible for cats to get heartworms from mosquitos. The infected mosquito can pass on the eggs or larva of the heartworm to your cat when bitten.

If you live in an area that has many mozzies, have your cat checked for heartworms on a regular basis.

Can Fleas Cause Kidney Failure In Cats?


Fleas are parasites that live on your cat’s skin and feed off its blood. These parasites do more than make your cat itchy, they can also transmit diseases to your cat.

These diseases can include:

  • Cat scratch fever
  • Intestinal infestation (Tapeworms)
  • Anemia

If left untreated, these diseases can cause a lot of damage to your cat’s vital organs such as its nervous system and kidneys.

2 thoughts on “Is Revolution Safe For Cats With Kidney Disease? (Read This Before Applying)”

  1. At the end of the article, under the disease’s that fleas can give to your cat do you really mean Amenia (absence or cessation of menstruation)? Or do you mean Anemia (lack of red blood cells)?


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