Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease & Renal Support
The kidneys of cats function just like human kidneys do. Their main purpose is to filter the blood and sort out waste products to be excreted in the urine. The kidneys are vital to maintaining normal biological processes in a cat's body, and when their function is impaired or lost, the cat can suffer multiple health problems as an effect.
Disease of the kidney can be managed through nutritional modification alongside therapy. Cats with chronic kidney disease or chronic renal failure can benefit greatly from the best cat food for kidney disease. Cat food for kidney disease can either be commercial or homemade, and we will discuss both options here.
Understanding Kidney Disease in Cats
Kidney disease in cats can be classified into two types, which are: acute renal failure and chronic kidney disease.
Acute renal failure develops in a short amount of time and can arise from several causes such as poison, bodily trauma, shock, kidney infection, or heart failure among others. Cats who develop acute renal failure need to be treated immediately, as this type of kidney disease can usually be reversed with proper treatment.
On the other hand, chronic kidney disease in cats is a progressive loss of kidney function. This can happen in a span of months to years. The typical manifestation of chronic kidney disease is characterized by increased thirst and urination, which can be observed when a cat drinks a lot more water and produces a higher volume of urine. Other signs of chronic kidney disease are large feces, weight loss, decreased appetite, and constant sleeping.
If you observe that your cat manifests any of these signs, it is advisable that you see a veterinarian immediately.
How Can the Right Cat Food Help With Kidney Disease?
When your cat is diagnosed with kidney disease or kidney failure, your veterinarian will prescribe different treatments to delay the progression of the disease. Among the common treatments for feline kidney disease is dietary management. A properly managed diet can help extend the lifespan of your cat with kidney disease, as well as decrease symptoms and instances of hospitalization.
When feeding a cat with kidney disease, you can either feed them commercial cat food for kidney disease or homemade food that is carefully selected and measured.
Commercial Cat Food
Commercial cat food for cats with kidney disease is formulated to support renal function and have ingredients that are low in minerals that can exacerbate kidney disease. Cat food for kidney disease needs to have controlled amounts of protein, phosphorus, and sodium. By controlling these nutrients, the renal load is not overwhelming for the cat’s kidneys.
Unlike non prescription cat food, cat food that has been designed for kidney disease contains balanced amounts of protein, phosphorus, fiber, and essential fatty acids among other nutrients. Moreover, they are designed to meet your cat’s nutritional needs to still maintain muscle mass and healthy coat even with a controlled amount of nutrients.
Homemade Cat Food
If you have the time, you can also feed your cat a raw food diet or homemade cat food. Raw foods can be more alluring to your cat because they prefer fresh food in general. If your cat’s kidney disease is still in its early stages or has the chance to be improved, it is recommended that you feed your cat foods that are high in protein. Raw chicken, turkey, salmon, or tuna are good options for your cat. These foods will help prevent loss of muscle mass and also bring your cat’s appetite back up.
A common question we come across: Is cooked chicken good for cats with kidney disease? Well, some cats may prefer cooked chicken over raw chicken. For cats with progressing kidney disease, chicken breast is more recommended than any other cut because leaner meat is lower in phosphorus.
Other options for homemade cat food for kidney disease are low-protein alternatives such as soft carrots, potato peels, peas, and greens. Combine these with low-protein meat sources that do not contain a lot of fat.
Treats for cats with kidney disease can be beneficial if they have a loss of appetite. Choose treats that are made for kidney disease and are also rich in flavor, so your cat can have optimum nutrient intake even if they don’t want to eat their food that much. However, you still need to be mindful of how many treats you give your cat per day; too many treats can displace their appetite for actual meals.
Which is Better for Kidney Issues & Prevention: Wet or Dry Cat Food?
First, let's take a look at an important aspect of managing kidney disease: hydration. A cat with the impaired renal function will need to be adequately hydrated. Wet cat food will add much-needed moisture to your cat's diet. Thus, wet cat food is preferred if your cat does not like drinking from its water bowl, or the veterinarian advises increased water intake.
On the other hand, dry cat food can be beneficial if your cat refuses to eat wet cat food. Loss of appetite or aversion to certain cat foods may happen after your cat is hospitalized. To avoid weight loss, experiment with different brands of commercial cat food to see which one your cat can tolerate.
Recommended: Five Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease Choices
If your cat has kidney disease, it is best to give them cat food that is formulated to improve renal function while still supporting their basic nutritional needs. Here are some products that fit those requirements well:
This product is an example of a low phosphorus cat food for kidney disease. Cat food that is low in phosphorus can help prevent further deterioration of the kidneys. Furthermore, the Royal Canin renal cat food promotes good appetite and digestion due to its highly digestible content and flavorful aroma.
The Hill's Prescription diet brand offers wet cat food that is made for cats with early onset of kidney disease. This recipe consists of high-quality chicken in order to support muscle maintenance while reducing the risk of kidney stone development. Additionally, it has controlled amounts of phosphorus and sodium so that your cat's kidney disease will not progress rapidly.
Another wet cat food on this list is from Forza10. This product is specially formulated for cats with depressed renal function; containing controlled portions of protein, sodium, and phosphorus to suppress the deterioration of the kidneys. Forza10 also boasts of its inclusion of good quality meats such as pasture-raised lamb.
The Purina Pro Plan dry cat food for cats with kidney disease is a great option to help maintain muscle mass even with limited amounts of protein. This product is made from high-quality protein but controlled amounts of phosphorus, ensuring that your cat will get the nutrition it needs without the kidney disease progressing even further. Moreover, it is very aromatic and can entice your pet if it has a low appetite.
Chronic kidney disease is a common sickness for cats in their senior years. To prevent their kidneys from deteriorating with age, you can give them the Delectables Stew Senior wet cat food for digestive and kidney support. Moreover, this formulation is made from high-quality protein from chicken and tuna, ensuring that your senior cat will receive optimal protein amounts.
In conclusion, cats can still live their expected lifespan even with kidney disease. All it takes is proper veterinary treatment, dietary management, and an overall positive owner who gives their cat all the necessary care to control kidney disease.
Among our recommendations, we deem that the Hill’s Prescription Diet renal is the best cat food for kidney disease. It prevents the progression of kidney failure while still providing enough protein and micronutrients that your cat needs. Moreover, it contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are required for healthy immunity, skin, and coat.