The Best Cat Food For Kidney Disease
Our final pick is the Royal Canin morsels in gravy canned food. This formula is easy to digest and provides your feline companion with a boost of energy without harming his kidneys. Serving your chronically ill pet a diet with low phosphorus reduces the stress on his renal system. It also helps prevent other diseases such as hyperparathyroidism from befalling chronically ill felines. Low levels of protein contribute to less uremic production as well. Uremic is a toxin that accumulates in body fluids of animals who suffer from chronic kidney disease. The Royal Canin premium morsels are designed to attract the taste buds of your cat, so both their smell and texture are appealing. This formula helps aging cats regain their energy and encourages them to consume more calories as well.
Holistic Veterinary Care For Kidney Failure
While no treatment can create new kidney cells when scar tissue has already formed, homeopathy, herbs, flower essences, or acupuncture may be able to help your cat feel better and live a better quality of life. Check out the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association for a directory of holistic veterinary practitioners by state.
It is helpful to reduce stress for any animal with kidney disease. Quality of life is an important consideration when deciding how aggressively to treat any disease. Flower Essences can support your companion emotionally and decrease stress. Flower Essences are completely safe to use along with any conventional or alternative treatment for kidney disease. I recommend the following formulas:
- Only Natural Pet Just Relax
- SpiritEssence Graceful Aging
- Pet Essences Kidney Strengthener
Both Chinese and Western herbs can be useful in the beginning stages of kidney disease. As the disease progresses, consultation with a holistically trained veterinarian is recommended for proper use of appropriate herbal remedies.
Traditional Chinese herbal formulas like Golden Book Teapills, are a classic combination of herbs used to strengthen kidney function.
Acupuncture can be very useful for animals with kidney disease. Regular acupuncture can help slow the progression of the disease, stimulate the kidneys and boost the overall vitality of a dog or cat. To find a practitioner in your area, visit the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.
The Importance Of Low Phosphorus
Cats on a high phosphorous diet have been observed to have more severe levels of kidney inflammation and deterioration. The kidneys filter phosphorus from the blood, so when the kidneys are damaged, the levels of phosphorus in the blood can rise to dangerous levels, eventually combining with the calcium in the blood. These elements combining can damage the kidneys even further by forming mineral deposits in the soft tissue surrounding the organs, a process known as mineralisation.
Certain meats are naturally high in phosphorus so are best avoided. Organ meats such as chicken liver, sardines, lentils, brewers yeast, and cereals are all high in phosphorus, so pet foods containing these ingredients should not be fed to a cat with CKD.
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When Should I See A Vet
It is best to see a vet early, if your cat with kidney disease is lethargic and not eating, and especially if they are not drinking. They may also have a skin tent where their skin loses elasticity and doesnt bounce back when pinched up behind the back of the neck. This is a common sign of dehydration. If dehydration is not treated early, toxins will build up in the blood making it harder to correct and sometimes leading to ulceration and vomiting.
Which Diet Is Right
Feeding cats with chronic kidney disease can be difficult, as the current advice is to provide a diet limited in protein and phosphorus. Some brands of commercial cat food offer specialist veterinary diets that claim to fulfil the specific needs of cats diagnosed with CKD. Although these diets have proven to be beneficial, some contain ingredients that are known allergens, such as cereals, and are not always particularly digestible or palatable for cats. When deciding on the best diet for a cat that has been diagnosed as suffering from CKD, it is important to assess your cats willingness to eat the food, as cats suffering from CKD can easily become anorexic. Keeping your cat eating should remain a higher priority than feeding a specialist diet, however, we always recommend working closely with your vet to ensure you are doing what is right for your cat.
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Above All Cats With Chronic Kidney Disease Need To Eat
From Dr. David J. Polzin, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIMs 11 Guidelines for Conservatively Treating Chronic Kidney Disease: In many or most dogs and cats with chronic kidney disease, death or euthanasia results directly or indirectly from starvation.
The dietary recommendations above only apply to cats who are still eating. But if the disease has progressed to a point where your cat is no longer interested in food, nutritional rules go out of the window. If your cat is refusing to eat, dont worry about feeding a therapeutic diet. Any food hes willing to eat is good food.
Introducing And Incorporating New And Raw Foods
Cats have emotional and habitual attachments to their food. Getting them to try new things can be a challenge — even more so if they’re not feeling well. Start with a spoonful of raw lean beef or a slice of raw chicken, and keep trying until you find options he likes. Increase serving sizes gradually while continuing to offer his existing food. Using attentive vet care as you tweak your cat’s diet helps ensure your cat receives the best possible health protocol.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pets diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vets opinion.
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Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+m Kidney + Mobility Support Canned Food
Our Top Pick for the Best Wet Cat Food for Kidney Disease: When it comes to the best cat food to prevent kidney disease or to manage it, moisture is essential which makes wet food a great option. This Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support Canned Food is a healthy choice because it is made from the finest natural ingredients and uniquely formulated for kidney support. This wet food features controlled levels of protein, phosphorus, and sodium with plenty of omega fatty acids and beneficial nutrients. This recipe is completely grain-free to reduce the risk of triggering food allergies and sensitivities, and it is complete and nutritionally balanced. It is only available with a prescription, but it is well worth it.
- Pros: Formulated for kidney support, all-natural ingredients, controlled protein and phosphorus levels, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, complete and nutritionally balanced, beneficial supplements
- Cons: Only available by prescription, expensive to feed as a staple diet, some cats are sensitive to beef
Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Canned Food
If youre looking for a complete and balanced diet for your cat that will help him recover from kidney disease, this Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Canned Food is a good option. It is made with only the freshest, natural ingredients including real animal protein, grain-free carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables. It is moisture-rich with moderate protein and plenty of omega fatty acids. It also contains chelated minerals and vitamin supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. This recipe also contains supplemental fiber for digestion and hairball prevention.
- Pros: Formulated for indoor cats, moderate protein, plenty of omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, fresh fruits, and vegetables, rich in moisture and fiber
- Cons: Not specifically designed for kidney support, contains carrageenan, no probiotics
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What To Look For In Foods For Cats With Kidney Disease
Since there is no cure for kidney disease, medication and careful management of your cats diet are the only ways to manage the disease. It is done with a specialized diet that is low in phosphorous, protein, and sodium, as the disposal of these is what is limited by kidney disease. With this in mind, youll need to look for food with the following aspects in your cats food.
The food that you choose will need to have fairly low protein levels, as the breaking down of protein can produce excessive waste products that need to be dealt with by your cats kidneys. While protein is vital to the health of your feline, theyll need a reduced protein intake or preferably, a low concentration of high-quality proteins. Since they are getting a reduced amount of protein, its essential to give them the best protein source possible.
Kidney damage and loss of function are sped up by high concentrations of phosphorous in your cats bloodstream, and when levels are low, the damage is slowed down. This will also help your cat feel more energized and happier overall, and this is why most foods for kidney disease have restricted phosphorous levels.
High moisture content
Its common for cats with kidney disease to lose their appetite and thus, body weight. This is why tasty and great-smelling food is vital because it helps encourage your cat to eat.
Daves Restricted Diet Phosphorus
This cat food is specifically designed to address high levels of phosphorus. It includes chicken and chicken broth as base ingredients to provide the cat with basic protein and fats.
The lack of phosphorus and sodium helps in minimizing the blood pressure on the kidneys. In addition, this diet is completely free of grains and additives, which makes it suitable for cats with sensitive stomachs.
Although you can purchase this product without consulting a vet, it is still better to do so. It is recommended to use only as directed by the vet to ensure that the given food meets your cats needs.
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From Iris Stage 2 Ckd Onwards
In a prospective study by Elliott et al. , the effect of feeding a veterinary renal diet to a group of 50 cats with stable azotaemic CKD in IRIS Stage 2 to 4 was examined. 29 cats and their owners accepted the diet, whilst compliance was not achieved in 21 cats which were subsequently fed a diet considered an appropriate adult maintenance diet . Cats were matched for age, body weight and relevant blood and urine parameters. If and when the veterinary diet alone became inadequate to control blood phosphate concentrations, cats in this group had an intestinal phosphate binder added to their food. Attempts to control blood phosphate levels in the control group were not undertaken. In brief, key findings from this study were that cats fed the veterinary diet showed:
- reduced plasma phosphate and urea
- prevention of increase in plasma PTH levels, which was seen in cats not receiving the diet
- increased survival time
How To Improve Your Cats Quality Of Life With Kidney Disease
Unfortunately, kidney disease does not have a cure and all that you can do for your cat is to reduce the progression of the disease. This is done with certain supplements, medical treatments, and specialized diets. The progression of the damage to the kidneys needs to be closely monitored by a veterinarian and appropriate changes in the treatments and diets need to be implemented.
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A Mosaic Of Treatment
Dr. Vaden said about 2%-20% of all cats and 30% of cats over the age of 10 have chronic kidney disease. The recent advances in diagnostics and medical management mean veterinarians can now be treating some cats for extended periods.
When we look at that and were talking about treating some of these cats for three years or more, we really need to be very thoughtful in what we do and use an evidence-based approach to our treatment and diagnostics, she said.
Chronic kidney disease is usually diagnosed via imaging or by finding persistent azotemia or an increase in serum symmetric dimethylarginine concentration. The next step is staging according to the system from the International Renal Interest Society.
The IRIS stages, from 1-4, are based on serum creatinine and SDMA concentrations, the latter added recently. The staging system also offers substaging on the basis of severity of proteinuria and hypertension.
The staging becomes important because its a way to communicate where we are diagnostically, where we are therapeutically, where the animal is in regards to expected progression and symptomatology, Dr. Vaden said.
Dr. Vaden offered recommendations for controlling aspects of nutrition, proteinuria, hypertension, anemia, metabolic acidosis, renal secondary mineral disorders, hypokalemia, and gastrointestinal signs .
Should Cats With Kidney Disease Be Fed Homemade Food
Homemade food for cats with kidneys disease is not suitable for all cat guardians. To understand whether you should make your cat homemade, there are certain factors to consider. Some cat guardians will make homemade food for their cats, regardless if they have a disease or not.
One of the important factors in making your cat homemade food is whether you have enough time to do so. Making your cat’s food is not something which should rush as it takes consideration. We can make large batches and divide into portions throughout the week. However, we need to follow the same guidelines on food spoilage as we would with human meals.
One problem with homemade cat food is that we are not always sure of the ingredients. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need protein as the main element of their diet. However, cats with kidney disease cannot process protein in the same way, so this will need to be reduced. How much it is reduces will depend on the individual cat, one of the reasons it is essential you speak with a veterinarian before making homemade cat food.
If you want to know more about kidney disease in cats, take a look at our article on polycystic kidney disease in cats.
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Kidney Diets For Cats: What To Look For
Kidney disease is extremely common in cats. It can develop quickly, because of something like an infection or exposure to antifreeze, or over many years for no apparent reason. Symptoms and treatment for kidney disease vary depending the specifics of the case, but oftentimes, a diet change can help.
How Important Is Protein
Cats with CKD may well benefit from lower levels of protein compared to healthy cats. The need to lower the protein content of the food, is not, however, believed to be as important as the need to ensure the food is low in phosphorous.
When protein is metabolised, uremic toxins are created in the body. Healthy kidneys will filter toxins out of the blood, excreting them from the body. However, if the kidneys are damaged and unable to work as efficiently, these toxins can build up in the body causing a condition called azotaemia. Symptoms of azotaemia include weight loss, appetite loss, vomiting, and lethargy.
Regardless of the level of protein used in your cats food, it is best to ensure that the protein source is highly digestible, and free of meat and animal derivatives, animal by-products, and meat meal. High-quality protein that is easy to digest puts less stress on your cats kidneys. If your cats blood tests show that they have high phosphorus levels, it is essential that you restrict the phosphorus in your cats food to help decrease the stress on their kidneys.
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Diagnosing And Treating Kidney Disease In Cats
If you notice your cat urinating more frequently or urinating outside the litter box, it isnt something you should ignore. Additional symptoms like losing weight, decreased appetite, and weakness or lethargy mean that you should take your cat to the vet. Diagnosing kidney problems typically begins with a physical exam and review of symptoms but then moves on to blood and urine tests. Diagnosis of kidney failure can be confirmed by identifying high levels of two waste products in the blood: blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. A urinalysis might also be necessary to test kidney function.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for chronic kidney disease in cats. With treatment, however, you can improve and prolong your cats life. Treatment is usually geared toward minimizing the accumulation of waste products in the blood stream, maintaining proper hydration, and addressing problems with nutrition and electrolyte concentration. Various therapies may also help control blood pressure and slow the progression of the disease.
How Do Nutritional Requirements Differ For Cats With Ckd
Water. Diseased kidneys are not as effective at excreting waste products from the body through the urine. One consequence of CKD is a decreased ability of the kidneys to concentrate the urine. In order to continue to rid the body of its toxins despite more dilute urine, the body compensates by stimulating greater thirst. This makes it critical for you to provide your cat with an unlimited supply of fresh water. Canned food can help increase your cat’s intake of moisture. To encourage more water intake, change your pets water several times a day, clean your pets water bowl daily, and consider the use of a running water fountain to increase water interest.
Protein. Decreased dietary protein may slow the progression of CKD by decreasing the workload on the kidneys to excrete protein waste products. Less protein also means less need for the excretion of protein itself through the filtration mechanism of the kidney, which helps preserve kidney function. The recommended range of protein on a dry matter basis for cats with CKD is 28-35%. If protein intake is too low however, CKD will start to break down muscle mass.
Sodium. Dietary sodium levels are mildly restricted to reduce the workload on the kidneys. This in turn helps to maintain a reasonable blood pressure.
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