Understanding Kidney Disease In Cats
Kidney disease in cats can be caused by a bacterial infection, but often the exact cause remains unknown. For whatever reason, your cats kidneys stop doing their job of removing waste products such as proteins and phosphorus and excreting them in the urine. As a result, the cats systems are thrown out of balance. All sorts of problems can occur, from high blood pressure to anemia.
What are the first signs of kidney disease? Your cat may show increased thirst or begin urinating more frequently. Though they eat normally, you may see subtle weight loss. As the disease progresses, some cats may experience a decreased appetite, more severe weight loss, lack of energy, and poor grooming habits.
Kidney disease is not curable, but if the condition is caught early on, a healthy diet can enable cats to live a long life. As the condition progresses, cats may be given phosphorus-binding drugs before meals, subcutaneous fluids, and other medications. But lets start with the food.
Weruva Cats In The Kitchen Chicken Fricka Zee Recipe Au Jus Canned Food
One of the few cat food recipes that lists phosphorus content is this Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Chicken FrickA Zee Recipe Au Jus Canned Food. This formula features fresh chicken as a digestible source of real animal protein with chicken broth for moisture and natural flavor. It contains a rich blend of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, including plenty of omega-3s for their antioxidant benefits. This recipe is complete and balanced with the help of nutritional supplements and is highly palatable for cats.
Best Low Phosphorus Food With A Variety Of Flavors: Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels
- Turkey and Duck:
These foods all have a similar texture of chunks in sauce. Unfortunately, the other cat food textures that Wellness offers have a much higher phosphorus content.
That also goes for the canned version of Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels. The canned food is a different formula than the pouches and is much higher in phosphorus.
To achieve the correct texture, this food has a carbohydrate level of 22% on a dry matter basis. This certainly isnt a dangerous level of carbohydrates, but ideally the level would be lower. On the plus side, the majority of this food is meat.
Like many wet cat foods, this food is produced in Thailand. This may raise concern for some pet owners, but Thai manufacturers have a good track record of safe pet food. Canned and pouched pet food in Thailand grew as a natural extension of the human-grade tuna industry.
Wellness has a good reputation for quality control. The parent company, Wellpet, is owned by outside financial interests, but it appears that this has given them the capital to invest in developing many flavors and styles of food.
Wellness is a well known brand and is widely available. If buying in-person, make sure to get this exact food. Similar Wellness products are much higher in phosphorus.
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How Do Urinary Prescription Diets Work
The folks at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine explain that the most important considerations for stone prevention are:
Diluting the urine by increasing the amount of water the pet drinks
Reducing the amount of the compounds that make up the stones in the diet
The compounds that make up the stones can also impact the pH of your cats urine and we know that stones form when pH is outside of a healthy range. Hills C/D works by changing the pH of your cats urine but also by reducing minerals like magnesium and phosphorous which have also been found to contribute to stones.
While you wont always find these minerals specifically listed on the cat label, they usually show up in some form or another. Often theyre part of the overall ash content. Ash describes several leftover minerals in your cats food including phosphorus and magnesium but also zinc, calcium, and several others.
Its also important to point out that diluting the urine is highlighted as extremely important as well. Wet food is one of the best ways to keep cats hydrated, but cats can drink a lot more than just water so you can also consider other ways of creatively increase your cats hydration. In the wild, cats would get much of their hydration from eating mice and rats but thats not an option for most of our feline friends.
Well be looking at both wet and dry food on this list but its still important to stress how much wet food can help the overall health of your cats urinary tract.
Features To Consider While Buying Kidney Friendly Cat Foods
To impress your cats and also provide them with efficient food for resolving their renal issues following are some factors to consider:
Major feature that we have to look forward to when buying cat food for kidney disease is whether it is wet or dry food. In case of low phosphorus dry cat food, you have to look to buy only after trying it out on pets. One can buy this type if their kitties can munch easily with no inhibition. Also, all dry food will come with a soft texture to aid in eating easily. Digestion is another thing to consider when buying dry food. Be sure to note that on its package. Another type is wet food. Usually, wet food will arrive in cans that are ready to feed to cats. This type of food comes in gravy format, which cats will lick with meat pieces. Our experts recommend people try both dry and wet food on their cats well before deciding.
Wet and dry food comes in different packaging. Best cheap wet cat food comes in canned format. Most cans come with a self-opening style where one can pull them open with a small lever. Moreover, these canned meals are easy to store and transfer into bowls smoothly. In case of dry food, it comes in package types. Once opened, one has to transfer them into containers to maintain their freshness. This will become a problem since heavy bags might be difficult to handle and store. If you have containers that can store such a huge quantity, then go for dry food without a doubt.
Suitable For Cats Age
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Instinct By Natures Variety Limited Ingredient Diet Grain
Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease and Sensitive Stomach: Kidney problems are a serious health concern in cats. If your cat has kidney trouble, the quality of the ingredients in his food matters greatly even more if he has a sensitive stomach. The best option may be a limited ingredient diet made with a single source of novel animal protein like this Instinct by Natures Variety LID Real Rabbit canned food. It features fresh rabbit as the main ingredient, a rich source of novel animal protein. This grain-free recipe contains peas as the only carbohydrate ingredient and is supplemented with vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced digestion. If your cat doesnt like rabbit, there are other protein options to choose from.
- Pros: Single source novel animal protein, rich in real protein and flavor, complete and nutritionally balanced, chelated mineral supplements
- Cons: Contains plant protein , somewhat expensive compared to average
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.
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Can A Cat Live On Dry Food Only
As long as the formula is balanced and complete with all the required nutrients, its fine for cats to live with dry food forever.In fact, dry food has a lot of benefits, this includes being more affordable and easier to store. Also, its better for measuring the right amounts. However, you need to make sure that the cat gets enough hydration through the water.
How Protein Restriction Impacts Healthy Body Condition
In addition to protein restriction, renal diets contain additional potassium, lower sodium, low phosphorus and, in some cases, added Omega-3 fatty acids. All of these components are good for cats with kidney disease. What may not be desirable is the limited protein.
One recent study showed that cats require 40-45% protein on a dry matter basis to maintain good body condition. Another study shows that cats over 12 years of age, just about the time that their kidneys may be working less well, become less efficient at metabolizing fat and protein. This study concluded that cats over 12 may require 25% more calories and protein to maintain their body condition than younger cats.
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The 6 Best Cat Foods For Kidney Disease
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The best cat food for kidney disease eases the burden on your cats organs while keeping him as strong and healthy as he can be. Its a tricky balance that few commercial cat foods achieve.
We recommend Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D Morsels in Gravy as the best cat food for kidney disease. Though its not perfect, this food has a good record among renal patients and one of the least objectionable ingredient lists in the veterinary diet category.
To help you find the right food for your cat, weve recommended five foods for cats with kidney disease. Most are prescription foods. Others arent. All of them have a history of helping cats with chronic kidney disease .
Homeade Raw Kidney Support Premixes
There are 2 homemade kidney food for cats premix options.
- You control the ingredients and how its made
- Companies listed below have been creating premixes for decades
- Veterinarians use and recommend their premixes
NOTE: Although these companies make a variety of raw food premixes, you would use the premixes intended for kidney support .
Consider the natural remedies below as well .
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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
Best Variety: Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health Variety Pack Canned Cat Food
Key Ingredients: Varies by flavor | Calories per Serving: 82 to 107 depending on flavor | Texture: Wet, varies | Balance: Varies but most are Crude Protein min. 10.0%, Crude Fat min. 6.5%, Crude Fiber max 0.5%, Moisture max. 78.0% | Life Stage: Adult
Nutritional and flavor diversity for your cat
No prescription needed
Meat by-products are the first ingredient
If your cats digestive system can tolerate more than one type of food, a variety pack is a wonderful way to give them a broader range of flavors and nutrients at the same time.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Classic Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Wet Cat Food Variety Pack comes as a case of 12, 24, or 36 cans. It can be purchased as four, eight or twelve cans each of three flavorsOcean Whitefish or Beef & Chicken, Chicken, and Turkey and Gibletsor as twelve cans each of two flavorsOcean Whitefish and Salmon.
Each recipe has low dietary magnesium and has been designed to reducing urinary pH. Purina products are also manufactured in the U.S. and are widely available and among the more affordable brands on shelves today.
Key Ingredients: N-Acetyl Glucosamine from shrimp and crab, D-mannose, cranberry extract | Calories per Serving: Not listed| Balance: Not listed | Life Stage: Adult | Texture: Soft chews
Incorporates D-mannose ingredient known to decrease urinary tract infections
Several inactive ingredients
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Nutrition And Kidney Disease
Nutrition is essential for treating kidney disease. Your cat will need a special diet. Diet can help control clinical symptoms of kidney disease, which can improve your cats quality of life. Usually, diets with kidney disease have less protein, sodium, and phosphorous. This lowers the amount of work your felines kidneys need to do. Increased omega-3 fatty acids are also included, as they may help improve your cats symptoms.
Premium Choice: Blue Buffalo Vet Diet Kidney + Mobility Dry Cat Food
Among the best low phosphorus cat foods prescribed to cat owners is the Blue Buffalo Vet Diet Kidney + Mobility Dry Cat Food, which is a premium choice and suitable for adult cats. The food has low phosphorus and sodium content with a controlled protein level, making it one of the best foods for cats having kidney problems. Chicken is the primary source of animal protein, and the food does not contain grain. Cats with problems with their kidneys and mobility are best placed on this diet.
The presence of adequate supplements supports the healthy growth of the cats. The food does not contain any poultry by-products, and it is packed with the necessary nutritional requirements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and DHA. However, the major downside of using this product is its exorbitant fee, although the product is worth its price. Also, the food is not suitable for all varieties of cats as some cats refuse to eat the food. The phosphorus content of the food is between 03% and 0.7%, while that of sodium is 0.3%.
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Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain
Unlike the previous options, this product is a non-prescription food with low phosphorus. It has a relatively short ingredient list, with a farm-raised rabbit the only protein source.
It provides all the essential amino acids for immune health. As the name suggests, it is grain-free with no by-products, artificial colors, and preservatives. Similar to all dry foods, it lacks moisture. For this, you need to make sure that your cat drinks enough water.
What Is Considered Low Magnesium Or Low Ash
Looking back to the guidelines from Tufts, we know that increasing hydration and decreasing the stone-causing compounds in the diet are the best options. We also know that one of the main culprits is magnesium.
But what is considered low in terms of these minerals?
For this article, were going to go with the guidelines set by veterinarian Dr. Debra Primovic who explains the best low magnesium cat food is one that has less than 0.12% magnesium on a dry matter basis.
Establishing a baseline for low ash is more difficult and even after months of research, I wasnt able to find an industry standard for low ash. And after consulting some veterinarian friends it sounds like there isnt one. So for this list, well be considering 2.6% ash content as low which is the same number we used in our list of the best cat foods with low ash.
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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.
Weruva Truluxe Steak Frites Low Phosphorus Cat Food
Weruva Truluxe Steak Frites is not a veterinary kidney disease formula, but it is low in phosphorus and sodium. If your cat is turning up their nose at some of the other low-phosphorus foods, this could be a good choice to keep them interested in eating. Check with your vet to make sure theyre OK with feeding it to a cat with early-stage renal disease. No prescription needed.
Weruva Truluxe Steak Frites Low Phosphorus Cat Food
This non-prescription beef and pumpkin recipe is low in phosphorus and sodium.
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