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Why Are High Protein Diets Not Suitable For Cats With Kidney Disease

Jess Caticles reviews high protein low carb wet cat food

Cats with kidney issues cant handle high protein food because of the impaired kidney function.

When a high protein diet is digested, there will be a high amount of toxic waste-byproduct like urea and phosphorus that should be filtered out by the kidney.

So when impaired kidney cant properly filter all these toxic by-products, they begin to accumulate within the body and in the bloodstream resulting in making the cat feeling terrible on a regular basis.

Also poor kidney function will lead to dehydration because of the fact that impaired kidney cant converse water efficiently which will then result in more water than normal is lost in the urine.

A diet made from moderate amounts of high quality protein can help with that as they produce less urea and other toxic by-products which then needs to be eliminated.

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.

Daves Pet Food Restricted Diet Phosphorus Chicken Liver & Chicken In Juice Pate Review

Daves Pet Food may be a brand that many of you are unfamiliar with but they aim to produce pet food that is affordable yet high-quality which is an extremely challenging task.

The vast majority of Daves Pet Food recipes, of which there are many, are aimed at typical dogs and cats without severe health issues or dietary requirements.

However, they do produce two Restricted Diet wet cat food recipes that may be appealing to those on the lookout for a low-protein alternative. The above-mentioned Chicken Liver & Chicken recipe is one of these two.

This recipe aims to provide high-quality protein and use low-residue ingredients, which recent research suggests could be advantageous. As a consequence of this, the protein proportion is 5.75% which is somewhat typical of a wet cat food recipe.

Most of this protein and the recipes fat content is sourced from a mix of Chicken Liver and Chicken, which are both high-quality sources of animal-based protein.

Outside of this Chicken, there is a small portion of plant-based ingredients, which includes Rice Flour and Pumpkin. Pumpkin often features in recipes for pets with digestive issues and can be a reliable way to stave off issues.

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The Best 5 Hydrolyzed Protein Cat Food: Benefits Reviews And Ingredient Analysis

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High Quality Real Food

Low Protein Cat Food Dry

Lastly, a quality commercial cat food with low protein is going to have high-quality ingredients. I like to see real protein and fats foods that cats might eat in the wild.

Real nutrition labels, they are your best friend in judging a packaged low phosphorus cat food for kidney disease. A short ingredient list that is approved by the AAFCO with items you recognize is best.

Dont fall for healthy items meant for humans in cat food too much, they have no biological need for kale, goji berries, or veggies on that nature.

Its important to avoid ingredients like fillers and artificial preservatives or colors as much as possible,

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Buying Guide For Best Low

When it comes to your cats health, it starts with its diet. Cats may be put on a low-protein diet for a number of different reasons, one being kidney or liver disease, which becomes more common as cats age. Even a low-protein cat food still contains enough protein to fulfill your cats nutritional needs, and many even include additional nutrients and vitamins.

Before making a purchase for your feline friend, there are a few factors to consider. Your cats current health should be evaluated by a veterinarian before it starts on a low-protein diet. You should also consider factors that apply to any cat food, such as food allergies, flavor, pté versus gravy, and dry versus wet. Regardless of the reason, youre looking into low-protein cat food, youre bound to find something that appeals to your pet.

How We Selected The High Protein Low Carb Dry Cat Food

Most of the products listed are not selected hand to hand. We used artificial intelligence to make the list. But we can assure you all the products listed here are of superior quality as they are already tested by real users, rated by expert reviewers, and recommended by real humans.

Key decision-making factors you should consider to select the products:

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Diets For Cats With Kidney Diseases

If you have a senior cat, chances are shes been diagnosed with chronic renal failure, or CRF. While every cats prognosis is different, vets will usually recommend a low-protein diet, regardless of the stage of the renal failure. For many cats, this will require a change in diet, which can be challenging. By understanding what Kitty is going through and learning what her needs are, you will be better equipped to help her make the transition.

Best Low Carb Dry Cat Food

Top 10 Best Dry Cat Foods (We Tested Them All)

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Dry Cat Food Chicken 2.0lb

Blue Buffalo Weight Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food 15 lb bag

Wellness Core Grain Free Original Turkey & Chicken Natural Dry Cat Food, 5-Pound Bag

Crave Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food

Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food, Adult 15.5 lb

Crave Grain Free Adult Dry Cat Food with Protein from Chicken 10 lb

Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food 15 lb bag

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Grain Free All Life Stages Dry Cat Food 4-Lb.

  • Rich in amino acids from high-quality chicken, eggs and whitefish to help maintain and build lean muscle mass.
  • Made with healthful grain alternative ingredients like green peas, red lentils and chickpeas.

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Grain Free All Life Stages Dry Cat Food, 12-lb

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dietetic Management Formula Dry Cat Food 6 lb bag

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Weight Control Dry Cat Food, Chicken 5-lb

  • Contains One 5-Lb Bag Of Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Weight Control Dry Cat Food, Chicken.
  • Weight Management- The Carefully Blended Calories From Proteins And Fat Help To Maintain An Ideal, Healthy Body Weight.

Orijen 6 Fish Formula Dry Cat Food 12 lb bag

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 6-lb

Cat Chow Cat Food, Grain Free, Naturals 6.3 lb

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At A Glance: Our Top Picks For Best Low Protein Cat Food To Buy


Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, weve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. Youll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

  • Cats like the flavor and texture
  • Primarily made with animal protein
  • Controlled phosphorus levels for kidney disease
  • Formulated for cats with kidney disease
  • Cats like the flavor and texture
  • Fish oil as a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3s
  • High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
  • Free from potentially harmful additives
  • Controlled phosphorus and protein levels
  • Restricted protein, phosphorus, and sodium content
  • Limited number of highly digestible ingredients
  • Supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids
  • Primarily made from digestible animal ingredients
  • Low carb content compared to many low-protein foods
  • Free from potentially harmful additives
  • Formulated for cats with kidney disease
  • Rich in biologically valuable animal protein
  • Raw formula rich in moisture

How To Compare Cat Food Brands

Since there are hundreds of types and brands of cat foods available, it can be very overwhelming to try and compare them all to find the best one. You can find websites that have unbiased reviews of the different brands as a starting point and choose the ones with the highest reviews.

A second option is to find a website that allows you to input the different brands you want to consider and it gives you a comprehensive analysis of the food side by side. This way, you’ll be able to tell at a glance which foods are better for your cat, and you can then shop from here.

Read Also: Is Science Diet Good For Cats

Know This About Protein And Cats

One final take on protein in cat food brands this post isnt meant to vilify protein in any way!

Cats are obligate carnivores. Failing to give your cat enough protein can cause some very serious health problems to kick in very rapidly.

As a general rule, the recommended range of protein on a dry matter basis for cats with CKD is 28 percent to 35 percent based on information from VCA Hospitals. If you go too low with protein intake, vets warn that CKD will start to break down muscle mass.

Remember, going low protein with your cat isnt something you should jump into alone. Bring whatever cat food you select to your vet to make sure it offers what your cat needs.

Its so important to make sure protein, phosphorous and sodium are completely in check to avoid serious health repercussions with your cat.

Working Towards A Sustainable Future

9Lives Plus Care Cat Food, 12

Our belief that pets make our world better inspires and gives life to our purpose of making a better A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS


Brewers rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, powdered cellulose, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, calcium sulfate, fish oil, potassium chloride, monocalcium phosphate, vegetable oil, DL-methionine, sodium pyrophosphate, sodium silico aluminate, salt, fructooligosaccharides, choline chloride, taurine, calcium carbonate, vitamins , trace minerals , marigold extract , magnesium oxide, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid.

Calorie Content

This diet contains 3940 kilocalories of metabolizable energy per kilogram or 351 kilocalories ME per cup on an as fed basis .

Guaranteed Analysis
Eicosapentaenoic + Docosahexaenoic acid 0.19%

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.

Feeding Guide

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Hills Prescription Diet K/d Kidney Care Review

Hills is the last of the Big Three to feature here and they are extremely similar to Royal Canin or Purina. Many believe that Hills recipes are overpriced or not as impressive as Purina Pro Plan or Royal Canin but they still have thousands of hours of research and development behind them.

Their product range is massive and includes recipes for dogs and cats of all ages, sizes and for many unique health conditions such as renal support.

You can read our detailed discussion of Hills Science Diet here.

The Kidney Care recipe from Hills Prescription Diet contains a minimum of 26% protein which is extremely low and far lower than most cat food recipes.

This recipe from Hills is notable in that it contains virtually no animal-based ingredients that would contain protein. The only notable animal-based ingredient present is Pork Fat which would contain minimal protein.

Instead, Hills relies on plant-based ingredients to provide its protein content as well as carbohydrates and fiber. Examples include Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Pearled Barley, and more.

The inclusion of Brown Rice as the primary ingredient is a welcome sight to many who prefer it to alternatives like Brewers Rice or White Rice.

Buyers Guide: Selecting The Best Diabetic Cat Food

There are many things you should keep in mind when choosing the best food for diabetic cats. While the food needs to be high-quality, it also needs to be appropriate for a cat with diabetes. This is a lot of boxes to check, which can make finding food difficult.

It is essential to select a food that is appropriate for your diabetic cat, as diet is essential for controlling this disease. In this section, well take a look at some of the things you should be looking at when choosing diabetic cat food, as well as several decisions you may need to make about your cats food.

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Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food 15 Lb Bag

Lowest Price

Product Details

This adult dry cat formula helps promote digestive health while still offering all the nutritional benefits you expect from Blue. Deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients. These quality proteins provide the amino acids cats need every day.

Whole ground brown rice and barley offer excellent sources of energy, while a host of ingredients like fish oil, flaxseed, vegetables, fruits and parsley deliver nutrients that support immune system health and overall wellness.

Taurine supports eye and heart health, while Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids help maintain your cats healthy skin and coat.

Reviews From Real Customers

My two kittens were positive for FIP disease and were not doing well. I had always fed them Iams but in searching for something to hopefully help them, I found Blue Buffalo sensitive stomach dry cat food and began feeding it in an effort to help the severe diarrhea that they always have because of their disease.

I was so excited and impressed with the numerous visible positive results that I told my daughter who has cats about BB. Her cats do not have FIP disease but I knew she would see good changes. She began feeding it and has seen positive results and now exclusively feeds BB as well.

The one and only negative thing I can say is the price is awfully high however, it is so well worth it and upon contacting BB I was able to receive coupons and hope to continue to get them periodically.

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney + Mobility Support

The Top 7 Best Dry Cat Foods of 2022 (We Tested Them All)

Blue Buffalos Kidney + Mobility Support food has controlled protein and mineral levels. This grain-free food also has low levels of phosphorus and sodium.

Its made from high-quality protein and plenty of other great things that will not only help with your cats mobility but will also keep their joints healthy. It includes both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as selected vitamins and minerals to help boost immunity.

It comes in both wet and dry food, and youll need a veterinary prescription to purchase this food.

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What Happens If You Give Your Cat Too Little Or Too Much Protein

In the same 2013 study mentioned earlier, adult cats given less than 0.68 grams of protein per pound of body weight entered a negative nitrogen balance. This meant that they were losing more nitrogen than they were taking in.

While the effects of inadequate protein intake vary based on the amino acid profile of the deficient protein, you can expect to see symptoms of malnutrition and, potentially, death. Protein malnutrition may lead to hepatic lipidosis, also referred to as fatty liver disease.

Most cat foods marketed for their low protein content are around 25% to 30% protein and provide roughly 11 to 18 grams of protein each day. Depending on your individual cats protein requirements, this amount may lead to loss of lean muscle mass.

How To Choose The Best Low Protein Food For Cats

If you dont know which foods low in protein to choose, pay attention to these pointers to pay your attention to.

Protein Levels

To improve kidney function and stimulate your amigos appetite, go for foods with a protein content of 28-35%.

Phosphorus Levels

Phosphorus stops the development of the disease. The content of phosphorus in terms of dry matter should be 0.3-06%.

Sodium Levels

Excess sodium impairs kidney function and raises blood pressure. The sodium content should be 0.4%.Essential fatty Acids and AntioxidantsOmega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants reduce inflammation and slow the progression of the disease. Also, they improve the condition of muscles, joints, coats, and skin.

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A Word About Protein Bioavailability

The guaranteed analysis on a cat food label only tells you how much crude protein the product contains it doesnt mention how much of that protein actually fuels your cats body. It all comes down to digestibility and bioavailability.

For example, if your cats food uses a type of protein thats only 67% digestible, those 24 grams per day could be closer to 16 grams of usable protein. The rest is waste waste your cats organs will have to work to filter out.

Protein bioavailability is a crucial part of feeding your cat well, but its unclear which protein sources are the most bioavailable for cats. Without a complete understanding of how cats utilize protein, its impossible to say which protein sources burn the cleanest.


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