Low-Protein Cat Food for Cats With Kidney Disease - Pets
There is no such thing as a “best possible diet of dry food” for cats, Bridget, especially not for cats with urinary tract issues. Stop feeding dry food and feed a premium raw or grain-free canned diet. You can find my recommendations here: You’ll need to check phosphorus levels for the foods you decide to try since he is in the early stages of kidney disease.
Hi there. For cats with CKD, it is important that their food has low protein and low phosphorus levels. 10% protein is very high and will make the kidney disease spread quicker. KD is the standard food that the vet will prescribe (my cat was on that as well).
(2) High Quality Protein - Many veterinarians state that diets consisting of high quality protein help cats with kidney issues. As the “obligate carnivore”, a cat most efficiently utilizes high quality protein for energy. What the cat does not use from its food is then sent into the bloodstream as waste. Eventually, this waste is filtered by the kidneys. It is therefore best to feed cats foods that will emit the least amount of harmful toxins into the bloodstream which will in turn be the least taxing on the kidneys. Such proteins are animal based proteins that contain clean muscle meat flesh. Inferior protein sources are those that come from animal by-products or from plant based sources, such as wheat gluten or corn gluten.Laboratory tests are needed to definitively diagnose CKD. A blood test alone is usually not sufficient; a urinalysis must be taken at the same time the blood is drawn. Kidney disease is likely present when the cat is “azotemic” AND the urine is not sufficiently concentrated. “Azotemia” means that there is an increase in particular compounds in the blood; specifically blood urea nitrogen–BUN–and/or creatinine. The measurement of urine concentration is called Urine Specific Gravity (USG). If the cat’s USG is less than 1.035 (1.030 in dogs) AND azotemia is present, then kidney function is abnormal. BUN and/or creatinine may be high if the animal is dehydrated (common in cats who eat a lot of dry food, or during hot weather or after a stressful car ride). They may also be increased in animals on a high protein diet. As long as the kidneys are able to concentrate the urine, small elevations in BUN and/or creatinine are usually not a cause for alarm.Cat food specifically tailored for the needs of cats with renal failure should contain high-quality protein to minimize strain on kidneys. At first it might even be important to feed a low-protein diet, depending on the animal's illness and the vet's recommendations. A low-phosphorus diet can reduce mineral deposits in the kidneys. The food should also be low-sodium and contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E to slow disease progression. Cats need supplemental taurine. A B-vitamin complex will increase appetite and energy.Once the chicken and rice are blended, I add:
- 5 tsp of fat per batch. The recipe suggests canola oil, but cats digest animal fat more easily, so I use my chicken fat, unless I run out. To help my cat retain weight, I also throw some extra pieces of fatty dehydrated skin in there. In response to certain commenters who suggest corn oil, by all means do your own research and work with nutritionists. I have heard from a number of people that cats don't digest vegetable oil well, and I have concerns about rapeseed (canola) oil and won't use it myself.
- 1/4 tsp potassium chloride salt substitute per batch
- 1/8 tsp salt per batch
- 1/4 tsp bone meal powder per batch
- 1/8 tsp calcium carbonate/baking soda per batch
- Vitamins & renal supplements according to bottle directions per batch*
- Taurine, 1000 mg per 1/4 tsp: 1/4 tsp per batch
- Vitamin K, 100 mcg per tablet: 1 tablet per batch
*One portion makes about two meals for my cat; your mileage may vary.
Why is the final blended food greenish? For a while I tried adding Very Green to his food, and I thought I saw some improvement in energy, eye clarity, and a reduction in urination. His tests improved, too. Then at the last checkup, his kidney values were worse again, so I took this addition out. I may add it back in again, though, since he seems to be getting worse since I stopped it (more urination, more fur loss, throwing up some).
Food-making time is an exciting event for the furry members of my home. It always draws an audience.