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Choosing the right kidney diet for your cat

by Dr Sara Ochoa DVM, Jul 12, 19
Table Of Contents

If you’re reading this, you probably know a fair bit about Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Furthermore, you probably know by now that the BEST way to support your cats health after a CKD diagnosis is through her diet!

In fact, studies have shown that feeding cats a special prescription kidney diet can work wonders in improving the length and quality of your cats life.

In this blog post we’re going to cover exactly what you need to look for in a kidney diet for you cat. And, we’re going to point you in the right direction in terms of brands and meals.

 So lets begin…


What are the main things to look out for in a commercial kidney diet for cats?


1. Palatability 

kidney diet for cats


Many cats have difficulty accepting kidney diets.

The reduced protein content means most kidney prescription diets simply aren’t as tasty as their ‘less kidney supporting’ counterparts!

We suggest searching for several brand names that your vet recommends and seeing what other cat owners have said about them. However, as each kitty is different - it may take a while to find the right prescription meal. 

However, to speed things up a little, you can start by mixing a very small amount of the new food with your cat’s old food (make sure it’s well mixed) and then increase the amount of the new food slowly, once your cat has accepted the initial mixture.


And we’ve also found that warming the food to body temperature (around 30C) may help increase the palatability.


2. Added vitamins

Cat kidney care


Chronic kidney disease often causes your kitty to urinate a lot more than usual.

 This is bad, as it means your kitty passes a lot of vitamins out through her urine!

Not only that, with CKD your kitty can be affected by other conditions (which piggyback alongside this illness), such as anorexia and dehydration.

 This is why its important that any kidney diet you give you cat is packed full of B vitamins that support her health. 



3. Low phosphorus

Cat kidney care


Studies have shown that reducing the phosphorus content in a cats diet can really help prolong and improve the quality of a cats life - if they are suffering from CKD.

This is why its imperative to look for prescription diets which have low phosphorus contents.


4. Low protein content

Care kidney care


Now this is a slightly controversial point, however a lot of research backs the idea that feeding cats a low protein diet actually increases their lives.

Why is this?

This is because many of the toxic products that accumulate in the blood in CKD (causing uremia and azotemia)  are as a result of degradation of endogenous protein and excessive dietary protein. 

The restriction should be done with care as too little protein can be detrimental to the general health.

However, providing a moderately protein restricted diet will not slow the rate of disease progression, but it has been shown to help with signs of uremia and to improve blood urea nitrogen levels, which can help the cat feel better and lead to a better quality of life.

Now, we've covered the key things you need to look out for in a kidney prescription diet


So... Which meals do we recommend? 


This is a tough one, like we said before - each cat is so different! So what they like and respond to is also… different! 

Thats why it may take a little trial and error to find the best meal for your cat.

Here are some of the available renal diets and their perks:

 NOTE: we've shared a combination of wet and dry diets. Now we always recommend feeding your cat wet food - however, we also know that some cat parents have finicky furballs that only eat dry. So we've tried to accommodate for both. IF you do have a cat that only eats dry meals, we suggest adding a few teaspoons of water to her kibble, to ensure she is getting the hydration she needs!


Hills Canin Veterinary Diet Feline Renal  

Cat kidney chews


The diet has EPA, DHA, antioxidants and low phosphorus for chronic kidney disease management.

Not only that, it contains reduced levels of high quality protein, alkalinising agents for metabolic equilibrum designed aroma profile for cat’s specific preference. As wet food, it helps increase fluid intake.


Royal Canin Renal Select Cat

Cat kidney care

This meal helps reduce oxalate stone formation, it reduces renal workload and its high energy density helps limit weightloss.


Eukanuba Cat Veterinary Diet Renal Formula:

Cat kidney care

This diet has a nitrogen trap fibre system helps to reduce nitrogenous waste, it has moderate levels of high quality proteins and a targeted omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratio


Purina Veterinary Diet Feline NF (renal function) :

Cat kidney care


Even though its a dry diet, it contains low phosphate levels, restricted but high quality proteins and high palatability - which is important if you have a finicky kitty


Hills Prescription Diet Feline K/D 


Cat kidney care

Despite being a dry diet - Kidney care contains reduced levels of high quality protein, extra omega-3 fatty acids to improve blood flow to the kidneys, high levels of anti-oxidants and highly palatability


Royal canin veterinary diet feline renal special RSF26


Cat kidney


This meal has very low phosphorus, nutrients for vascular support, antioxidant complex, nutrients for balanced digestive system and enhanced palatability for fussy cats. 

As  a cat owner, providing an appropriate diet designed specifically for renal disease sufferers is definitely one of the simplest ways to improve the quality of life of your kitty.

Again, this list isn't exhaustive. We often suggest speaking to your vet aswell to see what they recommend.  


Thats not all...


Now, alongside feeding you cat a prescription kidney diet - its vital you also take a look at supplementation. You see, supplements contain the nutrients that are either not included in your cats food - or are lost during processing.

When choosing supplements, make sure that they're formulated by experts who know cats.. and that their ingredients have been Scientifically backed to support feline health, such as the Scruffy Paws Kidney Vitalize Chews!

We've worked long and hard alongside feline experts to create a kidney boosting support for your kitty (whether she has CKD or not). Each chew is packed full of  natural, scientifically backed active ingredients that support your cats kidney health!

The active ingredients have been proven to reduce proteinuria and fight inflammation - it really is a no brainer! Check out the scientific backing section here


Kidney vitalize



Here's what some of our customers have said about the chews:

“I am so happy to have found your Kidney-Vitalize Chews. My 15 year old cat Cagney was losing weight and had his blood tested. It showed he was in the beginning stages of kidney disease. My vet suggested changing his diet to a prescription kidney friendly one. I had also seen your product advertised on Facebook. I ordered a jar and Cagney loved it and actually gave him his appetite back. I just had his blood tested 4 days ago and his numbers have improved tremendously and he gained almost two pounds! I am so happy with the results and will continue to use your product. Thank you also for all the information you share on your emails and Facebook.”

- Nancy H 

“My cat bootsie seems to be doing better already! I think she has put on a little weight, more energy and hasnt had any problems urinating. I break up a chew and mix it in with her morning and afternoon feeding. Thank you so much for your product!. And Bootsie thanks you too!"

- Rita A

"I brought my Nicholas 18 years old to the vet today to have his creatine levels checked. Before I started him on this chews his levels were 2.4. Today they went down to 2.3. I've had him on the chews for around a month. I'm totally thrilled with them"

- Anita S

So look, if you are worried about your kitties kidney health - then definitely check out our chews! Click the button below to be taken to the product page!

Again, this list isn't exhaustive. We often suggest speaking to your vet aswell to see what they recommend.  

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful!


Related Posts

Vet Review: Scruffy Paws Kidney Vitalize Chews

by Dr Linda Simon MVB MRCVS - Fri, Mar 12, 21

Chronic Kidney Disease: A New Way for Kitty to Live

by Stephanie Pollard - Fri, Oct 16, 20

1 comment

  • 5th time that I have ordered the supplements for my cat bootsie. She gets one every day with her first meal. Seems to be doing better energy wise , and no longer is incontinent. She has a good appetite and that is alwats a good sign.
    thank you!

    Rita Aragon

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