Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Diet For Cat with Kidney Disease

Q: Dear Susan: You helped me with one of my cats kidney disease -- my other cat now has early stage kidney disease. I have her on your kidney disease diet, but am looking for a very healthy cat food for cats with kidney disease. When I last talked to you, you mentioned that Royal Canin modified formula was okay. I notice, however, that it has wheat. Can you recommend a dry cat food for kidney disease that has no grains whatsoever? I notice there are some formulas on the market now with only chicken, vegetables and fruit. Also, can you share why cats with kidney issues can't eat meat or fish?
Thanks for your help.
Best regards,

A: From Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist: Cats with kidney disease need a modified protein diet with reduced phosphorus, rich in Omega 3s. Ideally, a diet with a high moisture content is preferred, thus if possible, using canned or raw food is preferable over using dry food. Fish, milk products and organ meats are especially high in phosphorous so it is best to minimize their content in your cat's diet. In giving you my dietary suggestion, I am only addressing one issue regarding your kitty--elevated kidney values. Many cats have inflammatory bowel syndrome, chronic UTIs and other concerns, in which case, this diet would not be appropriate. We always recommend scheduling a telephone or inperson appointment to ensure that the diet you use is the right one for your pet.

But, going by your question and assuming all else is fine with your cat, in early stage CRF, you can try Natural Balance venison or duck with green pea. These are not going to be as low in protein as prescription diets but they are hypoallergenic, grain-free and lower in phosphorous than other options. You can also try mixing some canned food with carbohydrates as we discussed previously during our consultation. Finally, by using supplements such as Protease, Renelix or our Cat Kidney Disease Package, you can improve your cat's overall kidney function, thus enabling them to still feel well and eat healthy foods.

Thanks for submitting a question Martha. We encourage our readers to please submit comments with questions and Dr. Gordon and I will be happy to answer them.
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