Feline kidney disease causes toxins to build up in a
cat's body, leading to many other health complications. Though a diet
change will not cure the problem, it can help a cat process certain
nutrients and reduce toxins to improve overall health.
Symptoms of Feline Kidney Disease
The kidney functions to remove toxins from the body and filter out
nutrients so the body can reclaim them. When the kidney stops
functioning, toxins begin to build up in the body, and many nutrients
are excreted rather than processed.
Symptoms of kidney disease include weight loss and loss of appetite,
excessive thirst and urination, difficulty urinating, vomiting and dull
The trend has always been to prescribe a diet low in protein, sodium and
phosphorus for a cat with kidney disease. However, recent research has
shown that since cats rely solely on protein for their nutrition,
reducing protein can be more harmful than helpful.
which is found in high levels in meat, is the harmful element, but it's
hard to meet a cat's complete nutritional needs without protein. Thus,
some people choose to continue feeding protein and others decide to
reduce it. Both can be beneficial.
The most important thing to remember is that your cat must eat. If your
cat won't eat a low protein diet, feed something else. Your cat will
starve himself if he doesn't like the food. Feed him whatever he will
eat. Allow him to eat as much as he wants when hungry.
though high in phosphorus, wet foods are preferable to dry foods
because a cat with a kidney disease will have a very hard time
maintaining an appropriate fluid levels. Cats are also more likely to
eat wet foods. You can also add tuna or clam juice to increase fluids
and entice your cat to eat.
Since your cat is also excreting essential nutrients, it's important to
supplement taurine and antioxidants such as vitamins E and C.
water or heating food may also entice your pet to eat. If he won't eat,
force-feed vitamins separately. Encourage your cat to drink by keeping
water fresh at all times. Add meat or fish broth once or twice a day to
Many veterinarians are now recommending raw or homecooked diets for
kidney disease because there are no unhealthy preservatives. Cats
generally don't make a problem out of eating them, and the diets don't
cause any damage to the system.
switching to a homecooked diet, do research on all the necessary
nutrients. Dr. Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, recommends this homecooked diet
for cats with kidney disease: Mix 3/4 pound ground turkey or chicken, 4
cups cooked rice, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoons cold-pressed safflower, soy or
corn oil, 3 teaspoons animal essentials calcium, 1/4 teaspoon iodized
salt, 1 teaspoon parsley, 5,000 IU vitamin A, 2,000 milligrams vitamin
C, 250 milligrams taurine and 10 milligrams of 500-milligram level
B-complex. Serve raw or cook 20 minutes in oven and mix in vitamins once
cooled. Occasionally, substitute 1 to 3 teaspoons of liver for part of
Though there is no cure for kidney disease, an improved diet can help slow the progression of the disease.