While kidney problems are very common in cats, there is no need to worry. The Cat Foods for Kidney Disease may be a solution because it helps to control symptoms. Due to its special components, this food is a great ally when it comes to treating such problems.
But, before continuing to delve into the properties of this food, how about we know a little more about these problems in cats.
If you have a cat with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD or CKD) I want you to know that there are ways to greatly improve its condition through food.
Kidney disease or chronic kidney failure affects many cats generally after 7-8 years.
In fact, a recent study (1) published the following statistic for cats with CKD:
- 13% in cats under 4 years old
- 24% in cats between 4 and 10 years old
- 31% in cats between 10 and 15 years old
- 32% in cats over 15 years old
Symptoms of the disease
A kidney is considered insufficient when it has lost two thirds (2/3) of functionality and thus begins a process of compensation by the surviving nephrons to try to guarantee the vital functions of the kidney.
The symptoms are nonspecific and usually appear when the disease is already causing decompensation.
In general, the veterinary consultations occur when our cat:
- You have an irregular appetite
- Vomits intermittently
- Drink plenty of water (Polydipsia)
- Urinate a lot or a lot (Polyuria)
- Has deterioration in the coat
- You lose your cleaning habits
- Presents decayed / a
Making a good diagnosis when these symptoms occur is crucial. In case you want some steps that we veterinarians follow, I leave them here.
- Measure creatinine, urea, and SDMA (a test to assess kidney function)
- Make a complete blood profile
- Measure phosphorus and potassium
- Image analysis to physically assess the organ
- Urine analysis
- Regular measurement of tension
All this together with a good analysis of the kitten’s history can have clues to make an adequate treatment.
What Are the Causes of Kidney Problems in Cats
The kidneys are fundamental organs in living beings. Its function is, among other aspects, to control blood pressure, regulate blood flow and produce hormones. One of the main causes that can cause malfunction of your kitty’s kidneys is age. This is because the kidney is an organ that works all the time. The more years of use it has, the more it wears out. Therefore, it is recommended that you visit the vet to perform regular checkups on your cat, especially if it is older than 7 years (Hills, sf ).
Other risk factors that can cause kidney problems are:
- Trauma or falls,
Therefore, if you perceive that your kitten is having a kidney failure, you should take him to the vet. He is the only one trained to make a diagnosis and advise you on which food for cats with kidney problems is best .
Be aware that some drugs can be toxic to your kitty. Therefore, you should avoid giving medications without authorization from a specialist. What corresponds to you is to follow their instructions and adjust the diet of your pet with specialized cat food.
Symptoms of Kidney Problems in Cats
As a pet parent, you should be vigilant if your kitten has any of the following symptoms. So you can detect any failure in your kidneys.
- Don’t want to eat
- You are too thirsty
- Frequent urination or lack of it
- There is blood in the urine
- Lose weight
- Sleep a lot
Remember that it is very important that you perform regular check-ups on your cat to detect the disease as soon as possible. The reason is that the symptoms of kidney problems usually occur when the diseases are very advanced.
Our 2020 Picks: Best Cat Food for Cats with Kidney Disease
||NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery
||Weruva Cats In The Kitchen Cuties Variety Pack
||Hill’s Prescription Diet K/D Kidney Care Canned Cat Food
||Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney
||Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Protein & Phosphorus
||Wysong Optimal Geriatryx Food
||Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney
||American Journey Minced Chicken & Salmon Recipe Canned Cat Food
||Purina Beyond Grain-Free Chicken, Beef & Carrot Recipe Canned Food
||Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Canned Food
Treatment: cat food for kidney problems and other methods
First of all, you should know that you can only supply food for cats with kidney problems when the disease is diagnosed. Unlike regular food, food for cats with kidney problems contains less protein and less phosphorous. In this way, by including this type of special food in your pet’s diet, you will help delay the severity of the damage.
Despite this, you will also need to include the medicine suggested by your trusted vet. They are usually antibiotics.
Now if your urinary stones are found , your kitten will likely need surgery. Remember that the vet’s greatest ally is you. So don’t be afraid to ask all your questions.
Foods that cats with urinary and kidney problems can eat
If your cat’s vet recommended food for cats with kidney problems, keep in mind that you should gradually adapt it to their consumption. When it comes to quality, it’s not just about finding which brand of cat food is best. Surely the specialist will guide you on which one is indicated for your cat.
1. Hill’s Prescription Diet k / d #
Hills Prescription Diet k / d dry food helps to prolong and improve the quality of life of your kitten. It tastes good, making it easier to include in your diet. Its two great benefits are:
- Protects the kidneys and heart,
- Encourage appetite.
2. Hill’s Prescription Diet c / d #
It recommended Hills Prescrption Diet c / d when the diagnosis is associated with struvite . It is formulated to improve urinary health. Its ingredients help:
- Dissolve the struvite stones,
- Reduce the risk of struvite stones and calcium oxalate.
3. Hill’s Prescription Diet c / d stress #
Hills Prescrption Diet c / d stress has the same benefits as the original c / d, but is additionally supplemented with Tryptophan and Casein, ingredients that help modulate stress responses in cats, which may be associated with acute and chronic kidney disease. .
4. Hill’s Prescription Diet w / d #
For cases where a kitten’s weight management aid is required, Hills Prescription Diet w / d is recommended as it lowers lipid levels. Among its benefits highlights that:
- It helps burn fat without wasting muscle because it is supplemented with L-carnitine,
- It helps regulate bowel movements because it is high in fiber.
If your cat is diagnosed with kidney disease, it is best to stay calm. Fortunately, both medicine and food for cats with kidney problems have the ability to provide a good quality of life.
How to help fight CKD through food
Normally, a cat with CKD will have to be treated with medications to regulate kidney function, but the goal of this article is to focus on what we can do with food.
The main objectives to achieve by controlling your diet are:
- Avoid dehydration
- Control digestive disorders caused by excess toxins not filtered by the poor kidney (acid / base balance)
- Decrease phosphorus levels
- Correct potassium deficiency
- Provide fermentable fibers for good digestion
- Production of short chain fatty acids
- Contribution of antioxidants
- Supply of high quality protein
Reading this list, it is clear that a diet with fresh products (not cooked or processed) , with humidity and adequate supplementation is critical for a strict carnivore, such as the cat .
The dry food problem
Commercial diets mainly fail at two very important points: protein quality and hydration .
It is impossible to maintain the quality of proteins in a processed food , so we are very limited from the start and can cause many problems.
In the absence of quality proteins, a catabolic state of the body’s own proteins occurs due to malnutrition, which results in increased production of toxic metabolites.
More toxins in the body means more work for the kidney , so in general we want to avoid them.
In practice it is common to give dry food and provide fluids subcutaneously.
This is not necessary in wet diets because the water is already in the food. Ingesting water after a dry diet is not the same, since it works more as a drag than as a nutrient. When food contains 75% moisture, water, in addition to hydrating, is a vehicle for other nutrients.
I could say much more about commercial diets, but I prefer to dedicate this article to the benefits of the BARF diet (or raw diet) for this disease.
The BARF diet for cats with Kidney Failure
Returning to the nutritional objectives, we have already discussed the effect of a wet diet versus a dry diet, but we will expand a little more on protein quality.
First of all, there is no scientific evidence to support that the protein causes further development of the disease . However, it is true that the protein is a producer of toxic metabolites, such as urea and creatinine.
In turn, we are talking about the main component in a cat’s diet and that, as we mentioned before, its excessive restriction produces a catabolic state that is not favorable either.
So how do we deal with this?
Control of toxins and metabolites
We have a great variety of animal proteins that do not produce as many metabolites and with a good variety we can keep urea and creatinine levels at bay.
In addition, the contribution of fermentable fibers and / or probiotics help a better functioning of the intestinal flora and a better blood flow.
This enhancement not only produces short-chain fatty acids but also attracts urea to the intestinal lumen, and the ureases from intestinal bacteria hydrolyze it to convert urea to ammonia to be excreted along with bacterial protein in the faeces.
With this two points we can regulate the toxic waste produced by digestive disorders, among others. In addition, we stop the catabolic state maintaining an adequate body condition.
Control of Phosphorus and Potassium
The next point is to control phosphorous and avoid potassium losses.
These are usually controlled alone if the diet is well balanced . If it could not be controlled, there are alternatives that are evaluated in each case.
Finally, we need to make a good contribution of healthy lipids.
The use of Omega 3 has proven to be very effective in CKD, protecting against oxidation and subsequent release of free radicals and reducing inflammation in all affected tissues.
With these basic points, we will have adapted the already interesting raw food (or BARF) for our kitten with CKD condition.
Switch our cat to the natural diet
The biggest difficulty of this whole process is that cats are not the easiest to convince to introduce a different diet than usual. This concept is known as neophobia and means that the cat will not accept the new at first. Sure, there are always exceptions 🙂
If we add to this that our cat has Chronic Kidney Disease, probably digestive disorders will have already been present, such as discomfort, nausea, heartburn and vomiting.
This puts a new obstacle to change and they are factors that we must face.
The way is to correct all these digestive disorders while we get the switch to the raw diet . This can be done naturally or with medications and should be done with a veterinarian .
My formula is a natural approach and with patience, using supplementation as the main resource. Medicines have the disadvantage of being able to be used for short periods and sometimes our cat is not convinced during that time.
Each case has to be evaluated and monitored periodically to make the necessary changes. For this I recommend that you insist with your trusted vet to help you.
It will be easier if you are a pro BARF vet, but if you are not, combining a nutritionist or integrative vet with your regular vet can be the key to success .
It is important not to give up, the changes are remarkable, maintenance is made easier and although we cannot predict how the disease will progress, we will be giving you an excellent quality of life.
To prevent is to cure
We have talked about how to tackle a certainly complex disease through an already exceptional diet and applying adjustments.
The good news is that this diet can help prevent the appearance of this disease due to its qualities. In addition, it is much easier to initiate cats in natural feeding when they are young.
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