Cats have a sensitive digestive system and may need to eat wet food that is high in water content. This type of food is required for kidney-diseased cats to maintain their hydration levels. It helps with the absorption of nutrients and reduces the risk of dehydration.

Wet cat food can be found at any pet store or online. It is vital to make sure the wet cat food you are buying has good-quality ingredients and high water content, as this promotes kidney health.

This article discusses kidney diseases in your feline friends and the best-wet foods you may purchase for your adult cat!

Let’s start!

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Cats and Kidney Disease

There are several causes of kidney disease in cats, including bacterial infections, but the exact cause is not always known. The kidneys of your cat stop excreting waste products, such as proteins and phosphorus, for whatever reason. This causes the cat’s systems to become out of balance. Anemia and high blood pressure are two examples of problems that can occur.

How can kidney disease be detected? There is a possibility that your cat will show an increase in thirst or will urinate more frequently. Even though they usually eat, you may notice that they are subtly losing weight. Cats with the disease may lose weight quickly, lack energy, lack appetite, and have poor grooming habits.

It is not possible to cure kidney disease in cats, but a healthy diet can prolong their lives if the condition is caught early. In addition to subcutaneous fluids and phosphorus-binding drugs, A veterinarian may give cats other medications as the condition progresses. The first thing we have to do is look at the food.

The Importance of Diet

The kidneys in the body perform many functions. Water conservation and waste removal are two of their primary functions. A cat can experience terrible symptoms when their kidney function declines beyond a certain point, causing toxic waste products such as urea and phosphorous to accumulate within their bodies. The loss of water in the urine also contributes to dehydration when the kidneys are not functioning well.

In both cases, diet can help at least to some extent. When cats eat a diet that contains moderate amounts of high-quality protein, they produce less urea and phosphorous, which are then eliminated from their bodies. High-water content foods can help prevent dehydration, and high-quality protein diets can improve cats’ health.

Choosing the Best Cat Food to Address Kidney Disease

The food must be palatable and highly digestible for cats that suffer from renal failure due to their age, pain in the mouth, and reduced appetite. There are many choices in renal diets, but keep in mind that the essential factor for a renal diet is whether your cat will eat it!

You should be aware that some cats prefer certain kidney diet brands over others if you choose a special kidney diet for them. Despite your best efforts, your cat may not like the first kidney food you offer. Speak to your vet about other brands that may work better. 

A Raw and Homemade Diet

It may seem like a great choice, but it won’t meet a cat’s nutritional needs when they aren’t eating enough to maintain a healthy weight. If you’re willing to cook for your cat, a homemade diet might be a good option as well. The solution may be as simple as trying another prescription kidney diet or over-the-counter food. The taste of homemade cat food improves the appetite of almost any cat.

There are, however, some dangers associated with homemade diets. It has been found that most homemade pet diets lack nutrition, and this is particularly true of kidney disease recipes found online or in books. Uncooked meat, in particular, can expose cats to potentially dangerous foodborne pathogens, making raw diets risky for sick cats whose immune systems are not as robust as they once were.

Veterinary nutritionists and veterinarians can help you put together a recipe that meets all of your cat’s nutritional needs before you feed your cat a raw or home-cooked diet.

Why Should Cats Eat Low-Phosphorus Food?

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Source: Daily Paws

By reducing kidney workload and improving health, a low-phosphorus diet contributes to the reduction of kidney disease. Low-phosphorus diets can extend the life of cats with chronic kidney disease by twice as much as those that do not.

Cat food with a low protein, carbohydrate, and phosphorus content is best suited to cats with kidney disease. Alkaline kidney diets are necessary to prevent acidic waste products from building up due to decreased kidney function.

If you’d like to introduce a new cat food to your cat, particularly low-phosphorous food, gradually, make sure to do so by mixing it with the regular food your cat enjoys. Eventually, your cat will be able to switch entirely to the low-phosphorus diet. You can cycle through different kinds of low-phosphorus food if they get tired of one brand (as cats do).

While you try new foods, stay away from foods labeled “urinary diets” unless you’ve been instructed otherwise by your veterinarian. Cats can suffer from kidney disease when given these drugs, which prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Considering Protein in Selecting the Best Cat Food

In the digestive process, dietary proteins produce waste. There are many waste products, including urea. These wastes are filtered out by healthy kidneys and sent to the litter box. However, as your cat’s kidney function declines, it becomes more difficult for it to eliminate these waste products. They remain in the bloodstream of your cat instead of passing through it.

It is for this reason that blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels increase in cats with CKD. In routine bloodwork, veterinarians measure BUN to evaluate kidney function. Protein-restricted foods are often given to cats with CKD in an attempt to reduce BUN levels. Despite its controversial nature, this practice has gained popularity in recent years.

A diet that restricts protein will deprive the body of protein, decrease muscle mass, and leave the body in poor physical condition, according to nutritionists. As opposed to cutting back to 20% or fewer calories from protein, it may be better to feed a moderate amount of high-quality animal protein.

What matters most is that your cat feels better, not worse. Some cats feel better when eating a protein-restricted diet, but muscle weakness and wasting can also result. If you want your cat to eat a low-protein diet, you’ll have to weigh the costs and benefits.

Sodium-Reduced Food

A renal diet (kidney diet) is low in sodium to prevent blood pressure from increasing and to worsen kidney damage from occurring. When feeding a cat, you should also avoid salty cheese and lunch meat if you are watching your sodium intake.

Let your cat take omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation

The inflammation of the kidneys is the result of kidney disease in cats. Nephritis occurs in cats with kidney disease. EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids that you should consider along with other anti-inflammatory supplements. Your cat will feel better by eating these fatty acids, as they reduce inflammation.

Cats cannot utilise omega-3 fatty acids derived from plant sources like flaxseed oil, but humans and other animals can. As well as fish oils such as salmon oil, menhaden fish oil, and sardine oil, krill oil is also a good source. It is also possible to consider green-lipped mussels. They also contain the most concentrated amounts of ETA in the ocean, in addition to other omega-3s.

You can also add omega-3 supplements to your cat’s diet if it does not consume enough of these fatty acids from the foods it consumes.

Boosting your cat’s B vitamin intake with good foods

It is common for cats with kidney disease to lose crucial B vitamins in their litter boxes because they urinate so much. It has been found that B vitamin deficiency can lead to loss of appetite and overall poor health.

Fortification of prescription or therapeutic diets with B-complex vitamins is often used to treat kidney disease. Adding B12 shots to your cat’s diet may also be recommended by your veterinarian.

Consider giving your cat a multivitamin supplement such as Vetoquinol Renal K+ in addition to the vitamins in his diet and his subcutaneous injections. A gel containing potassium and B-complex vitamins that can be used by cats and dogs who suffer from kidney disease. Your cat’s nervous system and muscles must be in good health, so both substances support these functions.

The importance of hydration

Dehydration is common among cats suffering from kidney disease due to excessive urination and loss of appetite. The majority of cats receive subcutaneous fluid injections (injections under the skin) to stay hydrated. Still, there are a variety of ways to increase the amount of water your cat consumes.

It is an effortless way for your cat to stay hydrated since wet food contains 70% or more water. Your cat might drink four extra ounces of water per day by switching from dry to wet food. You would give him more fluids than you would generally administer. Dehydration can still occur with a juicy diet, but this can significantly reduce the risk of a severe case.

Prescription Cat Foods for Kidney Disease

Royal Canin Renal Support D Morsels in Gravy Canned Cat Food

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There are consistently positive reviews for this Royal Canin gravy-style food, and it doesn’t seem to have the palatability issue that most kidney formulas have.

The chunky consistency of this food seems to be a favorite among cats. You should keep in mind, however, that cats with poor dental health may have trouble eating these morsels.

On a dry matter basis, the food contains 30% protein and 0.4% phosphorus, which helps control toxic buildup in the body. It keeps your cat’s kidneys functioning at their best by using what Royal Canin calls a “carefully curated antioxidant complex.” Furthermore, inflammation is controlled by omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.

Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Chicken Canned Cat Food

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You might want to give this product from Hill’s a try if your cat prefers pâté-style food. A smooth, soft consistency makes it easier to drink and easy to eat. It is clinically tested to lengthen and improve quality of life. There is a maximum phosphorus content of 0.49% on a dry matter basis of this food and maximum protein content of 30%.

Darwin’s Natural Intelligent Design™ KS Kidney Support Raw Cat Food

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There are a few differences between this raw cat food and other prescription diets. Instead of concentrating on lowering protein levels, this food keeps an average level of protein. Relatively low phosphorus content is found in this food, with only 0.9 grams per 1,000 calories. This amount of protein is not as low as some renal diets but just below what is recommended for healthy cats, which is 1.25 grams per 1,000 calories.

The product also contains chitosan as well as a high level of calcium. In the saliva, the former binds phosphates to limit how much phosphorus the body can absorb. Higher calcium levels also reduce the absorption of phosphorus. Inflammatory symptoms are also reduced by the food’s high B-complex vitamin content and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s an unconventional kidney diet alternative that’s carnivore-friendly, regardless of its lack of customer reviews.

It is crucial to keep in mind that raw diets can contain bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses.  Because your cat suffers from kidney disease, its health is already fragile, so don’t feed her raw food without talking to her veterinarian first.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Advanced Care Formula Canned Cat Food

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This Purina food can be obtained only with a prescription. Low phosphorus, low sodium, and controlled protein levels make this product ideal. Your cat will feel better with added B-complex vitamins. Dry matter analysis shows an approximate phosphorus content of 0.49% and protein content of 34%.

Give Your Cat High-Calorie Supplements

You should give supplements with high calories to your cat in addition to traditional food. Keeping your cat satisfied with high-calorie treats and gels can help prevent weight loss. You can also add toppings, broths, and treats to your food. The consumption of baby food may be acceptable to some cats, especially those with poor dental health.

Probiotics May Also Be Helpful for Your Cat

Taking on some of the detoxification functions that the kidneys have lost, probiotics perform “enteric dialysis” when bacteria and endotoxins enter the gut.

In cats with chronic kidney disease, Azodyl provides a synergistic combination of prebiotics and probiotics. This supplement contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Enterococcus thermophilus. The synergy between these probiotics and prebiotic fiber from psyllium husk is achieved.

Although Azodyl isn’t clear whether or not it will help, it shows some promise. A probiotic supplement might be a better option for you if you’re not willing to spend on Azodyl.

Remember: Don’t give your cat any supplements without consulting your veterinarian. Depending on your cat’s needs, your vet can recommend supplements and help you administer them.


That’s it! One of the most important aspects of taking care of your cat is to ensure that your cat is in good health. To do this, you must take the time to feed them, play with them, groom them, show affection for them and keep their home clean and safe. If your cat has kidney failure (such as chronic renal disease), you should provide it with the proper diet (whether wet or dry food), watch its phosphorus level, and water to help it live a healthy life.

If you have doubts about your pet or want a veterinary perspective about your pet’s kidney problem, consider asking a veterinarian. They are accommodating and have the necessary knowledge and experience to help you with all of your concerns!

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