While kidney problems may seem like a debilitating condition for cats, they can often be managed through prescription diets. Using a therapeutic kidney diet is the most important thing you can do to limit the progression of kidney disease. But because there are so many options available in the market, looking for the best diet for your cat can be overwhelming.
Be sure to work with your vet to get the right food for your feline friend, and read below to find out more about the 8 best cat food for kidney disease.
What is Feline Kidney Disease?
Before we jump straight to the best cat food that can help support your cat’s kidney function, let’s first discuss what this disease means for cats. Just like in humans, healthy kidneys play a vital role in cats, and are responsible for a wide range of bodily functions, including the following:
- Controlling their blood pressure
- Limits production of parathyroid hormone
- Pushes the generation of red blood cells
- Filters waste from their blood
- Allows the production of urine
- Helps to prevent dehydration
- Regulates the production of minerals such as sodium and potassium
Unfortunately, cats are like humans and the function of their kidneys will deteriorate over time, making it a common disease in older cats. Thankfully, this condition can be corrected if you spot early symptoms in your pet and take the proper course of action as suggested by your vet. When left untreated, this condition may result in various health issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, depression, mouth ulcers, and more.
Signs of Feline Kidney Disease
Because kidney disease can take a while to develop, the initial signs will be subtle; over time, they can play havoc in your cat’s kidneys. Below are 7 signs of this condition in cats.
- Urinating a lot more than usual
- Increased thirst
- Reduced appetite, leading to a dehydrated coat
- Weight loss
Unfortunately, most cat owners will ignore the symptoms that their feline exhibits, such as constipation or sudden weight loss. They will often think that their pet simply has a sensitive stomach, ruling out the possibility of kidney failure. In many cases, ⅔ of diagnosed cats will already have dysfunctional kidneys before they even display any of the clinical signs above.
The 8 Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease
Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and have scoured the online market to come up with this list of the 8 best cat food for kidney disease.
- Formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists to manage chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Uses a proprietary blend of ActviBiome + Kidney Defense probiotics
- With plenty of essential amino acids and developed with Enhanced Appetite Trigger
- Made with real chicken and a tasty flavor that cats can’t resist!
With Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Chicken Dry Cat Food, you can enhance your cat’s diet to help manage the signs of chronic kidney disease. Specifically formulated by vets and nutritionists, it contains ActivBiome+ Kidney Defense, a blend of probiotics that help to reduce waste products in the digestive system and slow down the progress of this disease. Moreover, it contains L-carnitine and amino acids to encourage building your pet’s muscle mass while its Enhanced Appetite Trigger helps to stimulate your furbaby’s hunger for more.
- Veterinary-exclusive wet cat food made to provide kidney support
- Combines fatty acids, low phosphorus, and high protein content
- With a palatable and enticing sauce to help stimulate your cat’s appetite
- Works well with other Royal Canin Renal Support commercial cat foods
Give your cat the best food to help protect it from kidney issues with the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support E Canned Cat Food; providing you with peace of mind knowing that your cat is eating good food. This highly palatable and specially crafted cat food is enticing and will help to encourage your cat to eat more; it will love this loaf-in-sauce formula, which also comes in amazing aromas. It’s a great addition to low-phosphorus diets, providing targeted levels of protein, precise antioxidant complex, and good fatty acids sourced from fish oil.
- Tasty dry food that provides full support during the early stages of kidney disease
- Made in collaboration with nutritionists, veterinarians, and researchers
- With omega-3 fatty acids fortified with DHA and EPA, along with antioxidants
- Contains high-quality protein and low phosphorus levels to support kidney function
Using Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Early Care Feline Formula Dry Cat Food, you can give your cat a therapeutic diet that’s great tasting and supports kidney function in senior cats. With moderate amounts of protein and low phosphorus levels, it provides proper nutrition for adult cats of all breeds, since it has been formulated by experts. When diet changes are needed for your cat, this option provides EPA, DHA, and healthy antioxidants that you won’t find elsewhere, while its delightful flavor is sure to be a hit!
- This dry kibble has controlled protein levels to help support your pet’s kidney functions
- Veterinary diets with low levels of sodium and phosphorus for your cat’s kidneys
- A prescription-only food that contains essential nutrients and the finest ingredients for your furry friend
- Free from grains, making it a holistic formula for cats with food sensitivities
Combat the effects of chronic renal failure in your pet with the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. Featuring natural ingredients, and controlled levels of animal proteins and minerals, along with nutrients such as chondroitin, glucosamine, and DHA, it provides support for healthy joints and mobility. Your feline friend deserves a grain-free formula made with the finest natural ingredients for a wholesome and natural diet that delivers a tasty punch that they will love, so be sure to check the links below.
- With lower sodium and phosphorus levels compared to cat food
- Has added dandelion and cranberry for extra support for the urinary tract
- Provides high moisture content to give dehydrated cats extra water throughout their body
- Free from any wheat, corn, GMOs, soy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
This renal cat food from Forza10 is the best option for kidney-compromised cats that need balanced and complete wet food — it contains low phosphorus and sodium levels and is also great for low-protein diets. It has a limited list of ingredients that eliminate allergens and irritants that make it easy for ailing cats to digest. Made from the main ingredient of lamb and Icelandic fish with a combination of fruit and plant extracts, this high-quality cat food is perfect for older cats who suffer from heart or kidney troubles.
- Uses real chicken as its first ingredient, followed by chicken liver for a high-quality protein source
- Supports five different health aspects, including energy, skin and coat, strong teeth, healthy eyes, and good digestion
- With a savory sauce made from delicious chicken broth for an irresistible taste
- Contains zero wheat, soy, gluten, corn, artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors for cats with sensitive stomachs
Help your cat get its appetite back and improve its overall health using these Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels with Chicken & Chicken Liver in Savory Sauce Grain-Free Wet Cat Food Pouches. Made with tender pieces of chicken and chicken liver, it’s a great addition to high protein diets that can help support strong muscles while the savory sauce will keep your cat coming back for more. Each bite is full of antioxidants from blueberries and cranberries, while wholesome vegetables and taurine work to keep the eyes and heart healthy.
- Made by a family-owned and operated brand that uses human food facilities
- Every product is created from sustainably sourced ingredients
- With proteins for optimal amino acid absorption and digestion
- 100% free from carbohydrates, powdered cellulose, and fillers
With the Weruva Wx Phos Focused Chicken Formula in Gravy Grain-Free Wet Cat Food, you can give your cat the nutrition it needs with the added bonus of no fillers, powdered cellulose, or carbohydrates! With low phosphorus levels and optimal levels of protein for good digestion and absorption of amino acids, it helps to maintain your cat’s muscle mass. This canned food also features a scrumptious gravy that increases hydration — even the most picky eaters won’t be able to say no, and you can rest easy knowing that it’s getting complete nutrition and support.
- Works to slow the progression of kidney disease while improving overall quality of life
- A good option for cats with acute renal failure
- May help cats with Hepatic Encephalopathy or cardiac disease
- 100% free from all GMO ingredients
Your cat will get all the support it needs against kidney issues with the Farmina Vet Life Renal Feline Dry Cat Food. This prescription diet is a good choice for cats with renal failure or insufficiency, as well as cats with Hepatic Encephalopathy or cardiac disease. Because it contains no GMOs, it provides the best way to improve your kitty’s quality of life, especially during the early stages of kidney problems.
Things to Consider in Cat Food for Kidney Disease
Because there’s currently no way to cure kidney disease, medical treatment, and a specialized diet are the only options to help your cat manage this condition. This can be achieved by feeding our pets food that’s low in protein, sodium, and phosphorus since kidney disease leads to their limited disposal. With this knowledge, be sure to check for the following when looking for the best cat food.
Be sure to check for foods that are low in protein, since breaking this down can create excess waste products which will push the kidneys to work even harder. While protein does play a crucial role in your cat’s health, they will be able to function better with foods that contain high-quality proteins in low concentrations. Keep in mind that because you’re providing a lower amount of proteins, it’s important to give your cat the best sources of protein possible.
Another process that the kidneys are in charge of is regulating sodium levels in the blood system, and when they don’t function properly, it can result in high sodium levels in the bloodstream. A build-up like this can influence the system to retain more fluids and blood pressure, which will then put further pressure on their kidneys, further damaging them.
High levels of phosphorus can speed up the loss of function and kidney damage in cats, but when they’re kept low, you can slow down the process as well. When this happens, your cat should feel healthier overall and more energized. This is the reason why many cat foods come with a restriction on phosphorus levels.
Higher Moisture Content
Dry food can be a great option, but wet food comes with the extra benefit of providing additional moisture for your cat’s food. When your cat is suffering from kidney damage, dehydration can be a big problem due to the shortage of fluids from their damaged kidneys. Healthy cats don’t drink much water to begin with, so getting additional moisture from their food will go a long way against kidney disease.
When you want to help your feline friend eat the right food for kidney disease, don’t choose non-prescription food or opt for a homemade diet. Always work with your vet to determine the best way to help your kitty by giving it food specifically formulated to help with its condition. Moreover, you must provide your cat with fresh water at all times to help it keep hydrated while it regains its appetite back with these great cat food for kidney disease.