Kidney Disease Cat Food

Cats suffering from kidney disease should be on a diet that doesn’t strain their renal system too much. While there are specialist options for kidney disease cat food that you can buy, they’re not always the best choice. Often a fresh, healthy diet is best choice to help cats struggling with kidney disease.

Kidney Disease Cat Food Ragdoll-Cat-Trigg-Eating-Canned-Wet-Food-Out-of-PawNosh-Glass-Pet-Bowls-on-WooPet-Pet-Food-Mat-P1010452

Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

There are two kinds of kidney disease in cats – acute renal failure and chronic renal failure. Chronic Kidney Disease (sometimes called Chronic Renal Disease) is a sustained, long-term issue that is very serious – it’s one of the leading causes of cat death.

Most kitties with chronic renal failure are the ones that need to be put on a restricted diet.

CKD has several causes, but one of the most common is dry food (kibble). And this is all down to the moisture content of food.

The symptoms of CKD include:

  • Change in the cat’s appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Poor hair quality
  • Bad breath
  • An increased amount of urine
  • Vomiting
  • Noticeable dehydration with increased thirst
  • Diarrhea

The problem with CKD is that it’s a slow burner. You may not notice symptoms in your cat until they lose 60-70% of their working kidney tissue. So by that point, it becomes imperative that you act fast. 

Adored Beast, a company that sells cat health products, has a guide on the stages of kidney disease in cats and various ways to manage it, including dietary changes.

And that’s because it may require a particular cat food diet to help your cat perform the necessary renal functions.

The Links Between Diet and CKD

Cats don’t tend to drink much water. Instead, they get the moisture they need from their food rather than a water bowl. And yet dry cat food has a very low moisture content – around 10%. That’s not enough, and while you can provide a kitty water bowl, your cat may not get the water they need to stay healthy.

Yet dry food is still prevalent. It’s a cheap and easy option for many cat owners, which is why so many cats are fed kibble even though it’s not the best choice for them.

If you are trying to avoid kidney problems, it is essential to remember that you want to have food that is high in moisture but with a low phosphorus and low sodium content.

If you’re already having issues and are looking for diets for cat kidney problems, then you’ll want to pay particular attention to the phosphorus and sodium content and keep that as low as possible. At this point, dry food should not be an option (unless your kitty is completely refusing to eat – sometimes it’s more important to eat than not).

For a while, putting cats on a low-protein diet was recommended to help take some of the pressure off the ailing kidneys. This is now not usually recommended. Cats have higher protein requirements than many other animals, so your cat should maintain protein intake to give the body energy for the fight ahead of it.

This interview with Dr. Ruth Roberts, an expert on kidney disease in cats, explains in detail why low-protein diets are not the right choice, along with some other key discussion points:

Cats facing kidney problems should eat the same types of food as healthy cats – only it is more important that you are feeding high-quality foods. If your cat has been diagnosed with a chronic problem and you need to find a good kidney disease cat food, there are a few specialty foods on the market. Corn, wheat, and bi-products are big no-nos and should be avoided at all costs.

These foods are sometimes recommended by conventional veterinarians, but often because they’re an easy option. Names you might be told about are:

  • Hill’s Prescription Diet K/D
  • Royal Canin Renal LP21
  • Eukanuba Multi-Stage Renal Diet
  • Purina NF Kidney Function

However, combining fresh food and filtered water will always be better than specialist cat food. While these foods are lower in protein, phosphorus, and sodium, a fresh raw diet will be free of unnecessary additives and will be the healthiest option.

Raw Food Diets and CKD

As mentioned above, there was the belief that high-protein diets were bad for cats with CKD because you wanted to take the pressure off the kidneys. That’s now been proven false.

You want to feed your cat the best diet possible, with the highest quality foods, and a raw food diet is one of the best options for your cat – whether they suffer from CKD or not.  You might have noticed in the interview with Dr. Ruth Roberts above that it’s now believed a slightly cooked raw diet might be best for a kidney cat.

Raw food provides the right amount of moisture for your kitty and a healthy amount of calories without any harmful waste products that dry kibble is loaded with. 

It’s a high-quality protein that will give your cat the energy they need, helping to deal with the symptoms of CKD and fight kidney damage. 

However, while raw food is typically the healthiest option, older cats may do better with cooked food that has been warmed thoroughly. It’ll be easier for your cat’s gut to handle than cold, completely raw food. It may also help to add water to turn the meal into more of a soup.

There is an important distinction to make if your cat has kidney problems. A raw food diet typically consists of a high percentage of muscle mass and smaller percentages of organ tissue and calcium.

That calcium can usually come from bone, but that is calcium phosphate, so it should be avoided for kitties struggling with renal problems. Keep the same diet going, but switch to eggshells – they contain calcium carbonate instead, helping to keep your cat’s phosphorus levels in check.

Increased amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids can help cats needing renal support. Too many toxins will be produced if no fats are present, and symptoms may worsen. It is best if you balance fats with high-quality protein.

Be sure to check out the guide to raw diets if you want to learn more about the raw pet foods available, how a raw diet can improve your cat’s quality of life,

How To Wean Your Cat From Dry Food

Another problem for cats suffering from CKD is that dry cat food can be highly addictive. If you’ve raised your cat on dry food or adopted a cat used to eating dry food, transitioning them off grains to a wet-food diet or, ideally, raw food diet can be difficult.

Some tips you can try are:

  • Make sure the feeding area is clean and appealing to your cat.
  • Establish set eating times so that your cat knows when they are going to be able to be fed.
  • Transition gradually – start with 75% old food and 25% new food for a few days before moving to 50/50. Take your time if you can.
  • Pick up the food after 30 minutes. Train your cat that they can’t be picky with the new food.

Of course, ensuring your cat is being fed is important. You’ll want to consult your veterinarian before making significant changes if they suffer from kidney disease. They can tailor special veterinary diets to your cat’s needs, knowing what they are used to eating and helping you find the right solution for your kitty.

Other Tips for CKD Sufferers

As well as dietary changes, you can do some other things to improve the conditions around your home for CKD-affected cats. These include:

  • Making sure nobody is smoking in your home
  • Avoiding high temperatures in your home
  • Keeping the air fresh, especially if you live somewhere with high levels of car traffic (and therefore fumes)
  • Make sure your cat isn’t stressed in their environment, and make changes if they are

Summary

Diet is crucial if you’re proactively trying to avoid renal problems or reacting to a kidney disease diagnosis. Canned food is better than dry food, but the best cat food for cats is a raw diet, so transitioning to that – with your veterinarian’s support – could be extremely helpful for your kitty. However, you may need a specialist cat food tailored to tackling kidney disease.

Please pay attention to the ingredients in your cat’s food and ensure they’re getting the correct protein levels without high levels of phosphorus and sodium.

Other Resources for Kidney Disease Cat Food

The most comprehensive website about cat renal failure is TANYA’S COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FELINE CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE – her website is incredible!

Fetching Foods is a raw food website with great advice on CKD and raw food.

Catinfo.org is the best source for all feline diet-related questions, and there is a special section for cat kidney failure.

If you want to learn more about proper feline nutrition, please see these sites:

Whether you are doing research on the best foods out there or you need to make a decision fast, there are some excellent kidney-friendly cat food resources on the net:

This group on Facebook has a list of kidney diet-approved foods: FELINE CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE.

Some readers have reported that making sure renal failure kitties drink enough water is very important to keep the kidneys flushed. Cats like fresh water, so often, kitties are more encouraged to drink water from a cat water fountain like the one from Pioneer Pet or another best cat water fountain

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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111 Comments

  1. Hi all –
    I too am a concerned parent of a CKD kitty. My Chasey is only 6 years old and recently diagnosed. As the rest of you have been told – I was told a low phosphorus diet, prescription food, low protein, etc. I’m looking for a diet to feed him as I’m anti prescription food since it’s garbage. I currently put him and his FLUTD brother on Solid Gold Chicken, Turkey, White Fish & Liver canned food. It was the closest I could find as being low phosphorus at a 0.55% dry matter. They’ve both been on it for about a month and as of the last week neither one of them are interested in eating it. I’d like them off it, and have read wonderful things about raw but all the raw diets are much higher in phosphorus. I emailed Natures Variety regarding their Instinct Raw Chicken and they wrote back saying its phosphorus level is 1.94% dry matter analysis! That’s WAY too high to be feeding a CKD cat! I’ve read so many wonderful things about this food with CKD kitties, but I’m curious as to how or why anyone would go this route with the Phos level being that high. All I keep reading from people is that it has low phosphorus, but I’m starting to assume that those people are going by the guaranteed analysis percentages which is totally inaccurate in determining the true values. Does the raw aspect have something to do with the phosphorus level not being “bad” at high levels like that? I was ready to go purchase this stuff today, but after just receiving that email from them, I’m second guessing that decision. Can anyone shed any light on this? I’m torn to what to feed my babies. I really want to go raw, but with a Phos level like that, I just can’t justify it. They were both on canned EVO 95% Chicken and Turkey and the EVO 95% Beef their whole lives and Chasey was diagnosed with CKD being on that food and that’s got way lower Phosphorus than the raw Natures Instinct! I’m going crazy trying to find something good. Any help that could be offered would be insanely appreciated! Hugs to all your fur babies!

      1. C – thank you so much for your links. I actually found one from Rad Cat that is a 0.46% dry matter. It’s Lamb flavor. I just bought it yesterday & I’m waiting for it to thaw so I can begin the transition. If anyone else is searching for the same thing, besides Rad Cat, I’ve also found Answers Chicken flavor is a 0.60% dry matter. I haven’t purchased this brand yet as I’m new to this raw diet thing so I’m waiting to see if they take to it. Just putting that out there for others! Here’s the links to those if anyone is interested:
        Rad Cat: http://www.radfood.com/site/856/LabAnalysis2013b.pdf
        Answers: http://answerspetfood.com/detailed-nutrition-cat.html
        Thanks again, C!

  2. Dementia Boy says:

    I could talk forever about CRF and renal diets. But I’ll “bookmark” this spot for future/further comments and just address Cordi’s concern now.

    Cordi, grab a can of cat food, any cat food, from your pantry now. Also grab a magnifying glass, if necessary. Look at the numbers (as well as the minimum and maximum notations) where you found the 10% protein. This is the “as fed” analysis. Notice that the moisture is about 78%? To determine what the protein really is, you need to subtract the moisture, which should leave you with about 22% dry matter. I say “should,” because rarely do the dry matter and moisture equal 100%. If they did, you could easily determine the protein/fat/carb/junk content of a food. But they don’t. So the 10% could be 25% or it could be 60%. Dr. Pierson and others have conversion charts and formulae, but these are useful only if you know the dry matter and/or ME content of the food. Dr. Pierson lists many. Some pet food companies list these on their websites. Others will give the percentages to you if you write or call. Still others won’t. =(

    Neither Party Animal nor Wild Calling has responded to my repeated requests for dry matter and ME analyses. Wild Calling has many varieties, all of which have identical “as fed” analyses. Party Animal lists phosphorus, something we’re obviously looking at, as (min)0.20. Of course that’s the minimum!! Cardboard probably has that much phosphorus!!

    From 2003 until 30 days ago, I fed my cats all wet food. Then I began transitioning to mostly raw. I don’t follow the prey model. My cats would starve if I did that. I aim for 30/65/5. My cats eat 60% raw, 10% cooked and 30% canned, all soaked with distilled water. And I think I’ll stay there. For a zillion reasons, I am a firm believer, nay, a religious zealot, when it comes to rotation, feeding my cats a variety of foods within the parameters or constructs listed above.

    And I want to give a big shout-out to both Jenny of Floppycats and Molly of Mythicbells for giving me the inspiration, courage and kick in the butt to finally do what I had been planning to do for years.

  3. P.S is it OK to feed my cats different foods or should i only stick to 1?

    1. Stick to 1 brand of food or a blend of 2.

    2. Hi Cordi, I put my wrong email so I’m following up to make sure you received the first post about Nature’s Variety Raw Medallions.
      Also yes you can absolutely blend two brands. I wouldn’t blend too many but as I mentioned I feed the raw medallions with a little bit of KD. My cat likes to have it switched up a bit and with the KD I’m able to add Salmon oil and she eats it up.

      ilystra mentioned Tayna’s website, also an excellent, very informative site on CRF!!!

      1. thank you all for your advice, is 10% protein considered too high for a cat with kidney disease and bladder stones? what should i be looking for?

        many thanks, (i will check out natures variety, not sure i can get my cats onto a raw diet…so looking for cooked at the moment)

        Many thanks,

        1. Hi Cordi,

          Who told you 10% protein, this seems incredibly low. If only 10% of the diet is protein, what does the other 90% consist of? Cat’s are carnivores, they are designed to get their protein from animal sources, not plants (grains and vegetables). If their bodies are deprived of Protein their body will eat away at their muscles, eventually getting weak and sick. Vet’s believe that if you limit the protein you will limit the phosphorus and although there is some truth to that, if you buy a food with a “quality” meat source you can find a healthy balance of protein and fat and still low phosphorus. I’ve yet to meet a kitty that did not like Nature’s Variety Raw Medallions. I’ve got all my neighbors no it. lol You will want to transistion slowing over a week or so. Try buying chicken breast or chicken thigh (thigh is lower in Phosphorus) parboil it for a minute or two to kill any potential bacteria and then give your kitty a few pieces. Let us know how that goes over, my guess is your kitty will look at you funny and then gulp it down. 🙂 Check out the phosphorus chart on on http://www.catinfo.org Have a great day!

    3. I would definitely feed a variety of foods, different brand as well as different proteins, since over time of feeding the same foods, they can become allergic to the protein. Plus if there were a recall to happen, at least you will have other brands of canned food to fall back on.

  4. Hi – my cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease and bladder stones, i am also told he has high calcium levels.
    My vet said i should put him on Hills KD, (i found that Purina NF has lower phosphorus though than Hills KD) anyway, I started doing research and found a grain-free natural food, its had 10% protein, (71% meat) its phosphorus levels are however stated as approx ‘0.26%. I contacted the food manufacuturer of this natural food and they say this is better than prescrition food as it will help the kidney regenerate so is better in the long run. The reason i am confused is that, im not sure whether to listen to the vet, or just go with the natural food. Plus i wondered – isnt it important to have a certain amount of potassium? What level of protein is recommended? also – does anyone know of low phosphorus diets in the UK? (as some of these foods mentioned here are from the US)
    I would really appreciate some guidance please as I obviously want to be on the right track to help my cat x

    1. Hi there. For cats with CKD, it is important that their food has low protein and low phosphorus levels. 10% protein is very high and will make the kidney disease spread quicker. KD is the standard food that the vet will prescribe (my cat was on that as well).

      I’ve added a link that will hopefully help you. It even has foods listed in the UK. All the best to you and your kitty.

      http://www.felinecrf.org/which_foods.htm

    2. Hi Cordi,

      I’ve done a lot of research, obsessively…trying to find the best quality food and here is a fantastic brand that I feed in fact someone from this site recommended it and it was the best recommendation! Low in Phosphorus, not quite as low as Hills KD but low enough and MUCH healthier as it’s a better quality meat source. Nature’s Variety RAW medallions, they have an organic chicken and regular chicken. The non-organic Chicken is a tiny bit lower in Phosphorus. I give my kitty 85% of this along with a little Hills KD, (the canned with Chicken) just to lower the Phosphorus a bit more. Beware of feeding 100% Hills KD! It’s too high in carbohydrates and not enough protein/meat source. Cats are carnivores and if their body is starved of protein it will eat into their muscle mass. Not good! Natures Variety I think can be ordered online if not carried in the UK. Here’s a fantastic website where you can get a ton of info on CRF and there’s a chart breaking down all cat food showing phosphorus, carbs, fat, protein, etc: http://www.catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf

      Stay away from any dry cat food!!! It’s the absolute worst thing you can feed an animal! Regarding your question, should you trust your vet…trust the lab work but do your own research on diet!!! Most vets will automatically recommend the crappy manufactured kidney diet’s Hills KD, Royal Canin, NP, etc…

      Nature’s Variety is for dogs and cats and is a fantastic balance, low Phosphorus healthy diet!!! Your kitty will love it. Please keep us posted.

      Warm regards,

      Kim

    3. I would recommend joining the Yahoo Groups mainly WholeCatHealth, FLUTD, and Feline-CRF-Support. They are all very knowledgeable people and perhaps you can take away some great advice so you can start managing your cats’ diseases. Oh, and definitely no dry food, which causes so much disease in cats in the first place.

  5. Hi Kim,

    I hope you are doing great. How is Valentine doing? Mocha is doing good, although she lost 0.2 pounds her and got an urinary infection, her blood work results are better than before 🙂 I’m still alternating between NV beef and venison. Hope your kitty is doing great too!

    Monica

  6. Thanks for all the great posts here, Jenny, on renal food, etc. Our Juliet is a Seal Mitted Ragdoll mutt who is 21 going on 22 and has CKF, a enlarged heart wall, some arthritis in her hips, allergies to almost every food and is IBD. She’s on daily fluids, cerenia injectible, pepsid injectible and oral budesonide to prevent diarrhea. On the positive side, she gets walked on a leash 3 times daily and jumps around like a young cat. She’s truly a medical marvel! Anyway, she’s been on all the RC lamb, duck, rabbit and all the renal foods. She started getting sick on the RC Morsels lately, so we switched her back to A/D. We need to find another food that she can hold down. A raw diet won’t work for her. She needs a canned diet that is low in protein and phosphorous but also one she’ll eat. I’ll try some of the sites you and others here recommended. Thanks! Rags are awesome!

  7. Hi Kim,

    Thank you for asking about Mocha, you are so sweet! She is doing great, her renal values are stable, the numbers were almost the same as the last check up. No improvement this time but I am happy her renal values are steady. Her next checkup would be in September, our verterinarian wanted to wait until December but I prefer to follow her every three months now. How is Valentine’s appetite? I hope she is doing great! Thank you again for asking about my spoiled baby!!

    Monica

  8. Hi Kim,

    How is Valentine doing with her new diet ? I hope she is putting on some weight! My Mocha will have her values rechecked in 2 weeks so I will tell you about her progress.

    Regards,

    Monica

    1. Hi Moncia,

      Thanks for asking!!! Valentine is doing well! She put her weight back on but she got tired of the medallions, maybe I should try a different flavor. Which were the other flavors that were low in Phosphorus? Looking forward to hearing Mocha’s results!!! Thank you again for touching base with me!

      Kim

    2. Hi Monica,

      I hope you and Mocha are doing well! How did her ab results turn out last month?

      Kim

  9. I am looking for a good quality food for my domestic long hair cat who have found out only has one kidney. At our annual visit this year I asked for the senior exam and I am waiting for the blood results this week.

    The X-ray was horrifying the vet said she couldn’t even see her second kidney. She is my feral rescue that joined our family 7 years ago, her mother had a litter of 3 kittens and our girl was the smallest of the litter. I want to do everything I can to support the one kidney she has – thoughts on food? Maybe the Omega3s too?

    1. Hi Meowda, is her other kidney still in good health? Low phosphorus is key to preserving kidneys so you definitely want a WET food diet for sure and Wellness Turkey (no grain) is one of the better commercial foods but there is also Instinct Raw Medallions that is the lowest in phosphorus and protein but still providing a well balanced meal with enough protein. I personally would stay away from the kidney diet’s like Royal Canine,Hill’s etc., they are too low in protein and made up of byproducts they can starve the body of protein and you don’t want her to body to start eating her muscle. Here’s a chart from Dr. Lisa Pierson’s website http://www.catinfo.org where she breaks down just about every commercial brand possible. Protein, Fat, Carbs and Phosphorus. It’s very informative. Also make sure you feed a low carb food. Wellness and Instinct are low carb.
      http://www.catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf

      Keep us posted…

      1. Hi Meowda, I also suggest you add water to each serving of food it’s a great way to add water to their diet which is essential for healthy kidneys for all of us. Which is exactly why dry food is horrible for animals, it depletes their body of water. 🙁
        My kitty loves Wellness Turkey so much that I serve it to her soupy and she eats every bite. I get an extra two table spoons of water in her at every serving. I also feed the Instinct Raw Medallions because it’s lower in Phosphorus than Wellness and I add two table spoons with every medallion. Lots of water 🙂

  10. Buy a meat grinder and make your own raw food for your pets. I recently got a bengal kitten and her breeder made me a convert. I now have my ragdoll on it too. Much cheaper than commercial and you know exactly what your pet is eating.

    http://www.mystre.com/making_raw.html

    1. okay a couple of things when feeding raw. You must be able pull the food after a 30 minutes (I believe that is what is recommended), sooner if you are in a warm climate. Ground raw deteriorates fasting then prey model food. I fed raw, my raggies loved it, I hated the mess. I didn’t have a place to contain them (they love to drag the parts around and if ground put on floor to eat, which means washing floors daily. Then when I had kittens the twice a day feeding didn’t seem enoughfor them and of course I work outside the home. Morning feeds couldn’t be left and I had some nibblers.
      If my Flame Point is diagnosed with food allergies, I will go back to feeding raw. I will just have to figure out how to contain 6 cats to one room for slightly easier clean up. I do say, my raggies were at their healthiest and litter box issues where much less smelly.
      For me the change back to kibble was for keeping the younger raggies from starving and the constant have to clean up after, I think the final straw was finding a chicken piece in my bed.

      1. Rebecca, I grind my meat up bones and all. I make big batches and freeze it in containers. The cats gobble it up. Plus if they don’t eat it all in one sitting, it stays in the bowl, no parts to drag around. Cats have a short digestive tract and can handle a lot more bacteria than we can. Hope that helps 🙂

    2. Hi Evans,

      Good for you! Raw or parboiled is the best! If you par-boil it you should be able to leave it out for more than 30 minutes and any potential bacteria left after washing is killed but I’m sure your breeder knows what she/he is talking about. It’s unlikely your kitty will leave anything there, or drag it across the room as mentioned in the other post. With six cats they may have been dragging across the room to get it away from the others and keep it for themselves. 🙂 As your kitten gets older the recipe may need to change. You do add supplements right? They have to get enough taurine and a few other supplements. I’m sure you’ve heard of http://www.catinfo.org Dr. Pierson is great if you ever need advice on keeping the diet current with their age, needs, etc. Best regards!

      1. Kim, yes I use kitty bloom. Also cats have very short digestive tracts. They can handle all source of bacteria that we can’t like salmonella. If you think about a cat in the wild lots of times they kill their prey drag it off, eat some of it, leave it, come back and eat more and they did not get sick. I use chicken leg quarters, hearts and livers, a little pumpkin and kitty bloom. I use parboiled chicken for treats 🙂

        1. Anyone interested in the raw food diet for the cats, feel free to contact Mark Pennington at Mystre Bengals. He is the one who put out the raw food diet guidelines on his website from the link I posted earlier. He loves to talk with people about their ideas on proper diet for cats. He is in extreme lover cat and truly concerned about the health of every cat.

  11. Priscillalea says:

    OOPS, just went back and read, I guess i did talk about Azodyl before, sorry for the repitition.

    1. Hi Priscillalea, always good to hear positive news even if it you did talk about it before and especially to hear your kitty is still doing good on Azodyl is excellent! No side affects?

  12. Priscillalea says:

    Hi everyone, I may have already posted this on here, not sure. Anyway my kitty has been diagnosed with crf over a year ago, my Vet told me about Azodyl, a new thing for crf. Everytime we go in for labs they get better and better. It is wonderful stuff. It must arrive cold and stay cold at all times, I get it from Entirely pets with vaccine shipping and it is still cheaper than the Vet, even with that. It comes in a smaller pill which is as potent but easier to give. It must be given whole and not sprinkled on food. I am so impressed with this and grateful for the progress I see in my Isaiah-Ezekiel. And i add an “amen” about no dry food. I also have a diabetic and she is doing great on only wet food. We have “junk food Sunday” and then they get a few kibbles for a treat. I have 18 cats and they all eat only wet food. My little boy who had a blocked bladder 3xs has not had it since I removed dry food. I could go on and on but will give you all a break…But i must rave about the Azodyl..

  13. Helen Jennings says:

    I have a 16 year old Spotted Shorthair with renal failure.can you clarify the DRY FOOD issue. She is now on Royal Canin Dry Food as she hated the Eucanubra(?) I have just started giving her Royal Canin Wet Food too as she was losing weight and food was just going through her. I was prescribed an additive called CREON from the Vet but the cat refused to eat any food with it on top. She is also on IPAKITINE to lower her CREATININE and half a BLOOD PRESSURE TAB each day. It seems to be keeping her reasonably stable but I want to find a selection of WET RENAL FOODS to keep her happy as the supermarket ones are clearly not doingher any good. She already lloks better after just 2 days on the Royal Canin. Also is it Ok to give her cooked chicken which she loves. Thanks.

    1. Dry food is bad for cat’s kidneys because kidneys need water to process the food and since the kidneys are shriveling up (that’s what’s happening in renal failure), it’s like sucking them dry. Wet food doesn’t require the kidneys to work as hard. You can read more about dry food and cats on http://www.catinfo.org

      I hope the other folks on this thread can help you with the other stuff – I am not as hip on it as I used to be.

    2. Hi Helen,

      As Jenny mentioned http://www.catinfo.com is amazing for information and you can set up a phone consultation with Dr. Lisa Pierson if you need additional info which I’ve done on three or four occasions. I had Dr. Pierson put together a homemade diet that I cook for my kitty. Dry food is terrible on any day at any age in excellent health so it boggles my mind that these prescription diets prescribe it. 🙁 Also on Dr. Pierson’s website is a total nutrition breakdown that show protein and phosphorus in every cat food you can imagine including prescription. Curious, what are your cat’s levels? Creatinine, Bun and Phosphorus? IMHO it’s good that you’re giving some cooked chicken because some of the prescription diets limit the protein too much from what I understand in order to get the Phosphorus down which is the most important! Dark meat, chicken thigh and turnkey leg I think is lower in Phosphors.

  14. Hu Kim,
    Yes, it is the same! I tried the organic chicken, and Venison, so far Mocha’s favorite is beef, so I’m feeding her lots of beef medallions these days 🙂

    1. Hi Monica, well Valentine loves Nature’s Variety! I mush some in with the food I make and she’s much more receptive to eating my food. I’m nervous about the little bones in the food so I try to pick most of them out. Are you at all concerned about the bones?

      1. yayyyyy I am glad to hear Valentine likes the food! I never tried to pick out the bones, I do not think they do any harm at all and Mocha does not seem to notice them.

        1. There’s some interesting ingredients which makes sense as to how they keep the protein & phosphorus so low yet with a QUALITY meat source. Rad-Cat is more than DOUBLE the protein & Phosphorus which is what I was feeding when her levels were so high. 🙁 I immediately switched back to her home cooked meal and all her levels came back down well within range except the 2.6 creatinine, most important! So although this won’t be her primary food (yet) everything is pointing to it being a great food to add into her home cooked meal and from what I can see should reduce the % of protein in her already low phosphorus diet which would be perfect! I Pray this does the trick! I’m looking forward to our next blood work-up. I’ll keep you posted! 🙂 Thanks again!

          1. I really hope this food works for Valentine <3 Please keep me updated !

          2. Hi Monica,

            I hope you and Mocha are doing well! I’m following up to see how Mocha is doing on the Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Medallions? I’ve mainly been staying with our home cooked diet and throwing in medallions as a treat however Valentine’s not into my home cooked food much these days so it’s getting challenging to get her to eat it and she lost a pound also her USG went to 1.014 which concerns me. Creatinine went down to 2.4, Bun still good at 32 and all other levels are right in line. So since she loves Medallions I’m thinking about switching her over to those full time I’d like her to gain that pound back. Wanted to check and see if it was still working well for Mocha?

            Thank you! 🙂
            Kim

          3. Hi Kim,

            Mocha is doing pretty good, she has her renal values re-checked in April And almost everything looks similar as her last check up. Three good changes, her cholesterol and Creatinina decreased
            And she gained one pound more. Overall she gained 2 pounds since I switched her to Nature’s Variety, and she is a tiny cat, so two pounds is a lot! I am a huge fan of medallions and if Valentine likes them
            you should definetely try. I’m still giving Mocha Omega-3, and recently I started supplementing her food with Vitamin B and probiotics. I hope this helps Valentine!!!!

    2. Sounds like Mocha is doing great, 2 lbs is a lot which is why I’m uncomfortable that Valentine lost a pound. She’s acting fine,appetite is great she just doesn’t like my cooking 🙁 she is drinking more water but I’m not sure if that’s due to the weather getting hotter in CA. Ok so you feed the organic brand right? Do you know what Mocha’s urine specific gravity is? Have a great weekend and thanks for being so responsive it’s great to have a support system and share positive results!

      1. Kim,

        Mochas’s specific gravity is 1.018. I giving her only beef medallions, she got bored with the chicken & venison taste. If you weight Valentine regularly it would be easier for you to see if this particular food works. With Mocha I saw positives changes in 3 weeks, so I guess you will have a good idea soon if this food works for Valentine, or if you need to try something else. I really hope Valentine apetite improves <3 please keep me updated!

  15. Hi Kim,
    I am looking at the bag on my freezer, I purchase medallions and they are as you said, all frosted over, I guess it’s okay 🙂

    1. Hi Monica,

      Thanks, good to know my bags not freezer burned. 🙂 This bag says “mediallions”. It’s grain free, Instinct raw. Is that the same bag as yours? Do you get the organic? My store didn’t have that option but can order it and venison as well. Interesting that this brand is formulated for cats or dogs vs. formulated individually.

  16. Hi Carol, Cats often develop food allergies to any food ingredient they have been repeatedly exposed to. Chicken, rice, lamb, corn are few allergens that can contribute to inflammatory processes. It makes sense to feed cats new ingredients that are not usually found in pet food as rabbit and venison. Just in the context of kidney disease, you need to keep an eye on the food phosphorus content, and rabbit meat has a high level of it.

    1. I agree. We were told not to give her much, but just keep her eating. She was very finicky and the vet didn’t want her to stop eating altogether. I had a list of hot, neutral, and cold foods used in traditional Chinese medicine. We did see a difference in her behavior after switching her. We have always fed holistic dry food but she still developed kidney disease. I’ve learned a lot from this experience and now feed the other cats differently.

  17. Just FYI. We have used a holistic veterinarian for my cat. She told me that chicken and lamb are “hot” foods and took my cat off of them immediately. She said turkey was fine, but really recommended raw rabbit.

    1. Hi Carol, do you know what they meant by “hot”? was your kitty having renal issues? I can use turkey or chicken with my homemade diet, both are lower in phosphorus. I’ll look into that, thanks for your input!

      1. I didn’t ask any specifics but the vet said those were hot foods. She practices traditional Chinese medicine. My cat had renal disease and I saw quite a difference following the vet’s recommendations. She lived longer and was more active than she had been. The vet said she didn’t act like a sick cat. Had we caught it sooner the end results may have been different. Her only symptom was drinking more water and the vet we had been seeing didn’t pick up on it.

  18. Hi Kim, Mocha is 10 years old, a beautiful seal point ragdoll. I purchase mocha’s food at the pet store, it is frozen raw food so not all the pet stores will sell it. You can go to the Nature’s Variety web site to find which stores carry the frozen food in your area. Wishing you and your kitty the best, she is lucky to have you as a mumy!!

    1. Hi Monica, thank you! Wishing you and Mocha the very best as well! I’ll follow up in a couple months with recent lab results. 🙂

    2. Hi Monica, i just bought bag of Nature’s Variety, it has a bunch of tiny little round patties in it. The patties are all frosted over big time, is that normal when you buy your bags or did I get a freezer burn bag?

  19. Hey Kim, I have the chart and has been my bible! You can try venison, it’s even lower in phosphorus than lamb.

  20. Hi Kim, I’m giving Mocha Omega 3 from Nordic Naturals, it’s a really good brand. They have omega 3 for humans and for pets, so you need to purchase the one for small animals. Mocha’s Creatinine is now 2.0 for a normal range 0.6-2.4, and her BUN is 36 from a normal range 14-36. Also phosphorus, calcium and Sodium went back to normal as well, all of them were elevated while Mocha was in the renal diet. In Mocha’s case her renal values improved after 1 month of starting her in raw diet. Nature’s Variety raw food is pasteurized, this process eliminates microbes while maintaining the nutritional benefits , which is important for immunocompromised & sick kitties.

    1. Hi Monica, thanks! WOW, those are good numbers! I pray I can get my kitty’s creatinine back to 2.0 from 2.6! Mocha’s story is inspirational I’m so excited right now and I feel more confident than ever that I’m making the right choice to stay clear of prescription diets! Where do you get Nature’s Variety at the pet store or online? How old is Mocha?

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