Veterinary doctors recommend renal diets for cats that have been diagnosed with kidney disease or failure. The kidneys are responsible for essential bodily functions and need appropriate treatment.
Besides the prescribed medications, dietary changes are necessary. As scary as this may be for you and your furry feline, these changes can help them lead healthier lives. We want to see them as playful and healthy as ever!
Your furballs deserve only the best recommendations. This article will outline how you can provide your cat with proper nutrition and specialized care.
What is Kidney Failure in Cats?
Healthy kidneys work like coffee machines. They ensure you get the good stuff and filter out the rest. By filtering out dangerous toxins, the nephrons (the kidney’s coffee filters) regulate fluids and keep your cat healthy.
When these nephrons are damaged or infected, they can cause abnormalities in urine production and high blood pressure. Kidney failure is the result of this damage and can lead to further complications in the body.
If your cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease or failure, caring for them is not difficult.
You can avoid further damage by paying regular visits to the vet and monitoring your fluffy companion’s daily food intake.
Most cats are genetically inclined to suffer from kidney diseases. Although, a nutritious and hydrating diet that is rich in quality proteins may prevent it.
Cat and human organs are similar in function. Early diagnosis of kidney disorders is critical. The earlier the detection, the higher the chances of a slower prognosis.
There are four stages of kidney failure- the 1st stage being the earliest point of detection. There is approximately 65% of kidney damage at this stage, and the creatinine presence is lower than 140 umol/L.
It is rare to detect kidney disease and failure in cats at the 1st stage, but it isn’t impossible. If your cat has inherited renal disease, you should pay close attention to its water intake and urine output.
Breeds such as Persians, Maine Coons, and Angoras are genetically predisposed to kidney diseases and must be closely monitored. Additionally, cats beyond seven years of age are also more inclined to suffer from renal failure.
Symptoms of kidney failures in cats include frequent urination, increased thirst, decreased appetite, and lethargy in the early stages.
Physical symptoms of acute kidney failure may be a stiff-legged gait or walk and an arched back. You may notice increased bruising or bleeding from injuries if your cat has chronic kidney disease.
Here is a list of symptoms you should look out for to detect kidney failure in your feline:
Frequent urination: Might have an uncontrollable bladder. Look out for an abnormal pattern of urination-it may be cloudy or bloody. Your cat may even urinate outside its litter box.
Increased thirst: Might finish their bowl of water faster than usual.
Reduced appetite: Might stop eating food as regularly or eat feebly. This may also cause weight loss.
Bad breath: Might notice a brownish tinge to your cat’s tongue. These are common in kidney disease.
Nausea, constipation, and diarrhea: A combination of these issues for a prolonged duration might indicate a more severe problem.
Dry coat: A dry coat or irregular fur texture is easy to spot on your cat.
Lethargy and irritation: Kidney disease or failure can be painful and confusing for your pet. They may be less active, irritable, or even constantly asleep.
If you notice any of these symptoms of kidney failure, you should book an appointment with your vet. They will ideally carry out various tests and recommend specific cat food for renal disease.
What Causes Renal Disease in Cats?
Although older cats above the age of seven are more likely to suffer from kidney failure, your younger fluffy baby may also suffer from this.
Renal or kidney diseases are primarily either acute or chronic. They are caused by a variety of reasons and maybe avoided sometimes.
Causes of acute kidney failure are:
Ingesting toxic or poisonous materials: Human medications such as ibuprofen, pesticides, antifreeze, etc.
Heart failure: As a consequence of heart failure, your cat’s blood pressure may fall and cause issues with the kidneys.
Injury and Trauma: This could be caused by injury or a burst bladder or pelvis.
Dehydration: Summers could overheat your cat’s body and cause severe and rapid dehydration.
Infections and blockages: Bacterial infections that affect the kidney and kidney stones can also affect kidney function.
Constant nausea and diarrhea: Water loss caused by vomiting and diarrhea can also cause damaged kidneys.
Causes of chronic kidney disease:
Dental and gum problems: Recurring dental and gum problems that lead to bad breath can cause mouth ulcers and eventually kidney failure.
Cyst formation: Cyst formation on the kidneys or calcification of the kidneys can also cause the kidney to lose function. These cysts may be cancerous too.
Autoimmune diseases: Some autoimmune diseases affect various organs of the body and lead to organ damage or failure.
Genetics: Specific breeds are more likely to suffer from kidney diseases at some point in their life. Inheriting weak kidneys is also possible.
Infections and blockages: Bacterial infections that affect the kidney and kidney stones can permanently affect kidney function.
Switching to a renal diet is ideal if your kitty has been diagnosed with kidney disease. With changes in lifestyle and diet, you can create the best diet for cats with kidney failure.
What is A Renal Diet?
A renal diet is essentially a kidney diet for cats. Ideal renal diets will be lower in phosphorus concentration and proteins.
Your vet may recommend some brands to you that you could switch to. We’ll be listing a few for you to check out in this section.
Besides this, a renal diet also includes a higher intake of water. We will break down how to choose the best option for your cat and what it needs for a healthier life in the next section.
How To Choose The Proper Renal Diet for Your Cat?
Being able to identify the right foods for your cat can go a long way. It’s half the battle won!
An important point to keep in mind is hydration. Your cat is going to lose a lot of water because of its frequent urination. Lack of fluids can cause severe dehydration and affect kidney function.
You need to make sure your cat is sufficiently hydrated. You can incorporate it into its meals by giving them wet food or choosing brands with wet options.
Cats with kidney diseases are low on energy because of their reduced appetite. This causes them to lose weight and strength. Renal diets for cats strengthen your cat’s vascular function and give them an additional boost.
The kidneys have to work harder than usual when your pet’s kidneys are infected or failing. The extra proteins and unnecessary nutrients make it very taxing for your pet’s organs.
That’s primarily why you need to feed your cat food that is rich in specific nutrients. This helps reduce the symptoms and effects of a renal disorder too.
Egg whites, chicken, and tuna are some examples of foods that are rich in high-quality proteins required for a renal diet.
Nutrients for Cats with Kidney Failure
To choose the right brand and foods for a kitty with renal disease, you should know the nutrients it needs.
Providing your cat with the right nutrients can help decrease the incidence of other secondary complications of kidney failure.
Phosphorus is excreted out of the system through urine. Due to kidney disease, the phosphorus is not filtered out of the system and gets built up. Having a reduced phosphorus intake helps balance the system.
As a consequence of kidney failure, your feline may be susceptible to other complications. Restricted or reduced phosphate reduces secondary medical conditions such as secondary renal hyperthyroidism.
Cats are usually fussy eaters. They are naturally attracted, however, to meats that are rich in proteins.
Your feline’s reduced appetite will cause them to be more lethargic. Proteins are necessary for your cat and make the food more delicious. The proteins used are high-quality, which re-energize them and ensures muscle strength.
Antioxidants and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Inflammation of the kidneys is common in kidney disease. It is dangerous because it pressures the kidneys into working harder. This also accelerates the loss of kidney function in the long run and should be avoided.
Any renal diet is made up of a fair amount of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids. This helps reduce the inflammation of the kidneys and allows them to remain healthy.
Vitamins and potassium are usually excreted out of the system with frequent urination. As a result, the vitamins and minerals in the body are insufficient.
This is why the food needs to be rich in vitamins such as vitamin B, C, D, and E. Vitamins and minerals provided in a kidney diet strengthen muscles and facilitate vascular support.
They maintain a balance of nutrients within the body and can be achieved through supplement oral tablets or syrups.
Top Brands for Your Cat’s Kidney Diet
Most top-rated brands have renal-specific diets for cats. Your vet will ideally recommend brands such as Purina that have a range of products. Purina Veterinary Diet Feline NF (Renal Function) is a series of renal diets sold by the brand.
Other brands include:
Royal Canin: Series of ‘Renal Support’ dry and wet feline diets
Hills: Hills Prescription k/d or c/d dry and wet feline diets
Rayne Clinical: Series of dry and wet feline diets for early and advanced renal treatment
Blue Vet Diet: K+M Kidney + Mobility Support for additional vascular strength
While each of these is rich in the nutrients required, they may not all be suitable. Your vet may recommend a specific brand based on the prognosis of your cat’s condition.
Please refer to your vet’s prescription before buying any of these brands.
Your cat may also have a specific preference for a brand or taste. After consulting with your vet, you may explore other options too.
Renal disease and failure can be terrifying. We want your fur babies to be happy, active, and healthy, and this isn’t unachievable.
Increasing water intake is key to the best diet for cats with kidney failure. With advancements in dietary plans and treatments, your cat can live a fuller life.
If you haven’t shifted to a renal diet for cats yet, speak to your vet today!
Frequently Asked Questions About Renal Diet for Cats with Kidney Failure
The answer is yes. With your vet’s guidance, you may be able to cook meals at home to meet your cat’s needs.
You may use items such as fresh meats, cottage cheese, egg whites, and salmon.
You could use soaked rolled oats, vegetables such as carrots and pumpkins, and sardine oil for Omega-3 too.
The answer, sadly, is usually no. Especially in chronic cases, kidney disease cannot be restored but may be treated.
You can prolong the prognosis, and in many cases, the cats do live long and happy lives!
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