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Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease

white and brown cat looking for best cat food for kidney disease

In the veterinary field, there is a sea of change taking place in the understanding of feline kidney conditions and the best cat food for kidney disease to feed such cats.

Vets are working closely with cat food manufacturers and have come up with the best dry and wet foods for cats suffering from acute or chronic kidney disease (CKD).

In this guide, we will enlist top cat food for kidney disease and also answer some FAQs on this topic.

Just in case you are in a hurry, click on our short summary below to view our Top 5 reviewed products for the best cat food for kidney disease:

  1. Hill's Prescription Kidney Care Dry Cat Food
  2. Blue Buffalo Natural Kidney + Mobility Support for Cats 
  3. Neo Diet for Kidney Health
  4. Forza10 Wet Cat Food for Renal Support
  5. Hill's Prescription Kidney Care Wet Cat Food

How To Choose The Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease

Before we get into the details of our 5 Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease, we would like to delve into the important factors you should be looking out for when choosing the best cat food for kidney disease:

A) It should have more moisture

Compromised cat’s kidneys need more water.

Cats with acute or chronic kidney disease often show signs of dehydration and even weight loss.

Your cat may have less urine than usual as their first signs of dehydration.

However, even if you choose to feed the best dry food for cats with kidney issues, just make sure that your cats drinks plenty of fluids.

Always keep fresh water easily accessible to your cat to drink and you can also give it low-sodium broth, stews, etc to ensure keeping them hydrated.

For your convenience, you can invest in a pet water fountain that will provide fresh filtered water to your cat with little maintenance on your part.

This will definitely help to also manage their weight loss issues due to dehydration.

In severe cases of dehydration, you may to consider administering subcutaneous fluids to replenish the lost fluids.

Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser - Healthy and Hygienic Drinking Fountain Super Quiet Flower Automatic Electric Water Bowl with 2 Replacement Filters for Dogs, Cats, Birds and Small Animals Blue

B) It should provide high-quality protein

Many vets recommend reducing the protein intake of cats with acute kidney disease or chronic renal failure.

This is because your cat’s kidney which are weak or damaged are not able to process animal protein which is considered quite difficult to digest.

At the same time, we must not forget that cats are carnivores by nature and they need protein to maintain their muscle mass.

Low protein cat food can cause your cat’s bodies to draw protein from the muscles, leading to weakness and fatigue.

Therefore, any over the counter cat food for kidney disease you choose must contain a high-quality, easy to digest protein source such as wild-caught fish, farm-raised rabbit, tender lamb etc.

Avoid foods that are simply filled with ‘meat by-products’ which add no nutritional value for your cat’s protein restriction and also do not help in muscle mass maintenance.

Also Read: Top vets recommended Best Cat Food for Urinary Health

C) It should be low in sodium and phosphorus

Cats with acute or chronic kidney disease often suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure.

Many commercial cat foods are packed with sodium since it acts as a preservative.

This can further raise the blood pressure in sick cats. Therefore, cats with chronic kidney disease are usually prescribed low-sodium diets. That is why the best cat food for cats with kidney problem is usually low in sodium.

The same is the case with phosphorus.

When a cat has acute kidney failure, its phosphorus levels shoot up. This phosphorus binds with calcium in the blood to form crystals which precipitate in the kidneys leading to kidney failure.

Therefore, always look for low sodium and low phosphorus cat food for optimal kidney support.

Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease: 2021 Complete Guide

1. Our Editor’s Pick: Hill's Prescription Kidney Care Dry Cat Food

best cat food for kidney disease

Hill’s Science Diet Prescription food is a low phosphorus cat food for kidney conditions.

It contains brown rice and chicken as the main ingredients and is aimed to increase the longevity in cats with chronic kidney disease or CKD.

Hill's Prescription Diet K/d Kidney Care with Chicken Dry Cat Food, 4 Lb Bag

Hill’s Prescription dry cat food has been formulated with recommendations from vets to be one of the best kidney support pet food for a CKD cat.

It also contains gentle, easy-to-digest, high-quality protein to help sustain muscle mass in cats with poor appetites.

This high quality, low protein cat food has been tested extensively and found to prolong longevity and even improve the quality of life in cats with chronic kidney failure.

Hill's Prescription Diet K/d Kidney Care with Chicken Dry Cat Food, 4 Lb Bag

What we like about this food

  • Specially formulated by vets and extensively tested to treat renal disease in cats
  • Excellent scent, taste, and flavour which most cats love
  • Fresh ingredients sourced globally and made in the USA

What we don’t like about it

  • It may be slightly on the pricier side but most cat parents have no problems with it as long as it helps their beloved cat’s urinary health.
Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Chicken Dry Cat Food+, Veterinary Diet, 4 lb bag
  • Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Ocean Fish Dry Cat Food is specially formulated by Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians to support your cat’s kidney function
  • Clinically tested nutrition to improve and lengthen quality of life
  • More essential amino acids than daily requirements supports your cat’s natural ability to build lean muscle (compared to AAFCO minimum)
  • E.A.T. (Enhanced Appetite Trigger) Technology for cats enhances appetite and increases food intake
  • Controlled phosphorus and low sodium, with nutrition to protect vital kidney and heart function

2. Blue Buffalo Natural Kidney + Mobility Support for Cats 

best cat food for kidney disease

Blue Buffalo kidney diet is one of the best non prescription diet dry cat food for kidney support.

It has controlled levels of protein to prevent kidney overload which are essential for a CKD cat.

Moreover, the levels of sodium and phosphorus are also very low in this low protein cat food. This is great as it is one of the must-have features of cat food for cats with chronic renal failure.

It is also enriched with vitamins and minerals along with DHA, glucosamine, and chondroitin for healthy joints.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are very important for preventing arthritis and joint aches in senior cats.

Being completely grain-free, pet parents also need not worry about allergies or food sensitivities from this low protein cat food.

All in all: thanks to this best dry food for cats with kidney problem, you can ensure that your cat with ailing kidney health gets wholesome, natural, and beneficial nutrition without compromising on the taste.

What we love about this food

  • Low sodium and phosphorous level
  • Great flavour and scent
  • Grain free formula
  • Excellent for kidney and joint health
  • Value for money

What we don’t like about it

  • A small percentage of adult cats wouldn’t touch it, owners have to mix it with other foods
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support Dry Cat Food, Chicken 7-lb bag
  • KIDNEY CARE CAT FOOD: BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney Support + Mobility dry cat food is formulated to support your cat's kidney function plus joint care
  • STARTS WITH PROTEIN-RICH CHICKEN: This wholesome food for cats with kidney disease features controlled levels of protein to help manage kidney workload and starts with high-quality, real chicken
  • NATURAL CAT FOOD: Made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, this kidney support cat food also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health and mobility
  • FINEST INGREDIENTS: BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet formulas contain NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, NO corn, wheat or soy, and NO artificial flavors or preservatives
  • PRESCRIPTION CAT FOOD: This therapeutic diet requires your veterinarian's authorization.

3. Neo Diet for Kidney Health

best cat food for kidney disease

When your vet recommends the best wet food for kidney disease for adult cats, Hi-Tor Veterinary Select delivers!

It is formulated with low protein, low sodium, and low phosphorus – which are a pre-requisite for maintaining feline kidney health.

Hi-Tor has worked closely with veterinary specialists to create this best canned cat food for kidney issues.

They also make this pet food highly palatable for ensuring adequate caloric intake in weak and sick cats with dietary protein restriction.

What we like about this food

  • It is moderate in fats and low in proteins; an ideal formula for cats who have been sick for a long time with chronic kidney disease
  • The pate-texture mixes well with water and is great for preventing dehydration in cats
  • Uses fresh ingredients
  • Value for money

What we don’t like about it

  • Some cat parents reported that their cats do not fancy the flavor of this food.

4. Forza10 Wet Cat Food for Renal Support

best cat food for kidney disease

Iceland based Forza10 is a Company well-known for both their wet and dry low phosphorus cat food for renal disease.

Both varieties have been well-received by pet parents and their feline companions alike.

Forza10 Wet Cat Food Kidney RENAL ACTIWET with Lamb 3.5oz, Adult Cat Food Wet, Renal Support Canned Cat Food, 32 Pack Case

Forza10’s wet or canned over the counter cat food for kidney disease is specially formulated for cats having chronic or acute kidney failure, congestive heart disease, low blood pressure or any other condition that requires low-protein, low sodium, and low phosphorus diets.

It is also free from allergens like soy, wheat, antibiotics, and other artificial ingredients and is made with farm-raised lamb/wild-caught anchovy and a healthy mix of anti-oxidant rich plants and fruits.

Forza10 Wet Cat Food Kidney RENAL ACTIWET with Lamb 3.5oz, Adult Cat Food Wet, Renal Support Canned Cat Food, 32 Pack Case

This recipe is also backed by expert scientific research making it the best canned cat food for adult cat kidney issues.

What we like about this food

  • This is a balanced nutraceutical cat’s diet – which is also tasty and therefore ideal for picky cats with chronic kidney disease
  • It contains all-natural ingredients formulated by Italian veterinary specialists
  • The food is backed by 30 years of scientific research conducted in Italian Universities

What we don’t like about it

  • Some of the canned food units gave off a strong odor which some cats did not like.
Wet Cat Food Kidney RENAL ACTIWET with Lamb 3.5oz, Adult Cat Food Wet, Renal Support Canned Cat Food (32 Pack)
  • DELICIOUS RECIPE - The grain-free wet cat food recipe is made with pasture-raised New Zealand lamb. It is enriched with a mix of natural, therapeutic plants and fruits, which not only help address your feline companion's stomach sensitivity but also tastes delicious
  • DESIGNED FOR RENAL ISSUES - This canned cat food is specially formulated to help your feline with renal and cardiac problems such as chronic or acute renal failure, congestive heart failure, and conditions requiring low protein, phosphorous, and sodium diets
  • 100% NATURAL AND HEALTHY INGREDIENTS - Unlike some other canned foods available, this natural balance cat food is highly digestible as it's made from limited-ingredients. It's also GMO-free and does not contain any corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors or chemical preservatives
  • VET FORMULATED AND SCIENCE-BACKED - Each cat food can is filled with the recipe made by world-renown veterinarians and nutritionists. Who after 30 carefully done scientific and clinical studies came up with this wellness formula which shows fast results and increases your cat's ability and vitality
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE - The effectiveness of this cat wet food and our other recipes is backed by over 30 scientific research and clinical studies conducted by Forza and published in renowned scientific journals. All our food is made in-house in our facilities in Iceland and Italy

5. Hill's Prescription Kidney Care Wet Cat Food

best cat food for kidney disease

There’s a reason why we mention Hill’s Science diet again and again when it comes to specialized cat foods for kidney issues.

The Company’s veterinarians have developed this best cat food for adult cats with renal disease. This way, weak and sick cats can sustain their muscle mass without increasing sodium and phosphorus levels.

It contains high-quality, easy-to-digest animal protein which is a prerequisite for cats with kidney related issues.

Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew Canned Cat Food, 2.9 Oz, 24-Pack Wet Food, White (3393)

Moreover, research conducted on this wet food has shown that it can indeed increase the longevity and improve the quality of life of cats with chronic or acute kidney disease.

What we love about this food

  • Vet-recommended cat food for chronic kidney failure
  • Has helped many cats with weight loss issues regain lost weight
  • Great scent and flavor
  • Fresh ingredients sourced globally and cooked in the United States

What we don’t like about it

  • Price could be on the expensive side however most cat parents are okay with it as long as it helps their cat’s kidney disease.
Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew Canned Cat Food, Veterinary Diet, 2.9 oz, 24-pack wet food
  • Kidney care the kidneys filter waste and toxins from the blood and maintain the normal balance of fluid and minerals within the body. As pets age, damage to kidney tissues may occur. This process is irreversible and leads to loss of kidney function. Cats with decreased kidney function may experience loss of appetite and their food intake might decline, which may lead to loss of muscle mass. hill's nutritionists and veterinarians developed prescription diet K/D clinical nutrition to support your cat's kidney function and help sustain muscle mass. In fact, the nutrition of K/D is clinically tested nutrition to improve and lengthen quality of life.
  • Item Package Dimension: 3.125 x 10.5 x 8.0
  • Item Package Weight: 5.123
  • Country Of Origin: United States

FAQs on the Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease

1. Can a healthy cat eat renal cat food?

Many pet parents proactively feed renal support cat foods to their healthy cat even though they may not suffer from any acute renal failure or chronic renal failure.

This can, sometimes, help improve kidney function, urinary tract health and could prevent kidney disease.

However, as with any specialized cat foods, it is always better to consult a vet before making any drastic dietary changes to your healthy cat’s diet.

Many renal support foods are low in vital nutrients required for normal growth in young and healthy cats which do not have any kidney problem.

2. Can commercial cat food cause kidney disease?

A vast majority of cats are prone to kidney issues and many senior cats eventually die from kidney failure or complications thereof.

Statistics show that the prevalence of CKD in cats is about 1%-3%.

Poor-quality commercial cat foods are unfortunately packed with tons of sodium and meat by-products.

Such foods can overload the already compromised cat’s kidneys especially if a cat is prone to developing renal disease and this is very harmful for your cat’s urinary tract.

Also, foods high in phosphorus and poor-quality animal protein can rapidly increase the progression of renal disease.

By selecting the best cat food for kidney disease and working closely with your vet, you can ensure feeding your pet the best renal diet for preventing kidney problem and keeping him/her healthy for years to come.

3. What is the best food for a cat with kidney disease?

The best non prescription cat food for kidney disease should be low in phosphorus, low  in sodium, high in water content, and also packed with high-quality, easy-to-digest protein.

Incorporating fish oil in your cat’s diet can also help to slow down the deterioration of kidney problem by lowering blood pressure and decreasing protein loss in your cat’s urine.

Some experts also encourage the use of omega 3 fatty acids which may help to slow down the progression of chronic kidney failure.

The goal for healthy kidney support is to help improve your cat’s diet and maintain healthy urinary tract which are both lead indicators for acute and chronic kidney failure.

You can select one of the best canned cat food for kidney disease recommended above based on your cat’s preferences. You vet can also guide you in this matter.

4. How can I help my cat with kidney disease gain weight?

Cats that are sick with renal disease often have poor appetites which eventually result in weight loss.

To help your cat with kidney disease gain weight, feed it good pet food and omega fatty acids supplements like fish oil that boost appetite.

You can also offer a variety of different flavors in food which might interest a picky eater.

Another key point is to ensure that your cat is drinking sufficient water and has regular urine output.

If your cat is seriously dehydrated, administering subcutaneous fluids could be an option to replenish the lost fluids.

Work closely with your vet in order to select a nutritious high-quality homemade or commercial pet food for kidney disease.

Choose one good renal diet that is easy-to-digest, increase muscle mass and provide optimal kidney support.

5. Is raw food diet suitable for cats with kidney failure?

Feeding your pet raw food seems to be the trend these days but is it suitable for cats with kidney issues?

Raw meat including freeze dried raw food tends to contain a lot of phosphorus. This is harmful for CKD cats which should be fed a low phosphorus diet.

However, some cat’s kidneys have actually done quite well on raw meat and natural diets.

Therefore, it is best to work with a vet to come up with the right renal diet for your pet which may or may not include raw meat.

At times, your vet may even recommend a kidney support prescription diet for your cat.

6. Is cooked chicken good for my cat with kidney disease?

Yes, many cats do well with cooked chicken as it is easy to digest.

Do make sure that your cat is not allergic to poultry (chicken, eggs, turkey, etc). If you feed it broth, always select low-sodium broth.

7. Is tuna ok for cats with kidney disease?

Most cats love tuna and some even get addicted to it.

However, vets are divided in opinion about this food.

Tuna is often packed with mercury and too much of it could even lead to nutritional deficiencies in cats.

If your cat with chronic kidney disease is dehydrated and refuses to eat, you can add a bit of tuna juices from the can to some rice.

This can stimulate your pet’s appetite and help them regain some of the lost weight. As always, check with your vet before making any dietary changes.

Conclusion

Commercially available, over the counter best cat food for kidney disease has taken away all of the guesswork of what to feed a cat having kidney issues.

You can go in for Hill's Prescription Kidney Care Dry Cat Food or for some other best wet food for kidney disease like Neo Diet for Kidney Health.

As always, do consult a vet before making any dietary changes in your pet.

Hill's Prescription Diet K/d Kidney Care with Chicken Dry Cat Food, 4 Lb Bag


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