Best Cat Food for Kidney Issues

Kidney Disease is, with heart issues, a leading cause of death for domestic cats. It is a serious illness that has to be treated by a specialist. The treatment usually consists of some medication and prescription food, which is the best cat food for kidney issues. There is no cure for chronic kidney failure in cats, but the different treatments can prolong its life and improve its quality of life.

Cat Food Crude Protein Cat Food Price
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Advanced Care Formula 33% Check Price
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support Grain-Free 26% Check Price
Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Ocean Fish 26% Check Price

Best Cat Food For Kidney Disease – Ingredients

Prescription kidney diets are used as part of the treatment when kidney disease is in an advanced stage. They are the best cat food for kidney issues because their nutrients (like protein and micronutrients) are modified to improve the cat’s health in this specific situation. Your veterinarian can recommend the best ones, depending on the specific symptoms that your cat manifests.

Amino Acids

The best cat food for kidney disease has high quantities of certain amino acids. Amino acids are building blocks of protein. A cat with this illness is lethargic and eats very little. This makes it lose a lot of weight and become weak. The amino acids added to prescription food solves this by increasing the cat’s muscle mass. Find best cat food with amino acid taurine.

Low Sodium

The best cat food for kidney issues should have low sodium. One of the functions of kidneys is to control the sodium levels, which in turn control the blood pressure and the amount of fluids in the body. Since the kidneys cannot lower the amount of sodium found in the food that the cat consumes, its food should have reduced quantities. Low sodium cat food is also beneficial for heart health.

Low Phosphorus

The best cat food for kidney disease should have low phosphorus. One of the wastes that kidneys filter in the bloodstream is phosphorus. to diminish the amount of waste produced in the bloodstream. When the amount of phosphorus is high, the damage on the kidneys increases more rapidly.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The best cat food for kidney issues should have Omega-3 fatty acids to improve kidney health. The fatty acids used in prescription food for cats are usually found in fish oil. They will slow down the problems with the kidneys and reduce the inflammation caused by the illness.

Vitamin B

The best cat food for kidney disease should have extra vitamin B, to recover from the amounts lost when urinating excessively. A cat with low vitamin B will have lack of appetite and poor health. The veterinarian could even consider some shots as a necessary aid to solve the problem.

High-Quality Protein

The best cat food for kidney issues should have high quality protein to help reduce the waste they produce in the bloodstream. However, there is a debate about the amount of protein that the food should have because when it is limited, the cat gets weak and loses a lot of muscle mass, and when it is not limited, it produces a lot of waste. Try to avoid high protein cat food if your cat has chronic kidney disease.

Low Magnesium

Along with low phosphorus, wet cat food low in ash and magnesium can definitely help with kidneys and urinary tract issues. Combination of these minerals in ash affects pH levels and creation of struvite crystals.

What is Cat Kidney Disease?

Kidneys carry out many different functions in the body. They filter the blood to remove toxins and regulate the balance of: fluids and electrolytes. They also regulate sodium and calcium levels and the amount of vitamin B in the blood stream. The kidneys also secrete a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells.

A kidney (renal) disease consists of the malfunctioning of the cat’s kidneys. In these cases, many body organs are affected. The degree of severity of the sickness has to be evaluated by the veterinarian in order to give the cat the proper treatment. Renal disease is a very serious disease that can cause death if it is not treated properly.

There are two types of kidney disease in cats: acute and chronic. Acute kidney disease appears suddenly and has severe symptoms. Chronic kidney disease develops gradually throughout months or sometimes even years. Its symptoms are not very clear in the early stages.

Symptoms of Kidney (Renal) Issues

The common symptoms of kidney disease in cats are:

  • excessive thirst and urination
  • weight loss
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lack of appetite
  • anemia
  • depression
  • bad breath
  • abnormal eyes
  • weakness

Not all these symptoms have to be present when a cat has kidney failure. Sometimes the symptoms are barely noticeable and sometimes they are very clear. Sometimes they present themselves gradually and sometimes they present themselves abruptly. Usually the cat will show the symptoms once the illness is very advanced.

Some cats can be malnourished without kidney issues. Emaciated cat needs different food in this case. Always check with your vet before.

Some of those symptoms are very common. For example, the cat will be lethargic because of the excessive toxic wastes in the bloodstream. This will make the cat become weak. Also, when the cat loses about 66% of their kidney function, it will start to lose a lot of water by producing more urine than usual. This is why a cat with kidney disease tends to drink more water than before.

Kidney failure does not have a cure and starting the treatment soon can greatly improve your cat’s quality of life. This is why periodical checkups with the veterinarian are always recommended. As soon as you start seeing some of these symptoms, take your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup.

Causes of Cat Kidney Disease

Acute kidney disease develops in younger cats and the main causes can be:

If it is treated with a veterinarian in the early stages, the cat can fully recover from the illness.

Chronic kidney disease develops in older cats, especially after seven years of age. The common causes include: malformation of the kidneys when they are born, bacterial infection of the kidneys, high blood pressure, immune system disorders, exposure to toxins, chronic urinary tract obstruction, certain drugs, certain sicknesses like diabetes, and abdominal trauma. Sometimes the cause of chronic kidney disease in cats cannot be clearly identified. There is no cure for chronic kidney disease, but the treatments can give your cat a better lifestyle and prolong its life.

Sometimes kidney diseasy develops as consequence of thyroid hormone issues. Find best cat food for hyperthyroidism.

Can Cat Food Cause Kidney Disease?

The fact that there are so many domestic cats with kidney disease makes a lot of people question if there is something causing this illness in their lifestyle. Although the cause is still unknown, some people believe that feeding cats with dry processed food increases kidney stress. After many years, this kidney stress could be one of the causes of kidney failure. Of course, the fact that this sounds reasonable does not mean that it is actually right. More research and experimentation have to be done in order to prove this. In any case always ensure your cat gets food with plenty of best protein and natural fats.

Types of Treatment For Kidney Issues

The treatment that a cat with kidney disease needs has to be determined by a veterinarian because it depends on the specific way in which the illness has affected it. Some of the typical types of treatments include: plenty of water, medicines to control blood pressure, reduce nausea, antacids, calcium restrictions, alkalizing agents, antibiotics, fatty acids, antioxidants, phosphorus restrictions, sodium restriction, potassium supplement, etc. Some veterinarians recommend having your cat in a stress-free environment. Dialysis and kidney transplant are options of last resort.

Best Cat Food For Kidney Issues Can Help With Treatment

The type of food that can help your cat has to be recommended by the veterinarian because it can vary depending on the specific case. In general, foods that contain water can help with the dehydration. Food with moderate amounts of protein will make the cat produce less urea and phosphorus. Canned food usually has these qualities, although you need to check them always. The type of food that is preferred should contain protein from animals, like salmon, beef, or chicken, instead of something manufactured.

Prescription Cat Food For Kidney Issues FAQ

There are many types of food which are sold only with veterinarian’s prescription. It is yet unclear if there are any benefits to this food compared to conventional cat food. There are reports that it is just a pricing schema of big companies. In any case, we would always tell you to listen to veterinarian’s advice first since your pet’s health is at stake.

Should I cook food for my cat with kidney disease?

No. A cat’s digestive system is different from that of humans. They need different nutrients than we do. Considering the specific needs of a sick cat, it will not get the nutrients that it needs from homemade food. Ask your veterinarian which food to buy for your cat. Also check our list if you have diagnosis already.

Should I give my cat raw food?

No. Raw food can contain bacteria and pathogens that can only be killed by cooking it. A cat with kidney disease is weak and will probably get sick. Ask your veterinarian which is the best cat food for kidney disease.

What should I do is my cat does not want to eat the prescription food for kidney disease?

Try different brands to see which ones your cat likes. This type of problem is very common, so if it persists, ask your veterinarian.

Should I buy canned or dry prescription food to fight kidney issues?

Canned food is better because it contains water, which will help hydrate the cat. Dry food is not recommended for cats with kidney disease. Find some recommendations on our list.

How long does the treatment of renal issues last?

From the moment that the cat is diagnosed with kidney disease, it will need the treatment permanently. However, you need to take your cat to the veterinarian periodically so that the progress of the illness is monitored and the adjustments of the treatment are done on time.

It is not possible to determine how long the cat will live under these conditions. It can live from a few months to a few years. If the illness is diagnosed in the early stages, the cat has greater chances of living a longer and healthier life. This is difficult because cats tend to hide the symptoms of their diseases. With a periodic checkup with the veterinarian every 6 months, the cat will have greater chances being treated on time.


The best cat food for kidney disease is the one that does not force the kidneys to overwork and the one that slows down the process of the disease. Since the kidneys have a lot of different functions in the body, a veterinarian has to check each cat to see what are the specific problems that the cat has. Only then, the veterinarian can decide which is the best food for the cat.