If Your Cat Has Kidney Disease, It's Time To Switch Foods

Posted on: 23 February 2022


Everyone wants their pets to be healthy, but sometimes illnesses or diseases manifest that simply can't be cured. Once a cat has kidney disease, they're stuck with it, but there are a lot of things you can do to help to improve their quality of life and keep them going for a long time. If you've been feeding your cat a normal diet, it may be time to change that. Here's what you should know about their diet and its impact on their kidneys.

Healthy Cat Diet

When a cat is healthy, there are a lot of important nutrients that they need to get on a regular basis. For example, cats need taurine in their diets in order to live healthy lives. It's also important to have a good source of protein in order for a cat's body to be able to replace and repair damaged muscles and to ensure good heart health. However, things that start out as beneficial for cats may not stay that way once they develop kidney disease.

The Problem With This

The problem with protein in a cat's diet is that it's difficult for the kidneys to process. The body needs a certain amount of protein, but anything beyond that is filtered out by the kidneys and passes out of the body through urine. With healthy cats, this happens automatically and doesn't require any additional steps from the cat or their owner. However, with kidney disease, the kidneys don't work as well as they normally do. They'll struggle to get the excess protein out of the blood, using up more fluids and potentially causing new scar tissue to develop in the kidneys. In the meanwhile, any excess protein that isn't successfully filtered out can potentially harm your cat's health.

Getting Help

The good thing here is that plenty of cats have gone through kidney disease, and while there isn't a cure, science knows a lot about how this disease works. As a result, there are many formulas of food that are good for cats with kidney disease. These formulas usually provide less protein but derive it from clean, easy-to-digest sources so that your cat's body can make the most out of it. Other nutrients may be adjusted as well in order to help boost their immune system and to provide hydration, as cats with kidney disease often become dehydrated.

However, since these formulas often have an imbalance in their nutrition if given to a healthy cat, they're generally only available directly from a veterinarian's office. Your vet will essentially write a prescription for you for the formula, and then you can buy it from them. With regular care and check-ups, you may see significant improvements in how your cat acts and feels. Your vet will continue to make adjustments as needed based on their physical exams and blood test results.

For more information, contact a veterinarian near you.