Kidney failure is a chronic condition normally seen during the latter years of a cat's adult life. Although it is one of the most common causes of death of senior cats, it does not have be. The symptoms and damage caused by chronic renal failure can be significantly reduced by a change in diet.
Try to find foods with low phosphorus content. You may have to speak with your veterinarian, as she may have some available to purchase at the clinic. Many specially formulated low-protein foods are also low in phosphorous as well. However, changing an obligate carnivore's diet from protein to carbohydrates results in muscle wasting and weakness. It is speculated by some that the low-phosphorous content of low-protein diets is a direct result of it not being made with fillers and low-grade meat by-products, of which most major brands of cat food are made with.
Amount of Protein Content
There is much debate over whether or not protein should be completely eliminated from the cat's diet or if the type of protein it is given is changed from low quality, like meat by-products, to high-quality meats that humans consume on a regular basis, like chicken and rabbit. High-quality protein produces little waste and is more efficiently digested by an ageing cat's body and therefore puts less stress on its failing kidneys.
Cats with renal failure need to drink more water than they used to, and one way to get them to consume more fluids is by giving them food that has a high moisture content. Canned foods contain more moisture than dry foods and will help your cat take in more water than it normally would.
There are several brands of cat food on the market that are made specifically for cats with kidney failure. These low-protein cat foods are available at most veterinarian offices and include:
Eukanuba Veterinary Diet Multi-Stage Renal Formula
Hi-Tor Canned Neo-Diet Feline Canned Diet by Waggin Tails
Hill's Prescription Diet Feline k/d and Hill's Prescription Diet Feline k/d with Chicken (canned)
Iam's Veterinary Formulas Renal Multi-Stage Renal Feline Canned Formula
Walthams Low Protein
If you have an older cat and are worried about it developing or treating their already present kidney disease, the Feline CRF Information Center recommends using Hill's Prescription Diet Feline g/d for the Nutritional Management of Older Cats. It is available in both canned and dry forms and can be purchased at a veterinarian's office.
According to the manufacturer, Hill's Prescription Feline g/d is formulated to have both low amounts of sodium and phosphorous to help prevent and manage both heart disease and kidney disease in senior cats.
Homemade Cat Food
The Cat Health Guide Organization recommends speaking with your veterinarian about making your cat's food at home. According to their experts, the diet should consist of high-quality ground raw meat, such as rabbit or chicken, and be accompanied by dietary supplements to help meet its dietary needs.