Kidney disease or chronic renal failure is common in cats and is mostly seen in older felines. But, this does not mean that this condition is restricted to older cats. Kidney disease may develop in cats at any age and some breeds like the Persian, are found to be prone to this condition. It is found to be a progressive disease that gradually advances and worsens. In some cases, sudden onset of symptoms have also been noticed. Whatever it may be, appropriate care and timely treatment may prove useful in curbing the progression of this disease, thereby increasing the quality of life of the feline. A healthy kidney diet for cats play a vital role in managing the condition.
Kidney Disease in Cats
Kidney disease in cats can be caused by various factors, like kidney tumor, polycystic kidney disease, kidney trauma, cancer, exposure to toxins, certain congenital conditions and kidney and bladder infections. Kidney disease causes accumulation of toxins in the bloodstream, as the organ fails to expel them properly. During the early stages, the symptoms may not be that significant. With time, the cat will develop symptoms like increased urination and thirst. While healthy kidneys can concentrate the urine that is expelled with toxins, damaged ones may fail to do this and expel large amounts of urine. This causes dehydration that brings in the excess thirst.
Other symptoms include vomiting, bad breath, mouth ulcers, loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss and pain while urinating. It has been noticed that in most cases, noticeable symptoms develop when 60% to 75% of the kidney function is lost. The condition is diagnosed with blood and urine tests, along with ultrasound and kidney biopsy. Treatment for chronic renal failure or kidney disease in cats is determined on the basis of the degree of damage to the kidneys and its functioning.
While some animals may require hospitalization, other may not need that. If the underlying cause is detected, then, treatment for that cause will be provided. Some cats may require intravenous fluids for combating dehydration. The concentration of uremic toxins are kept low with fluid therapy and diet modification. Even drugs to limit phosphorous and those for preventing stomach ulcers are administered to the cat. Even dialysis and kidney transplant may be required in some cats. However, long-term care and treatment may help the animal to increase the quality of life and to prevent worsening of the condition.
Diet and Kidney Disease in Cats
So, diet management is very much vital, as far as treatment of kidney disease in cats is concerned. There are various links between kidney disease in cats and their diet. This includes the water content in cat food, the amount of protein intake and the levels of carbohydrates in their diet. Even the level of phosphates in the diet may prove crucial in cats with kidney disease. Limiting the intake of protein, phosphates and carbohydrates, along with intake of enough liquid may prove beneficial in controlling the disease. It has also been suggested that intake of dry foods, foods high in proteins, phosphates and carbohydrates could be among the possible causes of kidney disease in cats.
Healthy Diet for Cats with Kidney Disease
From the above discussions, it is clear that you have to stay away from dry cat foods if the feline is having kidney disease. However, canned or tinned foods are better than dry foods. One of the important factors that has to taken care of is water intake. The cat must be provided with plenty of fresh water. Apart from that, you have to opt for a feline diet that is low in sodium, phosphorous and protein.
However, a low protein kidney diet for cats with this condition is still a much debated topic. This is because protein intake in very less amounts may prove detrimental to the health of the cat. So, the best method is to consult with the vet and determine the amount of protein needed by your cat. This amount may vary from cat to another as it is determined on the basis of the stage of the disease and the condition of the cat.
However, if the cat does not like this diet and refrains from eating such food, you may make it more appealing with some juice from canned tuna tin. Make sure that the cat is eating adequate food, as it is not good for the animal to lose weight, at this stage. You may also try some homemade food, prepared as per the recipes meant for cats with kidney disease. Such homemade kidney diet for cats is also found to be beneficial, provided the feline likes it. Apart from the above said, you may also supplement the cat's diet with crushed garlic, omega 3 fatty acids, a potassium supplement, vitamin B complex and calcium supplement, as per the advise of your vet.
The above said is only a brief overview about a healthy kidney diet for cats. This article is for informational purposes only. You must follow the vet's instructions about the diet and treatment for kidney disease in cats. This is very important as the requirements may vary from one feline to another, as per the condition of the animal. So, proper care along with dietary restrictions and treatment may prove useful in managing the condition of your cat.