Chronic Kidney Disease

Like many cat owners, chronic kidney disease is a condition that remains close to my heart. Watching my childhood best feline friend, Blaze, waste away from kidney failure was hard to handle. The irony was that I was mostly away at college studying animal nutrition and learning how I could have better helped her in the early stages. I’m sorry you’re here, along with so many other cat owners, learning about this terrible disease. 

Nutrition won’t cure kidney disease, but nutritional management will slow down the progression of the disease. It is also important to keep kidney disease in mind for all senior cats, as your veterinarian cannot detect this disease until ⅔ of the kidney function is already gone. In the years following my beloved cat’s death, I have always been focused on what levels of hydration and phosphorus are in my cats’ diets.

Your veterinarian will likely recommend a prescription diet along with subcutaneous fluid therapy to slow the disease’s progress. However, I have seen many cat foods on the market that are more affordable and have the same nutritional profile as the prescription diets. 

Loss of appetite is also a common symptom of kidney disease in the later stages, and it is important to note that getting your cat to eat at all is more important than getting them to eat the “perfect” food. I have seen many cats with kidney disease pass from lack of appetite and malnutrition rather than directly from kidney disease.