Diet for Chronic Renal Failure in Cats

Chronic renal failure is also known as kidney disease. It’s a very common condition that affects older cats. This disease is progressive in nature and the symptoms intensify as the cat grows older.              

Feline Chronic Renal Failure

Feline chronic renal failure is marked by a deterioration of kidney function over a period of years. It is a serious condition that is irreversible in nature. The feline kidney consists of tubules known as nephrons that filter and reabsorb fluids that balance the body. These nephrons stop functioning if they suffer from any damage.

The kidney however, can continue to function even if 75 percent of its nephrons are non-functional as the remaining nephrons grow in size and take over the additional function. When the number of functioning nephrons is less than 25 percent, kidney failure occurs and this causes an accumulation of waste products such as urea and creatinine in the body.

Symptoms of Chronic Renal Failure in Cats

Symptoms of chronic renal failure in felines include:

  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Vomiting 
  • Difficulty urinating

Diet for Chronic Renal Failure in Cats

Pets with CRF are more likely to be dehydrated as the kidneys lose their ability to conserve water by concentrating urine. Due to this reason, a pet with chronic renal failure should be given plenty of fresh water and canned food instead of dry kibble. You should also feed a low protein diet to your affected pet as protein breakdown results in a buildup of toxic products in the blood.

A low protein diet can help minimize the buildup of toxic products but you have to be careful as protein deficiency can lead to weight loss and this can be harmful. Cats don’t find low protein diets palatable enough so your pet may stop consuming the food you give him. To prevent this from happening you should mix low protein foods with your pet’s regular meals to make the food palatable.

Commercial Diet Designed for Cats with CRF

A commercial diet designed for cats with chronic renal failure generally has low protein and phosphate content. A cat with renal failure should have low levels of blood phosphate. Hence, feeding your pet such a diet can help manage his condition. Phosphate binders such as calcium acetate can help reduce blood phosphate levels. This should be administered to pets that refuse to consume their meals. Addition of polyunsaturated fatty acids and fiber to your pet’s diet also helps you to manage renal failure.

Supplements for Cats with CRF

Low blood potassium levels can worsen the kidney failure. Potassium supplements can help control levels of blood potassium levels as these tend to get low in cats suffering from chronic renal failure.

With appropriate treatment and care, you can prolong your affected pet’s life and also improve the quality of his life by slowing down the progression of this disease.