Feline Diet Food for Kidney Stones

Some feline diet food will prevent the formation of cat kidney stones or cat kidney disease. Kidney stones are formed inside the kidney, usually starting out as a crystal that gets larger as more minerals accumulate around the original crystal, forming a stone. Sometimes they travel down the ureters, into the bladder and eventually out of the body through the urethra. However, they can lodge along the way and block urine from being eliminated from the body.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Cats with kidney stones urinate often and in small amounts, often in places other than the litter box. Dribbling urine, straining to urinate and a presence of blood in the urine are all indicators of kidney stones. In extreme cases, a cat may not be able to urinate at all because of a blockage somewhere within the urinary tract. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, depression, abdominal pain or hiding and remaining still. Prompt medical attention is needed to prevent kidney damage or even death. X-rays, ultrasound and a blood test will determine whether the urinary problem is caused by an infection or stones. Kidney stones are usually removed surgically.

Preventing Kidney Stones with Special Diet

A diet lower in protein, phosphorus and magnesium will reduce the potential development of kidney disease or kidney stones since these elements contribute to kidney stone formation. Canned cat food is higher in water content and less likely to contribute to any kidney problems. Adding water to any dry cat food such as Hill's Prescription Diet for Felines may work for the finicky cat that will not eat canned food. Otherwise adding potassium citrate might be recommended by the veterinarian.

Since kidney disease reduces the function of a cat's kidneys, a special diet is necessary to ensure proper nutrition with less waste. Cat diet food for those cats with kidney disease contains less protein than normal cat food so waste products do not enter the bloodstream. This also decreases the amount of protein metabolism residue and corrects the balance of electrolytes by lowering sodium and phosphorous.

Brands of Diet Food

Your veterinarian may recommend a number of prescription diet foods for feline kidney disease or kidney stones: Hi-Tor Canned Neo-Diet Feline Canned Kidney Diet, Eukanuba Veterinary Diet Multi-Stage Renal Formula, Iams Veterinary Formulas Renal Multi-Stage Diet or Hill's Prescription Diet Feline k/d. Also available are Medi-Cal Feline Reduced Protein Formula, Royal Canine Veterinary Diet and Purina Kidney Function Bran Formula. Flavor tends to be lacking in some of these diets and so cats may not eat them. Gradually mix these formulas with their regular food in order to switch their diet slowly. Heat the food in the microwave to induce aroma or flavor the food with the liquid from a can of sardines to entice your cat to eat.