Alternative Therapies for Cat Renal Failure

Cat renal failure occurs when feline kidneys are unable to filter and process waste products or perform other essential functions. This causes toxins to build up in the body, resulting in a potentially life-threatening situation for the affected cat.

There is no cure, but there are treatments that may help improve the comfort level and lifespan of cats with the disease. Alternative therapies offer owners of renal failure cats a more holistic approach to caring for their pets. In particular, kidney failure treatments based on nutrition and vitamins are receiving more attention from cat owners and animal care professionals.

Nutrition-Based Therapies

Inadequate nutrition is believed to be a leading contributor to feline kidney failure. Commercial cat foods generally contain high amounts of byproducts and carbohydrate fillers with low nutritional value. Processed dry food is often criticized by holistic animal experts for its low water content and insufficient amounts of poor-quality protein. Years of eating such food is thought to strain a cat's kidneys and contribute to renal failure.

Homemade and Raw Diets

Owners of kidney failure cats can help reduce the stress on their pet's vulnerable organs with homemade diets or uniquely formulated products available online and in specialty health and pet stores. Such diet treatments are designed to improve kidney function by increasing healthy nutrients and decreasing additives. Many of these holistic recipes and packaged foods contain raw and natural ingredients like fresh chicken, turkey or pork; hardboiled or uncooked eggs; raw vegetables; cooked rice or grains; vegetable oil or chicken fat; calcium and vitamins A, B, C, D and E.

Phosphorus and Protein Levels

Many therapeutic food plans also contain low levels of phosphorus. Damaged kidneys have difficulty filtering this mineral, which is found in high amounts in commercial cat food. There is debate on whether processing protein is too challenging for renal failure cats. Traditional veterinary treatments include limited protein intake for cats with kidney failure, however, some holistic vets and animal nutritionists believe low-protein diets are not necessarily beneficial. As a result, recommended protein levels vary among holistic recipes and foods intended for cats with kidney failure.

Vitamins and Supplements

There are also a many alternative vitamin and supplement treatments for cat renal failure. Feline Instincts brand cat food features Kidney Support DietTM, an organic supplement designed for use with a raw food diet. This treatment features a range of ingredients combined to support the function of damaged kidneys, including vitamins B and E, calcium, magnesium, taurine, enzymes, probiotics, and kidney and adrenal glands.

Liquid and Herbal Treatments

Native Remedies, a brand specializing in holistic human and animal treatments, offers Kidney SupportTM on their retail site This liquid supplement contains burdock, dandelion and cleavers-herbs regarded for their natural blood regulating and cleansing properties. Nausea and vomiting are common problems in renal failure cats. Slippery Elm extract is considered by many holistic animal care specialists as a safe and effective way to help treat these symptoms and increase the cat's appetite.

Caring for a cat with renal failure can be a difficult and overwhelming situation for any pet owner. However, there are more options than ever for owners seeking alternative therapies. Dedicated holistic veterinarians and animal care specialists offer a growing number of nutrition and supplement-based guides, products and treatments for cats.