Diet for an Elderly Cat With Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is a common ailment of aging cats. Chronic renal failure (CRF) can be treated in many ways to keep your cat alive and well for several years. The major symptoms of CRF are an increase in fluid consumption and more frequent urination. Symptoms generally won’t be noticed until the kidney is working at 25 percent capacity. CRF is the No. 1 cause of death in older cats.
According to Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM, and recent research, there could be a link between feline distemper shots and kidney failure.
Also, when cats have been on a dry cat food diet most of their lives, they are more likely to develop CRF. Dry cat food provides only one-half the amount of water that your cat needs, and over a period of time this can stress the kidneys.
There has been controversy on the benefit of restricting protein in the diet of cats with kidney disease. It is the phosporus in the protein that needs to be eliminated. Decreasing protein as much as possible could help many older cats with kidney disease feel better; however, cats need some protein to survive.
Feed your cat wet food that is low in sodium and phosphorous. The most important thing is to give your cat food that he will eat. Put out fresh food daily at room temperature. Keep track of your cat’s daily food intake for your veterinarian.
Your cat needs to drink a lot of water to keep the kidneys functioning. Have bowls of water all around the house, and use bottled water that is free of most chemicals. Your veterinarian may suggest hydrating your cat subcutaneously several times a week. The veterinarian can do this at the office or show you how to do it at home.
Keep track of your cat’s water consumption, and check the litter box daily for any changes in elimination. Check your cat’s skin for lumps or changes. To check for dehydration, pinch the skin around his neck; and if it does not pop back, it will indicate that he is dehydrated. Do this daily.