Your Cat Has Chronic Kidney Disease Not to Worry, You Can Manage It!
17 May, 2016

If you just took your cat to the veterinarian and your kitty was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, just know that you are not alone. Cats’ kidneys begin to fail with age…there is no way around it.  But with early diagnosis and good care, you can help boost both the quality and length of your pet’s life.

Your veterinarian will invariably give you advice on how to best stop the progression of kidney disease, but below are additional ways to help manage it, primarily with your kitty’s diet.

Water intake is extremely important in cats with kidney disease

Cats with kidney disease are usually more dehydrated due to the reduced ability of the kidneys to hold water.  Therefore, maintaining a good fluid intake is extremely important and may help slow the progression the disease.  Since cats get most of their water intake from their food, whenever possible, cats with should be fed canned rather than dry.

Most cats prefer canned food, but if you cat only eats dry, you have to make sure that your drinks even more water.  If it gets to the point where your cat doesn’t drink at all, your veterinarian will usually recommend injecting fluid under your cat’s skin at home as treatment.

Protein content in your cat’s food should be reduced

An ideal diet for a cat with kidney disease is one with restricted protein. Many of the toxic products that accumulate in the blood are a result of protein breakdown; feeding your cat a reduced protein diet will help minimize the breakdown and improve the quality of your cat’s life.  Your cat still needs some protein as too little can also be detrimental to your cat’s health.

Low phosphate content is an important dietary aspect

Restricting the phosphate content of your cats’ diet is very helpful in protecting the kidneys from further damage. While restricting protein in the diet helps maintain quality of life, restricting phosphate helps increase the life of cats with kidney disease. If blood phosphate concentrations remain high, there are drugs known as ‘phosphate binders’ that reduce the amount of phosphate absorbed from the intestine.

Anti-Oxidants and Fatty Acids are also beneficial to improve kidney function

Anti-oxidants help protect the kidneys against further damage, while essential fatty acids help maintain blood flow through the kidneys and reduce inflammation and added potassium.  A Vitamin D supplement can also help maintain your cat’s kidney function.

Potassium supplements can help increase your cat’s appetite

Some cats with kidney disease will develop low blood potassium levels. This can cause muscle weakness, can contribute to lack of appetite and can make the kidney disease progress. If this is the case with your cat, potassium supplements, usually potassium gluconate in the form of tablets, gel or powder, should be added to your cat’s diet.

Because of the very specific needs for your cat’s diet to control kidney disease, your veterinarian will usually prescribe a specific diet and/or food to manage all aspects of the disease.  However, if your cat is still young and just diagnosed, by adding more water, less protein and fatty acids to your cat’s diet might just be all your cat needs to improve the kidney’s functions.

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