Diet For Cat With Kidney Disease

Babypaws

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I have a 13 year old cat that was recently diagnosed with mild kidney disease. The vet recommended putting her on a special diet which I would have to purchase from them. The cost was outrageous and I’m wondering if the special food purchased from a vet and the same food purchased from the internet are the same Quality? I found the same brand and size about half the cost on chewy.com Has anyone had experience with where to purchase or the best brand?
I love my cat but I have several other cats to care for and can’t afford to pay $65 for 24 small cans from vet

Thanks
 

abyeb

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What brand did your vet recommend? The vet gave me three different possibilities for Charlie. I’ll list them here, along with the price from Chewy:

Hills k/d (which is what I ended up deciding on)- $36.99 for 24 2.9oz cans/ $49.99 for 24 5.5oz cans

Purina NF (comes in both early care and advanced care)- $47.49 for 24 5.5oz cans

Royal Canin Renal Care- $33.29 for 24 3oz cans/ $45.89 for 24 5.8 oz cans

Blue has recently come up with an Rx line. Their KM kidney diet costs $52.56 for 24 5.5 oz cans.

I’m not sure if there are other brands that make prescription diets- other posters might know of some others.

The Chewy Rx marketplace is same food that you’d find at the vet’s office. I’ve always bought Charlie’s food from the vet, due to the convenience, but I believe that to buy an Rx food from Chewy, your vet will just need to send them the prescription.
 

brittpatt

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You just need to find food with low phosphate levels. Keep your cat on only canned food - that's very important. Yes, Dr. Hill's has very low phosphate but it has a lot of filler in it and is very low calories and your cat will likely lose a ton of weight (at least mine did). We started giving my cat Best Feline Friend broths (you can get them on Chewy.com) because the phosphate levels are still relatively low. It's working very well for us. On Tanya's site there is a phosphate map that will show you which foods are high and low.
 
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Babypaws

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What brand did your vet recommend? The vet gave me three different possibilities for Charlie. I’ll list them here, along with the price from Chewy:

Hills k/d (which is what I ended up deciding on)- $36.99 for 24 2.9oz cans/ $49.99 for 24 5.5oz cans

Purina NF (comes in both early care and advanced care)- $47.49 for 24 5.5oz cans

Royal Canin Renal Care- $33.29 for 24 3oz cans/ $45.89 for 24 5.8 oz cans

Blue has recently come up with an Rx line. Their KM kidney diet costs $52.56 for 24 5.5 oz cans.

I’m not sure if there are other brands that make prescription diets- other posters might know of some others.

The Chewy Rx marketplace is same food that you’d find at the vet’s office. I’ve always bought Charlie’s food from the vet, due to the convenience, but I believe that to buy an Rx food from Chewy, your vet will just need to send them the prescription.
The vet recommended Royal Canin. Cost $66 for 24 small cans
When I told them I couldn’t afford the price they recommended Hills for $44 for 24 cans. I bought this brand but my cat won’t eat it. It has veggies.
I’ve checked Tanya’s site and was overwhelmed. I’ve been feeding all my cats Friskies brand and couldn’t find it listed on her site.
 

abyeb

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The vet recommended Royal Canin. Cost $66 for 24 small cans
When I told them I couldn’t afford the price they recommended Hills for $44 for 24 cans. I bought this brand but my cat won’t eat it. It has veggies.
I’ve checked Tanya’s site and was overwhelmed. I’ve been feeding all my cats Friskies brand and couldn’t find it listed on her site.
Hills k/d makes both a chicken and an ocean fish flavor. Which one did you try?
 
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Babypaws

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Hills k/d makes both a chicken and an ocean fish flavor. Which one did you try?
The chicken, which she seemed to eat ok. She didn’t like the Hills food at all. The cat labels ingredients are a bit confusing with all The additives. I’d like to switch my other cats food too but honestly it’s so confusing I don’t know which brand would be better. I don’t think they do a good job in regulating food for animals. It’s bad enough you have to read labels for people food. A lot are very deceiving. You can’t always believe what you read.
 

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I don’t know which brand would be better.
Well, from someone who has a kidney cat. The best brand is the one she will eat. Kidney cats can become quite picky and are apt to losing weight.
Start with buying the one can with the lowest phosphate, that also has lower carbs and quality protein. And work your way thru until you find a few different ones she likes. The thing with kidney disease is, she will be prone to feeling unwell and nauseated as the disease progresses. This nausea can cause her to turn her nose at her food, even if she "just ate it yesterday". Cats often associate feeling sick to their food, "I felt sick yesterday with that food, so I don't want it again", so having a rotation available (different smell) for those instances can help encourage continued eating. And don't fret too much, after a period of time, cats will usually eat that "food that made them sick" again. I have 7 different wet foods and 3 different dry foods on hand that I rotate all the time. Maybe having a few non prescription low phosphate foods in conjunction with feeding the prescription option will help lessen the cost too as you won't go thru it as fast.
 
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Babypaws

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Well, from someone who has a kidney cat. The best brand is the one she will eat. Kidney cats can become quite picky and are apt to losing weight.
Start with buying the one can with the lowest phosphate, that also has lower carbs and quality protein. And work your way thru until you find a few different ones she likes. The thing with kidney disease is, she will be prone to feeling unwell and nauseated as the disease progresses. This nausea can cause her to turn her nose at her food, even if she "just ate it yesterday". Cats often associate feeling sick to their food, "I felt sick yesterday with that food, so I don't want it again", so having a rotation available (different smell) for those instances can help encourage continued eating. And don't fret too much, after a period of time, cats will usually eat that "food that made them sick" again. I have 7 different wet foods and 3 different dry foods on hand that I rotate all the time. Maybe having a few non prescription low phosphate foods in conjunction with feeding the prescription option will help lessen the cost too as you won't go thru it as fast.
If you don’t mind me asking, what brands have you found that are low in phosphates, low in carbs but good Quality of protein?
 

Jem

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Unfortunately, my cat's kidney disease is very advanced and he is almost 20, so I was not very concerned about using the vet stuff. So he eats the Hill's KD, Royal canine (different flavors), and the Pro Plan NF (different flavors) prescription foods. But check out this link, for a list of foods. https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf
Hope this helps.
 

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You basically wanna go as low as you can find. Stay below 1.5% dry matter baisis. Some low phosphorus, high protein foods.

Canned:
Dr. Elsey's Chicken - 1.26% Dry matter basis
Evanger's Holistic Quail - .83%

Raw:
Rad Cat Chicken, Turkey - They advertise on their website that all their foods have less than 1% phosphorus on a dry matter basis which is very good.
Primal Turkey - Less than 1% phosphorus DMB
 
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Babypaws

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Thank you, Jem and kittyluv387

After looking thru the list of foods on catinfo site I was astonished how many brands have so much phosphorus in the foods....Royal Canin looked the best but I’m going to study the charts further. Looks like I’ll be changing my other 10 cats food too. I’ve always been using Friskies but now I don’t know.
 

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The catinfo chart has a lot and is very useful. For newer brands and ingredients i had to email the companies. Its not that phosphorus causes kidney disease, it is bad for cats with kidney compromised cats. Cats kidneys just become compromised as they age, at different rates. I feed higher phosphorus cans and lower phosphorus one to get a decent average.
 
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Babypaws

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I’ve been trying to feed my 13 year old cat a mixture of Royal Canin (kidney diet) and regular wet cat food the past few weeks because she won’t eat the diet food alone but I’m starting to notice she is losing weight.
She drinks a lot and naturally pees a lot so I’m thinking that she might be losing a lot of nutrition. Trying to find wet food that has liver listed within the first few ingredients but the more I search and read labels, there’s not many if any food that seems actually good for my cat. Need advice on what to do to stop her from losing more weight........please
 

kittyluv387

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Did you consult your vet about this?

As mentioned i would feed high quality protein food with low phosphorus. Mentioned in prior replies. Especially if shes losing weight. A lot of times the kidney diets aren't nutritious. But consult your vet first.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi!
Also, ask your vet about adding probiotics to help her digestive system get as much as possible out of what she's eating.
Ask about this too but you could add goat milk, and raw egg yolk now and then (egg white must always be cooked).
Freeze dried treats, orijen etc
 

brittpatt

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Hi there,
I'm in the same situation as you - my cat's creatinine levels are going up and she's losing weight. We're going to a specialist later this week but here's what my vet has prescribed: RX vitamins for pets RX Renal feline (gets one a day), Azodyl mixed with food twice a day.

I really hope this helps!
 

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Low B12 levels can cause malabsorption of nutrients which causes weigh loss. You can ask the vet to check B12 levels. If levels are low, the vet will prescribe a B12 supplement, usually in an injectable form that you give at home.
 
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Babypaws

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I’ve been going crazy searching for cat articles about renal disease and what foods to feed them. I’ve read Weruva foods are not that great and aren’t a complete meal for cats, then I read some are feeding it and like it. I know it’s best for a cat to eat rather than the type of food you give them but I keep hearing different opinions on foods. I’ve also read the government’s inspection of animal foods aren’t as strick and can be too lenient so the food companies can get away with a lot. They use a lot of fillers so they can save money and the heck with the poor animals.....
I’ll be calling my vet to see if I can get supplements.
 
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