What Is The best cat food for kidney disease?

If you have an older kitty you may be be looking for the best cat food for kidney disease. Although it can occur at any age, it’s mostly found in older felines over 7 years old.

With the right diet and medication there’s no reason why your cat shouldn’t live a happy life for quite a few more years. In fact, diet alone can often help early kidney disease.

In this article you’ll discover some of the best cat food for kidney disease as well as tips to help you care for your kitty. Don’t worry if you don’t know much about the disease as I’ll briefly explain.

Also, we’ll look at your cat’s special nutritional requirements and what you need to look for. Plus, wet food vs dry food, and lots more.

The 5 Best Cat Foods For Kidney Disease

If you’re short on time, here are the links to what I believe are the best cat foods for kidney disease in cats. You’ll find a more detailed look at each one later in this article.

ImageNameLatest Price
support canned cat foodRoyal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support E Canned Cat Food Latest Price
hills early renal support chicken dry cat foodHill’s Prescription Diet k/d Early Support Chicken Dry Cat Food Latest Price
pro plan early care formula kidney support for catsPurina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Early Care Formula Canned Cat Food Latest Price
hills science chicken and brown rice dry cat foodHill’s Science Diet Adult 1-6 Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food Latest Price
blue buffalo dry and canned food renal support for catsBundle: Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support Dry + Canned Cat Food Latest Price

Best Cat Food For Kidney Disease Reviews

Here’s a detailed look at my recoomended cat foods for kidney disease. You will need authorization from your vet before purchasing, but this is a good thing.

While you can buy prescription diets from the vet they’re usually more expensive. However, it’s always good to get advice on the type of food most suited to your cat’s needs.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support E Canned Cat Food

Royal Canin Veterinary renal support canned cat food is formulated to be very enticing. This is a big plus as loss of appetite is common with kidney disease in cats

Ingredients include fish oil which may help reduce inflammation around the kidneys. In addition it also contains antioxidants to promote kidney function.

One of the benefits of Royal Canin renal support canned cat food is it’s low in phosphorus. This may help delay the progression of kidney disease.

Royal Canin is a trusted brand and recommended by most veterinarians. This is good to know and very reassuring for you and your cat.

Key Features

Low Phosphorus

  • Contains fish oil fatty acids
  • Contains Antioxidants
  • Highly palatable
  • Can be given with a variety of Royal Canin wet and dry cat food.
  • Recommended by vets

Average rating 4.2 out of 5

You can buy Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support E Canned Cat Food here.

Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Early Support Chicken Dry Cat Food

Hill’s early support chicken dry food is formulated to support your cat’s kidneys during the early stages of CKD. Some of the ingredients include L-carnitine which helps promote muscle strength.

This essential vitamin also breaks down fat cells and releases energy. Although already present in body, levels of L-carnitine decline with age.

This early support chicken dry food contains chicken both liver fat and pork liver flavor. This makes it highly palatable for your cat

In addition, omega 3 fatty acids help ease inflammation and support heart health. As it’s also been shown to have benefits in supporting CKD, this is a great ingredient for prescription diets.

Hills is a well known trusted brand and recommended by veterinarians. As with other specialized prescription diets you’ll need authorization from your vet.

Key Features
  • Supports early stage CKD
  • Highly palatable
  • Contains L-carnitine to support muscles
  • Contains omega 3 fatty acids to ease inflammation
  • Quality protein for essential amino acids and antioxidants
  • Made in Hill’s own USA facility
  • Recommended by Vets

Average ratings 4 out of 5

You can buy Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Early Support Chicken Dry Cat Food here

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Early Care Formula Canned Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan kidney function early care formula is suitable for all adult cats. As it’s formulated for very early stages of CKD it contains low amounts of phosphorous and just a moderate serving of quality protein.

Though not as widely known as Hill’s and Royal Canin, Purina Pro is recommended by vets. In fact Purina Pro Plan has been developed in collaboration with a team of vets, researchers and nutritionists.

Contains DHA and EPA fatty acids to support heart and kidney function. In addition these essential fatty acids also help reduce inflammation.

Purina Early Care Formula Canned Cat Food also contains added B complex vitamins and restricted levels of potassium. Although your cat needs some potassium in her diet, too much can be harmful.

In addition, it’s been found that some cats with kidney disease have low blood potassium levels. Unless potassium is added to the diet, CKD can actually worsen.

Key Features
  • Suitable for all adult cats
  • Developed in collaboration with vets, nutritionists, and researchers.
  • Contains DHA and EPA fatty acids to support kidney function
  • Added B complex vitamins and potassium
  • Recommended by veterinarians

Average rating 4.1 out of 5

You can buy Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Early Care Formula Canned Cat Food here

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 1-6 Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

Hill’s Science chicken and brown rice recipe is formulated to support heart, kidneys and bladder. As it’s not a prescription diet you won’t need authorization from your vet.

However, if you suspect your cat is showing signs of kidney disease you must consult your vet. While this recipe may help support your cat’s kidneys it may not be suitable for advanced CKD.

You’ll be pleased to hear only natural ingredients are used in Hill’s chicken and brown rice recipe, and contains no corn, wheat or soy. These are often used as cheap fillers, though still provide roughage.

Hill’s Contains omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which help support heart and kidneys. In addition, vitamin E is also added to promote healthy skin and coat.

Although too much vitamin E can cause harm by building up in your cat’s body, small amounts are ok. This is often why it’s a good idea to get advice first just in case.

Key Features
  • Natural ingredients
  • No corn, wheat or soy fillers
  • Contains omega 3 and 6
  • Added vitamins to support your cat’s immune system
  • Vitamin E to promote healthy skin and coat
  • Contains essential taurine for heart health
  • Made in the USA

Average rating 4.4 out of 5

You can buy Hill’s Science Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food here

Bundle: Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support Dry + Canned Cat Food

Hill’s Science chicken and brown rice recipe is formulated to support heart, kidneys and bladder. As it’s not a prescription diet you won’t need authorization from your vet.

However, if you suspect your cat is showing signs of kidney disease you must consult your vet. While this recipe may help support your cat’s kidneys it may not be suitable for advanced CKD.

You’ll be pleased to hear only natural ingredients are used in Hill’s chicken and brown rice recipe, and contains no corn, wheat or soy. These are often used as cheap fillers, though still provide roughage.

Hill’s Contains omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which help support heart and kidneys. In addition, vitamin E is also added to promote healthy skin and coat.

Although too much vitamin E can cause harm by building up in your cat’s body, small amounts are ok. This is often why it’s a good idea to get advice first just in case.

Key Features

Natural ingredients

No corn, wheat or soy fillers

Contains omega 3 and 6

Added vitamins to support your cat’s immune system

Vitamin E to promote healthy skin and coat

Contains essential taurine for heart health

Made in the USA

Average rating 4.4 out of 5

You can buy Hill’s Science Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food here

Bundle: Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support Dry + Canned Cat Food

Blue Buffalo only use pure natural ingredients in their kidney and mobility support cat food. In addition, there’s no wheat, corn or soy fillers.

Controlled amounts of protein from chicken help support your cat’s kidney function. Also, DHA essential fatty acids promote kidney and heart function.

Limited levels of minerals including phosphorous help support your cat’s kidney health. While chondroitin and glucosamine help promote healthy joints.

One thing to bear in mind is some buyers report the wet food as being dry in texture. However by adding a little hot water to it you can improve its consistency.

Just fill the empty can half full and stir into the food. After leaving it for about five minutes you’ll notice the consistency has thickened.

If you find your cat won’t eat Blue Buffalo wet food, try that simple tip.A few cat parents have tried this and found it worked.

You get both wet and dry cat food with Blue Buffalo bundle. This allows you to give your cat a healthy balanced diet.

You may be interested to discover Blue Buffalo kidney and mobility dry food contains “life force” bits. These are a carefully selected blend of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

A unique processing method known as cold forming minimizes heat. It’s been found that exposure to high levels of heat reduces the potency of ingredients.

Key Features
  • Natural ingredients
  • No corn, wheat, or soy fillers
  • Bundle includes both wet and dry food
  • added chondroitin and glucosamine to support joints
  • Vitamins and minerals for overall health
  • Chicken protein to support kidney function
  • Cold form processing to minimize heat
  • “Life force” bits

Average rating 4.5 out of 5

You can buy Bundle: Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support Dry + Canned Cat Food here

What Is Kidney Disease In Cats?

best cat food for kidney disease-what is kidney disease in cats

Kidney disease in cats known as CKD is very common in older felines. As it’s a gradual decline over years you may not notice typical signs.

The kidneys are responsible for removing waste, and filtering toxins. In addition, they also regulate blood pressure and maintain correct balance of electrolytes.

It’s believed that around one third of all cats will get kidney disease in older age. Also, some breeds such as Persian, Siamese, and Russian Blue are more likely to get it.

Signs of CKD include drinking more water, urinating more frequently, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If you notice any of these signs you must get your cat examined by a vet.

Your Cat’s Special Nutritional Requirements

If your cat has been diagnosed with CKD your vet will recommend a prescription diet. This should have reduced levels of phosphorus and include omega 3 fatty acids.

In addition, if your cat has protein in her urine she’ll need a low protein diet. However, it’s important she has a certain amount of quality protein to maintain muscle mass.

In fact, the recommended amount of protein for cats with CKD is 28%-35%. That being said, just because your cat is older doesn’t necessarily mean you should feed a low protein diet.

This is because a diet that’s too low in protein could lead to muscle loss in an older cat. Unless your feline friend has been diagnosed with kidney disease it’s best to stick to her regular diet.

Your veterinary clinic will advise you on the best food for kidney disease. This may well include some of the popular brands listed here.

As long as you get authorization from your vet you may well find them less expensive. If you find your kitty likes a particular brand it’s best to stick with it.

Your cat will need to increase her fluid intake. Much of this will come from wet food, but providing a water fountain will encourage her to drink fresh water.

Wet Food Vs Dry Food

Although some vets recommend wet or canned food for CKD, not all cats like wet food. Instead, feeding your cat dry food is perfectly fine.

As long as your cat has access to fresh water she should be ok. In fact, the main reason why wet food is prescribed is due to its high water content.

Always consult your vet though before adding new foods to your cat’s diet. The main thing is your cat is eating!

Often, you have to tempt a cat with kidney disease. Loss of appetite is common, so tasty foods with a higher level of calories are best.

Whether you feed your cat wet or dry food, most prescription diets for CKD will be high in calories. This makes them palatable and tasty, just as high calorie foods would be for you!

However, to avoid obesity your vet will probably suggest smaller servings. You may also be advised against giving extra treats.

Final thoughts

I hope this article has helped you find the best cat food for kidney disease. Whether your cat is the early stages or it’s more advanced, diet plays a huge part in managing the disease.

Many cats diagnosed with CKD will survive for a long time, giving added years of life. Always take your cat for regular checkups so your vet can monitor her progress.

All foods I’ve listed here are trusted brands and recognized by veterinarians. However, I think my preferred choice would be Blue Buffalo.

This is because all ingredients are natural with no artificial flavorings or preservatives. However, as my cat is still very young I hope it will be a few years before I need worry about CKD.

At the end of the day, it’s your cat who’ll decide whether or not she’ll eat the brand you provide. Don’t worry if she turns her nose up at the initial diet your vet prescribes.

Cats are known for being fussy eaters! Once you find a brand she likes, whether canned or dry, stick with it.

If you’ve found this post useful please share. Also, if you have any questions, or would like to share experiences leave a comment below.

Wishing you a purrfect day:)

Kathy

12 thoughts on “What Is The best cat food for kidney disease?”

  1. I didn’t know there were specific diets for cats with kidney disease. I also didn’t know it was so common in older cats. That explains a lot of my cats behavior. They are very old (for cats). Thanks for the run down on the best foods for them.

    Reply
    • Hi Tim, yes, there are certain minerals and other essential elements in prescription diets specially formulated for cats with kidney disease. As your cats are elderly, it’s not surprising they have kidney disease. If you’ve noticed changes in behaviour it’s a good idea to get them checked over by a vet. Thanks for stopping by, and glad you found this post useful:)

      Reply
  2. Hi Kathy,

    You did a great job in explaining in such detail the advantages of getting the best food to those with cats with kidney disease. Although I don’t have a cat, I use the Hill’s Science diet for our two fur babies. The vet recommended them. Also, when we had our two other dogs that were much older, the vet recommended Hill’s Prescription Diet as well.

    I’m sure this information will help someone looking to help their kitty.

    Thanks,
    Connie

    Reply
    • Hi Connie, thank you for your comment, and glad you enjoyed this post:) Yes, Hill’s Science diet is great for both dogs and cats. As both can suffer kidney disease it’s important to look after their diet. Thanks for your input:)

      Reply
  3. HI Kathy,

    Thank you for the thorough article regarding recommended products against kidney disease in cats.
    It is always sad to see when our pets get sick. Also, it is important to get specialised advise in the right way to go about their disease and make the right choices.

    I love that your article explains the key ingredients and things to consider for the top 5 products. In the end you also make a recommendation as which of them you think is the preferred one. Equipped with this information one can have an informed discussion with the vet and arrive at the right plan of action in the fight against the kidney disease of the cat.

    Thank you for sharing,
    Tatiana

    Reply
    • Thank you for your kind comment Tatiana:) Glad you found this post useful and that it helped you understand about kidney disease in cats. Thanks for stopping by:)

      Reply
  4. Hey Kathy,
    I enjoyed reading about the diet of our cute furry friends. I like how much you love cats and animals in general and how carefully you choose high quality food for all occasions. It is interesting how cats can have many health problems as well as humans.
    I do not have a cat but a rabbit and I know how much it means when you can give your pet the best.
    My neighbor keeps a cat in the house and I think this article will be useful considering that her cat is in her late years. I would recommend her to bookmark this site.
    Keep up the amazing work.
    All the best,
    Danijela

    Reply
    • Hi Danijela, glad you enjoyed this post:) Yes, it’s important to choose a diet carefully for cats with kidney disease. Many of our furry friends share the same illnesses and health problems as us. I’m sure your neighbour will enjoy this blog, especially as she has a cat:) Thanks for sharing and for stopping by:)

      Reply
  5. Hello KathyAnne,

    This is a very thorough article about CKD and our cat’s special nutritional requirements. I don’t even know that cats will likely get CKD as they age. But I am glad there are prescription diets that can slow it down and add more years to them. I love how you outlined the best diets/cat’s food and their pros and cons to help with this CKD and even their ingredients. And that you still need to consult your cat’s vet.

    I learned a lot here, while I remember only caring for a cat once in my life, and that was when I was still in grade school, your article armed me with valuable insights about CKD in case my children wants to care for a cat.

    Can CKD be avoided by carefully selecting what you provide them to eat in their early years? In my understanding, these diets are only to slow the effects of CKD, and it is not curable?

    Reply
    • Hi Matt, glad you enjoyed this post:) Yes, sadly many cats develop kidney disease as they age. In answer to your question, there’s little you can do to prevent kidney disease. However, monitoring your cat’s weight, keeping her away from toxins, and annual checks at the vet will make a difference. Feeding your cat a nutritional diet plays a big part in keeping her healthy as well. No, kidney disease isn’t curable, but can be managed. That being said, depending on the cause, sometimes a cat will make a full recovery especially if it’s younger. Thanks for your input:)

      Reply
  6. One-third of all cats will get kidney disease in older age? That’s a lot! I didn’t know cats get kidney disease easily, and thanks for pointing that out for cat owners. From your recommendations, I would pick up those made in the USA-for example, Hill’s and Blue Buffalo. I also love your suggestions to check on cats if they have specific symptoms for CKD or the diets to take care of. People will definitely get lots of value from this post. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Matt, thank you for your comment:) Yes, kidney disease is very common in older cats, but thankfully can usually be managed with diet. I also like Hill’s as it’s a trusted brand and have used it in the past. Blue Buffalo is also trusted and well known. I also love the fact natural ingredients are used. Thanks for your input and for stopping by:)

      Reply

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