Diet Tips for Cats with Kidney Disease

Recommendations for Phosphorous, Protein and Water Intake for Cats

As loving pet parents, we do everything we can to give our best feline friends a happy and healthy life – especially when they get sick. If your cat has been diagnosed with chronic or acute kidney disease, we’re sure you want to know everything that you can do to make things better and easier for them.

Adjusting and monitoring your cat’s diet is a simple and immediate way you can help keep the effects of kidney disease under control, especially regarding intake of phosphorous, proteins and water. We highly recommend you always seek advice and medical help for your pet from a veterinarian or other pet health specialist before attempting to diagnose or treat your pet, but these dietary tips will help get you started.

Use Cat Food that is Low in Phosphorous

According to, cats with kidney disease often have high levels of phosphorous in their blood, a condition called hyperphosphatamia. In healthy animals, the body removes excess phosphorous through the kidneys. Cats with kidney disease can develop hyperphospertamia as their kidneys are no longer up to the job. With this condition, it’s important for your cat to eat a diet low in phosphorous.

• The Feline CRF Information Center says a low phosphorous diet is intended to reduce the amount of waste the kidneys must work to filter out of the body.

• A decreased phosphorous intake has been proven to help slow the progression of kidney disease and reduce the risk of other health complications, according to 1-800-PetMeds.

• Also according to 1-800-PetMeds, cats with later stage kidney disease should eat foods containing phosphorous levels between .2% and .5%.

At By Nature®, we understand how important your pet’s diet is to their health. That’s why many varieties of our cat foods contain less than .5% phosphorous.

The Protein Debate

A low-protein diet is often suggested for cats with kidney disease, and the matter has been debated over time around the idea that reduced protein lessens the kidneys’ workload. But this study published on PubMed found a high-protein diet does not make kidney disease worse in cats. Experts suggest feeding cats a diet containing a high-quality, highly digestible protein source when they are in the earlier stages of kidney disease and reducing protein in the advanced stages.

Increase Your Cat’s Water Intake

Hydration is an important part of your cat’s overall health regardless of illness, according to Drs. Foster and Smith. In general, cats drink far less on their own than their canine counterparts, but because diseased kidneys have a reduced ability to conserve water by concentrating urine, cats with kidney disease may become dehydrated more easily. Feeding your cat wet food will provide them with necessary water, as well as providing an available source of fresh water.

Choosing the right food is important because cats suffering from chronic kidney disease often have a reduced appetite. If your cat is exhibiting a lack of interest in eating their low phosphorous meal, try switching to a new type of food.

Always consult a veterinarian before attempting to diagnose or treat any pet illness. PetMD cautions there are other diseases, such as bone cancer, osteoporosis and thyroid disease, that are also underlying causes of hyperphosphatamia.

By Nature® Pet Foods offer the following low phosphorous cat foods:

1. Organic Chicken and Chicken Liver wet food (pate form): .15%
2. Organic Chicken and Mackerel wet food (pate form): .15%
3. Venison Stew (gravy form): .22%
4. 95% Beef and Liver, 95% Oceanfish, 95% Salmon, Mackerel and Sardines, and Chicken Stew (gravy form): .25%

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