Chronic renal failure in cats


Kidney failure in the cat is a condition that affects their day to day, causing pain, loss of appetite and depression among other symptoms. Apart from the treatment of the disease itself, it will also be essential to be attentive to prevention to prevent relapse. We must learn to assess what is the phase in which our cat is, a task in which the veterinarian who is treating him will help us, to know how we should act.

One of the most important issues to consider is the cat's diet with kidney failure. Do I think or homemade food? What are the foods to avoid?

In Expert Animal we want to help you with these and other questions that arise at the time of feeding our feline. The homemade cat food with kidney failure It is an option when choosing the healthiest for them. We should not fear failure due to our abilities (or not) in the kitchen, they will not care how the dish presented, guaranteed.

Feed for renal failure

Kidney failure in cats is a slow and progressive lesion in the normal function of the kidneys, which are necessary to filter the blood and eliminate waste that reaches the body of our feline. When I fail, several functions are altered since the waste will accumulate and intoxicate our cat slowly, showing signs only at critical moments.

It is not a disease that through medication can be treated for life. The food and other specific care they will be essential to maintain it in an optimal state of health.

In the market we will find a wide variety of feeds indicated for cats with renal insufficiency, and although many of them are of excellent quality, they cannot be compared with the quality offered by homemade food. For that reason, below we explain what you should consider when preparing diets for kidney failure and we will show you two different recipes, one meat and one fish, so you can vary.

As a natural veterinarian, I always recommend thehomemade foodIn all aspects, whether for sick or healthy cats, it is only important to know what are the prohibited foods and which are the most recommended. To make homemade diets for a cat it is important to devote time, although not as much as one can believe, since we can freeze the prepared recipes for the whole week and store them in small portions.

We know that cats are strict carnivores So meat, of any kind, is the queen of recipes. But what happens when the kidneys malfunction or are inefficient? We must lower protein level (which abound in meat) and this is when the first barrier appears when feeding our sick pets. Both the owners and the veterinarians who do not specialize in nutrition, have difficulties in orienting when preparing homemade food and end up choosing commercial feed.

Before starting to prepare homemade diets.

All changes in the feeding of our cat should be gradual within one week to avoid imbalances or gastrointestinal problems. In the case of wanting to change my feed it is easy, because we will replace the old food by 20% to a larger percentage with the new one, but in the case of moving from feed to homemade food it is quite different.

It is very important to note that we cannot mix homemade food with feed, since they have different digestibility. For that reason we will choose to offer small portions to our cat every 2 or 3 hours and we will lower the amount of feed daily. That will help us also identify your favorite foods. We will start with vegetable balls with tuna, chicken or other meats.

The recipes shown below are intended for a 5 kg adult cat, we can make small portions and then, when they get used, make the complete recipe, you just have to cheer up. All recipes are for 1 day, distributed as they wish.

Cause of chronic renal failure

When we go to the vet and he finds out that our cat has chronic renal failure in many cases the reason for this ailment is unknown. The professional has been able to diagnose the disease because there is continuous and irreversible damage to the kidneys that prevents them from filtering and eliminating waste from the blood. However, this disorder is caused by one of the following causes:

· Kidney infections, such as a bacterial infection that results from a bladder infection and can lead to kidney failure.

· Have polycystic kidneys: cysts filled with fluid in the kidneys and that are replacing the normal tissue itself. It is usually given by inheritance in Persian and Exotic cats.

· Kidney tumors. For example, lymphomas (a solid tumor of white cell cells) that, as the Cat Care website has, can affect the kidneys causing kidney failure.

· For the intake of toxic products.

· Defects in the development of the kidneys from birth.

· Persistent inflammation such as glomerulonephritis.

Feeding a cat with kidney failure

Before talking about the nutritional needs of cats suffering from kidney failure, it will be essential to remember that The consumption of waterit's vital to promote the recovery of the cat or to improve their quality of life. A diseased kidney loses the ability to retain water and that causes abundant urine that leads to dehydration.

Some tips that can help you are:

  • Apart from feed, it includes daily wet food in your diet, but don't forget to choose products that are indicated for kidney failure.
  • Renew drinking water regularly.
  • Consider buying a water fountain, many cats prefer this type of drinking troughs.
  • Keep the feeders and drinking troughs clean and away from the litter box.
  • In the most severe cases, the use of subcutaneous serum should be used.

Now that we know the importance of hydration in our cat, it will be time to talk about feeding That must follow. It is very important to highlight that it is the main treatment and that is the key to treating renal deficiency or improving the quality of life of cats suffering from chronic renal deficiency.

Diets, whether homemade recipes for cats with kidney failure or feeding based on dry feed, should contain:

    Protein restriction: Decrease the protein intake of the cat's feeding prevents degeneration of the kidneys. We should consult with our veterinarian the cant>

The gamma of Hill'sPrescription Diet It has clinically proven products that can help control the different health problems that a cat may suffer. In addition to feed, Hill's complements each of its products with canned food, very beneficial if our best friend is delicate and needs soft food.

Here are 3 Hill's brand products for cats suffering from kidney failure:

1. Prescription Diet c / d Chicken

The kidney stones or stones Cat's are a serious health problem that should be treated as soon as possible. Definitely buy Prescription Diet c / d Chicken is to buy one of the best feed for cats with kidney failure since reduces the appearance of stones and dissolves them in 14 days. It is a very specific product and for a very specific ailment, so if you are not sure that your cat can suffer from stones you should never give him this product. In this case Hill's proposes the classic chicken flavor.

2. Prescription Diet c / d Fish

This product, Prescription Diet c / d Fish, is identical to the previous one, the only difference is the taste, which in this case it is fish. It is also used to treat kidney stones or stones, preventing their appearance and dissolving them in 14 days.

3. Prescription Diet Feline k / d

Unlike previous products, Prescription Diet Feline k / d is thought to improve the quality of life of cats suffering from kidney failure. It is an excellent product that also has reduced proteins, ideal for elderly cats, and an important source of omega 3.

Renal RF 23 Feline

The product Renal RF 23 Feline, it is especially indicated for chronic renal failure, for the alkalinization of urine, for hepatic emplopathy and for cats that have recurrent calcium oxalt uroliths. It has a low phosphorus content and also proteins are limited, which, as we have said in the previous case, is very beneficial for elderly cats.

Optirenal Sterilized Turkey

Finally, Optirenal Sterilized Turkey It has two very important functions: it improves the quality of life of cats with urinary or renal problems and it is also perfect for sterilized cats. It is a very complete product. It is also a delicate food for cats with sensitive digestion.

If you want to read more articles similar to The best feed for cats with kidney failure, we recommend that you enter our section on feeding problems.

Symptoms of the disease

As its progression is slow, it begins with slight symptoms produced by the accumulation of toxins in the blood and that will get worse over time. The most common symptoms are:

· Lack of appetite, but increased amount of drinking water (so you will urinate more).

· Weightloss.

· Lethargy and depression.

· Vomiting and halitosis.

Other consequences may be: electrolyte balance abnormalities, retention of excessive acid content in the body (acidosis), elevated blood pressure (hypertension) and anemia.


The diagnosis is made after a blood test and a urine test. Two substances in the blood are usually analyzed: urea and creatinine, since these are the products of metabolism that are normally excreted by the kidney. In chronic renal failure, in addition to the symptoms and elevated values ​​of urea and creatinine, poorly concentrated urine will be produced. To assess the concentration of urine, the "specific gravity" of the urine is measured, the value of which in most cats with renal failure is less than 1,030.


In cases where the specific cause of renal failure is found (for example: bacterial infection in kidneys), the cause can be directly treated. But in most cases it is not so and, therefore, the treatment focuses on the symptoms. Some cats will initially need intravenous fluid therapy to correct dehydration (and probably electrolyte abnormalities). Once stabilized, the treatment will be aimed at maintaining renal function and minimizing complications of renal failure. Chronic renal failure is irreversible and, in most cases, no improvement will be achieved despite appropriate treatment.

Appropriate treatments will need periodic checks at different times (including blood pressure measurements and blood and urine tests) to identify complications that arise and be able to treat them, such as anemia (decrease in red blood cells), potassium decrease, elevation of phosphorus, urinary infections and hypertension.

An essential point to improve animal health is to follow a specific and strict diet in which:

· Drink lots of Water. If your cat suffers from this disorder, it can easily become dehydrated so it is important that they drink a significant amount of clean water. You can subtract it from wet food, so you can give it this type of food more often than before.

Proteins Your cat should follow a diet with low protein content. Toxins accumulate in the blood of your animal in the breakdown of proteins, therefore, low-protein foods help reduce toxins. But be careful, we must know how to balance because a very low protein intake can cause weight loss that will be detrimental to the general state of health.

· Low phosphorus content. Similarly, if the phosphorus content is low, the kidneys will suffer less.

Our sick hairy can develop hypertension, which can lead to other ailments. In addition to this high blood pressure can cause greater damage to the kidneys. This is why it is important to treat hypertension when it is diagnosed, since the treatment is direct and effective (with tablets).
Regarding nausea, vomiting and anemia, we can treat them with drugs that the veterinarian recommends.

If we follow their guidelines and do not skip the strict diet we can help our furry to properly pass his old years.

We leave you a video of I am a Veterinarian in which the disease is explained in a very visual way. If you have children and your cat has this disease, the video will do well to understand what happens to him.

What is and how to treat CRI in dogs with appropriate food guidelines

Some new queries on our website related to renal failure in dogs, or more commonly known as renal failure in dogs makes us get to work and write about this disorder that affects approximately 1% of dogs in the world and where food plays a very important role to avoid aggravating the symptoms and causing irreparable damage to the health of the dog.

Acute renal failure

In dogs it develops suddenly and can be caused by different reasons, either by an intoxication of any kind, such as the ingestion of some kind of poisonous or toxic plant for them - our post 5 may interest you toxic plants for common dogs at home Y 5 common toxic plants for dogs and cats- either by the ingestion of any medication, or cleaning product or any compound that is toxic ingestion, such as by an underlying disease or surgical intervention in which the kidneys are affected.

The most common symptoms that can be perceived are vomiting, excessive thirst, lack of appetite with great weight loss, diarrhea and constipation, blood in the urine and more frequent urination and lethargy in the dog.

Acute renal failure is very dangerous and has to be treated almost immediately because it causes death and recovery of the dog will depend on the major or minor damage suffered by the kidneys.

Chronic renal failure (CRF)

In dogs it does not develop suddenly like the acute one, it is usually of slow development for months or years and perhaps it is one of the big problems to diagnose it in time and it is not reversible so it has to be treated throughout life, affecting especially to older dogs.

The causes of this disease can come mainly from race, genetic or hereditary factors that make the dog prone to this disorder..The breeds most predisposed to chronic renal failure include the English Spaniel, German Shepherd, Bull Terrier, Cocker or the Samoyed among other races.

Over the symptom, are several more than those already mentioned in acute insufficiency, given the slow progression of the disease can be observed coordination problems and bending postures caused by pain, a deteriorated fur, dehydration, anemia, mouth ulcers and bad breath, nighttime urination, fluid retention located in limbs and abdomen.

How is kidney failure diagnosed in dogs?

If you have checked several of the symptoms described, an urgent visit to the veterinarian is necessary to assess it and to find a treatment according to the size, breed and activity of the dog, since each case is a world and the treatment has to be adequate.

The veterinarian will perform a complete analytics -of blood and urine- and attending to levels of electrolytes, protein enzymes and the amounts of creatinine, blood urea nitrogen and phosphorus They are not elevated can diagnose renal failure and what type it is.

With x-ray or ultrasound images the size and shape of the kidneys can be observed, as it may indicate chronic renal failure - if the kidneys are small, something common in this type of insufficiency.

How to treat kidney problems in dogs?

It is important to identify renal failure and begin treatment at its earliest stage.

Depending on whether it is acute or chronic renal failure, treatment may include:

- Various types of medicines: for the control of urine production, for gastrointestinal problems, even for controlling blood pressure.

- Fluid therapy.

- Control of electrolyte abnormalities in blood and urinary production.

- Medication for gastrointestinal problems.

- Dialysis.

- Diet appropriate to the needs and severity and type of renal failure combined with adequate food supplements.

The kidney has a complex and important function for the dog

The function of the kidney is to filter the blood and control its chemical balance, eliminates harmful substances and those that are not necessary or leftover through urine and returns to the bloodstream those substances necessary for such chemical balance as water, glucose, salt, potassium, among the many substances that make up the blood and that the body needs in its right measure.

For this important function there is a part of the kidney that is responsible for it, which is the Nephron that acts with a complex set of filters (glomeruli), which in turn contain a network of small blood vessels (capillaries) where the complex exchange of chemical substances is carried out to separate between the disposables in the urine and the necessary ones are reabsorbed again.

Therefore food is so important since all those chemical components that contain the food of the dog's diet pass through the kidney filtrate in some way and if this organ does not work well, many dangerous substances for the dog will accumulate in the body with results of serious danger of death.

Although the veterinarian or canine nutritionist must be the ones who supervise the food to be taken, the frequency and the quantities, there are some general guidelines in the feeding of our dog which help the renal failure not to impact the pet so much and in the case of acute insufficiency, reduce the recovery time.

As in the case of a specific diet for a type of disease and dog, it is difficult to easily choose a type of commercial brand food since they may not have that type of diet with foods that are safe to do no more harm than the dog already has in his kidneys, although there are brands of the known ones that do offer certain products, they may not convince at all because of the complex processing methods they always use in all their formulations (We ours, as they are so natural and homemade, we call them "recipes").

What types of food are suitable for dogs with chronic kidney disease?

In a dog with IRC nutrition is essential.

Basically, the diet that a dog with chronic renal failure should take should be low protein -This is usually prescribed by most veterinarians- and also low potassium, with a balance together with hydrates and lipids (fats) and taking into account that it must be harmonized with the treatments that are being carried out as a therapies such as fluid or dialysis.

The protein percentage should not be greater than 20 or 23%, although certain nutritionists say, backed by several scientific reports, that in a renal failure the amount of protein is not as important as its quality. In any case, it is the veterinarian who determines how much protein the dog should eat.

With regard to the quality of the same, taking into account that better high quality protein than quantity, you can choose to feed the peludete with animal proteins that are high quality such as chicken, fish, cow or egg, in the amounts determined by our vet.

Given the the renal patient loses muscle mass and tissue you have to give it this good protein thatit doesn't cause a lot of work to the kidney and it is of better conversion, however the lowest quality proteins -the ones of most of the commercial brands given the processes of elaboration of their feeds, although they are special- they make sick kidneys work harder.

As the need for energy expenditure must be covered and we do not want the proteins used for this function, since they must deal with generating several lost muscles and tissues, it is convenient to use certain amount of carbohydrates such as rice or potatoes.

Regarding the amount of fat that the dog with chronic renal failure should eat in their diet should be controlled and avoid them in excess due to oxidation processes, but there are specialists who advise acombination of omega 3 and animal fats, excluding vegetable fats that for the dog is of worse synthesis and more if it is insufficient.

Another key aspect is proper hydration. We must ensure that the sick dog of the chronic kidney does not suffer from dehydration, and we already know a number of cases in which owners of healthy dogs they use a type of wet food, good type I think, more natural food type dehydrated food, to cover that need, so with this serious disorder you have to keep it even more present.

It is also convenient include a 20% amount of fruit and / or vegetables in the diet, excluding those containing phosphorus, always removing the skin. This will help to procure water, vitamins and fiber that also help the chemical balance in blood and may be necessary.

Therefore a good wet diet or dehydrated food With indicated proportions of animal products of high protein quality, combined with an amount of easily assimilated hydrates and sufficient fruits and vegetables, it can be a very positive factor of great importance to treat the disease always under the supervision of the veterinarian.

We hope you have been able to help clarify something in this post on why feeding in dogs with kidney failure is so important and give all our encouragement to those who have dogs with this kidney ailment. For any consultation about appropriate foods And its quality that can help, we are in total disposition.