Is Hill's Prescription Diet Feline k/d Food for Cats High or Low in Protein?

That prescription food is pretty good!

That prescription food is pretty good!

The bad news is that Kitty's been diagnosed with kidney disease. The good news is that your vet prescribed Hill's Prescription Diet k/d to ease the stress on his kidneys. Not only will Kitty have adequate nutrition, but the low-protein content helps his kidneys function as well as possible.

Chronic Renal Failure

Kidney disease, also known as chronic renal failure, is pretty common in older cats. Kitty's kidneys have usually been going downhill for a long time before you notice it. By the time he's drinking and urinating excessively, losing weight and generally looking unkempt -- classic signs of kidney disease -- he might have only about a quarter of his kidney function remaining. While there's no cure for chronic renal failure, proper feeding can give Kitty a good quality of life for a substantial amount of time. Because proteins tax the kidneys, these special kidney diets are all low-protein.

Acute Renal Failure

Another type of kidney failure happens suddenly -- acute renal failure. It might result from trauma, poisoning or a urinary blockage affecting the kidneys. If you get Kitty to the vet on time, it's possible to reverse acute renal failure. While Kitty's recuperating, your vet might prescribe a special kidney diet.

Hill's Prescription Diet Feline k/d

You can't just pick up Hill's Prescription Diet Feline k/d in the supermarket or pet food store. Your vet has to prescribe it. You can usually purchase it through your vet or she'll tell you where you can get obtain it locally. Hill's canned k/d diet consists of water, pork liver, chicken, pork byproducts, brewer yeast and oat fiber as its primary ingredients, along with various nutritional supplements. The dry version ingredients are, in order, brewers yeast, corn gluten meal, preserved pork fat, chicken byproduct meal, dried egg product and dried chicken, with additional supplements.


You don't need to feed Kitty anything else other than Hills, in the canned or dry formulations. Of course, he should always have access to fresh, clean water. While that's important for any cat, it's especially true of felines with reduced kidney function. The benefits to cats of this particular diet is summed up in one word: low. Hill's Prescription Diet Feline k/d is low-protein, to ease the amount of work his kidneys have to do. Because the kidneys also regulate blood pressure, it's low-sodium. To keep kidneys functioning as well as possible, its low-phosphorous. K/d diets also include antioxidants to keep Kitty's immune system in good shape and omega-3 fatty acids to aid the kidneys. Extra B-complex vitamins help replenish vital nutrients lost in urine.

About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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