If your cat is suffering from kidney disease, use good nutrition to help detoxify his body, bolster his immunity and strengthen his entire body. Making homemade meals for your cat can also be a fun and efficient method of offering at-home health care.
Kidney disease can result from chronic inflammation, genetic disease, infections, tumors or exposure to toxins. Long-term dry food diets may cause stress to the kidneys, exacerbating the problem. Cats are naturally designed to eat wet foods -- think freshly killed animals. Their kidneys evolved in a desert environment, where they received water from blood and other fluids in their prey. Cats eating excess dry food become chronically dehydrated. This is another reason homemade meals can help cats with kidney disease, as it's likely to contain higher fluid levels.
What Types of Foods
Low protein intake is often prescribed in kidney failure diets, because excess protein stresses the kidneys during the breakdown of wastes and other materials. However cats, who are natural carnivores, may reject many low-protein foods and as a result can become dehydrated and malnourished. Instead of dwelling on protein, carb and fat content, focus on feeding fresh (wet) meats, oils and anything else your cat will eat. During his body's time of nutritional need, it's better for him to eat something than nothing.
Introducing Homemade Foods
Focus on foods he's naturally built for -- meat and fat. Try offering a spoonful of meat you have on hand, like leftover chicken or fish. Keep trying with small amounts of different meats until you find some he likes. Start slowly, so he can get used to the new foods. If he does well, try two spoonfuls next time. While you are introducing new food, continue to offer his current food. This offers extra calories and familiar flavors, and minimizes additional bodily stress.
Adding Oils, Plus Serving Amounts
Cats are also built to eat fats. Most meats have fat, but healthy oils fight inflammation and boost immunity -- much needed during his kidney disease fight. Offer a couple drops of wild salmon, sardine or flax oil on an empty plate or your finger. If he likes any of them, offer daily. When it comes to calories, healthy cats need 150-350 calories daily, but cats with kidney disease need to max out on nutrition and hydration. Keep offering fresh meats, fish and oils to your cat. For extra fluid, mix fish or meat broth with water.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.