Like people, cats often experience declining kidney function as they age. Poor diet, lack of clean water, and high stress levels also can cause impaired kidney function. Fortunately, you can take several steps to help improve the kidney function of your furry little friend.
Feed your cat a healthy diet. To promote kidney health, The Cat's Meow Feline Kidney Disease website suggests giving your cat only a limited amount of high-quality proteins. Limiting protein helps reduce the amount of waste products that your cat's kidneys must excrete. (all ref 2)
Provide your pet with plenty of fresh, clean water at all times. Water helps flush wastes from the kidneys and reduces the risk that crystals, stone-like deposits or toxins will build up in her urinary tract. Clean her water bowl daily to keep harmful bacteria from multiplying in the bowl.
Give your kitty canned cat food so her body maintains proper hydration levels. According to the experts at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, canned cat food contains at least 75 percent moisture, making it a great dietary source of water for your feline friend.
Give your cuddly pal plenty of opportunities to urinate. Clean her litter box at least once a day, to encourage her to use it more often. Allow any indoor-outdoor cats to go outside for frequent potty breaks.
Give your kitty natural supplements that help boost overall kidney health. Wild salmon oil, gentle digest probiotics, antioxidants and feline digestive enzymes all boost kidney function by improving the kidneys' filtering abilities and by eliminating toxins.
Play with your pal at least once or twice a day for 20 minutes. Exercise helps improve kidney function by increasing her metabolism, improving the elimination process and boosting the performance of other organs, which means her kidneys won't have to work so hard.
Reduce stress levels in your kitty’s life. Stress triggers the release of a natural cortisone that initially calms the cat, but puts stress on her immune system if it's released too often. Help your kitty relax by maintaining a consistent routine and creating a safe place where she can retreat when she feels stressed.
- Give your cat spring water whenever possible. Spring water doesn't contain fluoride, chlorine or other additives that can put added stress on the kidneys. Filter any tap water that you give her.
- Have your vet perform annual mouth, gum and teeth examinations. The high natural bacteria levels present in cats' mouths can contribute to kidney problems.
- Always consult your vet before giving your kitty dietary supplements. An overdose of some minerals and vitamins can cause health issues instead of promoting kidney function.
- Avoid putting your cat on an all-dry diet. Most commercial cat foods only contain 6 to 10 percent moisture. This lack of moisture makes your cat's kidneys work harder and might cause kidney damage, urine crystallization or urinary tract infections.