If Kitty is diagnosed with kidney disease, your vet will recommend a special diet to help manage his condition. Science Diet k/d, for kidney diet, comes in canned and dry versions. It's a prescription food, so you can't just buy it in a pet store, but need a veterinary prescription.
Kidneys cleanse waste from the blood, so if these organs don't function properly toxins build up in the body. As Science Diet points out, the kidneys also "maintain the normal balance of fluid and minerals within the body." Kidney disease, also known as renal failure, can be either acute or chronic. Acute renal failure comes on suddenly, usually as the result of poisoning or trauma to the kidney area. Chronic renal failure develops over a period of time, and occurs fairly often in older cats. If Kitty shows symptoms of chronic renal failure, it's a safe bet that up to two-thirds of his kidney function already is kaput.
Cats with kidney disease usually drink a lot of water, thereby flooding the litter box. Kitty's breath might smell bad. If you look in his mouth, you might notice ulcers caused by the condition. He might start peeing outside the litter box, or you could notice blood in the urine. Vomiting, diarrhea or constipation all are signs of potential kidney disease. Kitty will start looking bad, with a dull, poor coat. Take him to the vet as soon as possible for a diagnosis. Your vet will test for kidney disease through blood work and urinalysis.
While cats with acute renal failure might recover completely if brought to the vet on time, that's not the case with chronic kidney disease. Chronic disease can be managed, but not cured. Proper feeding is a crucial part of management. That's where Science Diet prescription k/d comes in. These foods are low in protein and phosphorus, putting less strain on the kidneys. Once placed on Science Diet k/d formula, Kitty will not need any supplementary food. While all cats need constant access to fresh, clean water, it's especially important in cats with compromised kidneys.
Science Diet's kidney prescription foods were developed by veterinarians. In addition to low protein and phosphorus, the meals also are low in sodium to aid in keeping Kitty's blood pressure at a normal level. High blood pressure greatly affects the kidneys. The foods contain vitamin B complexes, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to support Kitty's immune system and kidney health. Your vet will decide whether Kitty should eat canned or dry Science Diet k/d, or a combination of both types.
- Hills Pet Nutrition: Prescription Diet® k/d® Feline Renal Health with Chicken
- Hills Pet Nutrition: Prescription Diet® k/d® Feline Renal Health
- Hills Pet Nutrition: Kidney Disease
- ASPCA: Kidney Disease
- VetInfo: Managing Kidney Disease With Feline Prescription Diet Formulas Read more: Managing Kidney Disease With Feline Prescription Diet Formulas
- Merck Veterinary Manual: Chronic Kidney Disease
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.