Today Christine “asks the holistic vet”: What is a good food for a cat with bad kidneys?
Dr. Will Falconer, Certified Veterinary Homeopath, Alternatives for Animal Health in Austin, TX responds:
As to a good food for cat renal failure or kidney disease, that’s quite an interesting question. Conventional veterinarians often try to put these cats on low protein diets, citing the kidney’s lost ability to handle the waste products of protein metabolism. We’ve learned differently, and largely through watching cat renal failure closely when they were allowed to eat a raw, high protein diet.
Cats who were diagnosed with cat renal failure (a common disease in this species) and were living in a household with other cats fed a balanced raw diet, were often observed to be craving the raw diet, and not wanting their low protein offerings. Caregivers who gave in, figuring their cats had a fatal disease anyway, were happily surprised to see these cats bloom! They started acting healthier, got more energy, more alertness, better grooming habits, better stools, nicer coats; in other words, lots of positive changes! And these diets were quite high in protein — they were mostly meat!Natural Digestive Supplement for Cats
So, it turns out that even the renal disease experts don’t recommend limiting protein, until very late in the disease, if at all. When the BUN measure in the blood goes over 80 (normal is under 20), they consider it. Quite frankly, I’ve not seen cats, even in the latter stages of renal failure, who didn’t do quite well on balanced raw diets, so I’ve not put my renal patients on limited protein at all, and they’ve done very well. (I also treat them homeopathically, which slows the pace of the disease, and I supplement them with a glandular supplement to aid the failing organ itself).
Balanced raw diets can be made at home (I have a recipe here) or purchased at better pet stores. Older cats may take some time to get adjusted, and I give some tricks to help that on the link above. Dry food is definitely a no-no, however. These cats are losing more fluid than the average cat, and we don’t want to dry them out (and bring about dehydration) by offering dry food. In fact, there are a lot of good reasons why I’d not recommend dry food for even healthy cats. I outline them here (click for more info).
To learn more about holistic vet care and homeopathic vet care, please visit http://alt4animals.com