Cat Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yup... new cat is a piece of work. Now it turns out that in addition to all her other problems, she has kidney disease. The vet has said she lost over 60% of her kidney function and is at stage 1 chronic renal failure.

She's currently on Feline's Pride ground raw (duck, chicken, turkey, and rabbit meats), their food is fortified with taurine and other nutrients and has the right proportions of meat/bone/organ, plus plenty of moisture. I adopted her almost a month ago, so obviously this and all her other issues are pre-existing conditions.

What should I be doing? From most of the resources I've been reading it seems as if at this stage, there isn't much to do other than feeding them an appropriate diet. However, it seems like there is a lot of controversy on what is or isn't appropriate.

I've been told by the vet and some sources that I should feed her a low-protein diet, perhaps a low-protein prescription diet. However my mind fails to understand how a cat could possibly thrive in a low-protein diet. ALL cats eat is meat, and meat is protein, so how do you reduce protein intake on a meat diet without either reducing their food intake overall (not an option for a cat that is already underweight and malnourished), or without filling their food with fillers (starches, grains?) which are not natural for a cat to eat, would decrease the nutritional value of the food she eats, and could potentially cause other problems?

OTOH I don't want her disease to progress quickly so I need to figure out what's the best thing for her kidneys.

I spoke with a friend who's a biologist and has experience with sick cats, and she told me what I am feeding her is probably fine, probably better than a prescription diet because it has more moisture (which she absolutely needs!) and the protein is higher-quality. I read from a few sources that it may be a good idea to add a little bit of water to her food, even though it's already moist, just so she gets even more water in. We also always have water available and she drinks it often, but I'm afraid she may not be drinking enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
Hi Arkona!

I am 100% in the same boat as you... well, more or less :} At any rate, I'm pretty much taking the same journey with my cat as you are with yours.

I have a 14-year-old cat who was recently diagnosed with renal failure. Like your kitty, my vet told me that my cat, Wintressia, has probably lost ~70% of her kidney function. My vet pawned off several cans of Royal Canin Kidney Diet and Science Diet k/d which... surprise! They sell them right at the vet's office. My vet more or less impressed upon me that my cat would die horribly unless I fed her one of these special prescription diets.

However, I've been feeding my cat grain-free for years, and all of the kidney foods I've seen are just packed with crap grain and grain by-products. I might be a jerk, but I refuse to go back to grain-filled foods, no matter what.

I've started feeding her Feline's Pride as well. Basically I mix water right into the food, turning it into kind of a thick soup consistency. I haven't had any problems with getting her to eat the Feline's Pride at this consistency, and I feel better because she's getting more liquid.

Basically there's not much you can do at Stage 1. As long as you get a urinalysis and bloodwork done every 2-3 months or so, and keep a close eye on her phosphorus levels especially, your kitty should be fine. Nothing will cure the renal failure, of course, but I believe a raw diet and lots of moisture is thousands of times better than those so-called "prescription" diets. And there really HASN'T been any actual scientific "hard evidence" that low-protein diets really help cats with renal failure. In fact, it can hurt them! It can lead to muscle wasting and weight loss.

That being said, meat is high in phosphorus. CRF kitties often have high-phosphorus issues. So, when your kitty gets checked out again, be sure to make sure her phosphorus level isn't too high. She may need to be put on a phosphorus-binding medication, if it is.

You probably don't need to start subcutaneous fluids yet, so don't let a vet talk you into that. (Sub-q fluids can lead to problems of their own, but are often necessary as CRF progresses.)

Did your vet check her blood pressure and thyroid as well? High blood pressure, thyroid issues, and kidney failure often go hand-in-hand, and sometimes treating these other issues can slow the CRF and make the cat feel a heck of a lot better.

How is her appetite level? How many ounces do you give her per day? Does she seem dehydrated at all? (if you pull her fur/skin up, like at the nape of her neck or her side, does the skin spring right back into place or kind of ooze slowly?)

The only other investment that I recommend at this stage is a pet scale (or baby scale, whichever is cheaper!) Since cats with kidney failure often lose weight rapidly and suddenly, a daily weight check would help you keep tabs on your cat.

It sounds like you're taking fantastic care of her so far, so don't worry too much yet :} Kidney failure is a horrifying condition, and we can't stop it, of course, but in the early stages, there's no need to worry overly much as long as your cat is getting good care and excellent food, which she is ;}

Random tangent: For some reason my cat hates the duck :/ I bought the variety pack and am now filled with regret ;}
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I just got her blood work from Thursday in the mail. I'll post it on the other thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Okay, so the blood work was posted here http://www.catforum.com/forum/38-health-nutrition/157111-uri-kidney-problems-help-2.html

That being said, meat is high in phosphorus. CRF kitties often have high-phosphorus issues. So, when your kitty gets checked out again, be sure to make sure her phosphorus level isn't too high. She may need to be put on a phosphorus-binding medication, if it is.
Her phosphorus level isn't high right now but I'll be sure to keep an eye on it.

Did your vet check her blood pressure and thyroid as well? High blood pressure, thyroid issues, and kidney failure often go hand-in-hand, and sometimes treating these other issues can slow the CRF and make the cat feel a heck of a lot better.
I think the vet did mention high blood pressure. I don't remember her saying anything about her thyroid but I will check.

How is her appetite level? How many ounces do you give her per day? Does she seem dehydrated at all? (if you pull her fur/skin up, like at the nape of her neck or her side, does the skin spring right back into place or kind of ooze slowly?)
Her appetite comes and goes. Some days she has no problem eating when I give her food, and will eat all of it, but other days she won't eat when I give her food, or will nibble a little bit and leave most of it.

With that said, we've been pretty successful at making her eat most or all of her daily portions by putting her food away and bringing it back out later.

We aim for 2-3 ounces a day, again, of Feline's Pride ground raw. She's 5.4lb but we want to get her up to at least 6.5, so we're trying to feed her what she would be eating at that weight. When my other cat was 9lb (she's grown and gained weight since, but I have no idea how much she weighs now because it's impossible to get her to stay up on a scale), we had calculated her ideal daily intake at 3-4oz and we actually still only feed her that much because she looks to be right on the brink between healthy and slightly overweight, so feeding her more would certainly cause weight gain. So for a 5.4lb cat, 2-3oz a day seems like a lot in comparison, but she's been with us for a month now and she went from 5.5 to 5.4, so she still hasn't gained weight. I don't know where it's all going.

She doesn't seem dehydrated as per your test, but I can't really tell very well since her fur is kind of long.

The only other investment that I recommend at this stage is a pet scale (or baby scale, whichever is cheaper!) Since cats with kidney failure often lose weight rapidly and suddenly, a daily weight check would help you keep tabs on your cat.
I have one so I'll start weighing her regularly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
A friend of mine has a CRF boxer, and while not a feline what she discovered along her journey maybe of some use to you.

The boxer gets ground raw, but they removed the bone from her diet because it was providing too much phosphorus. To make up for the lack of the other necessary benefits of bone, they bake eggshells and grind them into her food. She may also get some supplements, but I didn't delve into exactly what goes into her bowl.

I am by no means an expert on raw, but hopefully this information will help!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top