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Can Cat Treats Cause Kidney Problems

Remember Moderation Is Everything

Feline Kidney Disease and Real Food for Life

If your cat eats commercial treats, moderation is important. Any treat, regardless of the type, should never account for more than 10 percent of the pets diet. Being knowledgeable about the ingredients also makes a difference.

If you are careful about checking out the ingredients in your pets treats, you can help take more proactive steps to protect their health. Using treats as a reward rather than as part of a regular meal will help your kitty stay healthier.

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Dry Food Diets For Cats

It can be hard to choose the right food for your cat because you have to take into account nutritional value, your cats choosy palate, and your budget. You also have to choose between wet food and dry food. But, which one is best for your cat’s long-term health and nutrition?

Here, we talk about dry cat food and whether it causes kidney problems. We also list the real causes of kidney failure in cats and recommend the best foods for cats that have kidney disease.

What Causes Kidney Failure In Cats

There are actually two types of kidney failure in cats, and each differs in causes.

Acute Renal Failure

For cats with acute kidney failure, their kidneys are suddenly unable to function properly. This type of kidney failure happens suddenly, within days or weeks. If diagnosed in time, acute renal failure can often be reversed.

It can occur in cats of any age and is typically caused by infection, organ failure, poisons, dehydration, urethral blockages and other triggers.

Chronic Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney failure typically develops over several months or even years, and thus is more gradual in nature. This type of kidney failure is usually caused by autoimmune diseases, genetics or cysts in the kidneys.

This type of kidney failure can lead to total kidney failure, which results in the kidneys gradually ceasing to work as they lose the ability to filter toxins from the blood.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

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What Is Liver Failure

A cats liver is a large solid organ at the front of the cats abdomen, just behind the diaphragm which separates the abdomen from the chest.

The liver has a wide range of functions in the body, playing a key role in the processing of food after its been absorbed from the intestines, as well as being involved in the processing of the waste products and metabolites that are produced during the bodys normal functioning.

  • If the liver stops working properly, this is called liver disease, and cats can still appear to be in reasonable general health despite suffering from some degree of liver disease.
  • If, however, the liver disease becomes more advanced, the liver is unable to continue to function due to the disease process, and this is termed liver failure.
  • A cat with liver failure becomes obviously unwell, and needs urgent treatment.

About Joanna Pendergrass Dvm

Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease to Try

JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM, is a veterinarian and freelance medical writer in Atlanta, GA. After graduating from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine with her veterinary degree, JoAnna completed a 2-year research fellowship in neuroscience at Emory University. During this fellowship, she learned that she could make a career out of combining her loves of science and writing.As a medical writer, JoAnna is passionate about providing pet parents with clear, concise, and engaging information about pet care. Through her writing, she strives not only to educate pet parents, but also empower them to make good health decisions for their pets. JoAnna is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and Dog Writers Association of America.

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Keep It Low In Phosphorus And Sodium

As your cats kidney workload begins to decline, phosphorus is one of the substances which wont be easily filtered out from the bloodstream. If this substance is allowed to build up over time, it can cause a range of negative side effects for your cat, causing them to feel ill and worsening kidney function.

The best way to counteract the effects of phosphorus in the bloodstream is to reduce the amount you give your cat in their diet. Usually, the best prescription cat foods will come with lower levels of phosphorus and sodium. Sodium is important to minimize because it can increase blood pressure and make kidney damage worse.

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Early Diagnosis Is Key

Catching chronic kidney disease before symptoms become obvious is important, because typically signs do not appear until 75 percent of kidney function has been lost. Make sure your cat gets regular check-ups. The sooner kidney disease is diagnosed, the more time you have to address the underlying cause or slow the diseases progression.

The chances of a cat developing kidney problems doubles between ages 10 and 15. This is why its recommended that all cats 7 years and older get a senior screening at their annual check-up in order to determine if they have kidney issues.

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Purpose Of The Kidneys

To understand a little about kidney disease, lets discuss some of the many functions of the kidney. The kidney is one of the most amazing organs in the body and has numerous critical functions. It filters around 20 percent of the bodys blood, regulates body water and electrolyte balance, and helps regulate arterial pressure and acid base balance. It also regulates the excretion of calcium and the production of the active form of vitamin D. It plays a key role in the metabolism of some important body minerals and produces almost all of a special substance called erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. In addition to all this, the kidney is responsible for getting rid of metabolic waste products and chemicals through excretion in the urine. If this vital organ is not functioning as it should, there are lots of systemic consequences.

The most common signs that an animal may be experiencing kidney dysfunction are increased thirst and urination. In later stages of the disease, gastrointestinal signs such as bad breath, vomiting, poor appetite and diarrhea may appear. There may also be a gradual decline in body condition with weight loss and poor hair coat. Some animals show no signs at all, and their disease is picked up, as stated above, during routine physical examination and screening tests of blood and urine.

Creating Brighter Futures For Cats With Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats: A Vet Explains

Katie Burns

Cats with chronic kidney disease can now live longer, better lives than ever before.

Its been a very exciting time over the last decade or so in that weve really enhanced our abilities to diagnose and detect chronic kidney disease, said Dr. Shelly L. Vaden, a professor of internal medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Weve also made many improvements in medical management.

Dr. Vaden was speaking during the New Therapeutic Approaches to Chronic Care Symposium at the AVMA Virtual Convention 2020 this past August. Another convention presentation focused on RenalTech, a new tool from Antech Diagnostics that uses artificial intelligence to predict which cats will develop chronic kidney disease in the next two years.

During an October 2020 webinar from Morris Animal Foundation, Dr. Jessica Quimby, an associate professor of small animal internal medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, spoke about trying to develop a deeper understanding of CKD in cats while still improving on practical aspects of treatment.

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What Is Chronic Renal Failure

The kidneys have a large amount of spare capacity to perform their various functions so at least 66% of both kidneys need to be dysfunctional before clinical signs are seen. In many cases this means that the damage to the kidneys has been occurring over a number of months or years before failure is evident. Chronic renal failure is most commonly seen in older cats . Early signs of disease such as weight loss and poor coat quality are often dismissed as normal aging changes. Other signs such as drinking and urinating a lot mislead owners into believing that their cats must be well hydrated and their kidneys must be working. In fact, it is the complete opposite. In CRF, no matter how much water the cat drinks, the cat does not make up the difference. The losses are bigger and leaves the cat in a constant state of dehydration. This is what drives your cats excessive thirst. In the initial stages of kidney disease, the kidneys cope with their inability to concentrate waste products by excreting them at a lower concentration, over a larger volume. This is known as compensated renal failure. After approximately 66% of the kidney tissues are destroyed, there is a rapid rise in waste products in the bloodstream and a gradual onset of disease.

At A Glance: Best Food To Buy For Cats With Kidney Disease


Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, weve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. Youll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

  • Maximized energy density to help keep cats strong and muscular
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation
  • Low phosphorus levels help your cat to feel better
  • Added omega-3 fatty acids for anti-inflammatory effect
  • Calorie-dense to support muscle mass
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil help to reduce inflammation
  • Controlled phosphorus helps your cat feel healthier
  • Customers report that the square kibble is easy for their senior cats to eat
  • Low in phosphorus, which may help to prevent and ease the symptoms of kidney disease
  • Rich in easily-utilized animal protein
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Some reviews indicate that its highly palatable
  • Calorie dense to support healthy muscle mass

Because its low in phosphorus with controlled sodium, added B vitamins, and anti-inflammatory omega-3s, we recommend Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D Morsels in Gravy as the overall best cat food for kidney disease. This product has a strong reputation for helping cats with chronic kidney disease , but its far from perfect.

To help you find the right match for your cat, weve gathered eight very different formulas, including prescription and non-prescription options, dry kibble, and one raw recipe.

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General Liver Supportive Care

This needs to be given especially during the phase of acute liver failure, to help the liver continue to play its important role in the bodys metabolism.

This includes:

  • Intravenous fluids
  • Special diets including highly digestible carbohydrates
  • A feeding tube may be used to offer nutrition if a cat has stopped eating because of some types of liver failure
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Vitamin k may be given, especially if there are issues with blood clotting
  • Drugs to ease the signs of illness suffered by the cat

Diets For Kidney Disease In Cats

Kidney Disease in Older Cats

When your cat is diagnosed with kidney disease, veterinary treatment often includes medications, intravenous or subcutaneous fluids and a radical change in diet. As a cat owner, you must be able to discuss the disease with your veterinarian, learn why and how the illness progresses and why various treatments, including a proper diet, are necessary. Being informed, youll be much more likely to follow the veterinary protocols and the needed food plan, and thus improving the prognosis for your pet.

Understanding the Disease

Your cat with kidney disease will urinate more frequently and drink more water . The cat may start urinating outside of the litter box in inappropriate places on the floor, on the carpet, in bathtubs and sinks. Some cats are unwilling or unable to eat food and become anemic and dehydrated. They can begin vomiting and have diarrhea or become constipated. As the disease progresses and the kidneys become increasingly dysfunctional, your cat may develop azotemia an overabundance of nitrogen in the blood that shows in a metallic smell to the breath. Some cats will also have lesions on the lips and gums that make it more difficult to eat.

What Diet Is Most Effective?

Most traditional vets will recommend a veterinary-prescribed diet, however, holistic veterinarians can help you put together a plan using home-prepared meals that can work as well.

Can I Feed A Homemade Diet?

What Your Vet Will Tell You

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Caring For Your Cats Kidneys

Kidney disease is one of the most common medical conditions to affect cats, and can significantly impact a cats health, happiness, and longevity. Chronic kidney disease develops in many adult cats, and prevalence increases with age, with up to 80% of geriatric cats affected. At MissionVet, our internal medicine department commonly treats cats with CKD, which, unfortunately, is a progressive condition. Lost kidney function cannot be restored, but you can take steps to care for your cats kidneys and minimize their chances of CKD development or progression.

What Is In Temptations That Makes Cats Go Crazy

There is something in Temptations that makes cats go crazy.

Many cats are addicted to Temptations treats. Temptations are a favorite of cats because they contain a double-boiling of digest. This means that the nutrients in the treat are easily absorbed by the cats body, making it a highly desirable snack.

In addition to being packed with nutrients, Temptations also contain a high level of protein. This is another reason why cats go crazy for these treats. Cats are carnivores and require a high level of protein in their diet in order to stay healthy.

Temptations are also very aromatic. The scent of the treats is very appealing to cats, who have a keen sense of smell. The combination of all these factors makes Temptations an irresistible treat for cats.

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Can Cat Treats Cause Kidney Problems

Cat treats that are high in salt can cause kidney problems.

A cats diet should be low in sodium in order to maintain healthy kidney function. Diets high in salt can increase blood pressure and worsen kidney damage. Pets with kidney problems should therefore avoid treats that are high in salt.


Salt is an essential part of a cats diet. However, too much salt can lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure and kidney damage. Cats with kidney problems should therefore avoid treats that are high in salt.

Context with examples

Certain types of cat food, such as wet food, can be high in salt. This can be a problem for cats with kidney problems, as they are more susceptible to the negative effects of salt. Treats should be given sparingly to these cats, and should be low in salt.

Bullet points

-Cats with kidney problems should avoid treats that are high in salt.-Salt can increase blood pressure and worsen kidney damage.-A cats diet should be low in sodium in order to maintain healthy kidney function.

Do Temptations Cat Treats Cause Renal Failure

Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats

Can cat treats wreak havoc on the kidneys? Due to the fact that high-salt foods may raise blood pressure and exacerbate renal damage, diets for dogs with kidney disease are low in sodium. Additionally, you should avoid providing items that are rich in salt, such as cheese, bread, deli meat, and a variety of commercial dog and cat treats.

Why are temptation snacks detrimental to cats health? Temptations, such as fast food from McDonalds or Burger King, should be eaten sparingly. Examining the ingredients reveals an unusual amount of grain in a cat treat. Cats are obligate carnivores and get all of their nutritional value from meat. As a result, Temptations should not be considered a normal meal.

Are Temptations cat snacks capable of causing urinary tract problems? The vets sole advice was to avoid feeding the cat Temptations since they might create urinary difficulties and if it occurred again, he would have had to transform him into a lady. Males have a far more difficult time with them.

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Phosporus Restriction And Kidney Disease

Restricting phosphorus may be even more important for cats with kidney disease than restricting protein. We know that the high phosphorus content found in higher protein diets can accelerate the decline of function when it gets trapped in the work unit of the kidney.

There are two ways that phosphorus is reported in food. Look for 0.3-0.6% on a Dry Matter Basis or 0.7-1.26 grams per 1,000 kcal. Phosphorus content is generally not available on food labels, but can be obtained by calling the foods manufacturer. For easy reference, Dr. Lisa Pierson offers both a Phosphorus in Cat Food Chart and a Protein/Fat/Carbs Chart on her site

Kidney values should be checked regularly, and the panel should include calcium and phosphorus levels. If the product of Calcium X Phosphorus is greater than 70 or Phosphorus is greater than 5 mg/dl in the blood, a phosphorus binder is needed. This binds the phosphorus from food in the gut rather than allowing it to be filtered by the kidney, which will often allow us to feed a protein replete diet that keeps cats well-muscled.

The Causes Of Kidney Failure In Cats

There are actually two types of kidney failure in cats, and each has its own causes.

Acute Renal Failure

When cats get acute kidney failure, their kidneys suddenly aren’t able to function properly. This type of kidney failure occurs suddenly . If it is diagnosed early enough, acute renal failure can often be reversed.

Cats of any age can develop this condition and it is usually caused by infection, organ failure, poisons, dehydration, urethral blockages, and other triggers.

Chronic Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney failure typically develops over several months or even years, making it more gradual in nature. This type of kidney failure is usually caused by autoimmune diseases, genetics, or cysts in the kidneys.

This form of kidney failure can cause total kidney failure, and as a result, the kidneys gradually cease working as they lose the ability to filter toxins from the blood.

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