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7 Best Non-Prescription Food For Cats With Kidney Disease

7 Best Non-Prescription Food For Cats With Kidney Disease

Just like for us humans, kidneys are vital organs for cats, too. 

Unfortunately, many cats suffer from kidney disease. This problem occurs in around 30-40% of senior cats, according to Malcolm Weir from VCA Animal Hospitals [1]. However, it’s also possible for younger cats to face this health issue.

Although kidney disease isn’t curable, if it’s detected early and treated appropriately, a cat can still have a long and quality life.

Nutrition is one of the most important factors in cats with kidney disease. Roughly speaking, a quality diet for felines with this condition should have an increased amount of omega-3 fatty acids and contain less sodium and phosphorus.

Also, since their kidney function is poor, cats with kidney disease should eat moisture-rich food.

Let’s see what are the seven best non-prescription foods for cats with kidney disease.

Top 3 Picks For Best Non-Prescription Food For Cats With Kidney Disease

1. Budget Pick: Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Flaked Wet Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Flaked Wet Cat Food

• Affordable cat food, but its lower price doesn’t affect its quality

• Supports healthy muscle maintenance

• Provides adequate hydration 

• No corn, soy, wheat, or preservatives

2. Premium Pick: Ziwi Peak Canned Wet Cat Food

Ziwi Peak Canned Wet Cat Food

• Moisture-rich cat food

• Highly palatable

• A natural source of enzymes and probiotics for improved digestion

• Rich in omega-3 fatty acid

3. Best Pick: Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Adult, Urinary & Hairball Control

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food

• Supports complete urinary health

• Rich in omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E

• Made in the USA

• A good source of natural fiber

7 Best Non-Prescription Food For Cats With Kidney Disease

1. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Flaked Wet Cat Food 


Pros:

  • Chicken, fish, or tuna as the #1 ingredient 
  •  A tasty wet cat food in savory gravy
  • High-moisture content

Cons:

  • Picky eaters may not be thrilled with the taste of this cat food
  • Some cat owners would prefer to avoid ingredients such as potato starch and sweet potato 

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Flaked Wet Cat Food is our budget pick.

This cat food is not only affordable but also an excellent choice for cats dealing with kidney disease.

The first ingredient in this cat food is chicken, fish, or tuna. We all know how much cats enjoy and also need animal protein in their diet, fish especially!

Blue Buffalo cat food in savory gravy is very tasty and has a high moisture content. This means it’s beneficial for felines with renal problems.

Blue Buffalo has an 82.0% water intake in its overall content. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant considered to be kidney-friendly in pet food. 

At the same time, some cat owners may not be thrilled with potato starch and sweet potato as a part of this cat’s food ingredients. Therefore, this can be considered as its downside.

2. Forza10 Wet Renal Care Cat Food With Lamb

Pros:

  • Especially designed for cats with renal issues
  • Highly digestible
  • GMO-free and doesn’t contain wheat, soy, corn, or any chemical preservatives

Cons:

  • Not all cats will enjoy the lamb taste
  • The lack of chemical preservatives causes the food to start smelling bad quicker

Forza10 cat food is specially designed for cats with renal issues. The main ingredient in this cat food is pasture-raised lamb from New Zealand.

In addition to its benefits for kidney problems, this cat food also addresses stomach sensitivities in felines.

According to the manufacturer, Forza10 cat food is 100% natural. It’s also highly digestible and free of wheat, soy, corn, and artificial colors.

Forza 10 company conducted over 30 scientific studies and clinical studies on the effectiveness of adequate cat food for cat’s rental health. 

One of them is a study on clinical evidence of the renal active diet as valid nutritional support for cats with chronic renal failure conducted by Alessandro Di Cerbo and his associates [2].

An important thing to mention here is that there’s a chance your cat will dislike the lamb taste of Forza10 cat food. 

However, I recommend you should give it a try!

3. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food

Pros:

  • Supports complete urinary health
  • Supports healthy skin and coat with omega-6 and vitamin E
  • #1 Veterinarian recommended

Cons:

  • A bit high price

Hill’s Science cat food is our best choice on this list. This means that we find this product as the most effective and the one that we will recommend as a first choice for all cat parents whose feline friends have kidney problems.

This product has a high 4.5 rating among more than 6,000 votes. Obviously, many cat owners are more than satisfied with this food from Hill’s Science.

This cat food supports complete urinary health in cats. Also, it’s a good source of natural fiber and helpful in reducing hairballs.

Water as a leading ingredient makes this cat food highly recommended for feline urinary and kidney health.

An ingredient I’m happy to see on this list is fish oil. According to Integricare Animal Health, there are a couple of important benefits of this oil for cats:

• Slows the kidney disease progression

• Supports heart health

• Improves cognitive function

• Eases pain in arthritic joints

• Relieves dry skin

Hill’s Science cat food is made in the United States and is the #1 cat food recommended by veterinarians.

However, the price of this cat food may seem a bit high. If you ask me, I would definitely choose to spend more money on high-quality cat food than on veterinary care for a cat with kidney troubles.

4. Purina Pro Plan Vital Systems Tuna Entree Wet Cat Food 

Pros:

  • Supports cat’s kidneys, immune system, brain, and digestive health
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Real tuna as the number one ingredient

Cons:

  • The size of the can is a bit small
  • Brown rice as a number six ingredient isn’t something we’re crazy about

Purina Pro Plan wet cat food is specially made to support cats’ kidney health. Together with this, it’s also beneficial for the feline brain, digestive health, and immune health in general.

Tuna, which is rich in antioxidants, is the leading ingredient of Purina cat food. Thanks to this, this cat food supports a cat’s immune system and neutralizes free radicals.

Additionally, this cat food includes prebiotic fiber to promote healthy digestion and omega-3 fatty acids to provide kidney support

Choline is an additional important ingredient since it supports brain health.

Brown rice is something I don’t like to see on the list of ingredients for any cat food since cats don’t really need carbs. Still, brown rice is certainly not the worst option possible.

5. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

Pros:

  • Supports healthy hydration
  • Natural, grain-free recipe
  • Features real chicken, chicken liver, or turkey

Cons:

  • Contains cranberries, which may not be ideal for kittens that can have trouble processing them
  • Also contains dried ground potatoes

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Cat Food provides cats with necessary daily hydration, which is essential for all cats, but especially for those struggling with kidney disease.

This cat food doesn’t contain any preservatives or artificial colors.

This cat food has animal proteins as its main ingredients. The recipe is fortified with minerals and vitamins to ensure healthy nutrition.

Wellness CORE cat food contains guar gum, which is a safe food additive to help wet cat food maintain a uniform consistency.

This recipe includes cranberries. Normally, adult and senior cats will not have a problem with this ingredient.

However, younger kittens could have trouble processing it. Although kidney disease is commonly seen in older cats, there’s a chance that some younger cats could develop it, too.

Dried ground potatoes are another non-animal ingredient in the Wellness CORE cat food. This isn’t an ideal ingredient either, but it also isn’t among the five leading ingredients. 

6. Weruva Wx Phos Focused, Chicken & Tilapia Formula In Gravy

Pros:

  • Low levels of phosphorus
  • Highly bioavailable proteins
  • All natural

Cons:

  • Few customer reviews suggest that this isn’t a good option for picky eaters

One important characteristic of good cat food for kidney problems in cats is a low level of phosphorus. This is exactly what Weruxa cat food offers.

This cat food is all-natural and doesn’t include ingredients such as fillers, carbohydrates, or powdered cellulose.

We love to see the fish oil and chicken on the ingredient list, as well as folic acid and Vitamin B12 supplements on this list.

As Hill’s Pet explains, folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that aids digestion and promotes healthy cell growth in cats. Vitamin B12 supplement is equally important for proper cell growth.

A thing worth mentioning here is that some picky eaters may not be thrilled with this gravy cat food. Of course, you won’t know until you serve it to your feline friend!

7. Ziwi Peak, Canned Wet Cat Food

Pros:

  • Contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Formulated for kittens, adult cats, and senior cats
  • Moisture-rich, highly palatable, and pâté-style cat food

Cons:

  • Chickpeas are among the five leading ingredients
  • A high price

Ziwi Peak canned wet cat food is our premium pick. This means that this cat food has all it needs to be the perfect choice for cats with kidney disease. However, this high-quality option does come with a premium price tag that may not be affordable for everyone.

Ziwi Peak cat food is moisture-rich and highly palatable. It’s suitable for kittens, adult cats, and senior cats.

Ziwi Peak cat food is low in carbs and grain-free. It doesn’t contain any unnecessary fillers and carbohydrates.

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important ingredient for urinary and kidney health, joint health, and enhanced skin and coat.

There is one dubious ingredient among the five leading ones – chickpeas. This is normally a highly desirable ingredient since it’s high in protein and, of course, isn’t poisonous to felines.

However, regular consumption of this legume could lead to stomach upset in certain cats. This doesn’t mean that your cat will ever have stomach issues due to chickpeas. Still, it’s worth mentioning for you to be aware of all potential side effects.

What To Look For In Cat Food For Feline Kidney Disease?

Once again, it’s important to summarize the main characteristics you should look for in cat food for your pet with kidney disease. 

Cats with this condition tend to urinate excessively. This means that dehydration is possible with them and that they need more hydration than an average, healthy cat. A high moisture content is an important characteristic of good cat food for cats with renal issues.

If your cat mostly eats dry food, the best thing to do is switch to wet food for added hydration.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also of crucial importance here. This ingredient has anti-inflammatory supplements and is likely to slow down the kidney disease progression. Look for cat food rich in fish oil.

A cat with poor kidney function lacks the ability to filter out phosphorus, resulting in the buildup of this mineral in the cat’s bloodstream. This can make your cat feel very ill and speed up kidney disease progression.

Due to this, you should look for cat food low in phosphorus. The ideal content of this mineral should be less than 0.5%.

Finally, sodium can also worsen kidney disease symptoms, so, your cat’s diet should be low in sodium, too.

Conclusion

It’s always difficult to learn that your cat has any kind of health issue. However, it’s essential to stay cool-headed and start making all the necessary changes right away.

An adequate diet becomes even more crucial upon learning your cat has renal issues.

All of the cat foods listed here are recommended and beneficial for cats with kidney disease. Some are more pricey, while some have specific tastes.

Ultimately, the choice will depend on you and your understanding of your cat’s preferences. Maybe your cat will even surprise you by accepting the taste you least expected!

Finally, I would like to remind you to consult a veterinarian, even though these cat foods don’t require a prescription.

The vet clinic should be the first place to ask for advice when it comes to anything related to your cat’s health.

References:

[1] Malcolm Weir, DVM: Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats. DOI, Retrieved November 22, 2023.

[2] Di Cerbo A, Iannitti T, Guidetti G, Centenaro S, Canello S, Cocco R. A nutraceutical diet based on Lespedeza spp., Vaccinium macrocarpon and Taraxacum officinale improves spontaneous feline chronic kidney disease. Physiol Rep. 2018 Jun;6(12):e13737. DOI, Retrieved November 22, 2023.