Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Kidney Problems

It is common for older cats to develop kidney problems. Given this, it is important to feed your cat on a diet that will help to alleviate some of these issues. 

In this article, we have compared five of the best cat foods for older cats with kidney problems. We have compared each of them and have provided you with a useful list of pros and cons.

At the end of the article, there is a buyer’s guide to help you know what you need to look for in kidney-specific cat food. We have also included a frequently asked questions section to answer any additional questions you may have.  It’s also important to remember that you should consult with your vet to ensure that you’re getting the best food for your cat.

In A Hurry?

The best cat food for older cats with kidney problems we have chosen is:

Top 5 Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Kidney Problems Reviews

OUR TOP PICK

This is a prescription food for cats with chronic and acute kidney problems. You will need veterinary approval before purchasing it. Hills k/d helps to sustain a cat’s kidneys and support their muscle mass and function.

It has been clinically tested and will help to prolong the life of a cat suffering from severe kidney problems. It will help to improve your cat’s overall quality of life and will manage your cat’s condition and pain.

The food contains high levels of amino acids and will help to reduce the risk of your cat forming calcium oxalate crystals. In addition to this, it can help to reduce the chances of your cat developing struvite.

Pros:

  • Particularly good for older cats with chronic acute kidney problems
  • Prevents the development of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals
  • Contains high levels of amino acids

Cons:

  • This is a veterinary prescribed food that will need to be approved by your veterinarian before use.

EDITORS CHOICE

Hi-Tor assists in helping to manage renal disease. It is highly palatable which is great if you have a fussy cat. It contains low phosphorus and protein which are essential for cats with kidney problems.

Although it contains lower meat content it is not a single source protein. It contains beef, chicken, pork liver, and ocean fish. If your cat is sensitive to multiple proteins this is worth noting.

What is great about this cat food is that it already contains added water to help with your cat’s water intake. This is good for cats with kidney problems. 

This food comes in a pack of 24 cans and is reasonably priced. It is available in wet food only. 

Pros:

  • Highly palatable
  • Low phosphorus and protein
  • Added water to help with water intake

Cons:

  • Only available in wet food

BEST VALUE

This dry food comes in a range of different bag sizes, such as - 3.5lb, 7lb, 16lb, and 22lb. It is reasonably priced and available in wet food too.

The formula is designed to lower your cat’s urinary pH. It contains low magnesium content. It is veterinary approved and contains a single-source protein for both the dry and wet food. 

The packaging states that the food has a high protein content which could potentially be an issue for a cat with kidney problems.

However, protein is not the first ingredient on the ingredients list and the packaging does not state the protein percentage.

Pros:

  • Available in wet and dry food
  • Lowers urinary pH and contains low magnesium
  • Veterinary approved

Cons:

  • It does have a higher protein content which could potentially be an issue for cats with kidney problems.

RUNNER UP

Purina Pro Plan is available in both dry and wet food. There are many different options to choose from in terms of bag size and the number of tins you can purchase. It is a reasonably priced food.

The protein source is of high quality but does contain more than one protein source. 

This food helps to reduce a cat’s urinary pH. It also contains low dietary magnesium to help promote the cat’s overall urinary health.

Pros:

  • Available in wet and dry food
  • High-quality protein sources
  • Helps to reduce urinary pH and has low dietary magnesium

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other products in our review

RUNNER UP

This Iams dry food can be purchased in three different bag sizes - 3.5lb, 7lb, and 16lb. In terms of cost, it is the more affordable option in our choices. It is only available in dry food.

This food contains a single source chicken protein and is specifically designed to reduce the pH of your cat’s urine. The chicken protein is high quality which is important for cats with kidney problems. 

It also contains vitamin E to help boost your cat’s overall health.

Pros:

  • Single source, high quality, chicken protein
  • Reduces the pH of your cat’s urine
  • A more affordable option 

Cons:

  • Available in dry food only

Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Kidney Problems Buying Guide

As kidney problems can potentially lead to kidney failure, it is vital to choose a food that will help to alleviate your cat’s problem as much as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns we always recommend seeking advice from your veterinarian.

Prescription Food

When you are looking for food suitable for an older cat with kidney problems, many of the choices are a prescription diet.

This means that the food needs to be approved by a vet before you feed it to your cat.

While you can purchase prescription food through Amazon, it is not advised that you feed this food to your cat without prior vet permission.

Wet Food vs Dry Food

This is a common query people have when choosing cat food. It is recommended that cats have a mixture of dry and wet food. While there are pros and cons for both, it can be useful to feed cats with kidney problems exclusively wet food.

This is because wet food will help to keep your cat hydrated. Wet food is particularly useful if your cat does not drink enough water. You can even add extra water to the wet food to increase the cat’s water intake.

While it is preferable to feed a cat with kidney problems wet food, this is not always possible. Some cats prefer dry food. Also, if you are on a budget, wet food can be more expensive. 

Given this, a dry cat food cat can be used, but it is recommended that you choose a kidney or urinary health-specific cat food. Even though it does not provide the same amount of hydration as wet food, it is specifically designed to help alleviate symptoms and will improve your cat’s kidney health overall.

Food Tailored To Kidney Problems

If your cat is suffering from kidney problems you must try to feed them a cat food that will help to promote kidney function and health. If you do not do this, your cat could potentially suffer from an increase in symptoms. This is why the majority of vets will recommend a veterinary prescription diet.

Food made specifically to help kidney problems has properties to help keep your cat as comfortable and healthy as possible. For example, many kidney foods will help to reduce the pH of your cat’s urine. This will help your cat urinate more easily and should help with their overall urinary tract health.

Foods containing low magnesium and pH lowering properties should help to alleviate some of the problems your cat is suffering from. While food cannot completely resolve kidney issues, particularly in older cats, it can dramatically help to reduce their symptoms. 

Usually, as a cat ages, it is best to swap them onto food for mature cats. These types of food contain ingredients to help with aging and have reduced calorie content. However, when a cat has a specific health issue, it is best to put them on a diet to help alleviate symptoms of this. 

Ingredients

Good quality ingredients are essential when choosing food, especially for an older cat with kidney problems. You want to ensure that the food contains pH lowering properties. For a cat suffering from kidney issues, this is essential.

A pH lowering food will help your cat to pass urine more easily and will help to promote overall kidney health. Acidic urine is painful for the cat and good food will help to alleviate this.

A cat that suffers from kidney problems can have difficulty with removing the toxins that are produced with high protein diets. Given this, it is important to look at the protein content of the food.

Usually, high protein content is good for cats, but when they suffer from renal issues this can cause more issues. The toxins can remain in your cat’s bloodstream and make them unwell. Given this, you will want to look for food that is lower in protein content. Always make sure that the protein included is of good quality.

Another key element to a good kidney specialist food is low phosphorus. High phosphorus levels can be dangerous for a cat with kidney problems as it can speed up kidney damage.

Always ensure that you are looking out for a low phosphorus food that will help to slow down kidney damage rather than accelerating it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Kidney Problems Common In Older Cats?

Unfortunately, kidney disease is one of the most common health problems faced by older cats.

It is likely that with age and time their condition will get gradually worse. A high percentage of cats, even up to 50% can potentially suffer from kidney problems when they reach around 15 years old. 

However, there are ways in which their symptoms can be treated and managed. It is important to get a diagnosis and treatment as early as possible to help manage their symptoms and pain

What Are The Signs Of Kidney Problems In Cats?

It is natural to be concerned about potential kidney problems in older cats as it can be a common problem when your cat ages.

There are a few noticeable signs that can be linked to kidney problems, such as:

  • More frequent urination (inside or outside of the litter tray)
  • Constipation, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Mouth ulcers
  • More frequent urinary tract infections and cystitis 
  • Drinking significantly more water

These are some of the main symptoms to keep an eye out for. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is recommended to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Kidney problems need to be closely monitored and if left untreated can lead to serious illnesses and even kidney failure.

Can My Cat Recover From Kidney Disease?

This all depends on the type of kidney disease your cat is suffering from.

Older cats are more prone to kidney problems. Often if these symptoms are acute, it is more of a case of managing their symptoms, rather than curing them. Unfortunately with age, a cat’s kidneys will naturally have less ability to function well.

If the kidney disease is acute this can potentially be reversed. However, if the condition is chronic this can be more complicated to treat. If you have any concerns it is always best to consult your veterinarian.