Homemade Cat Food Recipes for Cats With Kidney Disease
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Kidney failure in cats is a condition that affects their daily lives. It causes pain, affects their appetite and can lead to depression, among various other symptoms. Not only do we have to manage the cat's symptoms, but we need to do our best to ensure the disease doesn't progress. Not every cat will be the same, so they need to be assessed by a veterinarian. They will help us to know the phase the kidney disease, as well as what course of treatment they need. A change of diet is an essential method of managing kidney disease in cats. While there are commercial brands which provide special feed designed for cats with kidney disease, homemade food is an option for some guardians.
At AnimalWised, we provide some homemade cat food recipes for cats with kidney disease. Choosing a renal failure diet for cats needs to be done with your veterinarian, but we can help provide some general guidelines on what to expect if your cat has kidney disease.
Feeding a cat with kidney disease
Kidney failure in cats is usually a progressive disease. There are cases where trauma or poisoning can lead to acute kidney failure, but usually the disease moves slowly. When this happens, the kidney cannot perform its function of filtering waste from the digestive process. The symptoms of feline kidney disease will gradually become more pronounced, but these symptoms may not appear long into the onset of the disease.
While some medication may be administered to mitigate the symptoms, it is not a curable disease. To maintain optimal health, the cat will need to make lifestyle changes. Changing their diet is one of the most important factors.
We can find various commercial feeds which are suitable for cats with kidney disease. However, not all are of the same quality and regulation of cat food can often be lacking. Many caregivers of a cat with kidney disease will choose to make a homemade diet. Before we share some healthy recipes for cats with kidney failure, we show you why this might be a good option for you.
Should cats with kidney disease be fed homemade food?
Homemade food for cats with kidneys disease is not suitable for all cat guardians. To understand whether you should make your cat homemade, there are certain factors to consider. Some cat guardians will make homemade food for their cats, regardless if they have a disease or not.
One of the important factors in making your cat homemade food is whether you have enough time to do so. Making your cat's food is not something which should rush as it takes consideration. We can make large batches and divide into portions throughout the week. However, we need to follow the same guidelines on food spoilage as we would with human meals.
By providing our own homemade recipes for cats, we can ensure quality control. Commercial feed doesn't always have the best ingredients, something which can be detrimental to cats already in ill health. If we make the food ourselves, we can ensure we only use quality ingredients and don't put anything in which shouldn't be there.
One problem with homemade cat food is that we are not always sure of the ingredients. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need protein as the main element of their diet. However, cats with kidney disease cannot process protein in the same way, so this will need to be reduced. How much it is reduces will depend on the individual cat, one of the reasons it is essential you speak with a veterinarian before making homemade cat food.
If you want to know more about kidney disease in cats, take a look at our article on polycystic kidney disease in cats.
Before you start preparing homemade renal failure diets for cats
All changes in the diet of our cat should be gradual. This will best avoid imbalances or gastrointestinal problems. In the case of wanting to change their feed to another brand, it is relatively easy. With cats suffering kidney failure, the process is a little different.
It's important to note we shouldn't mix homemade and commercial food if the cat has kidney disease. This is because they have different digestibility rates. Instead, we should offer smaller portions of the homemade food every 2 to 3 hours and gradually reduce the commercial feed.
The recipes we show you below are designed for an adult cat which weighs 5 kg. We can make small portions to begin with, see how they get on and then introduce them more regularly. These are recipes designed for 1 day's worth of feed, but they should be broken into smaller portions.
Recipe 1: chicken and rice
- 60 g brown rice
- 100 g chicken breast
- 30 g vegetables for cats
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 g calcium carbonate
- We will start by boiling the brown rice and the suitable vegetables for cats. Do not forget that we can substitute rice for other beneficial cereals such as barley, millet or quinoa. All of them must be cooked in the same way.
- We will also boil the chicken and, once cooked, we will shred it or cut it into very small pieces. These should be no bigger than the size of chunks you would find in commercial cat food. You can replace the chicken with turkey. You can even use beef and keep it raw if it is suitable, but it will need to be of very good quality. You might want to make these substitutes if the cat doesn't enjoy chicken.
- Once the cooking is finished, we will mix the ingredients together, including the oil and calcium carbonate. When giving the feed to your cat, put it in their dish so it looks similar to the food they ate before.
- You will need to add taurine to the cat's food as this is an essential amino acid they need to survive. How much will depend on the individual cat. You will need to find out the amounts from your veterinarian.
Recipe 2: tuna and rice
- 50 g brown rice
- 85 g fresh or frozen tuna
- 14 g clams in their juice
- 30 g vegetables
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 g calcium carbonate
- As in the previous recipe, we will start by boiling the brown rice (or any of the grains mentioned in the previous section) and the chosen vegetables.
- When the cooking is finished we will mix all the ingredients, including the tuna, the clams, the oil and the calcium carbonate (which can be industrial or we can use a dry crushed eggshell). All the ingredients must be cut and crumbled so that the cat can ingest it without problem.
- Use a kitchen hoop to create a shape similar to canned wet food.
- Add taurine according to veterinary instructions.
Check the ingredient labels for any food you use. Don't use canned clams or tuna as they will likely have a lot of salt in them or other preservatives. We need to avoid salt at all costs for cat's with kidney disease. Providing the correct diet can be one of the best ways to help a cat with kidney disease live as long as possible.
If you want to read similar articles to Homemade Cat Food Recipes for Cats With Kidney Disease, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.