Kidney disease is one of the most common chronic diseases that affects our cats. Although it is unclear if it can be totally prevented it does make sense that following certain protocols to promote kidney health could delay the onset or severity of the disease. By feeding our cats properly and adding supplements that protect the kidneys we give our cats a better chance of a healthy old age.
Diet – Avoid dry kibble. It robs the body of moisture and some veterinarians think it might actually cause kidney disease in cats. In addition, stick with high quality canned foods that do not contain meat by-products.
Supplements - Fish oil has been shown to have many great benefits to both humans and pets. Specific to kidney disease, fish oils have protective qualities and are believed to help the kidneys function better. It is the one supplement veterinarians agree on. Antioxidants (bioflavonoids in particular) are thought to improve kidney filtration by reducing oxidative stress and possibly assist the cells in regenerative repair. Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes help process food and reduce the load on kidneys. These supplements are used by many of our clients to help battle even advanced kidney disease, but if you look at the way each supplement functions, common sense says they should be used as an insurance policy against kidney disease.
Hydration – Proper hydration helps ensure that toxins have a way of leaving the body and a lack of hydration is suspected by many to be a key cause of kidney disease. Cats do not have a well developed thirst mechanism so it is important to encourage them to drink. A drinking fountain might be a good idea. Most cats love them. They keep water moving so it’s cooler (cats love to drink moving water) and it is constantly filtered to it stays fresher longer, which is also a must for picky cats.
If your cat is over 7 years old, it is a good idea to have their kidney values checked by your veterinarian at their next checkup – and keep checking them every year. If you can’t prevent kidney disease, the next best thing is to catch it early. Catching the disease early and following the protocols for kidney health can result in the addition of many quality years