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Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease | Our Top 3

Kidney disease is fairly common to find in cats and is a completely manageable condition. While no specific cure exists for kidney issues like this, cats can still live a full and happy life with some minor modifications to their daily routines.

One of the biggest shifts that cat parents need to adjust is their cat’s diet. You will need to find the best cat food for kidney disease to ensure optimal kidney function.

Sorting through all of the available cat food options for a specific condition can be overwhelming when you’re already distraught over your cat’s new diagnosis.

That’s why we assembled this list of the best cat food for kidney disease to make your to-do list a little lighter.

In this article:

  • What Is Kidney Disease in Cats?
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Feline Renal Health Dry Food
  • Royal Canin Feline Renal Support E Wet Food
  • Purina NF Kidney Function Cat Food

What Is Kidney Disease in Cats?

Cat owners should really know the warning signs of what kidney disease looks like in their feline friends. When their renal glands and kidneys are affected, the body will struggle to filter impurities out of the blood and to make urine the way it should.

Cats may experience more illnesses as a result of the waste buildup flowing through their bloodstream.

Diagnosing a cat with kidney disease, particularly chronic kidney disease (1), means keeping an eye out for a few key symptoms. A feline with kidney issues may have any of the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Poor grooming habits compared to normal
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urine output and water intake
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • Pale pink gums

A veterinarian can run the necessary tests to determine whether your cat is suffering from kidney disease. They will be looking at the blood for blood urea nitrogen and creatinine content. A urine sample can also reveal information that would point to an official diagnosis of kidney disease in your kitty.

Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease | Fluffy Kitty

Adjusting Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs

If your cat is diagnosed with kidney disease, the best thing you can do is change their diet. This gives them the best chance at normal functioning and improving their quality of life.

Another thing you can do immediately to further prevent your cat’s kidney health from deteriorating is to provide kidney health and support via Scruffy Paws Kidney Vitalize Chews. 

Scientifically-backed and taste-tested by cats, these chews are a great way to keep your kitty’s kidney health on the right track.

Scruffy Paws Kidney Vitalize Chews help to support optimal kidney health and function in cats.

What’s more, these tasty chicken liver-flavored chews act as a preventative measure to ensure healthy kidney function while supporting and repairing already damaged kidney function.

The main active ingredients in these chews – Astragalus & Rehmannia root – have proven to be effective in both keeping CKD at bay while alleviating symptoms in already affected cats.

After losing their own cat to kidney disease, the creator of Scruffy Paws Nutrition found that 1 in 3 cats over the age of 10 is affected by kidney issues. And, unfortunately, detecting kidney issues in cats is very much in the later stages of disease – when 60% of a cat’s kidney function is already gone.

“I am so happy to have found your Kidney-Vitalize Chews. My 15 year old cat-Cagney was losing weight and had his blood tested. It showed he was in the beginning stages of kidney disease. My vet suggested changing his diet to a prescription kidney friendly one.. I ordered a jar of the Kidney Vitalize Chews and Cagney loved it-and actually gave him his appetite back. I just had his blood tested 4 days ago and his numbers have improved tremendously and he gained almost two pounds! “
-Nancy H

Kidney disease doesn’t have to be a death sentence for a well-cared-for cat. You will simply need to adjust their food to one of these options for the best cat food for kidney disease to help their bodies adjust.

Best Cat Foods for Kidney Disease

When it comes to your cat’s health, a high-quality diet is of utmost importance. You cannot ignore your cat’s kidney disease, so make sure to invest the time and money required to see to it that your cat can live a long and healthy life. 🙂

These 3 cat foods below are specially formulated for cats with kidney disease. It’s not necessary to buy these foods for a regular healthy adult cat!

Additionally, these foods can only be prescribed by a vet. You can still order them online through Chewy’s Pharmacy, however, but you’ll need to provide your vet details at check-out.

Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care

Hill’s is a leading name brand when it comes to prescription food options. The Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Dry Food is definitely a candidate for the best cat food for kidney disease.

This standard product comes highly recommended by veterinarians and helps to support a number of important functions related to your cat’s kidneys. For example, this dry food can help to support them by reducing the kidney’s workload with these features:

  • Reduced protein
  • Lower phosphorous
  • Reduced sodium
  • Increased omega-3 fatty acids
  • Increased B-complex vitamins

Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease | Fluffy KittyWhat Can a Hyperthyroid Cat Eat? | Fluffy Kitty

Buy on Chewy

The reviews of this particular product are rather telling. You will need proof of a vet prescription during check-out.

Some consumers complained that their cat didn’t like the flavor of the food, which could be specific to your feline. Others complained about the expense, but a prescription food to support a feline with major health issues is bound to be more expensive than the usual variety!

Royal Canin Feline Renal Support E Wet Food

Royal Canin has long been accepted as one of the preferred brands for felines with various medical conditions. This company puts a lot of research into the specific ailments facing household pets before developing the perfect product.

Your cat can benefit from this research with their best cat food for kidney disease, the Royal Canin Feline Renal Support E Wet.

This is the only wet food included on our ranking of the best cat food for kidney disease, so it might satiate a cat who has a distinguished palate. The formula has been refined to have a better smell that is more appealing and appetizing to lethargic felines.

Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease | Fluffy KittyWhat Can a Hyperthyroid Cat Eat? | Fluffy Kitty

Check Reviews

Like many of the other foods available for cats with kidney disease, it has a lower phosphorous level and provides more digestive support with vitamins and antioxidants.

All of the consumer reviews are extremely positive toward Royal Canin’s renal support for cats.

Purina NF Kidney Function Cat Food

Particular cat owners who want the familiarity of a common household name brand might want to try the Purina NF Kidney Function Cat Food.

This variety is a great contender for the best cat food for kidney disease because it drastically reduces the workload to your cat’s kidneys with:

  • Lower protein intake
  • Low sodium levels
  • Lower phosphorus
  • Added B-complex vitamins

Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease | Fluffy KittyWhat Can a Hyperthyroid Cat Eat? | Fluffy Kitty

See it on Chewy

All of the consumer reviews are majorly positive, even when it comes to picky eaters. Cats seem to love the taste of this prescription diet food, which makes it easier to embrace your feline’s new medical needs.

Final Thoughts: Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease

If you want the best cat food for kidney disease, a prescription diet is going to be a must-have item. The most important thing to do when choosing the right cat food is to consult with your veterinarian.

All three of these are excellent choices, but the Hill’s k/d Kidney Care cat food provides the greatest value with a larger bag for those who can afford the upfront cost.

Shari Bellinger

Sunday 13th of January 2019

So what do you feed them if they won't touch the wet or dry prescription food? Coby doesn't eat dry I need a brand of wet foods that he will eat. I tried the raw food from Petco today and he wouldn't touched it. If I cooked chicken breast for him is that good enough? I am hoping there is a good wet food out there that someone uses that he will like so he will get the extra water he needs. HELP!!

Brittany, Paul, & Yoda =^^=

Monday 14th of January 2019

hey Shari! Sounds like Coby can be picky, lol! Try and incorporate something he loves with the diet he needs. Chicken breast is obviously super in protein but it doesn't have all the added vitamins and minerals kitties need. We use Blue Buffalo which is natural cat food created by holistic vets and animal nutritionists - Yoda LOVES the wet food (tuna) and we use this to encourage him to eat more. I always mix the wet food with the dry (also Blue Buffalo) and I make a little dry-wet-dry layering so that Yoda has to eat enough off the top to get to the juicy part, hehe. It's always worked for us, so try it with Coby. If he loves tuna, salmon, chicken, whatever it may be... use that and mix it with his regular food. Hope this helps! Let us know. xoxo


Monday 31st of December 2018

Hi, I’ve an 11 year old whose kidney values are just creeping up tho right now urine test is negative. In being a cat mom for more than three decades I’ve gone away from dry food and my cats only eat canned. My first cat had poor food choices back in the 80’s as the pet industry was getting going. Her eating dry got her diabetic in early teens and died from complications. So any dry food for cat health issues won’t do - why on earth would these so called prescription foods have any dry food especially for kidney issues? I believe potassium is a bigger issue than protein which cats being obligate carnivores need. Vet recommended Hills k/d and I hesitate to pick up samples. My cats hate those foods except when they need weight gain (a/d), then I put them back to regular food as soon as their appetite is kickstarted again. No wonder, the ingredients in these prescription foods are horrible. We go with limited ingredients which is usually the meat they need, and grain/carb free. Most people on the cat blogs and sites are dismayed trying to find healthy food on general. So I will keep investigating and hope pet marketing stops pretending bad/wrong ingredients are okay. Thanks for letting me comment.

Brittany, Paul, & Yoda =^^=

Friday 4th of January 2019

Hey Carol, we really appreciate your input. I, too, have noticed that even the "prescription" foods and their ingredients are not up to par with some other cat food brands (like Blue or Orijen). Even though the ingredients (especially the first 5) are not "as good" insofar that they might have gluten or corn meal, etc., these prescription foods are tested for ameliorating those types of diseases in cats but it's only due to the added formulation in it, rather than the ingredients themselves (i.e. whether protein is first vs by-product, etc.), I'm hoping one day a brand like Blue will combine their high-quality ingredients and recipes into more prescription-like foods (such as Hills) so cats can both benefit from the vet-approved formulas + ingredients free of gluten, corn, by-products, etc. We are updating our information to our readers as much as possible. We've still got lots of work to do but we hope to provide the best info out there for other cat parents! We hate to give Yoda food that's not up to our standards, so we know it must be like that too for other cat moms and dads. Thanks for commenting!!

Saturday 18th of August 2018

Great post. I'm facing some of these issues as well..