I've checked the scope to make sure this is on-topic as it sort of involves product recommandations and medical advice. Feel free to let me know if I am overstepping!

My old cat has kidney disease and is not crazy about her kidney disease food. She also tends to be persistent in begging for table food but the vet has warned me that it interferes with treatment and to not give her any. She's a very small cat (2kg) and has recently lost weight due to a bladder infection that is currently treated.

I've tried grinding her kibbles to mix them with water and make it more wet but she eats little of it.

What else can I feed her that is supportive of kidney disease treatment?

We currently buy Hill's Prescription DietMD k/d + Mobility from the vet but I would be open to ordering something online if there are other alternatives so that she gains a bit more weight.

I asked my vet for some alternatives. I didn't ask specifically for other brands of kibbles since this is the only one they sell for that purpose but I did ask for types of table food and was told to just not give any. Though from what I've read online, some foods like egg whites can be useful because low in phosphorus and high in protein. I sort of felt like the vet took the easy way out, which is why I'm asking here.

Little update: I had to go back to the vet because my cat started reacting to antibiotics given for a bladder infection so I inquired more about what other foods I could give her. I ended up buying a variety of cans: 4 kinds of Hill's Prescription Diet and 2 kinds of Royal Canin.

I realized after that my issue was that the cans don't have the "mobility" added in them (which I assume is glucosamin) and it does seem to make a difference for my cat. I asked the vet if I could add anything to make up for it but they didn't really have an answer so I might just add some of her ground kibbles in the can. Now my cat has been vomiting and I think she did a negative association with the cans so she won't touch them anymore. So right now I'm feeding anything that she will take to avoid dehydration and more weight losss until she hopefully comes around!


2 Answers 2


Prescription kidney diets are beneficial for cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD) for many reasons, but the primary reasons:

  • protein restricted (cats with CKD struggle to filter the protein out of the blood)
  • low phosphorus (hyperphosphatemia, or high blood phosphorus levels is damaging to the kidneys)
  • high potassium (cats with CKD commonly develop hypokalemia, or low potassium)
  • high nutrient/calorie (CKD cats are often losing weight.

If choosing or making your own cat food, these are the things to watch for.

There are products to mix with the food to help manage these things. For example:

  • phosphate binders (e.g. aluminium hydroxide) helps bind up phosphorus in the food
  • potassium can be supplemented with a product such as Renal K

The problem is, few cats – least of all kidney patients – like to have things mixed with food. So the easiest way to manage these things is to find a kidney diet they like.

There are other options than Hill's k/d. Consider Royal Canin Renal diets (six flavours currently), or Purina NF (Advanced Care). They do require prescription.


I agree with your vet: a cat should not get any table food, for several reasons:

  • All table food is seasoned, almost always with salt. Salt binds fluid to it and could impair the cat's health even more
  • Common ingredients for human meals are actually toxic for cats! Most prominently chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes and tuna that is not processed into cat food

Friends of mine had the same problem as you. Their cat had urinary stones and lost a lot of weight. The vet recommended feeding 2 portions of instant mashed potatoes a week and the cat really loved it. Do look at the ingredients though! Buy pure dried and powdered potatoes without seasoning like salt or onions. I couldn't find any evidence that potatoes a are recommended food for cats with urinary / kidney disease. It was probably just a calorie-rich, grain-free coddle up food suggestion.

As pointed out by Harry V. there's a difference between kidney disease and urinary tract disease, so I deleted the rest of my answer to not confuse people and give wrong advice.

  • Kidney diets are different than urinary diets for FLUTD, although there is some overlap and generally kidney diets are good for urinary tract health. A high protein diet is bad advice for a cat with kidney disease - as is a raw diet, but I'll refrain from any further debate on that here.
    – Harry V.
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 4:26
  • @HarryV I may have misunderstood the question then. Your point is interesting and quite important, though, so please debate ;). Or even better, write your own answer. I'm not sure whether I should edit or delete my answer now.
    – Elmy
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 4:38

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