Unfortunately, cats and kidney disease often go hand in hand. Kidney disease is devastating, and cat owners are often confused and feel like they can’t do anything to help. There’s no magic potion or medication that will cure kidney disease in cats, and managing it can be challenging. However, with the use of the proper diet, fluids, and supplements, cats with kidney disease can be kept comfortable for as long as possible.
1. Best Overall Supplement: Kidney Restore
Probiotic microorganisms helps kidneys by supporting natural elimination of poisonous toxins in the gut, while the sodium bicarb neutralizes kidney acids & toxins, and balances minerals.
Recommended by veterinarians for supporting normal kidney function in senior pets without harmful drugs.
Here’s an all-natural kidney disease supplement to help with nearly every sign of kidney disease. This powder formula can be mixed with food or water and given to your cat every day to help clear up some of the side effects of kidney disease. It does this with a five-fold approach:
First, it contains probiotics that help the gut eliminate those waste products that the kidneys can’t. Second, it helps to neutralize acids in the blood to keep pH levels in check. It also blocks phosphorus and provides potassium. Vitamin C is in there as well for its antioxidative effects. This supplement may help your cat regain weight, decrease their nausea, give them some energy back, and decrease the amount they urinate. It’s also backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.
As with any supplement and cats with a finicky appetite, not every cat will want to eat this. It can be mixed with water and syringe-fed to your cat if that works better for them.
- Can be mixed with food
- Provides necessary nutrients
- Antioxidants to help prevent further damage
- Cats might not want to eat it
- No guidelines for dosage
2. Best Runner Up Supplement: Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold
Created by veterinarians & clinical herbalists along with the latest scientific research.
Designed to support renal function and overall health for kidney issues in cats.
Using a combination of natural herbal ingredients, Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold helps kidney function. While it isn’t a magic wand, it can help to support normal fluid and electrolyte balance and boost the immune system to prevent other secondary diseases. This product also helps increase the excretion of waste products and toxins that make your cat nauseous and lethargic.
Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold may also help boost kidney function to increase blood filtration and decrease the loss of vital nutrients. And it contains antioxidants to help prevent further cellular damage. In addition, this supplement has shown an improvement in a cat’s energy level, appetite, and hair coat quality.
As with any supplement, some cats are not going to eat it. Even though it is bacon flavored, a poor or finicky appetite is often part of kidney disease. However, this product has a dropper should you need to give it to your cat directly. Also, since this is an herbal supplement, always check with your vet first to make sure the ingredients are suitable for your cat.
- Bacon flavored
- Natural ingredients
- Some cats won’t like it
- Not to be used as the sole treatment
3. Best Potassium Supplement: Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement for Cats
Highly palatable liver and bacon flavoring.
For a more customized kidney disease supplement, look at Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement. This product provides amino acids to help protect protein loss, potassium, and B vitamins to help replace those that are lost. It is a liquid supplement that is bacon flavored to entice even picky kitties to take it. The liquid can also be easily mixed with food if your cat isn’t into it.
B vitamins are essential for nearly every cell in the body, including the production of red blood cells, brain and skin cells, and metabolism. Potassium is needed for muscle contraction and nerve conduction. Both essential nutrients are lost more in kidney disease as the volume of urine increases. Supplementing both will help a cat with kidney disease stay healthy for longer.
This supplement for kidney disease does contain fructose (a type of sugar). While this isn’t as big of a deal for many cats, it can cause problems in cats with diabetes. Also, there is no guarantee that your cat will like it. While bacon flavoring may seem like exactly what your cat is looking for, appetites go down with kidney disease, so you may have to get creative to get your kitty to eat it.
- Provides potassium and B vitamins that your cat needs
- Bacon flavored
- Not every cat will like it
- Contains fructose
4. Best Phosphate Binder Supplement: Rx Vitamins for Pets Phos-Bind
Professional veterinary formulas.
For some cats with kidney disease, a reduced phosphate diet might not be enough. They may require additional phosphate binding medication to help prevent phosphorus levels from getting too high. This phosphate binder from Rx Vitamins is a powder form that can be mixed into food or water and fed with a syringe.
High levels of phosphorus can weaken bones and cause calcium deposits on other organs in the body. Phosphorus levels increase during kidney failure due to the kidneys reduced function and them not getting filtered out. Phosphate binders help gather up that excess phosphate and get it out of the body before it can cause trouble.
This is a powdered formula, but the consistency can be more granular, like sugar. This makes it more challenging to mix with food or dissolve in water. If your cat is especially picky about textures, this supplement may not be the best.
- Helps remove excess phosphorus from the body
- Decreases nausea and lethargy
- Granular texture makes it difficult to mix
- Some cats might not like it
5. Best Omega Fatty Acid Supplement: VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9
Fatty acid formula is rich in ALA, GLA, EPH and DHA to provide a wide range of health benefits for pets.
Supports total body health in pets.
Omega fatty acids have many benefits in a healthy cat’s body, and they have even more benefits for a cat with kidney disease. Omega fatty acids are naturally anti-inflammatory to help decrease inflammation associated with chronic issues like kidney disease. Omega fatty acids also help support the immune system so that your cat won’t have to worry about fighting off a secondary disease.
This supplement from VetriScience Laboratories contains three types of omega fatty acids to help decrease inflammation and help improve skin and haircoat health. This can make your cat feel and look better. This product comes in a gel-cap form that can be given directly to your cat. If your cat does not eat it this way, you could cut it open and squeeze the liquid onto their food.
Most cats aren’t going to take the pill form of this, so that means you’ll have to cut it open and squeeze out the liquid, which can have an odor. Also, this product is an oil, so it can become rancid after prolonged storage.
- Provides three types of omega fatty acids
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves skin and haircoat
- May have an odor
- Can go rancid
Best Cat Supplements for Kidney Disease Buying Guide
Kidney disease is a complicated process that involves many components. This makes finding suitable supplements for kidney disease complicated. Hopefully, this guide can help clear up some of those complications so that you can find the best product for your feline friend.
Supplements for kidney disease aren’t meant to be the only treatment for your cat. Kidney disease should be managed through a variety of methods to address your cat’s specific needs.
Normal Kidney Function vs. Kidney Disease
The kidneys are a sort of the jacks of all trades. They do a lot for a cat’s body, the main jobs being filtering the blood and urine production. Kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid from the body, mix it, and get it out into the bladder to be excreted. During this process, they also conserve essential electrolytes and control acid/base balances.
There’s more to the kidneys than just urine. They also produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells.
In the course of kidney disease, the function of the kidneys is reduced, causing waste products to build up in the blood and more water to be excreted. This makes a kitty feel sick, lose weight and not be able to concentrate their urine. Instead, they urinate large amounts, which can lead to dehydration and loss of important vitamins and minerals.
Cats with kidney disease will also become unable to regulate their blood pH, which can damage other organs and become anemic due to a lack of red blood cell production.
What to Look for in Kidney Supplements for Cats
Supplements that may help cats with kidney disease are:
- Omega Fatty Acids: There’s a reason fish oil is often touted as a supplement-it contains omega fatty acids that help to naturally decrease the chronic inflammation associated with kidney disease in cats.
- Antioxidants: Free radicals are created over time by the breakdown of food and from exposure to pollution, and they can cause harm to the body. Antioxidants help to protect the body’s cells from free radicals. Vitamin C, E, and rosemary are often used as antioxidant supplements.
- Phosphate Binders: A normal functioning kidney filters excess phosphate from the blood and gets rid of it. In kidney disease, that excess phosphate isn’t filtered out and can cause damage to the bones and other organs. Phosphate binders may help grab that excess phosphate from the blood and get it out of the body before it can cause problems.
- B-vitamins: When the kidneys aren’t up to par, a lot of water is lost through urine. Along with that water, water-soluble B-vitamins are also lost. B-vitamins are essential for metabolism, new blood cell formation, and brain and skin cell maintenance. B-vitamins will need to be provided by the diet or by supplementation.
- Potassium: Potassium is also taken out of the body through urine. With kidney disease, urine volume, and therefore, the potassium within it, is increased. Many cats with kidney disease will need potassium supplementation to prevent muscle stiffness and cramps. Potassium supplements may also help to keep the kidney disease from getting worse.
- Diet: Although it’s not technically a supplement, getting your cat on the proper diet is important for managing kidney disease. Diets for cats with kidney disease contain less protein so that the kidneys don’t have to work as hard to get rid of the protein waste and decrease phosphorus. Cats with kidney disease should also drink more water to help keep them from getting dehydrated.
How to Choose a Kidney Supplement for Cats
First thing’s first, talk with your veterinarian. They can help you customize your supplemental needs for exactly what your kitty requires. They can also point you in the right direction. After that, look at other options.
Most cats with kidney disease don’t want to eat, so trying to sneak something into their food might not work out. Other cats won’t take a pill. You know your cat, so choose a supplement form that will work best. Whether it’s a pill, powder, or liquid, choose something that can be given regularly.
You’ll also want to look at availability and affordability. The best supplements in the world are no good to you if you can’t get your hands on them. Choose something available from your vet or in your area so that your cat never has to go without it.
Kidney disease in cats often makes cat owners feel like their hands are tied like there’s nothing that they can do to help. While it’s true that kidney disease is progressive and can’t be cured, providing a cat with one of these kidney disease supplements can help to keep them comfortable so that you can enjoy them for as long as possible.
Dr. Chyrle Bonk has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. She lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons, where they spend their free time exploring the great outdoors that is right in their backyard.