CKD - Raw feeding for Chronic Kidney Disease

You may have been told to feed your kidney-compromised cat a diet that has a reduced protein content. For an obligate carnivore, whose nutritional requirements are only met by consuming a pure protein meat diet, it makes no sense to restrict protein. There have been studies, bought and paid for by large pet food companies, to support their claims that “prescription” diets are better, but these studies are very one sided and prove only that big pet food has the finances to fund whatever studies they need, to help sell their product.

In reality, diets high in protein have no detrimental effect on the kidneys, and most animals with decreased kidney function do not benefit from reduced protein diets. It is important that cats receive good quality protein in appropriate amounts without excessive levels of phosphorous to help maintain kidney function. This means that the protein source should be from actual meat and not a meat meal, like those found in commercial renal products. Meat meals can consist of mostly ground up connective tissue and bones. Usable muscle meat is removed before rendering, and so meat meals may contain high levels of calcium and phosphorous, which can harm the kidneys.

The type of diet you feed your cat can directly affect your cat's kidneys. Dehydration in cats causes the kidneys to concentrate urine to try to maintain the body's water balance. Concentrating urine predisposes a cat to renal injury. The chronic, mild dehydration that cats experience when fed dry foods exclusively can cause increased stress on the kidneys, leading ultimately to decreased kidney function

Dietary management is important for cats with kidney disease, and there are three main aspects to this.


Water intake

Cats with chronic kidney disease are more likely to become dehydrated due to the reduced ability of the kidneys to conserve water by concentrating urine. Maintaining a good fluid intake is very important, and as cats generally gain much of their water from their food, cats with chronic renal disease require a purely wet food diet


Protein content

An ideal diet for a cat with renal disease should have a highly digestible, bio-appropriate protein content, such as chicken. Many of the toxic products that accumulate in the blood in renal failure are a result of protein breakdown. Raw fed renal cats do well on highly digestible proteins. Too little protein in the diet can lead to excessive weight loss that can be extremely detrimental to a cat's general health. Cats find low protein diets less palatable and often moving a cat to a raw, high quality protein diet from a renal prescription diet leads to improved appetite.

Recognising that raw meat diets are not high in protein is important. They are appropriate protein levels for an obligate carnivore.


Low phosphate content

Phosphorous is a mineral essential to good health. A healthy body is good at regulating phosphorous levels by removing excess phosphorous via the kidneys. The kidneys of a CKD cat can no longer excrete excess phosphorous. The majority of CKD cats will eventually have high levels of phosphorous in their blood, called hyperphosphataemia. Hyperphosphataemia can present as a lack of appetite, lack of co-ordination, weakness and twitching.

Restricting the phosphate content of the diet is beneficial in protecting the kidneys from further damage in cats with chronic renal failure. Phosphate can be restricted by removing high phosphate foods from the diet and replacing with a low phosphate option. High phosphate foods are hard to define for an obligate carnivore. Meat is seen as being high in phosphorous, this is not high for an obligate carnivore, but challenging for an obligate carnivore in renal failure. Raw Meow reduces the phosphate level in their meals by removing bone content and replacing it with eggshell powder to provide the calcium content of the diet, and adding green lipped mussel that acts as an antioxidant, helping the kidneys do their job by restricting the toxins it they need to filter.


Raw Meow for CKD cats

Raw Meow's boneless meals are a good choice for cats with Chronic Kidney Disease. Highly digestible, good quality, human grade protein with lots of natural essential fatty acids. High in B-vitamins due to the organs in the diet and low phosphate levels due to the eggshell powder, Green lipped mussel to provide Omega 3's and high moisture content.

Raw Meow has been feeding kidney compromised cats since we opened and we have seen remarkable results. All our CKD customeows have had improved kidney levels, higher energy, and general better health since switching to Raw Meow.

Contact us to discuss your CKD cats dietary requirements. At Raw Meow we are happy to design a meal plan to suit your cats requirements and tastes.




The information provided through our website is informational and educational. We are not veterinarians. Raw Meow will not be held responsible for any adverse reactions your pet might experience based on the information on our website.  Please use your knowledge of your pet and your circumstances to determine, with the knowledge and input of your veterinarian, whether any advice provided on this site is appropriate for your pet.