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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best kidney health supplements for cats

It can be upsetting to discover that your feline friend is suffering from kidney disease, but it doesn't have to be a death sentence. Choose the best kidney health supplements for cats, alongside an appropriate diet and any prescribed medication, and your furry family member could function normally for several years to come.

Various vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and other substances can improve kidney health in cats, so it's important to learn the benefits of each and choose a kidney health supplement that includes an appropriate blend to give the best results. Supplements come in a range of formulations, such as tablets, treats, and liquids, so you must choose one that your cat will consistently take.

This guide to kidney health supplements for cats contains all the information you need to choose the best one for your cat. You can also take a look at our favorite supplements, which we've listed above for your consideration.

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Regular monitoring is vital in cats with kidney disease, so you should take your cat to the vet every few months or as often as recommended.

Key considerations

Kidney problems in cats

Acute renal failure: This is kidney failure that comes on quickly. It's most often caused by a cat ingesting a toxic substance, but it can also be caused by factors such as a traumatic injury, snake bite, infection, and urinary blockage. Acute renal failure can sometimes be reversed with veterinary treatment, but it may cause permanent damage that supplements can help ease.

Chronic renal failure: This is a progressive degeneration of the kidneys that happens over an extended period of time. It's usually simply caused by deterioration due to age, but other problems can lead to chronic kidney disease, including kidney stones, polycystic kidneys, and viral or bacterial infections.

Supplement type

Kidney health supplements for cats tend to contain a range of ingredients, all of which can boost kidney health and function. The following are some of the beneficial ingredients you should look for.

Vitamins and minerals: Potassium is one of the key minerals for kidney health. It replenishes lost nutrients caused by excessive urination and can improve kidney function overall. B vitamins are also lost by excessive urination that's often caused by kidney disease, so it's good to supplement B vitamins to replace those lost. Vitamins C and E are natural antioxidants, which can help repair damaged cells and reduce inflammation.

Herbals: Although there isn't much data about how effective they are, certain herbs and other plants are said to help with kidney function, and it can't hurt to try. Common herbs for kidney health include Rehmannia glutinosa, Myrciaria dubia (camu camu), Astragalus propinquus, cinnamon, angelica, and nettle.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Like herbal supplements, there isn't much to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids definitely help with renal failure, but it's a common addition to kidney health supplements. It's good for health in general, however, so even if it doesn't help your cat's kidneys all that much, it's still beneficial elsewhere.

Probiotics: Recent studies show that blood markers for kidney disease reduce dramatically in cats given probiotics. The reason isn't yet clear, but we'd highly recommend choosing a feline kidney supplement with added probiotics.

Phosphate binders: Although generally prescribed by vets rather than added to kidney health supplements, phosphate binders can help cats with kidney disease. Phosphorus can build to dangerous levels in cats that have kidney disease since the kidneys can't effectively filter it. Phosphate binders prevent phosphorus in food from being absorbed into the bloodstream, helping to keep phosphorus levels stable.

Formulation

Kidney health supplements for cats are available in a range of formulations, most commonly powders, liquids, treats, and tablets. It's important to choose a formulation that you can reliably get your cat to take.

Powders are mixed with food, which is great for some cats. They tend to have some flavored elements added so they don't taste bitter or medicinal, but exceptionally picky eaters will notice the difference and refuse their food, plus cats who are suffering from a decreased appetite might not eat their whole meal.

Liquids are a versatile option since you can mix them with food where appropriate or administer them with a syringe or dropper if your cat won't eat the food.

Treats with kidney supplements added in seem like a great idea, but they're not always as tasty as the treats your cat is used to eating, so they can be rejected by fussy felines.

Tablets are a decent option if your cat is good at taking tablets either stuffed in a pill pocket, wrapped in a slice of deli meat, or on their own. You can crush tablets and mix them in food if your cat won't swallow them, but then your cat might refuse the food.

Caution1
Caution
Cat owners should never have lilies in the house. Ingesting them can cause acute kidney failure in cats.
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Features

Quantity

Check the package size of any feline kidney health supplements you're considering, as well as the dosage size so you can gauge the value for your money. A pack of 120 kidney health treats might seem like a good value, for instance, but it's less so if you need to feed your cat four a day. Of course, value shouldn't be your primary concern, but everyone has a budget they need to work within.

Flavor

Many kidney health supplements for cats are flavored to encourage cats to take them. Choose a flavor you know your cat likes and it will be more likely to accept this new addition to its diet.

Check the dosage of your chosen kidney health supplement and always administer it to your cat as directed.

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Feline kidney health supplement prices

Inexpensive: You can find some kidney health supplements for cats for as little as $10 to $25. These are usually basic formulas or small packages.

Mid-range: Expect to pay between $25 and $40 for these kidney health supplements. You can find a variety of options at this price point, including powders, treats, and liquids.

Expensive: The costliest kidney supplements for cats are priced from $40 to $60. These are usually the most comprehensive formulas with a range of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and probiotics.

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Did You Know?
Age is often a factor in chronic feline kidney disease. In most cats, it occurs between the ages of 10 and 14.
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Tips

  • Take your cat for regular vet checkups. Kidney health supplements have their place in treating feline kidney disease, but they're not a replacement for conventional veterinary medicine. Your cat should be seeing a vet regularly, and you should give your cat any medication prescribed.
  • Follow your vet’s directions. If your cat's kidney disease is severe, you might need to inject fluids subcutaneously at home to keep them hydrated.
  • Check with the vet before giving your cat other supplements. Your cat is likely to be on veterinarian-prescribed medication for their kidney problem, so check with the vet before giving your feline friend any additional supplements.
  • Try different formulations. If your cat refuses its food with a kidney supplement mixed in, try a treat-style or a liquid supplement that you can squirt directly into your cat's mouth.
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With the right veterinary treatments and supplements, cats with chronic kidney disease can maintain a good quality of life for up to four years after diagnosis, so it's worth doing everything you can.

FAQ

Q. What should I feed my cat for good kidney health?

A. Diet plays an important part in improving your cat's kidney health, along with supplements and medication. Wet foods are best for maintaining kidney health in cats, since cats are meant to get a good portion of moisture from their food and a wet diet helps to keep cats hydrated. You can buy special kidney-friendly prescription diets that are highly digestible so that there's less waste for the kidneys to flush out, but we'd check with your vet first to see if they'd recommend one of these formulas. Sometimes they aren't the most palatable for picky cats or those suffering from loss of appetite. If you don't go with a prescription kidney diet, choose a formula with between 28% and 35% protein, 0.3% and 0.6% phosphorus, and less than 0.4% sodium, all on a dry matter basis.

Q. Will my cat's kidneys go back to normal with the right treatment?

A. Kidney health supplements for cats can improve kidney function in felines, but, unfortunately, they can't completely reverse chronic kidney disease. Once your cat's kidneys have become damaged by kidney failure, they'll never go completely back to normal, but they can improve to the degree that any symptoms are greatly reduced and your cat can enjoy a decent quality of life.

Q. What are the signs of kidney failure in cats?

A. The earliest signs of kidney failure in cats are increased thirst and urination, so if you notice your feline friend urinating and drinking more than usual, take them to the vet for a checkup to be on the safe side. As kidney disease progresses, you'll notice other symptoms which may include weight loss, a dwindling appetite, extremely back breath, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you suspect kidney disease, you must take your cat to a vet. Don't attempt to diagnose and treat it yourself.

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