My cat has kidney issues, can I feed Weruva?
Our formulas were not designed for any specific purpose. They are designed to be complete and balanced for adult maintenance. Based upon what we put in the can, high quality meat with moisture, they are often helpful with certain conditions. There is literature out there as to what types of diets may be best for certain conditions. Our foods often meet the descriptions of such diets and therefore may be helpful. However, they are not designed to prevent, cure or treat any particular ailment.
And of course, please consult your veterinarian.
Here is some information about what we feel is best for cats with kidney issues:
1. High Moisture – Keep toxins diluted
2. High Quality Protein – Produce the least amount of harmful toxins
3. Low Phosphorus – Help maintain electrolyte balance
4. Low Sodium – Help maintain electrolyte balance
(1) High Moisture – Cats need high moisture in their food to help dilute toxins. Cats initially came from the desert where there was not much water to drink. Despite a lack of water in the desert, cats still need water first and foremost, just like our human bodies do, but instead of getting water out of a stream or lake, cats got water from the food they ate. In the wild, cats eat other beings…the prey of cats are very moist…in the 75%ish range. Therefore, in the wild, a cat will be getting about 75% water in each bite. This is critical because cats do not have a strong thirst drive to drink water…cats essentially evolved “eating” water.
Eating high quality meat based diets, such as Weruva, which is in the 80% moisture range, best puts cats in the hydration position that nature intended. In contrast, a cat on dry kibble, which is only about 10% water max, will bite per bite, be getting 8-10 times less water than a cat on a wet food or natural diet. A dry diet therefore forces a cat to drink a lot of water to compensate, an unnatural behavior for cats, and this can and does pose challenges for many cats.
Think of the kidneys as a nice plump plum—now think of them as a raisin. Keep those kidneys flushed with water!
(2) High Quality Protein - Many veterinarians state that diets consisting of high quality protein help cats with kidney issues. As the “obligate carnivore”, a cat most efficiently utilizes high quality protein for energy. What the cat does not use from its food is then sent into the bloodstream as waste. Eventually, this waste is filtered by the kidneys. It is therefore best to feed cats foods that will emit the least amount of harmful toxins into the bloodstream which will in turn be the least taxing on the kidneys. Such proteins are animal based proteins that contain clean muscle meat flesh. Inferior protein sources are those that come from animal by-products or from plant based sources, such as wheat gluten or corn gluten.
At Weruva, we use high quality protein such as boneless chicken breast and fish loin meat we flake off the bone. Our protein sources are true fit for human consumption protein sources that are actually used in products for people throughout the world.
For cats with severe kidney issues, reducing protein amounts may be necessary. Reducing protein should be done with caution as protein is essential for overall health for cats.
(3) Low Phosphorus – The kidneys also regulate electrolytes in the body, such as phosphorus and sodium. Phosphorus is very abundant in the body and plays an important role in many bodily functions; however, too much phosphorus may create issues in the body. Healthy kidneys are therefore in place to act as a filter to remove any excess or unneeded phosphorus. When kidney function is on decline, a diet lower in phosphorus is often prescribed.
Weruva’s formulas are very low in phosphorus. We maintain low phosphorus amount because our formulas are boneless (though there may be the occasional soft bone in our fish formulas). Pet food regulators permit the use of bone in "chicken" and fish . . . According to AAFCO, the body in charge of defining pet food ingredients, chicken is defined as the “clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone”. “Chicken” on a pet food labels is any combination of flesh, skin and bones which means “chicken” can be 100% bones. We mention all this because bones are comprised of calcium and phosphorus. While bone contains valuable nutrients, it must be used in proper ratios. Too much bone means too much phosphorus.
(4) Low Sodium – Sodium is an electrolyte, and kidneys regulate electrolytes in the body. Sodium helps maintain fluid balance in the body, but too much sodium may present issues such as high blood pressure. It is important for cats with kidney issues to have blood pressure managed, which means low sodium diets are often helpful.
At Weruva, we do not add any salt to our formulas, so the sodium levels are based upon what is naturally occurring in our ingredients.