Protein Restriction for Kidney Disease

There are NO studies that demonstrate that restricting protein halts kidney deterioration in a cat. Yet, the typical veterinary-prescribed diet for a cat with kidney disease (CKD, previously called CRF) is a low-protein dry-food diet that contains largely biologically unavailable plant proteins.

These diets frequently lead to muscle wasting and weight loss in cats as the cat must now use their own body’s muscle for fuel.

So what? If your cat is facing CKD, get as educated as possible about the optimal nutritional program for your cat. Although protein-restricted diets gained a great deal of popularity in recent years, such an approach is regarded as, at best, misguided by some of the leading lights in the world of cat nutrition. Limiting phosphorus, however, does appear to help delay the progression of CKD. It’s possible and advisable to reduce a cat’s phosphorus intake without protein starvation if there are indications your cat’s serum phosphate levels are high. We do know that high serum phosphate levels, left unchecked, contribute to accelerating CKD.

To learn more about the origins of the (now widely discredited) notion that protein restriction is a good way to manage CKD cats, read the enlightening chapter on this topic in Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins’ book, “Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life.”

Share This