The 6 Best Commercial Cat Food For Kidney Disease

Nutrition Reviews November 10, 2019



The 6 Best Commercial Cat Food For Kidney Disease

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The 6 Best Commercial Cat Food for Kidney Disease

If your cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease, or renal failure, you will need to take steps to improve and maintain your cat’s quality of life. Changing to an appropriate diet, designed specifically for cats with kidney disease is the easiest way you can impact his quality of life.

1 out of 3 cats will suffer from kidney problems in his lifetime, and while cats can be diagnosed with kidney problems at any age, it is more commonly seen in older cats. Because older cats tend to suffer from oral pain and reduced appetite, it is important to find a highly palatable food that your cat will be happy to eat.

It is easy to become confused by the many cat food choices for kidney disease, but we have researched several of the best cat food for kidney disease in this article.

How We Researched The 6 Best Commercial Cat Food For Kidney Disease?

  • We spent several days researching the best commercial cat food for kidney disease
  • We considered over 10 cat foods and fine tuned it down to the 6 reviewed in this article
  • We did this by reading hundreds of reviews, watching videos and comparing the features of each cat food for kidney disease

What To Look For In The Best Commercial Cat Food For Kidney Disease?

Wet Food –  Wet cat food has a high water content (70-80% moisture) when compared to dry food (10-12% moisture), therefore dehydration is more likely to occur in cats eating a dry food only diet. Wet food will increase your cat’s daily water intake and improve his overall hydration.

Low Sodium – Reduced levels of sodium will help maintain normal blood pressure in your cat. Mild to moderate sodium restrictions (0.1 up to 0.5% sodium on dry matter basis) are usually recommended.

Omega-3 – Increased levels of Omega-3 fatty acids work in to decreasing inflammation and help support kidney health.

B Vitamins – Increased levels of B-vitamins work to compensate urine loss of water soluble vitamins.

Antioxidants – Added antioxidants are needed to control cell damage and to promote a healthy immune system. Antioxidants commonly used in cats with kidney disease include: vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein.

Decreased Phosphorus –  Decreased phosphorus is best to maintain healthy kidney function depending on the stage of the disease.

Decreased Protein – Decreased levels of protein work to help reduce kidney workload depending on the stage of the disease.

The 6 Best Commercial Cat Food For Kidney Disease Comparison Chart

  • Low phosphorus
  • Promotes kidney function
  • Highly palatable
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Low sodium
  • Improves mobility
  • Controlled phosphorus
  • Low sodium
  • Includes appetite enhancers
  • First ingredient is real chicken
  • Controlled phosphorus levels
  • Grain free
  • Low phosphorus levels
  • Made with high quality protein
  • Restricted sodium levels
  • Low phosporus
  • Nutrient dense
  • Stimulates appetites

The 6 Best Commercial Cat Food for Kidney Disease Reviewed

#1 Royal Canin Renal Support T SIG Canned Cat Food

Product Specifications:

  • Crude Protein: 5.1 % (Min)
  • Crude Fat: 4.5 % (Min)
  • Crude Fiber: 2.0 % (Max)
  • Moisture: 81.0 % (Max)
  • Phosphorus : 0.15% (Max)
  • First 3 ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, pork liver, chicken liver

Royal Canin Renal Support T  is “Tasty” to help stimulate appetites in cats and encourage eating with thin slices in gravy texture. This recipe helps compensate for decreased appetite with a highly palatable energy-dense formula and has been formulated specifically for cats with chronic kidney disease.

With an optimum nutrient level, this food helps promote kidney function with a precise antioxidant complex, fatty acids from fish oil, low phosphorus, and targeted protein levels.

You will need authorization from your veterinarian when you order from Chewy or Amazon.

#2 Hill’S Prescription Diet Kidney Care Chicken Canned Cat Food

Product Specifications:

  • Crude Protein: 30 % Min
  • Crude Fat: 24.6 % Min
  • Crude Fiber: 2.8 % Max
  • Moisture: 82 % Max
  • Phosphorus : 0.49 % Max
  • First 3 ingredients: Water, Chicken, Pork Liver

Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians developed new Prescription Diet k/d + Mobility specifically for cats with renal or kidney disease. This clinical nutrition not only supports your cat’s kidney function, but also helps to improve his mobility and increase his cognitive alertness and vitality.

This food stimulates your cats appetite and increases caloric intake, as well as supports the natural ability to build lean muscle daily. It is made with controlled phosphorus and low sodium, plus therapeutic levels of l-carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids which is needed for cats with kidney disease. In addition is also includes high levels of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

This product requires a veterinary authorization when ordering from Chewy.

#3 HILL’S Prescription Diet K/D Adult Cat Food w/ Chicken

Product Specifications:

  • Crude Protein: 30 % Min
  • Crude Fat: 23 % Min
  • Crude Fiber: 0.9 % Max
  • Moisture: 8.0 % Min
  • Phosphorus : 0.52 % Max
  • First 3 ingredients: Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken

Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians developed Prescription Diet k/d clinical nutrition to support your cat’s kidney function.

It also helps sustain muscle mass because cats with decreased kidney function may experience loss of appetite and their food intake might decline, which may lead to loss of muscle mass. This product requires veterinary authorization.

This recipe is made with a controlled phosphorus and low sodium levels and well as Hill’s “Enhanced Appetite Trigger (E.A.T.)TM Technology”  for cats.

Also included and important for a cat with kidney disease is high level of essential amino acids, the building blocks of muscle protein. There are also added therapeutic levels of L-Carnitine and Omega-3 fatty acids in this food.

This product requires a veterinary authorization when ordering from Chewy.

#4 Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney & Mobility Support

Product Specifications:

  • Crude Protein: 29.7 % (Max)
  • Crude Fat: 18 % (Min)
  • Crude Fiber: 0.5 % (Min)
  • Moisture: 9.0 % (Max)
  • Phosphorus : 0.70 % (Max)
  • First 3 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Peas, Pea Starch

BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet KM for Kidney Support + Mobility is formulated to help manage kidney disease and mobility health in cats.

The first ingredient is real chicken, and it also features controlled protein levels with 29.7% (max) protein on a dry matter basis. There are no grains, no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals and no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors in this recipe.

This food has controlled levels of phosphorus and sodium inclusion of L-carnitine, added glucosamine and chondroitin as well as high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Antioxidants are added to help reduce oxidative stress with other added vitamins and minerals.

This product requires a veterinary authorization when ordering from Chewy.

#5 Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Advanced Care Cat Food

Product Specifications:

  • Crude Protein: 26.5 % (Min)
  • Crude Fat: 16 % (Min)
  • Crude Fiber: 5.0 % (Max)
  • Moisture: 12.0 % (Max)
  • Phosphorus : 0.44 % (Max)
  • First 3 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Peas, Pea Starch

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Feline Formula was developed to help support the kidneys and minimize the signs of kidney failure and help slow the progression of the disease.

This food is not only good for cats with chronic renal failure, but also hepatic disease associated with encephalopathy, or any condition that benefits from restricted sodium levels.

NF is formulated with low sodium, phosphorus and protein to help reduce the workload on the kidneys and help cats with kidney problems feel better.

It offers dietary benefits of  restricted amounts of high-quality protein, low phosphorus levels, and a reduction in sodium. The added B-complex vitamins help to protect the body and break down nutrients.

This product requires a veterinary authorization when ordering from Chewy.

#6 Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support A Dry Cat Food

Product Specifications:

  • Crude Protein: 21.0 % (Min)
  • Crude Fat: 25.0 % (Max)
  • Crude Fiber: 15.0 % (Min)
  • Moisture: 8.0 % (Max)
  • Phosphorus : 0.57 % (Max)
  • First 3 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Corn, Chicken Fat

Royal Canin Renal Support A Dry Cat Food is formulated for cats who prefer kibble. The “A” stands for aromatic. It is made with a unique blend of ingredients that’s designed to stimulate your cats appetite.

Plus, this formula is designed to be calorie and nutrient dense so your cat gets the nutrients he needs, even if he’s not very hungry.

This recipe is designed with a precise antioxidant complex, added fatty acids from fish oil, a low phosphorus level and measured protein levels. This product requires a veterinary authorization when ordering from Chewy and Amazon.


If a special kidney or renal diet is recommended for your cat it is important to find a food he enjoys eating. In addition to special foods, supplements, such as Omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins and antioxidants, can be added to help support for your cat’s kidney health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does dry cat food cause kidney failure in cats?

There are only a few known causes for kidney disease. Genetic conditions such as polycystic kidney disease, toxins such as anti-freeze and lilies, infections and cancer are all known to cause kidney disease. However, nutrition plays an important role in managing kidney disease in cats. In short, the nutrition cat food contains is much more important than whether it’s wet or dry food.

Can baby food help cats with kidney disease?

Baby food should only be used as a treat, since it lacks taurine and other essential nutrients. A cat with kidney disease needs foods with protein restriction, additional potassium, lower sodium, low phosphorus and, in some cases, added Omega-3 fatty acids.

Can high protein food cause kidney disease?

High protein food is not shown to cause kidney disease but food high in phosphorus or increased levels of protein can increase the disease’s progression. The ideal diet for a cat with kidney disease should have a highly digestible, bio-appropriate protein content, such as pork, rabbit and poultry.

What food do I feed a cat with kidney disease?

Cats who are in the early stages of kidney disease do well on appropriate, commercial cat food. Wet cat foods are best because they contain more moisture than dry foods, but you still need to make sure the diet is made from high-quality ingredients. Cats with more advanced cases of kidney disease can benefit from eating a prescription food which are available ion wet and dry.


Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist. She is the proud owner of two cats and a dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
  1. Linda Wilson

    Why would you support Royal Canin or Hills for Kidney issues? There food is loaded with by products and so much stuff you don't have time to read it all on the bag. My cats were on Royal Canin for years and were vomiting up food every day. One cat started before the other doing it. As soon as I made the choice to change their food to see if the vomiting would stop. And it did. No more food vomit. The vet tec suggested that I try Hills I said no way! There on Forza10 renal it's holistic. But now my checking account is draining.

    • Cat Mania

      Hi Linda, have you tried any of the other foods mentioned in the article? There are also high quality fresh food options like NomNom and Smalls that provide high protein content from fresh animal sources that are human-grade. Both are free from preservatives, by products, artificial fillers, grains or artificial flavors and have a low phosphorus content. It's always best to talk to your vet before making a change to your cat's diet.

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