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Recipes for cats with kidney disease

These recipes have been formulated to suit the needs of adult cats with kidney disease. They have been formulated by our founders (who are Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists®) to be appropriate for early renal disease (IRIS stage 1 – 2) or advanced renal disease (IRIS stage 2 – 4), and can be prepared with raw or cooked proteins. Please see below for a table with information on the phosphorus content of the recipes, and comparison to commercial renal diets for cats. We recommend using the filters to select recipes that are appropriate for your cat’s medical needs.
 

To make these diets, you will need CompleteMe Renal, which provides essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It also contains beneficial ingredients for kidney support, such as omega-3 fatty acids from marine algae, betaine and prebiotics to maintain body weight and support the microbiome, and lutein to increase antioxidant activity in the kidney. 

Can I just feed raw or cooked meat plus the supplement? 

We completely understand how convenient this would be! However, it really doesn't produce an ideal diet, nor is it personalised in any way to the stage of disease. 

For example, raw chicken thigh (skin on) plus a low phosphorus meal completer is often recommended as an appropriate choice for cats with CKD. What is interesting about this is that, yes, it does produce a very low phosphorus diet, but it also produces a very low protein diet as well – 77 grams of protein per 1000 kcal ME. This is actually significantly lower than most commercial early renal diets like Purina NF Early Care or Royal Canin Early Renal, which have ~95 to 110 grams of protein per 1000 kcal ME. 

For more advanced cases, protein can be further restricted, but again, it's preferable to decide this based on the stage of disease, age of the patient, and any other co-morbidities. 

What is also important to understand is that research suggests that severe dietary phosphorus restriction may increase the risk of hypercalcaemia developing in some cats with early CKD, so early renal diets are typically a bit higher in phosphorus than advanced renal recipes. Changing to a moderately phosphorus-restricted diet can resolve hypercalcaemia in some cases.

Why are there carbohydrates like rice or sweet potato in some of the recipes?

For cats with early renal disease (IRIS stage 1 or early stage 2), there are recipe options with either no to very little carbohydrate. By necessity, these recipes are very high in fat, so they may not suit all cats. For cats with concurrent diabetes mellitus and/or pancreatitis, they may be ideal. 

There are also some recipe options with low to moderate carbohydrate, and a more moderate fat content. Overweight or obese cats may do better on these recipes, and some cats with gastrointestinal disease may also do better on a moderate fat diet. 

 

For cats with advanced kidney disease (IRIS stage 2 to IRIS stage 4), the provided recipes have greater protein and phosphorus restriction. This necessitates the inclusion of some carbohydrate, so these recipes are typically lower in protein, very high in fat, and moderate to low in carbohydrate. These recipes still generally have 9-20% calories from carbohydrate, so there are still some very low carbohydrate options suitable for cats with diabetes. 

Phosphorus content of the recipes:

Product
% Phosphorus (as fed basis)
% Phosphorus (dry matter basis)
Phosphorus per 1000 kcal ME (caloric basis)
CompleteMe early renal recipes
0.14 - 0.15%
0.48 - 0.51%
0.9 - 1.1 g
CompleteMe advanced renal recipes
0.10 - 0.14%
0.35 - 0.42%
0.8 - 0.9 g
Hill's k/d Early Stage chicken stew
0.13%
0.58%
1.3 g
Hill's k/d minced with chicken
0.14%
0.48%
1.1 g
Purina NF Early Care wet diet
0.11%
0.43%
1.1 g
Purina NF Advanced Care wet diet
0.10%
0.39%
0.9 g

Please note that we strongly recommend comparing diets on a caloric basis (last column), not as fed basis or dry matter basis, because it is more accurate.

Protein content of the recipes:

Product
% Protein (as fed basis)
% Protein (dry matter basis)
Protein per 1000 kcal ME (caloric basis)
CompleteMe early renal recipes
12.7 - 13.1%
43.0 - 44.3%
83 - 96 g
CompleteMe advanced renal recipes
9.3 - 12.6%
32.3 - 38.1%
67 - 69 g
Hill's k/d Early Stage chicken stew
7.3%
33.8%
76 g
Hill's k/d minced with chicken
8.5%
29.7%
68 g
Purina NF Early Care wet diet
9.8%
38.7%
94.9 g
Purina NF Advanced Care wet diet
7.1%
27.8%
66.9 g

Values are based on company product guides and may change. Please consult directly with the company for the latest information.   

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Venison with sweet potato

Lamb, lamb heart and lamb liver with potato, carrot and zucchini

Beef with white fish and kale

Turkey and pork with chicken liver and chicken heart

Turkey and pork with sweet potato, celery and spinach

Kangaroo and pork

Chicken mince and egg with sweet potato and spinach

Kangaroo with sweet potato and parsley

Rabbit and chicken with rice, pumpkin and kale

Chicken mince and egg white with rice and pumpkin

Turkey mince and egg with potato, carrot and parsley

White fish and egg white with rice and pumpkin

Turkey and pork with turkey liver and sweet potato

Lamb, lamb liver, and venison

Chicken thigh and chicken liver with pork and green-lipped mussel

Chicken thigh, chicken liver and chicken hearts with pumpkin, rice and parsley

Duck and duck liver with pumpkin and kale

Beef mince and rice with pumpkin and kale

White fish and cheese with rice and pumpkin

Goat and potato with carrot and spinach

Duck and chicken with rice, carrot and kale

Kangaroo and egg white with rice and pumpkin

Pork with sweet potato and catnip

Chicken and salmon with sweet potato and kale

Canned tuna and cheese with rice, zucchini and spinach

Beef and venison with potato and parsley

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