7 Best Cat Foods for Kidney Disease in Canada – 2023 Reviews & Top Picks
Getting the news that your cat has kidney disease can feel devastating. You might feel that your cat’s kidney disease diagnosis is a death sentence since the kidneys have so many essential functions. Truthfully, kidney disease can be controlled through a proper diet, and if the disease is caught early, your cat can still have lots of years left to enjoy.
Expensive prescription diets can be hard to fit into the budget, but there are several non-prescription cat foods available that can be an excellent option for your pet. It’s essential to choose a low phosphorus food as it can reduce the workload on your cat’s kidneys.
Keep reading to find our list of Canada’s seven best cat foods for kidney disease. Please note that we recommend chatting with your vet before starting your cat on a new diet, especially after receiving a kidney disease diagnosis.
A Glance at Our Winners of 2023
|Best Overall||Hill's Science Diet Tender Tuna||
|Best Value||Wellness Morsels Healthy Indulgence||
|Premium Choice||Hill Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care||
|Vet's Choice||Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Vitality||
|Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition||
The 7 Best Cat Foods for Kidney Disease in Canada
1. Hill’s Science Diet Tender Tuna Cat Food – Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Water, Tuna, Chicken, Pork Liver, Wheat Flour|
Hill’s Science Diet Tender Tuna may be one of the easiest products on our list to find in stores and online, which is essential, not only for convenience’s sake but also because its high availability means your cat won’t need to switch foods if it’s sold out. This Tender Tuna flavor is low in phosphorus at just 0.52%, which is exactly where you should be aiming. This wet food is the overall best cat food for kidney disease in Canada for its low phosphorus content and its inclusion of high-quality protein. This tuna dinner features tuna chunks in a tasty gravy and is made with easy-to-digest ingredients. In addition, it contains taurine to boost vision and heart function and is free of artificial flavoring or preservatives. This food provides complete and balanced nutrition for cats between one and six.
- High-quality protein
- Boosts vision and heart health
- No preservatives
- Low in phosphorus
- Not the best pick for senior cats
2. Wellness Morsels Healthy Indulgence Wet Cat Food – Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Chicken Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Potato Starch|
With 0.55% phosphorus, Wellness’ Morsels Healthy Indulgence are an excellent pick for your cat with kidney disease. These wet food packets are made with only the highest quality ingredients and feature real morsels of both chicken and chicken liver for a unique taste and texture. The morsels are packed in a savory sauce that works well as a meal on its own or as a kibble topper. However, some cats, especially older ones with poor dental health, may struggle to eat the morsel chunks.
This recipe contains antioxidants from cranberries and blueberries, as well as beta carotene from the carrots. It comes in a convenient tear-open package that will take the guesswork out of portion sizes. This food contains no artificial coloring, flavors, or preservatives. We believe this food is the best diabetic cat food in Canada for the money as it’s simple to serve and made with natural ingredients.
- Easy to serve
- Good value
- Low in phosphorus
- Some cats can’t chew the morsels
3. Hill Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Cat Food – Premium Choice
|Main ingredients:||Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken, Pork Fat, Whole Grain Wheat|
|Fat content:||23.9 %|
Hill’s Prescription Diet’s k/d Kidney Care food is the premium choice on our list as it is one of the priciest options, but one that your cat with CKD will benefit significantly from. This food is designed to control your cat’s phosphorus and sodium intake while providing them with high levels of the essential amino acids their bodies need for muscle building. Hill’s Enhanced Appetite Trigger (E.A.T.) technology is said to help stimulate your cat’s appetite and boost caloric intake so they won’t wither away. This dry food has a phosphorus level of 0.53%.
- Low in phosphorus
- Controls sodium intake
- Boosts natural muscle building
- Contains amino acids
- Low in moisture
4. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Vitality Dry Food – Vet’s Choice
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Oats, Pea Protein|
Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Senior Vitality Dry Food is truly knocking it out of the park for Canadian cats with CKD. Although this food has a slightly higher phosphorus count at 0.67%, it won over the hearts of our on-staff vets and won our Vet’s Choice award. The exclusive blend of ingredients work together to promote healthy kidneys and support brain function. In addition, the antioxidant and vitamin blend can boost your cat’s immune system. Vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids promote coat health, which is vital for cats with CKD as they often have poor coat quality. This dry food is made without any artificial colors or preservatives and is perfect for senior cats with CKD.
- Perfect for senior cats
- Boosts coat health
- Supports brain function
- No preservatives or artificial colors
- Slightly higher in phosphorus
- Low in moisture
5. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Aging 12+ Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Water Sufficient For Processing, Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Chicken, Chicken Liver|
Royal Canin’s Aging 12+ canned cat food is designed specifically for senior cats. It not only has controlled phosphorus levels (0.53%), but the inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids helps to provide joint support for your aging kitty. This recipe also contains glucosamine and chondroitin1, fantastic supplements for joint and bone health. The tender thin slices in gravy texture are easy on the teeth and gums of senior kitties. This food also contains taurine to help boost vision and digestive health and niacin for energy metabolism.
There are some reports of the smell of this food being a turnoff to some cats.
- Great for senior cats
- Low in phosphorus
- Joint support
- Boosts bone health
6. Weruva Truluxe Steak Frites Dinner Canned Food
|Main ingredients:||Beef Broth, Beef, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Potato Starch|
|Protein content:||10.0 %|
|Calories:||124 kcal/6 oz can|
Weruva’s Truluxe Steak Frites with Beef & Pumpkin in Gravy has a phosphorus level of 0.57%. This soft food is made with real grass-fed beef to ensure your cat is getting a top-quality protein source. Its broth-based gravy is enticing to cats with low appetites and can support their hydration levels, too. This recipe is free from grain, gluten, corn, soy, and artificial colors or preservatives. It provides a unique blend of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and taurine to boost your cat’s vision and heart health. This food is 100% complete and balanced for adult maintenance. Picky kitties may turn their nose up at the thicker texture of this food.
- Made with grass-fed beef
- No artificial colors
- Boosts hydration levels
- Good for adults and seniors
- Some cats don’t like the texture
7. Wysong Epigen Turkey Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Turkey, Water Sufficient for Processing, Natural Flavor, Organic Guar Gum, Mixed Tocopherols|
Wysong’s Epigen Turkey food has a phosphorus count of 0.60%. This food has been formulated to mimic the natural eating pattern of our pets. It contains no fillers or artificial preservatives and is palatable to keep your kitty interested in meal time. In addition, this limited-ingredient food features 95% meat which should appease your obligate carnivore kitty.
This food is not designed to be used alone. You will need to feed it alongside another healthy CKD-friendly food.
- Limited ingredients
- Mimics natural diet
- No artificial fillers
- 95% meat
- Not to be used alone
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Cat Food for Kidney Disease in Canada
Once you’ve received a kidney disease diagnosis, it’s essential to educate yourself on what exactly that means and what this disease looks like. So keep reading to learn a little more about kidney disease, the importance of phosphorus in your cat’s kidney-friendly diet, and other nutritional factors to consider.
What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) simply refers to an ongoing disease of the kidneys. You may sometimes hear it being called renal disease or chronic renal failure (CRF). There is no timeline with CKD as it can be very gradual. It can take years for your cat’s kidney function to start failing.
Healthy kidneys have many important roles, including filtering blood and producing urine. Since the kidneys have a large capacity to perform their functions, you may not begin seeing clinical symptoms of CKD in your cat until two-thirds of the kidneys are dysfunctional. This may mean that your pet’s kidneys have been in some kind of deterioration state for months or years before the failure becomes evident.
There are four stages of CKD. Knowing what stage your cat is in can help your vet determine what type of management (e.g., diet and food) can slow the progression of the disease and minimize the risk of additional kidney damage.
What Are the Symptoms of CKD?
The two early warning signs of CKD include weight loss and poor coat quality. The problem is that these symptoms are often dismissed as typical signs of aging, so it can take so long for CKD to be officially diagnosed.
- Bad breath
- Increased thirst
- Variable appetite
The Role of Phosphorus
You may have noticed that we discussed phosphorus levels a lot throughout our buying guide. This is because it is essential to keep your kitty’s blood phosphorus at a certain level to help slow the progression of CKD.
VCA Animal Hospitals suggests that limiting the dietary phosphorus in CKD cats can reduce the effects of renal secondary hyperparathyroidism. This condition occurs if your cat’s parathyroid glands secrete excessive amounts of the parathyroid hormone.
The recommended phosphorus range for cats with CKD is 0.3-0.6% on a dry matter basis. Most therapeutic kidney foods will fall below the 0.5% level, but not every cat will eat prescription food. That’s why our list above is comprised mainly of foods you can easily find that are still relatively low in phosphorus.
Other Factors to Consider
There are other nutritional requirements aside from the phosphorus content in your cat’s food.
Diseased kidneys cannot excrete waste from the body through urine and cannot concrete the urine as they should. To try to compensate for the diluted urine, your cat’s body will tell it to drink more. It is essential for you to always provide your cat with fresh water at all times. Offering wet food can also help increase your cat’s water intake.
VCA Animal Hospitals advise that a decreased protein intake can help slow the progression of kidney disease. This is because kidneys need to filter out any waste products from the protein your cats eat. If your pet is ingesting less protein, their blood won’t contain as many waste products, leading to a decrease in the amount of work their kidneys need to do.
Your cat’s protein levels mustn’t drop too low, however, as their bodies may start breaking down their muscle mass to compensate.
Diets high in sodium can increase your cat’s blood pressure and worsen kidney damage. Avoid offering your pet treats high in salt, such as deli meat and some commercial cat treats.
Hill’s Science Diet Tender Tuna is Canada’s best overall cat food for kidney disease, thanks to its low phosphorus count and high-quality protein. Wellness Morsels Healthy Indulgence provides the best value for its low phosphorus count and antioxidant-rich recipe. Our premium choice is Hill Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care as it’s pretty expensive, but it’s prescription strength, so that’s to be expected. Our Vet’s Choice award went to Hill’s Science Diet again for their Adult 7+ Senior Vitality food, as its proprietary blend of ingredients promotes kidney function and supports senior cats.
Living a long and healthy life with kidney disease is possible with a bit of research and maybe a diet tweak or two.
See also: 10 Best Senior Cat Foods in Canada – Reviews & Top Picks
Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock