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Won't eat kidney diet.

Species: Cat
Breed: Himalayan/Persion
Age: More than 15 ye
My cat is 17 years old. She has kidney disease and has been on kidney food (both can/wet and dry) for the last five years. They recently changed the can formula on NF Kidney food, which was the only brand that she would eat. I still have a few cans left. She refuses to eat the new formula. She does eat the dry food and drink her water regularly. What is the harm to her if she only eats the dry food? Is it substantial, moderate, minimal, or no effect at all? She is currently doing real well and her kidney numbers have stabilized. My fear is that by not eating the canned food anymore she could take a turn for the worse. Please inform.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there David and thanks for your question!

It sounds like you are doing a great job with Allie. To live with renal disease for 5 years means that you and your vet are doing all of the right things.

You are right that canned food tends to be better for cats with kidney disease. This is because it will provide more moisture for the Allie to help to replace some of the extra fluid that her kidneys are urinating out.

However, from what you have told me I am not too concerned. I would be more worried if you said Allie did not want to eat much at all. If she is eating a significant amount of the dry renal food she should be ok. If she starts to go off of her dry food too though this can be a sign that things are not going well with her kidneys.

To answer your question, in my opinion the effect on her kidneys of just eating dry food is likely minimal if anything at all.

You could talk to your vet about whether giving subcutaneous fluids to Allie would help. I have many clients who either come in once or twice a week or who have been taught to do fluids at home. These extra fluids will be even more beneficial than canned food in supplying extra fluid to her body.

I want to thank you again for asking your question. It is interesting that my husband's name is David and we have a Persian cat named Allie! Strange!

Hope that helps!
Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.