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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,690
Registered: ‎08-16-2016

Once again, I am grateful to have this forum to turn to for advice. My dear 13-yr. old Tonkinese has been vomiting and was diagnosed by blood tests with Stage 2 kidney disease. He's less energetic than he used to be--but so am I--it's hard to tell what's aging and what's not. 

 

I did a search and found earlier forum posts, but they all seem to be from years ago, so may not be the latest info.

 

My vet has recommended the usual prescription diet with lower phosphorus and protein, and an anti-nausea med that I can give him pretty much as needed. I want your thinking, first of all, on whether this is still a good regimen.

 

I feel uneasy about the ingredient list in the "big 3" prescription diet manufacturers--Hill's, Purina and Royal Canin. There is one from Blue Buffalo that I think has better ingredients, but my vet doesn't have any recent research data showing improvement with this food, and is allowing but not recommending it. I wrote to Blue Buffalo, but all they did was ask for the vet's name so their "Sales Team" could contact them. So that was a dead end.

 

I like my vet and am grateful they can come to my house so I don't have to traumatize my cat driving him around. But they only kno  what they know, just like my own human doctor. It's encouraging to lerarn that one in three older cats does develop a kidney condition and most continue to have some years ahead of them.

 

I've been reading various suggestions about Purina One, Fancy Feast, giving pro/prebiotics, herbal supplements, etc. and am thoroughly confused. 

 

My dear one is a wonderful cat and very important to me. I want to do anything I can within my resources to promote his health for as long as he has. Any advice and information is much appreciated. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,082
Registered: ‎06-19-2010

Re: Kitty Kidney Disease

[ Edited ]

I have a 14 year old calico that has kidney disease. The vet suggested Hills kidney (KD) diet and she hates it. I've tried both the stew and pate and even when mixed in with regular wet cat food she refuses to eat it. If I give her regular cat food she is fine and will eat like a normal kitty. Also I don't know if it's just her or not but she she did eat the KD cat food she would throw up and then refuse to eat for several days and we would have to force feed her with an eye dropper. Needless to say, I would rather her be happy and relatively healthy eating what she wants and likes rather than force her to eat what she hates and refuses.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

We recently had a bout of kidney issues with our 13 year old kitty also. He was vomiting, lethargic, and dehydrated. Vet had me administer fluids daily, not particularly a fun exercise but we made it. 30 day labs showed all was well! Somehow he had become dehydrated, even the vet was surprised at the recent labwork.

   But, I did find a helpful website about cats with kidney issues that you may find beneficial. It's felinecrf dot org. 

   BTW, we tried so many different foods and Otto just looked at the dish, would't even taste. It is so frustrating!  Good luck!!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,956
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

Forza10 makes a renal cat wet food.  Dave's Pet Food also.  I never tried the Dave's personally.

 

My friend has a cat with kidney disease that I believe she also feeds Fussie Cat.  He's done well for several years now.

 

I don't really have a personal recommendation since my cat also had other complications and didn't last long enough to transition to a kidney diet food.  I did try the Forza10 for a bit, which was more palatable to him than Science Diet, while he ate anything.

 

Good luck.  It can be challenging to get them to eat what they need to.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

@Meowingkitty  said " I would rather her be happy and relatively healthy eating what she wants and likes rather than force her to eat what she hates and refuses." That's EXACTLY what our vet said too! Otto right now is eating Friskies seafood blend and loving it. We tried so many of the "better" foods, he was not interested.

  The vet said it was better for him to eat something than to go hungry.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,956
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

@NVmimi wrote:

@Meowingkitty  said " I would rather her be happy and relatively healthy eating what she wants and likes rather than force her to eat what she hates and refuses." That's EXACTLY what our vet said too! Otto right now is eating Friskies seafood blend and loving it. We tried so many of the "better" foods, he was not interested.

  The vet said it was better for him to eat something than to go hungry.


@NVmimi 

 

That's what my vet said too.  Not eating at all is worse than eating the "wrong" diet.

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,745
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@KaySD - We have a male Tonkinese too! I asked DH of course. He said he agrees with giving your boy whatever food he wants. Some of those special diets don't have a good flavor and some cats don't like them. Then they won't eat it. They are also costly. He also said you should talk to your own veterinarian about repeating the test in a few months to monitor the disease's progression. Good luck!  

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎06-07-2016

@KaySD ....after reading everyone's responses to your inquiry, I'd like to share what I found out recently when my senior kitty, Laney(16 yrs.) had yet another UTI. She was diagnosed 2 yrs. ago with early stage kidney disease and has had 3 UTI's since then. She had also been vomiting 3 or 4 times a day, especialy right after breakfast, and of course losing weight. In July she developed the classic "urgency at the litter box" behavior on a Sunday afternoon (of course). I took her the Emergency Vet clinic recommended by our primary vet. Her weight then was just over 7lbs (She had been 9 lbs.summer of 2020) The did urine and basic blood test and confirmed UTI, gave a long-acting injection of an antibiotic and IM fluids because she too was dehydrated. She seemed to be improving during the next week.   Fast forward to the following Sunday afternoon(are you surprised??) and we were back at the emerg.vet clinic again for the same reasons plus her blood pressure was very high.. We were there 4 hours during which they did a large battery of tests...urine, more extensive  blood tests, and an ultrasound. All said and done...we finally had a new diagnosis...Laney has an over-active thyroid! Classic symptoms are 1)weight loss,  2)hypertension, 3) frequent vomiting. That second Sunday she was put on medication of correct her thyroid function and another to reduce her blood pressure.   Today....her BP is normal (that med.was stopped after 2 wks) and her thyroid is at a normal level, she only throws up with a hairball occasionally, and she has gained back 1 1/2 lbs, and no more urinary urgency.   I shared this long story because I found it was well worth the time and expense for the more intense tests to get at the real root of her health problems. I hope at least some of this information will help you to get your sweet kitty on the road to recovery.  You are both in our prayers.              

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,502
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

@KaySD wrote:

Once again, I am grateful to have this forum to turn to for advice. My dear 13-yr. old Tonkinese has been vomiting and was diagnosed by blood tests with Stage 2 kidney disease. He's less energetic than he used to be--but so am I--it's hard to tell what's aging and what's not. 

 

I did a search and found earlier forum posts, but they all seem to be from years ago, so may not be the latest info.

 

My vet has recommended the usual prescription diet with lower phosphorus and protein, and an anti-nausea med that I can give him pretty much as needed. I want your thinking, first of all, on whether this is still a good regimen.

 

I feel uneasy about the ingredient list in the "big 3" prescription diet manufacturers--Hill's, Purina and Royal Canin. There is one from Blue Buffalo that I think has better ingredients, but my vet doesn't have any recent research data showing improvement with this food, and is allowing but not recommending it. I wrote to Blue Buffalo, but all they did was ask for the vet's name so their "Sales Team" could contact them. So that was a dead end.

 

I like my vet and am grateful they can come to my house so I don't have to traumatize my cat driving him around. But they only kno  what they know, just like my own human doctor. It's encouraging to lerarn that one in three older cats does develop a kidney condition and most continue to have some years ahead of them.

 

I've been reading various suggestions about Purina One, Fancy Feast, giving pro/prebiotics, herbal supplements, etc. and am thoroughly confused. 

 

My dear one is a wonderful cat and very important to me. I want to do anything I can within my resources to promote his health for as long as he has. Any advice and information is much appreciated. 


@KaySD  first if all kidney disease in cats is not an easy one to manage I know we're going through it now with our 21 yr old Tonkinese ,  but certainly not impossible .    Our boy was diagnosed this past summer .  We thought because he lost his littermate 2 yrs ago and was just still depressed without her,  they were inseparable.    And that was all it was.

 

Anyways our vet put him on the hills diet ,  at first he turned his nose up to it so we mixed it with his regular food and little by little he eats it but not with the vigor he used to ,  drinks water all the time which  with kidney disease is normal .   I'm sure your kitty does too.   I remembered from a kitty we had years ago who also had kidney disease ,  a Tonk as well   that fluids helped her a lot.   So I asked the vet if we could do subcutaneous fluids at home and he agreed that it would help him tremendously.  So we do it every other day and he's doing pretty well.   He has become deaf and his eyesight is going as well but he is still our loving sweet boy and we will do whatever we have to to keep him happy and loved.   He meows all the time ,  if he doesn't see us then he will meow louder and louder till he does or we pick him up which he loves!   He would like to be held 24/7 if possible !   As you know Tonks have  very loud meows lol.  With fluids our vet said he could live a year or more even .   We are blessed to have him as long as we have and will continue this regimen as long as he has a quailty of life and is happy . I wish you luck with your kitty and know that he can live a pretty much normal life with kidney disease as long as he stays hydrated and doesn't have too my protein in his diet.   I do agree though with another poster that it's best they eat then not so if you can't get him to eat the special diet let him eat what he will eat as long as he eats.    The only one ours will eat is the fish stew pate hill diet.   Always been a fish eater  ,   Would eat chicken though too used to like Blue and Max.

 

by the way what color is your Tonk? Ours is a platinum mink.  Those beautiful aqua eyes ..😺   They are a wonderful breed , very affectionate and smart and very , very sweet which I'm sure you'd agree.😺

Valued Contributor
Posts: 796
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

@KaySD    Others had mentioned some of these things, but wondering is you kitty going to be receiving fluids?  Is the thyroid normal?

 

I'm afraid I don't have much to add on the food front at this point, my experience with a kitty with kidney disease was more than 10 years ago, but I do remember that the low phosphorus was very important, lower protein too.  But the ultimate truth is that the cat eating and keeping weight on is the most important thing.

 

Maybe kitty should be on b vitamins? Or just b-12?  Maybe check with your vet?

 

I have heard good things about fussy cat (taste wise anyway!)

 

I also want to add that when I needed information on kidney failure for my cat, that website that  @NVmimi  posted was invaluable to me.   So grateful for that website.  I learned so much there.    Also learned about slippery elm, which we used often for a variety of things!  also invaluable.