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Can you help with another cat health question?

My friend just told me her cat was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  Basically they just want to make him as comfortable and happy for the time he has left.  Naturally his appetite is not what it used to.  I told her I would turn to the wonderful and knowledgeable crew here at VW.  I directed her to the thread for HH's Cat because it had a lot of good ideas about tempting a cat's appetite.  But I wanted to specifically ask if some foods should be avoided because the problem is in his kidneys.  Is there anything that's better/worse for this condition?  She has basically bought every different can of food in the supermarket but he will only eat a certain brand of treats and she has to hand feed him those.  Thanks from me and my friend Jenna, and thanks from her cat Stuart (aka Stuart, the fat orange cat). 

Poor kitty  :'(

Avoid anything with the word "by-product" in it for sure since these are horrible sources of protein.  Which means NO grocery store food--all of it has by-products, I can guarantee you.  Go to a pet supply store (PetsMart, PetCo, feed stores, specialty pet stores) and get a good, by-product-free food.  Also, many vets will prescribe a low-protein food.  Don't let her buy it--it's total crap.  Too many by-products and not enough good protein in there.  Get something with a high-quality protein source.  My parents' cat with kidney failure will only eat AvoDerm canned chicken formula.  She's doing great on it.  Just have her avoid any super high protein foods (they will claim to be high protein on the label) and "normal" foods should be just fine.  Ideally, her cat should only eat canned food.  No kibble.  However, having him eat is better than not eating, so if he'll only eat kibble, have her pour some warm water over it so it turns into a sort of kibble/gravy thing and he'll get some extra moisture that way.

Hugs to Stuart  :)>>>

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Thanks so so much Kbuettne!  I copied and pasted your answer in an email to my friend.  When my bf's cat was sick earlier this year we switched her food to Avoderm and she ate it much more than her regular brand of food. 

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with the kidneys, i think they should make sure that kitty is also get a lot of water to help keep his system clean.

my childhood dog died from kidney cancer, and he went downhill pretty fast. its good they know he is dying and can prepare for that when the time comes.

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Well, right now I have three cats diagnosed with FLUTD - one of which has a bladder stone and may require surgery... The vet prescribed food, but the food I had at home (at least WHAT IT SAYS ON THE LABEL) is more appropriately balanced nutritionally for cats with urinary problems. 

I am looking in Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats right now...

...Okay - the feline kidney diet recommends ground chicken (with skin) or turkey,  Vitamin-enriched cooked white rice, eggs, safflower oil, a calcium supplement, parsley and a little vitamin C.  He advocates feeding it raw, with the exception of the rice, of course.  You can PM me if you want the whole recipe with amounts.

Use caution giving cats Vitamin C though - too much can be toxic as cats produce their own supply.

For information on the 'quality level' of cat foods (the high-end natural brands) check out Dr. Goldstein's page at http://www.drmarty.com/feeding.htm  Jumbled into this list you'll find the names of different pet foods.

ETA: For water, I got my kitties a pet fountain for about $25.  They love it!

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Thanks everyone, my friend will be so happy with the responses. 

mdvegan:  How is the new cat doing?  I can't remember what the name turned out to be.

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I just found this thread.  I'm sorry to hear about Stuart.

With kidney problems, you're supposed to feed low phosphorus food.  My vet said that if a cat isn't eating and will only eat food that has normal or high phosphorus in it, then feed the cat that.  My cat will only eat Science Diet ocean fish, which is a can of by-products (mostly pork).  Because that's what he'll eat, that's what I feed him.  Also, my cat doesn't have much of an appetite, and will only eat about a third of a can a day.  I dump out half a can into a small bowl and compel him to lick some of it up.  I then try to get him to eat in about another hour, and again in an hour after that.  It takes him that long to eat a third of a can. 

I also give him subcutaneous fluids.  They are something like $26 a bag from my vet.  You can also get Sodium Chloride (Saline) 0.9% bags online at a place like Medi-Vet for $5 a bag.  It's a prescription, so she orders it and provides Medi-Vet with her cat's info and the name and contact info for her vet.  They fax a prescription form to the vet for a signature.  Once it's returned to them, they ship out the solution.  It's like kidney dialysis and will help flush the toxins out of Stuart's kidneys, because he can't drink enough water to do it himself, so he gets dehydrated.

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I forgot about the sub-Q fluids.  They helped Houdini tremendously.

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