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Low Protein Diets in Cats: What Do I Need To Know?

by Sarene Maev Butao January 21, 2019

Low Protein Diets in Cats: What Do I Need To Know?

There is no passing day wherein we do not think of the overall welfare of our pets. Aside from caring, walking, and loving them, part of our daily responsibility is also feeding them with the right food for cats while also considering their dietary needs. If you are a first timer when it comes to taking care of pets, surely, it will not be easy and you will encounter difficulties along the way. The best that you could do is to be informed about the different diets and all the things that you need to consider when it comes to feeding your pets.

An example of this is the protein allotment when it comes to cat foods. You might have experienced being prescribed with a low protein cat food, but do you why you need to do it? There are several reasons and considerations why your cat is prescribed a low protein cat food and in this article we are going to explain why. Read more below to know what low protein really means in cat food.

Low Protein Cat Foods

The idea may seem ironic to you because animals need protein in order to supply their daily need of energy, right? So how come there are low protein cat foods and how come they are prescribed to some cats? One thing you need to know first is that low protein cat foods do not mean that there is no protein in the cat food. Protein, fat, and carbohydrates are all essential ingredients of any pet food in order to create a balanced diet. So any low protein cat food still contains the essential amount of nutrients in order for your feline creature to go throughout his or her day. There may be less protein than what a regular cat food contains, but the amount is still fairly enough for a proper and well balanced diet. In order to make up for this, a higher quality of protein is used so it is more easily digested and metabolized. So if you are worried that your cat may not get the diet they deserve if they are prescribed a low protein diet, do not worry because they are still provided by a balanced meal to satisfy their nutritional needs.

It may not be obvious but cat food plays a really important role when it comes to your pet’s health. Just like how nutrition and diet is really essential to your cat’s nutrition, choosing the perfect cat food that can suit the health needs of your pet is just as important. Specific prescription diets are given to cats with health problems. These prescription diets can help support, benefit, and treat specific cat disease. Aside from this, they also provide the needed vitamins, supplements, and the right ratio of ingredients for a really well balanced diet.

Low protein diets are commonly prescribed to cats with kidney diseases. Since low protein cat foods are expertly formulated to have a reduced amount of protein than the average cat food, it is perfect for feline creatures having problems with their kidney.

Low Protein Diets for Kidney Diseases

CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease is a kidney problem commonly experienced by cats and kittens alike. If your cat has Chronic Kidney Disease, this means that they have trouble in processing waste efficiently and effectively. Aside from this, Chronic Kidney Disease causes your cat to be nauseous and decrease her appetite, and also make them drink and urinate more. Protein makes cats with Chronic Kidney Disease hard and difficult for them to process waste, and with that trouble, more toxins accumulate in the blood.

Elderly cats are more prone to Chronic Kidney Disease with a 3 out of 10 cats having CKD. Low protein diets are beneficial for cats with this disease because of the correlation between the kidney and the protein. A cat’s kidney is tasked to do the following job in a cat’s body; a. balancing their body salts, acids, and water, b. production of urine as a waste product, and c. eliminating and the breaking down of protein into waste. Do you see the connection there? Low protein means less work for the kidneys which in turn, extremely benefits cats with Chronic Kidney Disease. A cat with a compromised kidney also needs a compromised diet in return. A low protein diet allows the cat’s kidneys to operate more effectively

A low protein diet is highly recommended for cats with this disease since there is less protein to digest, but enough for the satisfaction of their daily nutrient needs. A low protein cat food directly affects the liver and kidneys of the cats since these are two main organs that deal with the digesting, metabolizing, and the excreting of protein. A gradual decrease of protein in a cat’s diet will surely benefit these organs since there is less work for them to do.

Maintaining a Healthy Low Protein Diet

If your cat is still on the process of transitioning to a low protein diet or already transitioned, you have to remember that monitoring is the key to assure that they are healthy. Cats with kidney diseases tend to have a decrease appetite so make sure that they are enough and well. There are also some cases wherein your cat may not warm up to the low protein food you are giving them, it is best that you immediately talk and consult with your veterinarian to try and work out other options that benefits your cat.

A meal plan consisting of low protein foods aside from commercially made cat foods can also be done but these take time and tons of careful research and evaluation. However, there are lots of readily available low protein cat foods out there, so it is possible that you will find something that your cat will eventually love. Maybe swapping for a new feeder or bowl for cats will be a nice treat for your cat.

Remember that cats rely on you to help and guide them. Be patient and always be there for your feline friend! Got something to share about low protein diets? Tell us in the comments!

Sarene Maev Butao
Sarene Maev Butao


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