Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats

Dear Nora,

Sadly, my 14 year old cat has just been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, and they are approaching it with fluid management (IV fluid therapy, etc.).  They want to keep him initially in the hospital for a few days of fluids and then do fluid boluses at home.  They said it can´t be cured, only ¨managed¨ with trying to flush the kidneys.

To give you some background, my cat has eaten conventional pet food from a young age.  He was very lethargic this past week and not eating.  He definitely was not seeming like his usual self. He also seemed to be drinking more.  When I switched over to wet food, he did eat a little — but, still not a lot.

Would you happen to know of anyone who either specifically had a cat with Chronic Kidney Disease that was resolved naturally? I am hoping someone out there resolved the issue or saw huge improvements!

From what I could read on the internet, the typical approach seems to be low-protein ¨kidney¨ diets.  However, the unconventional approach (raw) goes more with high protein.  It is a tad confusing.  I most definitely want to do what I can to make my cat his healthiest so I am willing to switch him to a raw diet if that’s what it takes to get him well again. Thanks in advance for any help.



Firstly, it’s important for you to know that this problem is 100% caused by commercial foods.  It is not protein that causes it, since felines are obviously adapted in every way to consume mostly protein.  So the question that the vets seem determined to avoid asking or answering is, if the kidneys of cats are set up to digest a diet made up mostly of protein, what is it about the protein they’re getting that’s wearing out the kidneys?

The answer is that the proteins they’re eating are cooked and otherwise processed in such a way as to render them mostly indigestible.  That means the components of the food that would normally nourish are burdening the eliminative organs (such as the kidneys) with their disposal.

The idea that kidney disease in cats is caused by consuming “too much” protein likely comes from the fact that when humans eat too much protein, OUR kidneys become damaged. Humans, unlike cats, are adapted to eat very little protein.  Protein in its proper form (raw) does not tax feline kidneys.  Kidney disease is no reason to feed cats diets that are biologically inappropriate, as anything except a high protein diet would be.  The vets who recommend low protein diets for cats with kidney disease don’t understand the difference between fresh raw meat and the garbage that commercial foods are concocted from, and how the latter burdens the eliminative organs.

When food is processed, its nutrients are destroyed to varying degrees and, in the case of commercial cat kibble, its water is lost.  The parts that the body would normally make use of become waste, and since there is no water in the food the body is limited in its ability to dilute the wastes.  That means very concentrated impurities are coming through the kidneys and renal tract.  This is why kidney disease is the biggest killer of cats, and why cat owners are always being told how “important” it is to make sure their cats have access to water.  Well, it’s not important unless you’re feeding foods that contain no water.  Personally, I don’t even keep a water dish out for my (raw fed) cat.

The low protein foods that are recommended for cats with kidney problems cause the burden to be shifted to other organs instead of the kidneys.  It may keep the cats from dying of kidney disease but it causes lots of other problems, and it does not matter whether the food is “high quality” or not.

Kidney disease does not happen to properly fed cats.   It is also reversible in most cases if an afflicted cat is treated (if necessary to save the life of the cat, such as in the case of urinary blockage) and transitioned.  This approach does not involve limiting proteins but feeding the kind that do not burden the kidneys.  That is, proteins that are easily digested such as those in fresh, raw meats.

Feeding foods that create kidney disease, diagnosing and treating, ignoring the causes and continuing to feed harmful foods is all regarded to be “normal” and even “conservative”.  Investigating and identifying causes, removing them and allowing the cat to recover through his body’s own inherent healing ability is thought to be “radical” or “extreme”.  Does that seem right to you?  I’m sure it doesn’t.  The fact that most people go along with this craziness shows us that the veterinary establishment has shaped our thinking and our behavior so that we do not do the right things by our animals.  We do what is best for the veterinary profession.  This situation, and many others where a positive outcome is desired, requires independent thinking and action.

I wish I could send you links to 1,000 testimonials from people whose cats recovered from disease by eating raw.  Unfortunately we have to be satisfied with the few that we have because most people are not prepared to question the advice they get from the industry that profits from their pets’ sickness.  There is a need to gather evidence before acting but there is no need to seek consensus.  In fact, knowing what we know about how misled our culture is as a whole, we should not expect a lot of company when doing sensible things!  🙂

All I can give you are basic, irrefutable concepts.  When we humans are sick, what makes us well is eating ONLY those foods that our bodies are adapted to consume.  And/or fasting.  That’s a universal law, and it applies to ALL species, cats included.

In addition, I did find a couple sites that have information that may be helpful. The first one is written by a vet who seems to understand some of the problems with commercial foods but as far as I can gather ends up just pushing canned foods over kibble.  The info on kidney disease is helpful however:  The other one I found has several different articles about feeding raw food to renal insufficient cats.  I think it’s too much information because we don’t really learn more by dissecting the issue down to atoms, but it may be helpful to you:  There may be info on these and other sites that conflicts with something you’ve heard from me or otherwise causes confusion.  If it misdirects you (I.e., away from feeding your cat a simple, raw, fresh meat diet), I would recommend that you ignore it.

Best wishes,


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