Did you know that 1 in 3 cats will develop CKD (chronic kidney disease) in their lifetime? What about the fact that 90% of cats over the age of 12 have painful "wear & tear" arthritis?
With early diagnosis & treatment, it's far from the doom and gloom that you may imagine with such a disease. These days, cats with CKD can live long and happy senior years with the right diet, improving fluid intake and other supportive medical care.
Cats (and especially older cats) don't seem to like having single diseases. The older they get, the more likely a cat is to have in excess of 3 or 4 illnesses all going on at the same time, just to keep you and us cat vets on our toes!
Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease, aka DJD to its friends) is extremely common in cats. It's partly because they're such inquisitive, agile animals and can jump down from great heights so their joints do an awful lot of shock absorption. If they're overweight in their youth and adult life, then their joints go through even more wear and tear with every step, leap and landing.
Cats are masters of disguise, so rather than complain about being in pain, they simply change their behaviour to minimise or avoid it! It can become tricky when cats diagnosed with kidney disease also have signs of arthritis because the first line medication that can provide pain relief, improved mobility & quality of life, can also put the kidneys under extra pressure.
Put simply this combination of nutritional support can significantly improve quality of life for cats, so it's a no-brainer. Oh and worried your cat won't like it? It has has an appetite improving feature called (E.A.T). By measuring food preferences in cats with CKD, Hill’s have apparently identified the specific aromas and flavours that stimulate food intake and have applied it to their kidney foods. They also offer a money back guarantee.
All in all, it's definitely worth a try, but always talk to your vet first to make sure it is the right choice for your cat's unique needs. Cats with CKD struggle to stay hydrated so the wet version would always be the best choice, but some cats like a bit of dry food too and there are more calories per bite in a dry food so it may be a good add-on for cats that prefer small amounts of food often. It's a juggling act between maintaining hydration and meeting protein and energy needs.
The Cat Vet Blog