It works. k/d diet has stabilized my cats kidney problem
And, given the chance to eat raw, high protein, supposedly damaging to kidney diets, these cats flourished!
In one older study, (2000) Elliott J, Rawlings JM, Markwell PJ, Barber PJ 41 pp235-42, 29 cats were fed a reduced protein, low phosphorus therapeutic kidney diet, while a further 21 cats did not eat this diet. Some of the cats (presumably in both groups) were also given phosphorus binders. The cats fed the therapeutic kidney diet survived longer than the other cats, but it is not clear whether this was due to the reduction in phosphorus intake rather than the reduction in protein intake. The study concluded "Feeding a veterinary clinical diet (with intestinal phosphate binders where necessary) specifically formulated for feline renal failure was associated with a highly significant beneficial effect on survival of cats presenting with naturally occurring stable CKD. This is the first prospective dietary study involving naturally occurring feline CKD cases where survival from first diagnosis has been assessed."
As stated above, divides CKD into stages (see ) and suggests starting a therapeutic kidney diet in Stage 2, i.e. when the cat's creatinine is over 1.6 mg/dl or 140 µmol/L. Cats who are in Stages 3 and 4 would therefore also be advised to eat a therapeutic kidney diet.
The Right Diet for Cats with Kidney Disease - The Conscious Cat
Kidney failure and diet in cats - The Conscious Cat
The ideal amount of protein to feed dogs and cats with kidney disease is a hotly debated topic and is controversial. Prescription kidney diets are formulated with 13-18% protein (on a dry matter basis) for dogs and 25-32% protein (on a dry matter basis) for cats. While evidence suggests restricting protein in the more advanced stages of kidney disease helps pets feel better, there is nothing to support protein restriction in early cases. In fact, protein restriction may lead to protein malnourishment and loss of muscle mass in pets with early kidney disease. This is especially common in cats who have much higher protein requirements than dogs. Laboratory tests are needed to definitively diagnose CKD. A blood test alone is usually not sufficient; a urinalysis must be taken at the same time the blood is drawn. Kidney disease is likely present when the cat is “azotemic” AND the urine is not sufficiently concentrated. “Azotemia” means that there is an increase in particular compounds in the blood; specifically blood urea nitrogen–BUN–and/or creatinine. The measurement of urine concentration is called Urine Specific Gravity (USG). If the cat’s USG is less than 1.035 (1.030 in dogs) AND azotemia is present, then kidney function is abnormal. BUN and/or creatinine may be high if the animal is dehydrated (common in cats who eat a lot of dry food, or during hot weather or after a stressful car ride). They may also be increased in animals on a high protein diet. As long as the kidneys are able to concentrate the urine, small elevations in BUN and/or creatinine are usually not a cause for alarm.