For cats suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD), recent studies have linked foods with high phosphate to kidney damage in healthy cats and worsening the progression of CKD.
This has spurred many manufacturers to opt for low phosphorus cat food and treats including those that are canned, wet, dry or even fresh ones
High phosphate in blood plasma is also associated with feline hyperphosphataemia which has various deleterious effects and since these pets must regulate the amount of phosphate in the blood, it will overload their kidneys.
Although vitamin D may enhance its intestinal absorption, if inorganic phosphate is abundant in diets, intestinal absorption will be efficient. This means the phosphorus level in foods must be considered.
We have looked at its functions and low phosphorus diets for cats with kidney disease and phosphate binders that can be used to minimize absorption. It is time to focus on foods that have controlled amounts of this very essential mineral.
Cat food phosphorus chart
To know the amount of phosphorus a certain cat diet has, you need charts showing these levels.
Tanya has comprehensive phosphorus (P) content in cat food for the US and UK canned food that will give you P content in therapeutic kidney, standard and raw foods that can be quite helpful if you need wet or canned diets.
additionally, to get low phosphate food you can make use of sortable charts, the nutritional composition charts by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM or search the United States Department of Agriculture data (especially if you feed this pet on homemade diets).
However, as you use these charts or data, ensure your food choice meets this animal’s nutritional and calorific needs. They are obligate or strict carnivore who according to the Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, depend on diets that “contains high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates.”
Best low phosphorus cat food brands overall
1. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Chicken Dry Cat Food
Life stage: Adult cats
Top of the list of the best low phosphorus cat food is With ocean fish and Early Support Feline with Chicken Dry Food. You can also opt for the one with ocean fish and Early Support Feline with Chicken Dry Food.
Hill’s Prescription kidney care with chicken has reduced levels of phosphorus, with some also low in magnesium, sodium, and protein, depending on the specific intended therapeutic functions.
You should only buy them once your veterinarian has given you and ok. These diets will slow down chronic renal disease progression as well as help your feline maintain its muscles.
- First ingredients: Brown Rice, corn gluten meal, chicken, pork fat, whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, wheat gluten, pea protein, egg product.
- Calorie content: 4239 kcal/kg or about 541 kcal/cup 8 oz. cup.
- Guaranteed analysis: Protein: 30.0%, fats: 23.0%, carbohydrate (NFE):40.8%, crude fiber: 0.9%, calcium: 0.73%, phosphorous: 0.52%, potassium: 0.75%, sodium: 0.26%, magnesium: 0.081%, taurine: 0.28%, vitamin E: 824 IU/kg, total omega-3 FA: 0.83%, Total Omega-6 FA: 4.04%, DHA: 0.83% and EPA 0.30% on dry matter basis
2. Royal Canin Veterinary Renal Support for cats – Support D Morsels in Gravy Canned Cat Food
Life stage: Adult felines
These Royal Canin wet therapeutic diets support renal support having less phosphorus.
All these foods are energy-dense, will boost appetite, and “contain a precise antioxidant complex, fatty acids from fish oil, low phosphorus, and targeted protein levels to help support kidney function,” as their Royal Canin notes.
You have the option of buying Renal Support T (tasty) in gravy wet, D (delectable) in gravy morsel, E (enticing) loaf in sauce canned food. The specific one we are reviewing is Veterinary Diet Renal Support D Morsels in Gravy Canned Cat Food whose phosphorus is at 0.15% max.
- First ingredients: Water Sufficient for processing, chicken by-products, chicken liver, pork liver, wheat flour, vegetable oil, pork plasma, modified corn starch, cornflour, egg product, glycine, and powdered cellulose.
- Calorie content: Calculated 1,142 kcal metabolizable energy (ME) /kg, 97 kcal ME/can.
- Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein (min): 6.5%, crude protein (max): 9.5%, crude fat (min):6.5%, crude fiber (max): 2.0%, moisture (max): 79.0%, phosphorus (max): 0.15%.
3. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Vegetable & Tuna Stew Canned Cat Food
Life stages: Adult maintenance
Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Vegetable & Tuna Stew Canned Cat Food is an excellent choice if you want a brand with low phosphorus (0.49%). It also happens to be low in protein and also sodium (0.24%) that will promote a healthy kidney function.
Besides kidney health, it supports heart health, is high in amino acids, and has omega-3 fatty acids and L-Carnitine.
Finally, don’t worry about struvite or calcium oxalate stones; its S+OXSHIELD formulation will prevent their formation.
- First ingredients: Water, pork liver, carrots, tuna, chicken, rice, rice starch, spinach, chicken fat, pea protein, chicken liver flavor, sunflower oil, powdered cellulose, and fish oil.
- Calorie content: 77 kcal / 2.9 oz. (82 g) can.
- Guaranteed analysis: Protein: 30.0%, fats: 24.8%, carbohydrate (NFE):37.4%, crude fiber: 2.8%, calcium: 0.82%, phosphorous: 0.49%, potassium: 1.05%, sodium: 0.24%, magnesium: 0.065%, taurine: 0.45%, vitamin C: 149 ppm, vitamin E: 1002 IU/kg, total omega-3 FA: 0.97%, Total Omega-6 FA: 3.62%, DHA: 0.316%, EPA 0.30%, Carnatine:990.1 ppm on dry matter basis.
Besides the chicken brand, you can also get Vegetable and Tuna, Chicken & vegetable, with Tuna as well as Early Support Feline Chicken Vegetable, and Rice Stew.
4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support A Dry Cat Food
Life stages: Adult maintenance
Your vet will recommend these brands in case of a temporary or chronic renal insufficiency or calcium oxalate uroliths. There are four flavors, i.e. the other three area F (flavorful), and S (savory) and Multifunction Renal Support + Hydrolyzed Protein.
Besides being low in phosphorus (0.55% max), the food has alkalizing properties, high-quality proteins (help reduce kidney workload), EPA and DHA, and antioxidants.
- First ingredients: Brewers rice, corn, chicken fat, wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, soy protein isolate, and powdered cellulose.
- Calorie content: It as a calculated 3,790 kcal/kg ME (metabolizable energy) or about 345 kcal ME per up
- Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein (min): 21.0%, crude protein (max): 25.0%, crude fat (min): 15.0%, crude fiber (max):6.4%, moisture (max): 8.0%, phosphorus (max): 0.57%. Magnesium (max): 0.1%, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (min) 0.28 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (min): 0.12%.
5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Advanced Care Formula Canned Cat Food
Life stages: Intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only.
NF Kidney Function Advanced Care Formula is a low phosphorus level cat food with moderate amounts of high-quality proteins to support a healthy kidney.
Additionally, they have omega-3 fatty acids to serve as an EPA and DHA source as well as added antioxidants, vitamin B-complex, and potassium to promote renal healthy.
Your feline friend will find their taste so alluring. However, feed them as supplemental or intermittent diets and not a diet replacement. Your vet will guide you more.
- First ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, meat by-products, chicken hearts, rice, liver, poultry by-products, powdered cellulose and salmon.
- Calorie content: 1059 kcal/kg or 165 kcal/can
- Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein (min): 6.0%, , crude fat (min): 4.0%, crude fiber (max): 3.0%, moisture (max): 77.0%, ash (max): 2.5%, calcium (min): 0.14% and phosphorus (max): 0.12%.
6. Hi-Tor Veterinary Select Neo Diet for Cats
Life stages: Adult cats
If your veterinarian recommends a feline food brand that is low in protein as well as phosphorus levels and sodium, this Hi-Tor Veterinary select is one such fantastic brand.
It will help in managing kidney disease or help as an adult maintenance formula. Furthermore, it is highly palatable and digestible to ensure your feline eats enough amount to meet the calorific requirement.
Finally, it doesn’t have any artificial flavors and colorants.
- First ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, meat by-products, chicken, animal liver, beef, poultry fat, ocean fish, rice flour, guar gum.
- Calorie content: 1,316 kcal/kg
- Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein (min): 8.0%, crude fat (min):10.0%, crude fiber (max): 1.0%, moisture (max): 78.0%, ash (max): 1.90, calcium (min): 0.15%, phosphorus (min): 0.10%, magnesium (max): 0.02 and taurine (min): 0.05%
7. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Advanced Care Formula Dry Cat Food
Life stages: supplemental or intermittent feeding.
Like its wet counterpart, this diet has restricted phosphorus to ensure it supports your cat’s kidney. It also has added antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA source) as well as a lower amount of high quality protein.
Your cat will love it, thanks to the yummy taste.
- First ingredients: Brewers rice, tuna, whole grain corn, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, corn gluten meal, potato protein, dried egg product, and brewers dried yeast.
- Calorie content: 4085 kcal/kg or 536 kcal/cup
- Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein (min): 26.5%, crude fat (min): 16.0%, crude fiber (max): 5.0%, moisture (max): 12.0%, ash (max): 7.0%, calcium (min): 0.55% and phosphorus (max): 0.44%, Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) (Min): 0.12% and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (Min):0.09%
8. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney + Mobility Support
Life stage: Adult cat maintenance.
Excessive proteins overload the kidney while controlled sodium (0.35% max), phosphorus (min 0.4% and max 0.7%), and magnesium (0.12% max) levels are vital in ensuring your feline friend has a healthy kidney. The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney + Mobility Support prescription diet is low in proteins and has restricted sodium and phosphorus.
Additionally, it has glucosamine, chondroitin, and DHA that will promote joint health and mobility, making it a good option for adult and elderly felines.
Finally, it is grain-free, has no poultry by-product meals, preservatives, or artificial flavors.
- First ingredients: Deboned chicken, peas, pea starch, potato starch, dried egg product, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, and flaxseed (source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids).
- Calorie Content: 3,934 Kcals/kg or 425 Kcals/cup
- Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein (min): 26.0%, crude fat (min): 18.0%, crude fiber (max) 6.0%, moisture (max): 9.0%.
9. Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food, Classic Recipes
If you are looking for a non-therapeutic low phosphorus cat food, the Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food, Classic Recipes, should be your number one choice. It comes in many flavors, including Asian Fusion, Green Egg & Chicken, Mack & Jack, Grandma’s Chicken Soup, Nine Liver, Paw Lickin’ Chicken, Meow Luau, among others.
Besides being made from high-quality protein sources, this food brand is grain-free, has no GMOs, Monosodium glutamate, Carrageenan, or any other harmful ingredients. Therefore, don’t worry about soy, corn, preservatives, wheat, or artificial colorants as it doesn’t have them.
Finally, it is also low magnesium and ash, undergoes minimal processing, and has adequate moisture to ensure your feline’s urinary tract remains healthy. Your feline friend will find it hard to resist the various flavors.
Weruva B.F.F. – Best Feline Friend Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food, Original Recipes in Gravy
A second great option from Weruva is the Weruva B.F.F. – Best Feline Friend Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food, Original Recipes in Gravy with flavors such as Tuna & Chicken 4-Eva, Tuna & Chicken Chuckles, Tuna & Salmon Soulmates, Tuna Too Cool, Tuna & Tilapia Twosome, among others.
Weruva TruLuxe Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food
Finally, you can buy the Weruva TruLuxe Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food with flavors including honor roll, Mediterranean harvest, Meow Me a River, Peking Ducken, Steak Frites, TruSurf, among others. It is also low in this mineral.
Best therapeutic cat foods – kidney disease diets
These diets have restricted amounts of phosphorus and proteins. However, some of the prescription renal diets do not seem to meet the required protein amounts that these pets since they are strict carnivores that require high-quality protein.
Furthermore, some diets may not provide enough calories required daily and this might cause muscles to waste away and consequently weight loss as these pets catabolize their own muscles. This catabolism results in ammonia, urea, uric acid, and creatinine which will strain their kidney as they try to eliminate these wastes.
Here are some of the best brands with their phosphorus and proteins percentage based on dry matter analysis.
|Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Advanced Care||0.39%||27.77%|
|Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Chicken – Canned||0.49 %||30%|
|Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D||0.44%||34.21%|
|Darwin’s Intelligent Design Kidney Support Raw||0.50%||48%|
|Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Protein-Phosphorus Chicken Lickin’ Good for Cats||0.39%||29%|
|Hi-Tor Veterinary Select Neo||0.72%||36%|
Best low phosphorus standard diets
Healthy cats can regulate phosphate in their bodies effectively. However, very high amounts may increase the chances of kidney damage. Ideal standard cat diets should have high-quality proteins and have enough calories and nutrients to meet their calorific and dietary needs.
Some of the best brands with low phosphorus include the following:
|Rayne Clinical Nutrition Adult Health RSS||0.51%||53.59%|
|Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels Chicken & Chicken Liver||0.55%||37.87%|
|Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels with Chicken & Salmon||0.56%||39.86%|
|Nature’s Logic Beef||0.58%||47.2%)|
|Hill’s Science Diet Adult Tender Chicken Dinner||0.57%||40.80%|
Also, you can go for Soulistic Aqua Grill and Celestial Feast Organix Organic among many others whose phosphorus level is not so high.
Raw low phosphorus foods
If you prefer raw foods, they have relatively higher phosphorous and protein amounts. Some of the raw foods that are low in phosphorus include the following:
|Rad Cat Pasture-Raised Lamb||0.54%||41.92%|
|Rad Cat Pasture-Raised Venison||0.70%||71.10%|
|EZcomplete with Turkey Breast||0.80%||85%|
Best low phosphorus dry foods
There is a need to avoid dry foods. According to Healthy Pets avoid“kibbles or dry cat foods as they provide very little water to your cat, has poor protein quality, is harder for cats to digest making it cause stress to kidney and liver.”
Some of the dry foods that have low in this mineral include the following:
|Hill’s k/d (for kidney disease, heart disease or FLUTD)||0.48%||28.20%|
|Royal Canin Indoor Mature 27 (standard)||0.66%||27.00%|
Best low phosphorus canned cat food or wet cat food
If you are specifically looking for canned brands which are wet foods with high moisture content (above 78%), a good number of what we have discussed are canned and they include:
- Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Chicken
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support D
- Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Protein-Phosphorus Chicken Lickin’ Good
- Hi-Tor Veterinary Select Neo
- Nature’s Logic Beef
Low phosphorus cat treats
Cat treats become handy during positive reinforcements, motivation during training, enticing this animal, in disguising medications and so on. Always go for good quality treats and they should not account for more than 10% their calorific requirement.
Some of the healthy treats you should consider include:
- PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried
- Orijen Original Poultry & Monkfish Freeze-Dried
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Formula Crunchy Grain-Free Cat Treats
If you are interested in any of the brands we have mentioned, you can get them at your local pets store or buy them from chewy.com, amazon.com, Petco, PetSmart, Walmart or from their respective manufacturers.
Secondly, while trying to reduce on the level of this mineral, ensure your cats do not end up suffering from hypophosphatemia (low phosphorus in cat’s blood).