Denoted as Na, sodium is an essential mineral. We have looked at sodium functions in cats including its sources and how these animals regulate this mineral in their body. We also have something on hyponatremia and hypernatremia in cats.
Before we look at some of the best low sodium cat food brands including canned or wet and dry ones, it is good to look at why low levels of this essential mineral are at times recommended.
Why low sodium cat foods?
Healthy cats including older ones can effectively regulate blood sodium levels. However, due to various diseases and conditions including kidney, osteoporosis, heart or liver disease, your vet may recommend diets low in this mineral.
There is some evidence that high Na+ levels can increase chronic kidney disease progression by activating the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS).
According to “Sodium in Feline Nutrition” published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition. RAAS “exerts vasoconstrictor effect predominantly on the post-glomerular arterioles, thereby increasing the glomerular hydrostatic pressure and the ultrafiltration of plasma proteins, which may contribute to the onset and progression of chronic renal damage.”
Secondly, as VCA Hospitals notes, “a kidney support diet contains less protein, sodium and phosphorus, and increased omega-3 fatty acids.”
Finally, PetMD further supports the idea and adds that low Na will help reduce dehydration.
High amounts of Na have been associated with bone calcium loss and consequently osteoporosis since this mineral has a role in controlling the amount of calcium mobilized from bones as well as the amount lost in urine (calciuria).
High blood pressure
According to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tuft University, “high salt (sodium) diets may increase blood pressure and may worsen kidney damage, so diets designed for pets with kidney disease are low in sodium.”
If your cat has heart disease especially cardiomyopathy, most “veterinarians will recommend feeding cats a low-sodium food that will help reduce fluid build-up and make it easier for their heart to work effectively,” notes Hill’s Pets.
Best cat foods with low sodium
The minimum amount of Na according to AAFCO 2014 should be at least 0.2% based on their dry matter or an equivalent of 50g/100kcal. Going for amounts below this may result in hyponatremia.
For renal disease, it is recommended that you go for foods that have sodium level below 0.4% based on the dry matter or an equivalent of 100g/100kcal.
We are only going to list foods low in this mineral without reviews on any of the various brands. The amount in bracket is the Na in mg per 100kcal.
Low sodium wet cat food (canned)
Wet foods provide better hydration than dry ones and will promote a healthy kidney. However, they have a shorter shelf-life once opened and more expensive. If you those low in sodium, try the following:
1. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care Vegetable & Tuna Stew Canned Cat Food
This low protein renal diet has restricted levels of phosphorus, and sodium (0.24%) will support your feline’s renal and heart function while ensuring your pet gains lean muscle.
It is highly digestible, will provide all amino acids, has added L-Carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids, and is made with the S+OXSHIELD technology, which prevents the formation of urinary stones.
- 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.
2. Veterinary Select Neo Diet for Cats for Kidney Health
This fantastic brand will support your cat’s kidney health since it is low in sodium (0.43%), phosphorus, and protein to help promote your feline’s overall health. Also, sufficient calories and nutrients to ensure your cat thrives well.
Therefore, if your vet asks you to buy a veterinary diet that will support your feline’s kidney health, look no further.
- 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%
4. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Canned Cat Food, Adult, Savory Liver & Chicken
If you need a standard feline food that is low in sodium, this Hill’s Science brand ideal for grown cats as it is not only tasty but also low in sodium (67mg/100kcal). .Besides, it has high-quality protein to ensure your feline friend gains muscle, is easy to digest, and it will promote your cat’s immunity, thanks to the added antioxidants and vitamins C and E.
5. Purina Friskies Shreds Wet Cat Food Chicken Salmon Dinner in Gravy
This low sodium wet cat food is not only tasteful but has a very enticing aroma that your cat will find irresistible. It is nutritionally balanced to meet the nutritional meets of adult cats and kittens with sodium levels of 77mg/100kcal
6. Royal Canin Veterinary Care Nutrition Senior Consult wet
If you have a senior cat, consider Royal Canin Veterinary Care Nutrition Senior Consult as its unique formulation will provide all the nutrients that your feline friend needs. Besides reduced sodium (80mg/100kcal), its reduced phosphorus will ensure it doesn’t stress their kidney.
Finally, it has fiber to aid in digestion, has New Zealand Green Mussel for a good coat and skin, and has added chondroitin and glucosamine suitable for senior cats healthy joints.
More low sodium canned cat foods with sodium amounts in brackets.
- Purina Friskies Indoor Chunky Chicken & Turkey Casserole Canned Cat Food (69 mg/100kcals)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Tender Chicken Dinner (70mg/100kcals)
- Purina Veterinary Diet DM Savory Selects (80mg/100kcals)
- Purina Veterinary Diet OM Savory Selects (80mg/100kca)
- IAMS Veterinary Formula Urinary-S Plus Low (56mg/100kcals)
- Royal Canin Prescription Diet Renal LP Modified (50mg/100kcals)
These are just but a few, you will get many other brands. However, ensure they do not go below 50mg/100kcal, the AAFCO recommended amount as this can lead to some deficiency symptoms.
See more on US canned cat food data based on their dry matter to help you choose other brands that have low amounts of this mineral.
Low sodium dry cat food
Dry foods are not only affordable but equally tasty, so long as they formulated with high-quality ingredients. Excellent brands include:
1. Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Feline Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Feline Dry Cat Food will support your cat’s kidney and heart functions. It is low in sodium (0.26), phosphorus, and protein.
Secondly, it is loaded with amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and L-Carnitine. Furthermore, the diet will boost appetite (Enhanced Appetite Trigger Technology), as well as ensure your feline is getting enough calories (high in calories).
Finally, its S+OXSHIELD technology will ensure your kitty doesn’t have any urinary stones.
- 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. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney + Mobility Support for Cats
Proper choice of food is vital in preventing kidney overload, especially to felines with kidney problems. One such great option is the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney + Mobility Support, as it is low in proteins and has restricted sodium (0.35% max) and phosphorus amounts.
Besides, it has glucosamine, chondroitin, and DHA will promote your feline’s joint health and boost mobility.
Finally, this food is free of grains, making it an excellent choice that will provide all the vital nutrients that your felines need without overloading their renal system.
- 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%.
3. Purina Veterinary Diet NF Early Care (dry)
Like most of the other Purina kidney function diets, this brand has moderate high-quality protein amounts, as well as controlled phosphorus and sodium amounts. To ensure your furry friend remains healthy, it has omega-3fatty acids, which serve as a source of much needed DHA and EPA as well as antioxidants, potassium, and B-complex vitamins.
Finally, it is energy-dense and delicious. Your feline friends will love every bite of this food while it helps them maintain a healthy urinary tract.
4. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Cats, Indoor, Chicken Recipe
As cats age, some of the concerns are kidney problems, sedentary lifestyle, among other health issues. This brand designed for mature indoor felines and has all the nutrients necessary for best eyes, heart, joints, and kidneys healthy.
Furthermore, it has added fiber to ensure proper digestion and minimize hairballs frequent in indoor cats.
Finally, its low sodium (75mg/100kcal) will benefit your cat’s heart health.
5. Forza10 Nutraceutic Actiwet Renal Support Canned Cat Food
Life stage: Adult cats
Forza10 Nutraceutic Actiwet Renal Support Canned Cat Food is specially formulated for kitties with kidney issues as well as those with cardiac problems.
The diet has reduced protein, phosphorus, and sodium. However, the exact amount of sodium is not clear. Also, it is high in moisture to boost hydration and has dandelion and cranberry for urinary tract support.
Finally, it has no corn, wheat, GMOs, soy, oxytetracycline, by-product meals or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- First ingredients: water sufficient for processing, salmon, chicken liver, lamb, and rice.
- Calorie content: 806 kcal per kg or 80 kcal per tray.
- Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein (min): 6.0%, crude fat (min):4.5%, crude fiber (max): 0.5%, moisture (max): 82.0%, phosphorus (max): 0.13%, sodium (min) 0.06%.
6. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food Indoor Chicken
The Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food Indoor Chicken is a non-description diet low in sodium. It is ideal for indoor felines, is made from high-quality proteins with an excellent nutritional balance to ensure these cats don’t gain weight owing to their sedentary indoor lifestyle.
Other low sodium dry foods with sodium levels per 100kcal
- Hills M/D Weight Loss Diabetic Cat Food (75/100kcal)
- Pro-Plan Products Focus Urinary Tract Health Formula (55/100kcal)
However, ensure you consider each of the food’s entire nutritional composition to be sure they will provide the required nourishment to your pet including proteins, calcium, phosphorous, and so on. See more on US dry cat food data based on dry matter.
Best low sodium cat treats
Treats may be essential during cat training, taking of medication, enticing, and so on. However, these treats must be healthy with no soy, corn, wheat, added sweeteners, artificial flavors, dyes, preservatives as well as have low amounts of sodium.
Also, ensure they are low in calories since treats shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your pet’s calories consumed.
Some of the high quality but low sodium and calorie treats you should consider include the following:
1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary Feline Treats
Being a feline urinary treat, it means they are low in not only sodium but also phosphorus. If you have a cat with urinary or bladder health problems, switch to these treats as they will ensure both calcium oxalate and struvite stones don’t form.
Besides reducing chances of urinary crystal formation, these treats are low in calories, i.e., one calorie per treat.
Finally, they are suitable for long-term use and will support your feline’s urinary and bladder health. However, ensure you get a veterinarian authorization before buying this brand.
2. Stewart Fiber Formula Cat Treats
If you need a low sodium cat treat, the Stewart Fiber Formula Cat Treats is an excellent choice. Developed by veterinarians, these treats are ideal for cats with kidney issues being low in sodium and have low calories to avoid obesity.
Its crunchy texture will help manage plague and tartar as it will scrap them off while its high in fiber will reduce instances of hairballs, urine acidity, and magnesium levels.
3. Royal Canin Original Feline Treats
These treats are compatible with Royal Canin Veterinary Diet® Feline formulas and suited for cats of any age or size. They are low in calories and will support a specific cat’s dietary needs. However, you need your vet’s approval before buying them being part of therapeutic diets.
4. Purina Fancy Feast DUOS Tuna with Accents of Parsley
The fancy feast duos are delightful, and crunchy treats come in various flavors, including natural rotisserie chicken, tuna, tuna & parsley, salmon, and crab soufflé flavor. Your feline friends will like their savory, tender middle part surrounded by a baked exterior that is very crunchy.
Specifically, your cats will love fishy Tuna and Parsely flavor, and they can be a great part of your training or treat time.
Another great alternative is the Natural Rotisserie Chicken made with real chicken.
When administering medications, use low sodium canned food, Feline Greenies Pill Pockets Cat Treats which come in various flavors including chicken, salmon, etc.