Some good news for cats (and their owners)!
Like people, cats can develop chronic kidney disease. In fact, about 10% of felines over the age of 9 years develop it. Common symptoms in cats include weight loss, reduced muscle mass, and often excessive urination and thirst. Other symptoms include metabolic acidosis and more advanced stages may include protein loss in the urine
In a new study published in Physiological Reports, researchers tested a new dietary treatment for the disease. They recruited 34 cats (with owner permission) with chronic kidney disease and fed the animals either a control diet or a nutraceutical for 90 days. Both diets contained easy to digest hydrolyzed proteins and low levels of minerals (phosphorus, potassium, calcium and proteins) while the special diet had additional nutraceutical plants: round-headed bush clover (Lespedeza capitata spp.), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpom) and dandelion (Tarazacum officinale). Remarkably, the felines fed the special nutraceutical diet had improved kidney function and reduced markers of renal failure.
Di Cerbo A, Iannitti T, Guidetti G, Centenaro S, Canello S, Cocco R. A nutraceutical diet based on Lespedeza spp., Vaccinium macrocarpon and Taraxacum officinale improves spontaneous feline chronic kidney disease. Physiological Reports. 6(12): e13737, 2018.