Link: Dietary Phosphorus in Cat Foods and Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats


Dietary phosphorus is important to our well-being. Phosphorus is the 11th most abundant mineral on the planet, and we need it; it’s present in all living organisms. It turns out that phosphorus is found in all our cells and the same is true for cats.

An adequate dietary intact of phosphorus is required to maintain health. However, high serum or inorganic phosphorus concentrations are a risk to our health, potentially even causing death.  There’s growing evidence that too high a phosphorus intake could have harmful consequences in many species, including cats. And this is especially true when dietary phosphorus to dietary calcium radio is low and dietary phosphorus is in a highly bioavailable form. And one consequence is kidney function.

One study from the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 2014, suggests the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats: 13 percent in cats under four-years, 24 percent in cats aged four to 10-years, 31 percent in cats aged 10 to 15-years and 32 percent in cats over 15 years. Additional research demonstrates those numbers are significantly higher. No matter, if you have a senior or geriatric cat, odds are good that the cat will suffer from kidney disease, which millions of cats succumb to.

Definitely there are other contributing factors which may cause kidney disease in cats. But can we do better with cat diets, specifically balancing phosphorus?

We know restrictions in dietary phosphorus intake seems to have a role in treatment of early stages of CKD. Recent studies demonstrate that a high dietary intake of inorganic phosphorus radio and induce renal dysfunction in previously healthy adult cats.

Two goliaths in the pet food world Purina and Mars have invested significant dollars and are working together with the EveryCat Health Foundation to support funding from independent (from any pet food ties) researchers to learn more about appropriate dietary phosphorus balance for cat foods.

EveryCat Health Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Panel chooses researchers, hoping more can be learned. If the research succeeds, cat lifespans are extended.