Effects of dietary protein and calorie restriction in clinically normal cats and in cats with surgically induced chronic renal failure.Am J Vet Res. 1993 Oct; 54(10):1653-62.AJ
To determine the effects of long-term dietary protein restriction in cats with chronic renal failure (CRF), 4 healthy adult cats and 7 cats with surgically induced CRF were fed a high-protein (HP, 51.7% protein) diet and 4 healthy adult cats and 7 cats with surgically induced CRF were fed a low-protein (LP, 27.6% protein) diet for 1 year. Cats with induced CRF that were fed the LP diet had reduced serum urea nitrogen concentrations, despite lower glomerular filtration rates, compared with cats with CRF fed the HP diet. Despite five-sixths reduction in renal mass, reduced glomerular filtration rate, and azotemia, 13 of the 14 cats with induced CRF retained the ability to concentrate urine and produced urine with a specific gravity > 1.035. Cats fed the HP diet consumed significantly more calories than did cats fed the LP diet, presumably because the HP diet was more palatable. As a result of the lower caloric intake in cats fed the LP diet, these cats were protein and calorie restricted, compared with cats fed the HP diet. Cats fed the HP diet weighed significantly more than did cats fed the LP diet. Mean hematocrit and mean serum albumin concentration were significantly lower in control cats and in cats with CRF fed the LP diet, compared with control cats and cats with CRF fed the HP diet. Hypokalemia developed in 4 of 7 cats with CRF fed the HP diet (containing 0.3% potassium); hypokalemia did not develop in control cats fed the same diet or in cats with CRF fed the LP diet containing 0.4% potassium. Excessive kaliuresis, hypomagnesemia, and metabolic acidosis did not appear to contribute to the hypokalemia. Subsequent supplementation of the HP diet with potassium gluconate prevented hypokalemia in cats with CRF.