Regent, a Bengal cat, was diagnosed with kidney disease at 9 years old.
That is when I learned about the importance of feeding canned food to cats. Before Regent's diagnosis, I supported the popular 1970s theory that cats only needed dry food.
I was wrong. They need both types of food.
Cats are predators and in the wild their body provides a lot of the water they need, and so does canned cat food. When a cat has kidney disease, water helps the kidneys not to have to work so hard. Pet owners can be trained to give subcutaneous fluids to their cats with kidney disease, and cats can live longer if detected early enough.
Senior blood panels for cats should start at age 9 to detect any diseases that can be managed best with diet and medications.
For almost 15 years my cat Regent's piercing jade green eyes have looked fondly at Community Animal Network's rescue animals. He now has advanced kidney disease, and I have been advised to consider his quality of life.