If your cat has Kidney Disease and is struggling to eat on their own you may have gotten the recommendation to give your cat baby food. Which I admit I was shocked to get this recommendation when I first heard it. Yet to my surprise the meat gravy of baby food was indeed a hit with my cat. In hindsight, of course a yummy meat soup was going to be a hit. Is it just my cats or do they seem to love creamy gravy foods?
Why Baby Food?
The appeal here is that the baby food we are going after is basically ground up meat soup. Just protein and water what is there not to love when you are a cat? Cat’s are Obligate or “true” carnivores are those whose diet requires nutrients found only in animal flesh. While obligate carnivores might be able to ingest small amounts of plant matter, they lack the necessary physiology required to fully digest it.
Since baby food is a few simple ingredients, this means you could attempt to make your own with a food processor at home. Much like many moms out their make their own baby food at home.
Baby foods is high in protein but surprisingly low in phosphorus. Bone is typically what adds in high amounts of phosphorus and is not present in baby food like it is in standard cat food. You will want to note that baby food is missing a lot of the essential vitamins a cat needs.
What Baby Food Can I Get My Cat?
Yup! Human baby food. It’s one of the first things I commonly see recommended when cats give up eating. You can’t just give any baby food. The baby food should be meat only, without vegetables or fillers such as pasta.
Gerber’s 2nd Foods Meats
Gerber second stage has four different meat flavors and is the brand that offers you the most flavor selection. I also found this was the easiest baby food to find and buy. The flavors are Chicken, Turkey, Beef and Ham. You can shop these flavors right on Amazon or in your local grocery store.
When buying these flavors you always want to confirm the ingredients there should be nothing more than the meat, water and starch.
Beech-Nut Stage 1
To be honest I like this option the best. It only contains two ingredients just the broth and the meat. It simplifies things and takes out the starch that is added into the Gerber brand.
Beech-Nut has Chicken, Turkey and Beef. Again as a reminder, when buying baby food for your cat you always want to confirm the ingredients. There should be nothing more than the meat and gravy.
Heinz Stage 2
I have seen this company recommended by others but I would AVOID feeding this to your cats. It includes rice which is unnecessary carbs for your cat. But the dangerous part is it has lemon juice added.
I dunno about you but when I have citrus my cats run the other direction. It’s one of the few times they don’t want to be in the kitchen with me. Turns out that according to the ASPCA lemon juice is toxic to cats.
How Long Can I Give my Cat Baby Food?
It’s fine to feed baby food to your cat here and there as a treat, or food topper, or to jumpstart eating. But, if you plan on feeding this exclusively for more than just a day or two you will want to add a meal completer to it.
A meal completer is a product like EZ Complete. The EZ Complete powder contains the vitamins and minerals that are essential to your cats health. Additionally, if you do find your cat only eating baby food I would contact your vet for more guidance.
Friday 12th of May 2023
My cat didn't want to eat, much like my dog with diabetes so I cooked chicken and rice but he didn't want that after a while so I pureed with organic chicken broth and he ate some until he didn't eat anymore.. But my cat with stage 4 KD out of the blue she didn't want to eat anything but add some baby food and she'll eat it plain or with weurvia chicken and talapia she loves that and goes back for more, but a lot of barfing so I do a few treatable Gere n there to keep acid down and feed here a little all the time. She's not fond of Gerber, but beach nut she goes nuts for!
Friday 21st of May 2021
Thanks for the advice. The flight is 5.5 hours, but we have 1.5 hour layover in Calgary. As we are relocating from Ontario tomBC we don’t have a vet yet. I start work almost on arrival, but hope to find a good vet before that! I have sub-Q fluids here, but I’m not permitted to bring it on the plane, so I’m going to need to get to a vet to get more when I arrive.
Gabriel is worse than Lily; his urine output is large, and I’ve bought a number of pee pads for his carrier. I’m nervous how the flight will go with the attendants and other passengers. I’ve read so many stories where the airline workers are not sympathetic to the animals care. I’m already told they cannot get out of the carrier during the flight, so I’m not sure how to give him water if it’s needed during flight?
You’ve given me some peace of mind. Thank you for the feedback.
Saturday 19th of February 2022
@George, you might try the type of bottle that are used with gerbils and rabbits, etc. I think they have like a roller ball that they lick and the water comes out just enough.
Tuesday 18th of May 2021
I’m flying across the country with both cats - in carriers on the plane; they both have kidney disease. One is stage 4. I need to make sure he is well hydrated. But cannot remove him during the flight from his carrier. Any tips or suggestions? I’m worried the flight will cause him to crash, and I don’t have an emergency vet on the other side of the trip. I wouldn’t endanger his life like this, but I’m moving for work, and don’t want to give him away. She is not as bad, but will need water as well. Do you have any tips for flying with cats and kidney disease?
Wednesday 19th of May 2021
How long is the flight? Most regional flights are terribly long so I wouldn't stress too much. Think of how long your cats nap lengths are throughout the day. The move/smells/sounds all going to be way more stressful. Have things that they are familiar with on hand and get a pheromone collar or spray for the carriers.
As for the water -- I would just give some extra added wet food meals when you arrive to your destination plus break out a tempting water fountain. If you give subQ fluids and are familiar doing that the week you arrive is a great way to add some extra hydration. Your vet can also perscribe something called hydra care which is like an extra hydrating water packet. My cats didn't go for it but some people have a lot of success. Mostly bare with them change is hard on cats and they will just need a little adjusting.
Remember a day that is off shouldn't totally mess them up. The one exception I can think of is unless they are very close to end of life that would be the only time in our CKD journey I can think that was that make or break. We have a stage 4 CKD now and she is a rockstar and survived a move just fine plus she has outlived the doctors predications almost at 2 years now! Oh and for peace of mind since I can tell you love your babies and worry about them just like me look up where the 24 hr emergency vet is at the new location every place should have one in somewhat close range.