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5 Homemade Cat Food Recipes for Cats with Kidney Disease 

Vet approved

	Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ, Veterinarian

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If your cat has recently been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, you might be thinking of ways that you can improve your little furry one’s quality of life. The main function of the kidneys is to remove waste from the blood, in addition to managing blood pressure, produce necessary hormones, stimulate the creation of new blood cells. Improper diagnosis or if untreated for a prolonged period of time, kidney disease can lead to a series of health problems. This is why regular vet appointments are crucial as your kitty ages.

How to Improve Your Cats’ Quality of Life with Kidney Disease

Unfortunately, kidney disease does not have a cure and all that you can do for your cat is to reduce the progression of the disease. This is done with certain supplements, medical treatments, and specialized diets. The progression of the damage to the kidneys needs to be closely monitored by a veterinarian and appropriate changes in the treatments and diets need to be implemented. 

One of the main things that can be improved upon once your cat has been diagnosed is its diet! 

Dietary therapy is the single most beneficial treatment for cats with renal disease. A specialized renal diet helps to increase the life expectancy of a cat suffering from chronic kidney disease. 

As a general rule, patients suffering kidney disease need a diet with a high percentage of moisture,  that is lower in proteins, sodium and phosphate is non-acidifying, and is supplemented with potassium and vitamin B.  However, it is not all that easy. The diets need to be extremely palatable and calorie-rich as kidney disease causes a reduction in appetite.

Before proceeding with changes, you need your vet’s approval.

You most certainly do not want to cause your pet more pain or do additional damage to their kidneys.  Veterinarians use a grading system called IRIS (International Renal Interest Society) to categorize the different stages of kidney damage. The diets and treatments for cats suffering kidney disease need to be adjusted to each stage. This is why it is extremely important that you get your cat checked by the veterinarian first and then have the vet review the diet you intend to provide to your cat with kidney disease.  Some of the possible supplements to add to these recipes depending on your cat’s disease stage and specific needs are: calcium, vitamin B, L carnitine, Taurine, potassium, phosphorus binders, and slippery elm, among others. Your cat’s veterinarian will help you to come up with a diet specific to your cat’s needs.

There are many foods on the market that are produced solely for cats with kidney disease, but these can be expensive and possibly even contain unnecessary ingredients or may not be adequate to your cat’s disease progression state. So yes, it is possible to create your own renal diet for your cat – just make sure to get it approved and adequately supplemented by the vet!

It is important to remember that with new dietary restrictions comes the potential for food aversions so, it is important to make the change of diet gradual to your cat introducing no more than 10-20% of the new diet every one or two days, mixed with the old diet until the cat gets used to the new diet. It’s also important to keep in mind that the disease causes nausea and lack of appetite. In some cases, this needs to be treated with vet prescribed medicines, but in other cases, you will need to use your imagination to instigate your cat to eat. Tasty food and hand feeding can be of help. 

If you are interested in learning how to make cat food for cats with kidney disease – that are both nutritious and yummy – here are a few of our favorite renal diet cat food recipes. Remember to always get them preapproved for your cat by the veterinarian.


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Homemade Cat Food Recipes for Cats with Kidney Disease

1. Our Favorite Recipe for Cats With Kidney Disease

American cat kittens eating

Beef & Rice Homemade Cat Food

If you need a limited-ingredient recipe for your cat with kidney disease, this is our favorite! It's low-sodium, inexpensive to make, and tasty for your favorite kitty. Plus, you can easily make a big batch and store individual portions in the freezer.
4.70 from 10 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 8 mins
Servings 5


  • Large saucepan
  • Rice cooker or medium pot
  • Spoon
  • Storage containers


  • 1 lb minced beef
  • 1 cup white rice slightly overcooked
  • 4 oz liver chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Mineral and salt substitutes as directed by your veterinarian


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the minced beef and liver to the pan. Cook the meat thoroughly, stirring often.
  • Cook the rice until it's a little bit mushy. This will make it easier for your cat to digest.
  • Let the meat and rice cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, combine your meat, rice, and mineral and salt substitutes. Stir until the food is evenly mixed.
  • Divide the cat food into even portions. Store your leftovers in the freezer.


Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock
Keyword beef and rice, cat food recipes, cats, homemade cat food for kidney disease, kidney disease, limited ingredient, low sodium
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2. Special Senior Cat Diet for Kidney & Diabetes

Cat eats homemade food
image credit: Lia Kos, Shutterstock

This recipe has limited ingredients which is a great incentive when it comes to preparing your cat’s food.

  • 2 tablespoons cooked green beans, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced carrots (if you substitute other vegetables, avoid starchy ones)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons baked chicken breasts, minced (no skin)
  • 2⁄3 cup cooked and cooled white rice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Mineral and salt substitutes as directed by your veterinarian
  • ½ teaspoon of fish oil


Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly. Cook in a pre-heated skillet over low heat, constantly stirring until the egg is soft cooked. Let it cool down and divide into portions inside air-tight containers. Use the refrigerated portions within 36 hours.  You can also freeze the portions. Mix in the fish oil supplement just before serving for added flavor and benefits.

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3. Beef & Salmon Kidney Care Cat Food Recipe

This recipe includes an array of meats that any feline is sure to enjoy – many of them being organs. These are great ingredient options when it comes to replicating what a feline would consume in the wild. Should you have a household with more than one pet – this recipe also provides ingredient substitutes for cats without kidney disease.

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4. Chicken & Rice Kidney Disease Cat Food

In addition to a few human grade ingredients, this recipe also calls for a few essential vitamins. You might be surprised to learn that cat vitamins and minerals are quite easy to source but should be vet-approved or recommended before they are incorporated into your cat’s diet. There is also a second recipe on this blog for cats on a restricted mineral or sodium diet – which would likely go hand in hand (or paw in paw) with a renal diet.

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5. Multivitamins & Chicken Cat Food Recipe

This recipe includes an elaborate step by step guide paired with helpful pictures. The author has received vet approval for her recipe and has tweaked it over the years so it’s perfect for her little kitty.  We could recommend swapping the brown rice for white rice if your cat is in stages 3 or 4 of IRIS, but this is a great recipe to bring to your next vet appointment to ensure your feline receives the same stamp of approval.

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Final Thoughts

Preparing your own cat food will be a commitment, but when it comes to your fur-babies health, we know most owners are in it for the long haul! We hope that have enjoyed learning how to make cat food for cats with kidney disease and have found a recipe you and your kitty both enjoy – feel free to adjust them as per the recommendation for your veterinarian.

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Looking for more great recipes for your feline? Check these out!

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Feature Image Credit: catinrocket, Shutterstock