Picture of Kidney Support Homemade Cat Food

My 15-year-old cat (Update 8/2014: Tony has just turned 18 years old!) has had kidney issues for a few years now. Over the last couple of years, I have managed it well by giving him homemade low-protein cat food made from recipes by established veterinary nutritionists, and under my vet's supervision. I choose not to buy the prescription canned food because of the numerous recalls that have plagued pet food in recent years, plus even though the food I make is expensive, it still costs less in the end than canned food, and I control the ingredients.

The process is time and labor intensive, but I use all parts of what I cook. I hope this is useful for you if you have an ailing cat as well. It may also be useful to you if you want to learn how to slow-cook chicken and use up all the parts of it.

DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to substitute for veterinary medical advice. It is a guide to how I prepare a recipe my vet recommended, along with other holistic wisdom I picked up along the way. Your mileage may vary, but please only proceed under medical supervision.

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Step 1: Ingredients & Supplies

To make the food, you will need:

- Chicken
- Brown rice* (I have recently moved to quinoa; see Step 3 for more details)
- Salt
- Salt substitute (potassium chloride)
 - Baking soda (calcium carbonate) or calcium carbonate supplements
- Taurine
- Bone meal
- Multivitamins - I use these: Nu-Cat Senior
- Vitamin K
- A good blender
- Mortar & pestle

Optional but recommended:
Renal Essentials - Kidney Support for Cats

For an explanation of the recipe as well as others for both kidney issues and many others, you can read the book Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diets, which is the top-recommended resource for this knowledge. My vet originally provided me with recipes from the previous edition, but I bought this edition and have been using it as my guide with my vet's approval.
catlily7 months ago
My cat demolished it and he looks really healthy. Thanks!
sarahsmommy8 months ago

I loved your advice and detailed instructions. Especially for making broth/ stock (never done it before) and for making your own bone meal. Seems silly I didn't think of it before.

The free-range TJ's chicken is just great. Tastes much better. I followed the advice to "supplement" with gizzards, hearts, and liver (chicken). I sautéed some of these and made a "vitamin-mineral slurry" before blending with the meats. Cat loved it!

Oh- and I baked the cut up chicken and cut the meat into shreds. She ate some but she's still nauseous.

Important to note that Sodium Bicardbonate (baking soda) will simply not satisfy the calcium additive required for cat food. Tums tablets, however--would. Or the crushed bone meal.

Perhaps a cat in kidney failure/ renal disease would enjoy the stomachic properties of Na(CO3-)2 but …one would have to ensure the dosing is appropriate. (And most kitties would turn up their nose).

Crused tums worked for me. Or - Vit b12 tablets contain (mine do) Ca CO3.

I omitted the rice due to the grain controversies. Along with fish and canned and other variety (e.g. ground beef/ beef liver combo), she appears to enjoy the new homemade foods. Thanks!!!

lalalaux1 year ago
Baking soda is NOT calcium carbonate! Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. It's a salt and nothing at all like calcium carbonate. I have no idea how this affects a cat, but I would NOT give it to mine, especially if you already have regular salt (sodium chloride) as well as lite salt (potassium chloride) in the recipe.

The only places I've seen in regular stores to find calcium carbonate is in the vitamin section in the form of calcium pills or powder for people. However, even there it is hard to find the pure stuff without the added vitamin D, and I also do not know how extra vitamin D in this form affects a cat's system. I would recommend more research if one were to go this route, or to simply buy a bottle of pure calcium carbonate powder from some place like amazon.

I love that you do this for your cat, but I felt strongly that I should mention this. Thank you for the instructable.
lizzyanny2 years ago
A great recipe. thanks! In regards to not using rice because of the arsenic levels recently discovered; I read the Consumer Reports article and they said the high arsenic rice was rice from the southern USA where DDT was used for so many years in the production of cotton. Rice from California and the Eastern coumtries (Thailand, India etc) have a much lower arsenic content.
Rm-12682 years ago
This s a great recipe, and very easy to understand. I've been looking for a good recipe for my cat. Thank you.
sunshiine3 years ago
I really like this! Thanks for sharing.
susanrm (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
Thank you!