My cat is dying (very severe kidney disease) and has days or weeks left. She's not eating regular food (wet, dry, whatever) at all.

Is there any reason not to give her lots of treats? (I mean, not so much that she's sick, but... maybe a few treats as a few times a day, as her only food.)

I assume only-treats would be bad long-term, but she doesn't have a long-term.

If I were going to die in a few days or weeks, I'd probably eat only my favorite foods, as long as I still enjoyed them.

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    one of the treats i give my cats when they get to the final stages of kidney failiure is to boil/microwave some white fish,cod or simmilar fish,just about 100grams or so only add a little bit of water,this helps your cat get some of the electrolytes she needs,it does not matter if she eats the fish as long as she drink some of the juices she will feel better. Commented Mar 19 at 15:35
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    If you've ever had a loved one in hospice, the ice cream flows like the Nile. Sorry for your cat. Be well.
    – Turbo
    Commented Mar 21 at 15:24

3 Answers 3


There is certainly no reason at all to not give her whatever she'll eat at this point; I've even received this as advice from a veterinarian when dealing with a cat nearing end of life. At this point, any harm that would be done from the lack of nutritional completeness likely will take longer to manifest than she has left, so it's better to let her have at least something she likes (so she doesn't starve) and keeping the last of your time together as pleasant as possible for her, than to try to force her to eat something she doesn't want.

If you are concerned, many varieties of Temptations branded cat treats are nutritionally complete, and tend to be highly appealing to most cats, but ultimately, whatever she wants to eat--whether that be her favorite treats, people food, dog food, etc.--is ultimately okay. You can certainly speak to your vet to confirm, but they'll likely tell you the same thing--just let her eat whatever she wants now, and make the best of her last days.

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    "There is certainly no reason at all to not give her whatever she'll eat at this point" - I'd still avoid foods that are toxic to cats. This isn't a health concern: The goal here is to reduce the risk of OP's cat spending its final days with a stomache ache (and the concern is all the greater with kidney disease, since the cat may be incapable of filtering such toxins out).
    – Brian
    Commented Mar 20 at 16:07
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    @Brian I feel no need to explicitly point out "Unless it's toxic," I feel most people are intelligent enough to figure that part out on their own.
    – Allison C
    Commented Mar 20 at 17:28
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    @Brian I'd say "don't feed your pet toxic substances" is always obvious.
    – nasch
    Commented Mar 21 at 2:18

No reason I can see, as long as she's interested in them and isn't reacting badly to them. Ask your vet if there are any ingredients you should be avoiding now.

As I've noted elsewhere, some pet treats are actually nutritionally complete (though less well balanced than "real" foods, and more expensive), so you don't need to worry about spoiling their appetite. It may not be unreasonable, especially if the pet is having trouble with loss of appetite, to feed entirely treats. Read label, and again check with vet.


I'm sorry for your cat friend... You can find specific treats for cats with kidney failure, so you can check in your favourite stores (or online) if you find them. I don't think that it would make much difference for your cat, but maybe it could make you feel a little bit better.

As the other said: ask the vet, just to be sure.

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