Objective-To determine whether a renal diet modified in protein, phosphorus, sodium, and lipid content was superior to an adult maintenance diet in minimizing uremic episodes and mortality rate in cats with stage 2 or 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD). Design-Double-masked, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Animals-45 client-owned cats with spontaneous stage 2 or 3 CKD. Procedures-Cats were randomly assigned to an adult maintenance diet (n = 23 cats) or a renal diet (22) and evaluated trimonthly for up to 24 months. Efficacy of the renal diet, compared with the maintenance diet, in minimizing uremia, renal-related deaths, and all causes of death was evaluated. Results-Serum urea nitrogen concentrations were significantly lower and blood bicarbonate concentrations were significantly higher in the renal diet group at baseline and during the 12- and 24-month intervals. Significant differences were not detected in body weight; Hct; urine protein-to-creatinine ratio; and serum creatinine, potassium, calcium, and parathyroid hormone concentrations. A significantly greater percentage of cats fed the maintenance diet had uremic episodes (26%), compared with cats fed the renal diet (0%). A significant reduction in renal-related deaths but not all causes of death was detected in cats fed the renal diet. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-The renal diet evaluated in this study was superior to an adult maintenance diet in minimizing uremic episodes and renalrelated deaths in cats with spontaneous stage 2 or 3 CKD.