Over 90% of untreated CFTR S489X homozygous (CF) mutant mice reportedly die of intestinal obstruction by 40 days of age, significantly limiting their usefulness as a model for the human disease. Because the period of highest mortality is during the week after weaning, we hypothesized that providing a low-residue liquid diet would improve survival and growth. When 99 CF mice that survived to 10 days of age were fed Peptamen (Clintec Nutrition), an elemental liquid diet, and housed on corn-cob bedding, 88% of them survived to maturity (50 days). The diet causes only minor histologic and ion transport changes in the intestines of normal mice and does not reduce growth rate or size. CF mice raised on Peptamen continue to display severe pathological changes in the intestine and completely lack a adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate-inducible chloride current in the cecum. This combination of dietary and bedding changes provides a reliable method for keeping CF mice alive well into adulthood and will be useful for the evaluation of the effect and duration of potential therapies for CF.