The Best Cat Foods for Diabetes and Feeding Advice

In cats, diabetes is a frequent condition that can cause a host of other health issues. Thankfully, there are methods for managing feline diabetes. Giving the patient healthy food is a crucial component of therapeutic treatment.

An Introduction to Feline Diabetes


Some fundamental knowledge on the connection between food, blood sugar, and the hormone insulin is necessary to comprehend how diet affects diabetes cats.

The pancreas is made up of unique cells that create insulin. Whenever blood sugar levels increase, such as after a meal, they get released into the bloodstream. Insulin facilitates the entry of sugar into cells, where it is either stored for future use or transformed into other chemicals to power biological functions. Cats with type 2 diabetes have persistently elevated blood sugar levels because their cells are unable to respond to insulin as well as they should. Insulin injections are necessary for the cat to survive as the pancreas wears out, even if it reacts by manufacturing more insulin.

The Part Obesity Plays in Diabetes

Cat Eat Diabetes Food

Obesity is one of the main reasons that causes diabetes in cats. Hormones produced by fat cells cause the body to react to insulin less strongly. These hormones are produced in greater amounts in the presence of fat.

If cats were kept slender and not overfed, a lot of feline diabetes might be avoided. If therapy for feline diabetes is started early in the disease's progression, weight loss may possibly cause the condition to go into remission. Put another way, if diabetic cats lose enough weight, they could be able to wean themselves off of the insulin shots they originally required.

The Greatest Cat Foods for Diabetes

Cat Eating Food

While there isn't a single best food for all diabetic felines, there are some general recommendations that are typically followed.

Low carbs/high protein: Eating meals high in carbohydrates causes blood sugar levels to jump suddenly, which makes a cat require more insulin. This is just the reverse of what a cat with diabetes needs. Foods low in carbohydrates attenuate this reaction. The majority of cats' energy should come from animal-based protein sources. Although fat is necessary to balance the diet, excessive amounts may be harmful to a cat trying to reduce weight. Seek out foods that have around half of their calories from fat and half from protein. Less than 10% of their diet should be sufficient for many diabetic cats, but some might have to reduce it to less than 5%. Although they are not frequently specified on pet food labels, carbohydrate levels are quite simple to compute.

The best is canned: A significant quantity of carbohydrates is required for kibble. Therefore, the low carbohydrate levels required by the majority of diabetic cats are just not achievable when making dry diets. Conversely, certain foods in cans have almost no carbs.

Prescription versus over-the-counter: A prescription diet is typically not required for diabetic cats because many canned foods available over-the-counter have a low-carb/high-protein profile that is suitable for them. Veterinarians can provide you with dry foods at lower than normal carbohydrate levels that are specifically made for use with diabetic control if your cat just won't eat canned food or you have to feed them kibble.

Be mindful of portion sizes. The amount of food consumed by a diabetic cat is equally crucial as the kind of food you provide. Cats that are obese should consume food in a way that promotes a healthy pace of weight loss. For most cats, a weekly goal of about one percent of their total weight is appropriate until they reach a perfect physical condition. One way to lose weight is to feed a lower quantity of a diabetic-friendly meal. For cats with diabetes, over-the-counter weight-loss regimens are typically excessively rich in carbohydrates.

It's crucial that diabetic cats' food tastes delicious, so they look forward to mealtimes because they should follow a specific eating regimen. Fortunately, there are a lot of delicious canned cat foods that are suitable for diabetics, so it shouldn't be too hard to locate one your cat would enjoy.

How to Feed Cats with Diabetes

Cat Eating Diabetes Food

Whenever it involves feeding diabetic cats, especially those who are on insulin, consistency is crucial. Every day, cats ought to consume the same quantity of feed at the same time. The majority of cats with diabetes get two daily insulin shots, spaced 12 hours apart. Food should ideally be served right before the next insulin dose is scheduled. In this manner, the quantity of insulin might be decreased in the event that a cat skips a meal. Your veterinarian will create a comprehensive plan that outlines how to change insulin levels. Give your cat no insulin if you're unsure; instead, ask your veterinarian for help.

Treats for diabetic cats should not exceed 10% of their daily diet and should be provided at the exact same time each day. In the diets suggested for diabetic cats, good options such as freeze-dried chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, or liver were low in carbs and high in protein. If treats make your cat less hungry during mealtimes, stop offering them.

Lastly, consult your veterinarian before making any dietary or insulin adjustments for your diabetic cat. The careful balance between nutrition and insulin levels is key to managing diabetes. To protect cats from potentially deadly swings in their glucose levels, altering one nearly always requires altering the other.

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