Best Diabetic Cat Foods and Tips on Feeding

by johnsmith

Best Diabetic Cat Foods and Tips on Feeding – Diabetes is a common disease in cats that can lead to many other health problems. Luckily, there are ways to treat it, including feeding diabetic cats a proper diet.

Best Diabetic Cat Foods and Tips on Feeding

Diabetes in Cats

Diabetes mellitus in cats occurs when the cat’s blood glucose (sugar) level remains too high, and the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose level. Insulin is commonly used by veterinarians to manage diabetes in cats, but a diet alteration can also be helpful. With the right dietary management, diabetes might even be reversible in some cats.

Feeding Diabetic Cats

Cats are obligate carnivores; thus, they require animal products to survive and thrive. Their bodies are better suited for digesting animal protein and fats than plant-based materials. It is unnecessary to include vegetables or grains in a cat’s diet since these ingredients can be problematic, particularly if they’re high in carbs.

Best Diabetic Cat Foods and Tips on Feeding

Several commercial cat foods are high in carbohydrates and can cause obesity and diabetes. Low-carbohydrate diets are ideal for all cats, but they are particularly critical for diabetic cats.

Best Foods for Cats With Diabetes

When picking the right diet for a diabetic cat, opt for wet foods that come in cans or pouches. Wet foods have lower carbohydrate levels compared to dry foods and contain more water than kibble. Cats require water in their diets for hydration and urinary tract health since they often don’t drink enough water on their own. If transitioning your cat from kibble to wet food is proving difficult, take time to make the move gradually.

Best Diabetic Cat Foods and Tips on Feeding

Ensure that the chosen wet food has minimal carbohydrates and mainly consists of animal-based protein and fats. Animal-based protein should account for at least 50% or more of the calories in the cat’s diet, while fat should be 20-40% of the diet. Carbohydrates’ calorie content should fall below 10%, but the lower, the better.

Be cautious since not all wet cat food is the same, and wet foods with substantial gravy may contain high sugar levels. Cats cannot distinguish sweetness, but they can still become addicted to it. Cat owners notice that gravy-based wet foods are more appealing to their pets than pate wet foods.

Feline nutrition expert Lisa A. Pierson, DVM has developed a helpful website with feeding tips for diabetic cats. The site includes a useful cat food composition chart containing various wet cat foods.

The following is a list of ideal wet foods for cats with diabetes:

  • 9 Lives: Pate varieties only
  • Dave’s
  • Evo
  • Evolve
  • Fancy Feast: go for chunky, classic, flaked, and roasted varieties, avoiding the gravy lovers, marinated, medleys, and sliced types as they have high carbohydrate levels.
  • FreshPet: Found in the pet food aisle in a refrigerated case
  • Friskies: Choose the pate or flakes varieties, avoid the rest as they contain excess carbs
  • Halo: Avoid “Spot’s Stew,” but other varieties are low in carbs
  • Holistic Select
  • I and Love and You: Most varieties are low in carbs, consult nutrition information first
  • Iams: Most varieties are low in carbs, consult nutrition information first
  • Meow Mix: Pate varieties are low in carbs
  • Nature’s Variety
  • Newman’s Own
  • Nulo
  • Pinnacle
  • ProPlan: Prime Plus and True Nature varieties are low-carb/high-protein; avoid other varieties.
  • Sheba: Pate varieties only
  • Tiki Cat: All varieties have very few or no carbs
  • Triumph
  • Wellness: Complete Hath line is low in carbs; many other varieties contain excess carbs, so consult nutrition information first
  • Weruva/B.F.F.: Many varieties are low in carbs; consult nutrition information first
  • Wysong

Homemade Diets for Diabetic Cats

If you choose to prepare homemade diets for your cat, it’s crucial that you work with your veterinarian or a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist to help you find a complete and balanced recipe.

Best Diabetic Cat Foods and Tips on Feeding

Raw diets for cats may seem appealing to some, but it’s still important to discuss this with a vet. Raw diets have some risks and must still be formulated to guarantee that they are complete and balanced.

Can cats become diabetic?

Yes, cats can develop diabetes, which is a condition where the body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar levels.

What are the symptoms of diabetes in cats?

The symptoms of diabetes in cats may include increased thirst and urination, weight loss, lethargy, poor coat condition, and increased appetite.

How is diabetes in cats diagnosed?

Diabetes in cats is diagnosed through blood tests that measure blood sugar levels and other markers of the condition.

What kind of food should I feed my diabetic cat?

Diabetic cats should be fed a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. There are many specialized diabetic cat foods available that are formulated to meet these nutritional requirements.

Can I feed my diabetic cat regular cat food?

It is not recommended to feed regular cat food to a diabetic cat, as these foods are typically high in carbohydrates and can worsen the condition.

How often should I feed my diabetic cat?

Feeding schedules for diabetic cats may vary depending on the cat’s individual needs and the type of food being fed. In general, it is recommended to feed small, frequent meals throughout the day to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Are there any tips for feeding a diabetic cat?

Yes, some tips for feeding a diabetic cat include feeding a consistent diet, avoiding treats and table scraps, providing fresh water at all times, and working closely with your veterinarian to develop a feeding plan that meets your cat’s individual needs.

Can a diabetic cat be cured?

While diabetes in cats cannot be cured, it can be managed through a combination of diet, exercise, and medication. With proper management, many cats with diabetes can lead long and healthy lives.

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