Diabetes is a common disease in cats that can result in a variety of other health issues. The good news is that cats with diabetes are treatable. One of the most important aspects of this therapy is providing the patients with nutritious diet.
Cats and Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus, an endocrine disorder, arises when a cat’s blood glucose (sugar) level is too high and the pancreas is unable to release enough insulin to manage blood glucose. Veterinarians frequently administer insulin to diabetic felines. Sometimes additional or different therapy strategies are needed, such dietary adjustments. With the right dietary management, diabetes in some cats may even be cured.
Supplying food to diabetic cats
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need animal products to live and thrive. Their bodies are often designed to absorb animal protein and fat as opposed to plant-based ones. Vegetables and grains are not necessary for the diets of cats. In fact, if these ingredients are consumed in excess, especially if they are high in carbohydrates, they may be dangerous.
Unfortunately, a lot of commercial cat food contains excessive amounts of carbs for cats, which can cause problems like diabetes and obesity. All cats benefit from low-carbohydrate diets, but diabetic cats require them above all.
What to feed diabetic cats?
Wet meals, which are frequently sold in cans or pouches, are the healthiest option for your diabetic cat’s diet. Compared to kibble, wet feeds are higher in water and lower in carbs. Cats typically don’t drink enough water on their own, so they need water in their diets to be hydrated and maintain the health of their urinary systems. If you generally have trouble getting your kibble-dependent cat to eat wet food, you will need to allow them some time to become used to it.
Pay particular attention to the amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in the commercial wet food you choose. The bare minimum amount of carbs should be included in the diet. It should mostly consist of animal-derived fats and proteins. The recommended calorie content for your cat’s food is 20–40% fat and at least 50% animal-based protein. Carbohydrates should make up less than 10% of calories, however lower is typically desirable.
Recognize that not all wet cat food is the same. There may be a lot of sugar in moist foods with a lot of sauce. Even though they can’t taste sweetness, cats can get dependent on it. The preference of cats for pate-based wet foods over gravy-based ones has been discovered by many cat owners.
Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, a specialist in feline nutrition, created a very useful website with advice on what to feed diabetic cats. The website offers a thorough and practical chart listing the contents in a variety of commercial wet cat foods.
Following is a list of a few of the many great wet foods for diabetic cats:
- 9 Lives: Pate varieties only
- Fancy Feast: Stick with chunky, classic, flaked, and roasted varieties; avoid gravy lovers, marinated, medleys, and sliced varieties as they are higher in carbohydrates.
- FreshPet: Found in the pet food aisle in a refrigerated case
- Friskies: Choose the pate or flakes varieties; avoid other types as they contain too many carbs
- Halo: Avoid “Spot’s Stew,” but other varieties are low in carbs
- Holistic Select
- I and Love and You: Most varieties are lower in carbs; consult nutrition information first
- Iams: Most varieties are low in carbs; consult nutrition information first
- Meow Mix: Pate varieties are lower in carbs
- Nature’s Variety
- Newman’s Own
- ProPlan: Prime Plus and True Nature varieties are low-carb/high-protein; avoid other varieties
- Sheba: Pate varieties only
- Tiki Cat: All varieties contain very few or no carbs
- Wellness: Complete Hath line is low in carbs; many other varieties are too high in carbs, so consult nutrition information first
- Weruva/B.F.F.: Many varieties are lower in carbs; consult nutrition information first
Homemade diabetes diet for cats
If you want to make a homemade diet for your cat, working with your veterinarian or a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist will be essential. They can help you locate a recipe that is thorough and well-balanced.
Despite the fact that some cat owners are thinking of giving their cats raw food, it is important to see your veterinarian first. Raw food diets can be dangerous, so it’s important to make sure they’re well-rounded and balanced.