Cats can get diabetes just like people can. Just like older people are more prone to diabetes, older cats are more prone to the condition, too. And just like overweight people are at greater risk, overweight cats are at greater risk, too. People with diabetes need to watch their diet carefully, and diabetic cats also need a special diet. In some cases, diabetes in cats can be managed with diet alone, but in some cases cats will need to take daily insulin shots.
What You’ll Need
High protein, low carb wet cat food
Feed your cat wet cat food. Cats are meant to be meat-eaters and they need a lot of protein. They need little to no carbohydrates. Wet food invariably has more protein and fewer carbs than dry cat food.
Feed your cat a wet food that is relatively low in carbs. Some brands have more carbs than others. There is a website you can visit at http://binkyspage.tripod.com/CanFoodNew.html that lists the carb content in many varieties of canned cat food. Notice the carb content varies greatly from variety to variety even in the same brand. Not all Friskies canned varieties are created equal. Look for ones that consist of less than ten percent carbs.
Give your cat no dry food at all, including dry food brands that are marketed specifically to diabetic carbs. Dry food is always higher in carbs and lower in protein than wet food. Because it’s low in protein, cats often overeat in an attempt to get enough protein in their diet. The high carb content also contributes to high blood sugar. In addition, dry car food is low in moisture, which can lead to urinary problems in cats.
Don’t spend your money on expensive prescription cat foods for diabetic cats unless you want to. Prescription dry diets are not suitable for diabetic cats, no matter what the manufacturer says. Prescription wet diets may be suitable for diabetic cats, but they are no more suitable than readily available, cheaper wet foods with less than ten percent carbs.
Feed your cat two or three times a day at the same times every day. If you feed her twice a day, feed her every twelve hours. If you feed her three times a day, feed her every eight hours.
Ask your vet how much food you should feed your cat and feed her only the recommended amount. The proper amount will depend on a number of factors, including her age, size, and activity level.
If your cat takes insulin injections, ask your vet you should give her the insulin in relation to meals. Often it is recommended to give insulin at meal time, but check with your vet. Give the insulin at the same time(s) every day.
Feline Diabetes. http://felinediabetes.com/diet.htm. Feeding Your Diabetic Cat.
Lisa A. Pierson, DVM. http://www.catinfo.org/felinediabetes.htm. Feline Diabetes.