A diabetic cat diet is important to the health of any diabetic cat. Diabetes presents in cats much the same way that diabetes presents in humans and it is therefore treated in a very similar manner.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin or the body cells do not respond to insulin. It is insulin’s job to move sugar out of the blood and into the body cells. By regulating the amount of sugar and carbohydrates consumed, the job insulin has to perform is lessened and the blood sugar is easier to manage.
A beneficial diabetic cat diet is low in carbohydrates. A diet that is less then 10% carbohydrate is optimal. This may require the owner to move away from dry cat food or kibble as a mainstay of the cat’s diet and add more protein foods. According to research "High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets and low-fiber diets are highly beneficial in the management of cats with diabetes, resulting in a reduction of > 50% in the amount of insulin required in 8 of 9 cats in one study. In another study, complete cessation of insulin administration was reported for one-third of the cats" (1)Monitor your cat’s weight and reduce fat intake or overall food intake if weight is being gained. Obesity will exacerbate your cat’s diabetes and make it harder to manage blood sugar levels. Establish a regular feeding time each day. This will help you regulate your cat’s blood sugar level especially if your cat is receiving insulin injections at set times during the day. If you have other cats avoid leaving dry cat food out. Try feeding all cat’s on a set schedule that is best for your diabetic cat. This will prevent your diabetic cat from snacking between meals and eating foods off schedule. You may need to supplement this diabetic cat diet with insulin injections and finding the right combination of diet and insulin can be a challenge. Be patient and monitor your cat’s blood sugar regularly to get the right schedule. With care, insulin and a well thought out diabetic cat diet your four-legged friend can lead a happy, healthy, and long life. (1) Cat Info (2010). Feline Diabetes.Retrieved from http://www.catinfo.org/felinediabetes.htm