The Best Diet For Cats With Diabetes

Obesity increases the likelihood of your cat developing a number of serious health conditions. Diabetes Mellitus, also known as feline diabetes, is the single most common side effect of obesity in cats in the world today. Similar to the human type II variety of diabetes, it occurs when your kitty is no longer able to produce enough insulin to control her blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, when her blood sugar levels are out of control, your feline friend can become unwell very quickly, as so it is necessary for you as her owner to ensure that she follows a strict diet that enables her blood sugar levels to stay within the healthy ranges.

Why does my cat have diabetes?

Although obesity is the primary cause of feline diabetes, a diet heavy in carbohydrates is also believed to be a contributing factor. Cats are carnivores, meaning that their diet should be primarily protein based. Felines are simply not born with the anatomical tools to be able to process high levels of carbohydrates, and instead they break down protein to maintain their blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, many owners insist on feeding their cats dry kibble which contains far too much carbohydrate. This cannot be broken down as a source of energy and is instead stored as fat, causing your feline friend to put on weight.

Symptoms of diabetes in cats

The symptoms of feline diabetes can vary in severity, depending on how impaired your kitty’s ability to create insulin is. The most common symptoms of diabetes mellitus include:

- Increased thirst and urination

- Not using the litterbox properly

- Weight loss

- Change in appetite

- Decreased activity levels

- Lethargy

- Vomiting

- Changes in the way that she walks (her gait)

What should I be feeding my diabetic cat?

Diet plays a crucial role in the management of feline diabetes, and as a responsible and caring pet parent you will want to ensure that you are giving your cat the right nutrition to give them a long, happy and healthy life.

Cats are carnivores and so should follow a high protein and very low carbohydrate diet. In terms of composition, the ideal diet for a diabetic cat should be as follows:

At least 50% of calories from animal-based protein (such as chicken, beef or lamb)

20-45% of calories from fat

Just 1-2% of calories from carbohydrates

Rich in water (approximately 70% by weight)
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In order to achieve these percentages, you will need to look at canned, wet food. Dry food is almost always too heavy in carbs and lacks the necessary water content. Experts recommend that the ideal feline diet is a canned, high protein low carbohydrate diet, particularly if you are helping to control your kitty’s diabetes.


If your cat is diabetic, or you are concerned that she may be developing this chronic and dangerous condition, you should contact and seek the advice of our veterinarian as soon as possible. With the right diet in place, you can help to prevent or control feline diabetes.

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