, June 24, 2024

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Best Food for Diabetic Cats


  •   4 min reads
Best Food for Diabetic Cats
To prevent diabetes in cats, lessen or remove carbohydrates and add more protein like fish, chicken and pork to their diet. Jill loves fish with malunggay leaves which boosts a cat's immune system. You can boil the meat and leaves together, then put them in a blender to make the ingredients easier to eat.
By Niko Gabriel Salgado

Feline diabetes, a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels, is a significant concern for cat owners. Just like in humans, diet plays a crucial role in managing this condition in our feline companions. Choosing the right diet for a diabetic cat can make a world of difference in managing their health and improving their quality of life.

Understanding Feline Diabetes

It is important to understand feline diabetes before going into the dietary recommendations. There are a few factors to consider in order to properly assess your pet’s needs.

“Similar to type 2 diabetes in humans, feline diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough of it. Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. When a cat’s insulin function is impaired, blood sugar levels rise, leading to various health issues,” said Dr. Lynette Myers in “Feline Diabetes: Prevention and Treatment” published in the Today’s Veterinarian website.

Angel has normal blood sugar level despite being overweight. A homemade diet specifically tailored to his needs is given to him on a scheduled time. This includes fish and weight management kibbles. Due to the potential serious complications associated with feline diabetes, it is crucial to monitor your cat’s health closely. Pay attention to changes in their appetite, weight, and intake of food and water. (Save ALL file photo)

A well-balanced diet tailored to a diabetic cat’s needs is crucial for managing their condition effectively. According to Myers, here are some key components to consider:

1. High-Quality Protein

Protein is an essential part of a cat’s diet, especially for diabetic cats. High-quality protein sources, such as meat, poultry, and fish, should be prioritized. These protein sources help maintain muscle mass and keep blood sugar levels stable.

2. Low Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are the main source of glucose in a cat’s diet. For diabetic cats, it is important to limit the intake of carbohydrates to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. Choose cat food with low carbohydrate content or consider a diet that mimics a cat’s natural diet, which consists mainly of protein and fats.

3. Controlled Fat Intake:

While fat is an essential component of a cat’s diet, excessive fat intake can lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. Go for diets with moderate fat content to help maintain a healthy weight and support overall health.

4. Fiber

Fiber plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels and promoting digestive health. Including moderate amounts of soluble fiber in a diabetic cat’s diet can help slow down the absorption of glucose and improve insulin sensitivity.

5. Consistent Feeding Schedule:

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule is essential for diabetic cats. Regular meals spaced throughout the day can help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent spikes and crashes. Avoid free-feeding and instead feed measured portions at set times each day.

Mayo, a Save ALL rescue, is overweight and may develop diabetes, thus his daily diet must be re-assessed and changed. While the origin of feline diabetes remains unclear, it tends to impact overweight cats more frequently. Excess weight reduces the sensitivity of a cat’s body to insulin. (Save ALL file photo)

Types of Diets for Diabetic Cats

When it comes to choosing the best diet for a diabetic cat, there are several options to consider:

1. Prescription Diets:

Many veterinary clinics offer prescription diets specifically formulated for diabetic cats. These diets typically have controlled carbohydrate levels and are designed to support blood sugar regulation. Consulting with a veterinarian is crucial for determining the most suitable prescription diet for your cat’s needs.

2. Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food:

Wet cat food tends to have lower carbohydrate content compared to dry food. Settling for a high-protein, low-carb wet food can be beneficial for diabetic cats. Look for products that list meat or fish as the primary ingredients and avoid those containing excessive fillers and carbohydrates.

3. Homemade Diets:

Some cat owners prefer to prepare homemade diets for their diabetic cats. While this approach allows for more control over ingredients, it is essential to ensure the diet is nutritionally balanced and meets the cat’s specific dietary requirements. Consulting with a veterinary can help create a homemade diet tailored to your cat’s needs.

Monitoring and Adjusting the Diet

Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is essential for diabetic cats. It allows veterinarians to assess the effectiveness of the current diet and make necessary adjustments. Keeping an eye on your cat’s weight and overall health is crucial for ensuring they are receiving the appropriate nutrition and managing their condition effectively.

“Managing diabetes in cats requires a multifaceted approach, with diet playing a central role. By choosing a diet that prioritizes high-quality protein, limits carbohydrates, and supports stable blood sugar levels, cat owners can help their feline companions lead healthier and more comfortable lives,” said Myers.

Working closely with a veterinarian to develop a tailored diet plan and monitoring your cat’s health regularly are essential steps in managing feline diabetes effectively. With proper care and attention, diabetic cats can thrive and enjoy a good quality of life.

About the Author: Niko Gabriel Salgado is a graduate of consular and diplomatic affairs from De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, and worked at the House of Representatives. He is now an entrepreneur and a volunteer of the animal welfare group Save Animals of Love and Light- Save ALL.

This article also appears in the Manila Standard



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