Diabetes in cats: The best food for feline diabetes


Your veterinarian has special diets with complete formulas for your cat. Your veterinarian will advise you the right kind of diet to meet the specific needs of your cat.

Many cats refuse to consume a different food. If your diabetic cat does not consume the prescribed diet, your veterinarian will recommend another suitable diet.

What is feline diabetes?

Diabetes in cats is a disease caused by the body's inability to produce or use insulin, which is a hormone produced and released by specialized cells in the pancreas. Insulin allows the body's cells to take sugar (glucose) from the blood and use it for its metabolism and other functions. Feline diabetes develops when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body's cells cannot use the available insulin to extract glucose from the blood.

How does feeding in feline diabetes help?

Understand how diet plays a role in diabetes treatment in cats It requires basic information about the relationship between food, blood sugar levels and insulin hormone.

Insulin is produced by special cells in the pancreas. It is secreted in the bloodstream when blood sugar levels rise, for example, after a meal. Insulin allows sugar to enter cells where it is used to feed biological processes or is converted into other substances and stored for later use.

When cats have type 2 diabetes, your cells no longer respond adequately to insulin which leads to chronically high blood sugar levels. The pancreas reacts by producing more insulin, but eventually the organ wears out, and the cat will need insulin injections to survive.

How does obesity affect cats with diabetes?

One of the most important factors that lead to diabetes in cats is obesity. Fat cells produce hormones that make the body respond less to insulin. The more fat present, the more hormones are produced.

Many cases of feline diabetes could be prevented if cats do not feed too much and stay thin. It is quite useful in cases of obese cats with feline diabetes the use of interactive feeders or puzzle feeders, so that cats eat more slowly and not as much. Here are some examples to buy interactive feeders.

Weight loss can even lead to remission in a cat's diabetes if treatment begins early in the course of the disease. In other words, diabetic cats who initially need insulin injections may not need it if they lose a sufficient amount of weight.

What is the best food for diabetes in cats?

No type of food is the right choice for all diabetic cats, but there are some guidelines that are generally followed and are as follows:

Low carbohydrate level and high protein level: eating carbohydrate-rich foods causes sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, which increases a cat's insulin demand. This is the exact opposite of what a diabetic cat needs. Low carb foods limit this response. Cats should get most of their calories from protein sources of animal origin. Fat is necessary to complete the diet, but high levels can be problematic if a cat needs to lose weight.

Wet food is the best for a diabetic cat: Dry foods simply cannot be made with the low concentrations of carbohydrates that most diabetic cats need. Some canned foods, on the other hand, do not contain carbohydrates at all.

Prescription or non-prescription diet: Many canned foods have a low carbohydrate profile and a high protein content that is suitable for diabetic cats. If your cat simply does not eat canned food and considers it necessary to diet, you can feed him with lower-than-average levels of carbohydrates, which are specifically designed to help control diabetes in cats, and are available through the veterinarians.

Watch portion sizes: The amount of food a diabetic cat eats is as important as the type of food it offers. Obese cats should eat an amount that encourages a healthy rate of weight loss. You can get a cat with diabetes to lose weight by feeding him with a reduced amount of food suitable for diabetes in cats. Over-the-counter weight loss diets tend to be too high in carbohydrates for diabetic cats.

Food taste for diabetic cats: It is important that diabetic cats eat according to an established schedule although it is also important that these foods taste good and are eager to eat. Fortunately, many canned cat foods are tasty and appropriate for diabetic cats, so finding one that your cat likes shouldn't be too difficult.


This disease is a problem in the production of insulin, which is the hormone that will regulate the amount of glucose in the organism Insulin is produced in the pancreas. When we eat, we eat foods with glucose, producing a peak of this compound.

At this time, insulin is involved, which allows glucose to enter the cells, where it is transformed to produce energy, but, when this is lacking, glucose remains in a high amount in the blood and this will generate a symptomatology and, at the long, some complications that, if left untreated, can cause the death of the animal. Therefore, the insulin deficit causes hyperglycemia Y glycosuria (high levels of glucose in the urine).

Between the symptoms of diabetes The following stand out:

  • Increase in thirst and, consequently, in the intake of water (polydipsia).
  • Increased appetite that results in voracious hunger (polyphagia).
  • Unexplained weight loss, as it increases the amount of food eaten.
  • Drinking more will also increase the amount of urine removed and we will see that the cat goes to urinate more frequently (polyuria), and can cause dehydration.
  • In advanced cases lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration or general weakness will appear.

Diabetes usually affects more neutered male cats middle-aged, 7-8 years, so it is important to go to regular veterinary reviews, since early diagnosis will allow to quickly establish the appropriate treatment.

In addition, obesity is a predisposing factor, so it is important to know what a cat with diabetes should eat. We also have to provide you with a adequate activity to your needs to maintain an optimal weight. Diabetes is recognized as having a genetic predisposition, in addition to environmental causes. Inactivity, stress, other diseases and, as we have said, obesity, constitute risk factors.

The diagnosis and treatment of diabetes

If our cat has any of the symptoms described in the previous section, we must promptly go to the veterinarian. A quick treatment can achieve remission of the disease. Through a blood test and the veterinarian will be able to determine the amount of glucose in urine.

It also measures the fructosamine. An elevation of its values ​​will be indicative of diabetes, so, with the diagnosis confirmed, we should start treatment, including what a cat with diabetes should eat. Other tests may include physical examination, analysis and urine culture and abdominal ultrasound.

Usually the treatment It is intended to maintain the quality of life of the animal as long as possible and consists of the following:

  • Insulin injections in doses and guidelines that the veterinarian will mark. It is normal to have to adjust this treatment, so you have to repeat the glucose measurements. Depending on the results, the veterinarian will establish the appropriate guideline for each cat.
  • When having to administer injections, the caregiver must learn to prick his cat, a task that the veterinarian will teach him, since it is vital that the treatment can be followed at home.
  • The caregiver should scrupulously observe the clinical instructions, go to the reviews and consult with the veterinarian any alteration in the condition of the cat.
  • The therapeutic options include, with a fundamental role, food, which we will develop in the next section.

Feeding a cat with diabetes

As we said, the food will meet a crucial role in the treatment of a diabetic cat, that's why it's so important to know what a cat with diabetes should eat. These sick cats should be fed a specific food for their disorder.

Luckily, in the market we already have a range of feed and wet food Formulated to control diabetes. These foods help balance the amount of glucose without losing nutritional quality. We can follow these tips to get our diabetic cat to accept the new feed:

  • For a specialized meal such as that intended for diabetic cats to be effective, it must be supplied exclusively but, if we see that our cat does not eat it, we can start mixing it with its usual feed.
  • At the beginning it may be necessary to offer the food in its wet version, since it is usually more palatable than dry feed and with it it will be easier for the cat to eat it.
  • We undermine the possibility of heating the food, since this way it spreads its aroma better and can be more attractive to the cat.
  • We can even mix the feed with water to turn it into a paste if the cat eats it better. Remember that it is very important for the animal to feed.
  • Ultimately, if the cat under no circumstances accepts the specific feed, we will have no choice but to return to their usual food, ensuring that it is high-end. Likewise, animals with other serious diseases will preferably eat a specific feed for them, rather than the one recommended for diabetic cats.

This feed has to be low in carbohydrates and high in protein to facilitate glycemic control and promote disease remission. This diet will contribute to achieving and maintaining the cat's ideal weight. To do this we must give the recommended daily amount, without exceeding, divided into several shots per day. It is important to maintain the routine in the feeding and in the administration of insulin.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What should a cat with diabetes eat?, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.

Does my cat have diabetes?

Cats can have diabetes, like people. Some 15,000 felines living in Spain already suffer from diabetes or are at serious risk of suffering from this serious disease, according to calculations from an extensive study conducted by veterinarian Danielle Gunn-Moore and published in the scientific journal Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

"The Cat diabetes is an increasingly common disease, and the culprit is its growing overweight"warns veterinarian Patricia González. If, in addition, the furry companion"It is male and sterilized, the risk of having diabetes grows, "adds the expert.

The diabetic felines need veterinary control, measure blood glucose (with a simple device) and insulin, which must be supplied by injection. The treatment is not as hard as it might seem. A little training and the doctor's advice will make this work easier and easier.

But, in addition, the diet of a diabetic feline is essential to take care of their health. How to feed him? Five aspects are detailed below.

Step 1. How to feed a diabetic cat? Goodbye to being overweight

The first consideration for feeding a cat with diabetes is reduce your overweight and try to regain your ideal weight. "This weight loss can be the solution of diabetes for many cats, since obesity interferes with the production of insulin," explains the International Cat Care Association, specializing in feline health.

Nearly six out of ten cats are overweight, according to the Association for the Prevention of Obesity in Pets. But How to make them recover their normal size? The feline must be subjected to a weight loss plan, which includes low-calorie food, control and distribution of food rations, as well as exercises and games.

Step 2. Feed a cat with diabetes: a lot of fiber

The diabetic cat needs foods rich in fiber, which help him control the level of sugars in the blood after meals

"The diet of a cat with diabetes needs to be rich in fiber"concludes a study on this disease conducted by the University of Cornell (USA). This ingredient of the feline diet It will help you lose weight, but, in addition, "you can control blood sugar levels after eating", explain these veterinarians.

High-end diabetic cat foods usually address these needs. Therefore, it is necessary to consult with the veterinarian.

Step 3. Feed a cat with diabetes: watch out for carbohydrates

As a general rule, felines with diabetes benefit from a low carb diet. "A low carb diet seems to help diabetic cats, and many times, a simple change of feeding to adapt to this requirement solves a good part of your diabetes ", affirms the Association of Care for Cats.

Fixed rules, however, do not always work. And this maxim is also valid when it comes to feeding the furry companion at home. "Other diabetic cats respond better when their diet contains more carbohydrates," added the specialists at Cornell University. What is the password? The trial and error method. Of course: it is important to have the proper control and help of the veterinarian, as well as to carry out controls at home, to determine the level of sugars in the animal's blood.

Step 4. Feed the cat with diabetes: watch the tags

Many veterinarians recommend offer wet food cans to diabetic felines. Almost any brand of high-end food has a line with these therapeutic foods.

When the expert advises to opt for a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates, it is important, however, read food labels carefully. Most cat feeds contain plants such as Potato, peas or tapioca, high in carbohydrates, so they can harm the diabetic feline.

Step 5. Feed a diabetic cat: food routines

How many times does the cat need to eat? Although many cats distribute their food without problems and have unlimited access to their food, diabetics need a little more control. "A cat with diabetes needs to be fed half of his daily ration of food as soon as he receives his insulin injection", these experts add, and the food left on the plate may be freely available to the pet for the rest of the day.

What is cat diabetes?

The diabetes mellitus in cats It is a dangerous disease that shortens the life of the animal without proper treatment. A feline with diabetes does not create the full amount of insulin (a hormone) that it needs. But insulin is necessary to break the carbohydrates and proteins in the food into simpler components that can be used by the cat's organs and muscles.

Felines with diabetes they urinate more times than usual, drink more water and often lose their appetite.

Treat diabetes in cats

If the diagnosis is accurate, it is time to focus on the treatment. The Diabetes type 1 can only be treated with insulin. It is necessary to measure the blood glucose level regularly to ensure that the cat has the correct amount of insulin.

Often type 2 diabetes can heal with a change of eating and living habits. Sometimes it is necessary to combine this with insulin doses controlled by a veterinarian. This means that an adapted and appropriate diet is paramount.

Adequate feeding for cats with diabetes

It is believed that prefabricated cat food may be the cause of the onset of diabetes. If proper feeding is important for a healthy cat, imagine how important it is for a diabetic cat!

Wild cats feed on small prey that consists mostly of meat and offal that provide a very good quality protein. From this protein they get much of their energy. Carbohydrates can only be processed in small quantities. However, many prefabricated foods do not follow this nutritional model. Cheap filling ingredients and vegetable by-products cause the percentage of carbohydrates to skyrocket. This overloads the metabolism and the pancreas, which is responsible for producing digestive enzymes to digest this inadequate diet. The feed has a much lower humidity percentage than wet food. Your mustache needs to drink more, since if the urine would not be concentrated and the dissipative organs would be overloaded. However, felines do not usually visit the drinking fountain much.

What is the appropriate food for cats with diabetes? The first step is a change to as natural a feed as possible with a high protein content and few carbohydrates. Food fiber and crude fiber are responsible for regulating digestion. A diabetic cat should not eat carbohydrates. Many cat lovers prefer to feed their pussy with raw meat, a good nutritional concept that requires a good organization.

Food for diabetic cats

HeI think for diabetic catsmay help regulate blood glucose level. Your veterinarian may recommend different brands. In general they are a good support for veterinary treatment. Make sure that the dietary food contains a lot of protein and few carbohydrates and plant substances, as they worsen the condition of the cat with diabetes.

Spreading meals in small portions throughout the day helps balance the blood sugar level. Don't let your pussy go hungry, but don't let him eat too much either.

As you can see, Feline diabetes is not terminal, but can be treated with veterinary support and adequate food.

What is diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common disorder of insulin regulation in mature cats, often obese, resulting in hyperglycemia - abnormal increase in the amount of glucose in the blood. According to the accredited Salvador Cervantes, of SA Veterinaris, nutrition plays a fundamental role in the prevention and treatment of this disease. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, necessary for glucose (sugar) to be transmitted from the blood to our pet's organs.

Any abnormality in insulin production causes sugar to remain in the bloodstream. If this occurs, the blood will have a high level of glucose and the organs will not 'pull' it to function, so they will use fat and protein as an energy source, which causes weight loss, vomiting, anorexia, weakness, dehydrationand muscular atrophy. The good news for overweight diabetic cats is that, if they find the right diet and manage to 'keep the line', in a high percentage they will not require treatment, as long as they maintain a healthy weight.

How to know if my cat is diabetic?

The first symptoms of diabetes in a cat have a lot to do with their eating habits. If you eat and drink a lot, but still lose weight, you may be diabetic. It is also common for the cat to urinate more frequently than usual, to suffer from urinary-related infections and for its hair to lose vitality. As a clue, the accredited feline medicine, Salvador Cervantes, reminds us that "Diabetes occurs more frequently in obese, elderly cats, with males being more commonly affected than females and, among all races, the Burmese seems to be more at risk than others ".

If your cat goes to the bathroom more times than usual, it could be diabetic, go to the vet | Pixabay

Obviously, if there is suspicion It is necessary to go to the veterinarian to confirm it with blood and urine samples. The most normal thing is to have several tests done for several hours to determine and stabilize your blood glucose levels, controlling your diet and administering insulin.

The right diets

We need to resort to three types of diets:

Low or very low carb diets

Relatively low or moderate fat diets

High protein diets

The veterinary expert Felipe Vázquez especially emphasizes that, beyond the exact recipe, "the important thing is that it meets the schedules associated with insulin". The medical advice in this case is to have a lot of discipline when it comes to feeding our pet. "If you give him an uncoordinated diet with insulin, he may have 'spikes' that are not going to come well for the cat.", he warns.

The seven best recipes

The main aspect when choosing the best foods for your diabetic cat is to control his overweight. "Normally they are fat cats that need diets aimed at losing weight", recalls Vázquez. Everything in our hand must be done so that the cat regains its ideal size. We have to make you lose weight anyway, so you have to resort to low-calorie meals and control the portions. In addition, as far as possible, the cat has to move, we must help you with physical activity so you can lose calories. It is recommended that you have at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. So, and now that we take into account all these factors, we turn to list the seven best recipes for diabetic cats:

2. Turkey breast

Whenever it is boiled or roasted without oil. Ideally, crumble the breast into small pieces when serving.

Boiled or roasted without oil, like turkey. And boneless, especially when it can contain small bones. The skin should only be given if the cat has symptoms of malnutrition.

The high-end diet prescribed by a veterinarian is highly recommended for diabetic cats | Shutterstoc k

Cooked. Never raw. "Cats like fish very much. It has very difficult proteins to get, Omega 3, Omega 6, high biological level proteins.", recalls veterinarian Felipe Vázquez.

5. Egg (not raw)

Previously cooked and always served in very small pieces and measuring the quantities a lot. They are sources of animal protein that are very grateful to diabetic cats.

Slightly cooked to eliminate any risk of infection by pathogen or parasite. Cut into small portions so that the cat can easily ingest.

7. High-end food prescribed by a veterinarian

They usually have a line of cans prepared for diabetic cats. Feed containing peas and potatoes should be avoided as much as possible because these nutrients contain a high carbohydrate index. "Feeding a diabetic cat with a high carbohydrate diet is the same as pouring gasoline into a fire and wondering why it doesn't go out, " says Dr. Pierson of Healthy Pets.

In this matter you have to listen to the advice of the veterinarian. A recommendation is'Purina Veterinary Diets DM ', A diet especially aimed at cats suffering from this chronic disease. Another very common recommendation is la com> In this sense, a study carried out in 2017 suggests that dehydrated food increases the risk of diabetes in cats, including those with adequate weight.


Any diet for a diabetic feline should contain a high fiber content.. Here is the key to not being wrong. The goal is for our cat to find a diet that allows him to lose weight and keep him in healthy caloric levels. So you will have a full and happy life. "It depends on each diet and compliance or not with the schedules, but there are diets that even get their insulin removed ", Felipe Vázquez comments.

If your pet has diabetes you have to control their eating routine. The usual advice is to feed him with half of his daily ration after insulin injection. If you have some food left, it is better not to withdraw it, so that it can be eaten throughout the day.