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Best Food for a Diabetic Cat

Updated on November 20, 2011

Food for a Diabetic Cat

A few years ago our feisty Calico cat, Pita, became lethargic and overweight. She spent even more hours than usual lounging around the house. She also drank a lot of water every day and used her litter box excessively. A visit to the veterinarian confirmed that our cat was diabetic. The veterinarian wanted to place her on insulin to control it. We would have had to inject her every day and pay a steep price for the medicine. Needless to say, we weren't thrilled with this option. We decided to do some research first. What we learned was that a different diet can make a world of difference for a diabetic cat. The best food for a diabetic cat is actually high in protein and low in carbohydrates. When we switched Pita's diet, she miraculously improved. In one day, she no longer had the symptoms of diabetes. Over time she lost weight and became more active. Today, she's no longer diabetic. This was accomplished with only a change in her food.


Signs of Diabetes in a Cat

Diabetes is the inability to produce insulin to balance blood sugar. It leads to a myriad of symptoms that are very easy to recognize. The most obvious signs are an increased thirst and an increase in urination. Diabetes occurs most often in cats that are obese but can also occur in normal weight cats. An increased appetite is also a symptom of diabetes and leads to a vicious cycle of overeating and weight gain. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to dehydration, coma, and even death.

No one really knows what causes diabetes in cats but based on my experience, I'd say an improper diet and excessive weight gain could contribute to causing it. In the case of my cat, Pita, we were feeding her a dry cat food that we bought in bulk at a club store. She loved it and ate a lot. We probably fed her too much and we didn't realize that dry foods usually contain a lot of carbohydrates.

Best Foods for Diabetes in Cats

Cats are carnivores. If left to fend for themselves in the wild, they'll subsist on a high protein diet from the rodents and birds they hunt. Their bodies must function best on this type of diet rather than one that contains the corn and rice found in dry foods. As soon as I learned this, I went to the pet store and read the labels of almost every type of food. Three were a few brands, all canned, that were mostly protein. I bought several flavors and took them home for Pita.

At first, she was reluctant to eat it. She was used to the dry food and didn't want to change. She didn't like some flavors like chicken but she loved seafood and beef. Once she started eating the wet, high protein food she turned into a new cat. She stopped drinking the water in her bowl and she stopped the excessive urination. She also had more energy and became more active, chasing the laser light around the house and pawing at the window when she saw a squirrel outside.

After our success with that, we decided that we should help Pita to lose some weight. We gave her a measured amount of wet food in the morning and another portion at night. She wasn't thrilled by this and began following us around the house at feeding time, literally begging for food. Although painful, it worked. Pita is now a relatively svelt, active cat without diabetes.

A great source for buying canned foods less expensively is They're website isn't the easiest to use but their prices are great and they'll even set up an autoship for you so that you'll receive food for your cat at regular intervals.

Several years later, Pita is doing great. Her diabetes hasn't returned, her energy level remains high and her weight is in a healthy range. I will never give her dry food again. I truly believe that changing her diet to one that is high in protein cured her of diabetes and made her healthier and happier.


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    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

      Sarah Johnson 6 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Awesome hub! Very useful information for kitty lovers.

    • SD Dickens profile image

      SD Dickens 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment and vote up KevinC9998!

    • KevinC9998 profile image

      KevinC9998 6 years ago

      I found your hub very interesting especially since I have an epiletic dog! Nice job and voted up. Kevin