Here we discuss the best cat foods for diabetic cats. Then we talk about how to know your cat has diabetes, symptoms, and what else you can do.
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks…
- Purina Dietetic Management (dry)
- Purina Feline Dietetic Management (wet)
- Hill’s Diabetic Cat Food
- Crave Grain Free
Overall Best Cat Food For Diabetes
Purina has our overall favorite pick for cat food for diabetes. This food helps combat diabetes by supporting healthy blood glucose, eliminating lots of carbs, and still sells at a pretty reasonable price.
Purina’s formula helps combat diabetes in a few different ways. First, it eliminates a lot of carbs from your cat’s diet. These carbs turn straight into glucose and can do a number on your kitty’s system. Purina opts for a higher protein and higher fats diet to keep your cat happy and healthy. The protein here is awesome: a whopping 51% of the total caloric value.
Considering that most foods come in at about 30%, this is a great choice for overweight or very active cats. Several buyers mentioned that their overweight cats lost weight and their skinnier cats gained weight. That’s a good indicator that this food is just about right as far as caloric distribution.
This food also works against diabetes’s symptoms. Purina helps promote a healthy urinary environment for your kitty by combating crystal development. It’s a solid choice as a cat food for urinary crystals caused by diabetes.
Another thing we like here is that your kitty gets a healthy dose of omega fatty acids. These are a lot better than they sound and help your cat to keep a healthy skin and coat.
There aren’t a lot of downsides to this food. It does a lot well and doesn’t get much wrong. One could argue that this food is pricey and they would be right; but all cat food for diabetes is pricey. Not much to complain about here
Things We Like
- Fights diabetes by eliminating carbs
- Combats diabetes symptoms
- Great pick for overweight or very active cats
- Helps your cat’s skin and health
Things We Don’t
- Is pricey (but so are other cat foods for diabetes)
This is our overall favorite cat food for diabetes. It helps your cat get rid of glucose in his or her system, combats diabetes symptoms, and helps your cat to maintain high quality of life.
Best Wet Cat Food For Diabetes
Purina has our favorite wet cat food for diabetes. This food works against diabetes by lowering your cat’s blood glucose while being a bit more palatable for your cat than dry food.
Purina’s dietetic management wet food helps your cat combat or get rid of diabetes. This food works by restricting carbohydrates that turn straight to blood glucose. Purina replaces these carbs with protein. And because this is a wet food, there’s a good chance that your cat will prefer it over dry food. That makes this a good pick for the pickier eaters among us.
This food also helps protect your cat’s overall organ health. This food packs in the antioxidants which will help your cat stave off heart disease, cancer, or other fatal illnesses.
While wet foods are better for your cat in general and cats tend to like them, these will cost a bit more than their dry counterparts.
Things We Like
- Wet foods are often better choices for picky eaters
- Fights diabetes by getting rid of carbs and eliminating blood glucose
- Helps maintain healthy organs with antioxidants
Things We Don’t
- Wet foods tend to cost a bit more than dry foods
This is our favorite wet cat foods for diabetes. Wet cat foods do cost more than dries, but this wet food sells at a pretty reasonable price. It’s a great choice for picky eaters with diabetes.
Best Cat Food For Overweight Cats With Diabetes
Hill’s has our favorite cat food if your cat is overweight and has diabetes. This cat food works to eliminate diabetes and reduce weight at the same time.
Hill’s diabetic cat food works against diabetes by providing a low carb diet for your cat. That’s pretty standard.
But Hill’s excels in another area by giving what we haven’t seen in other foods. They provide metabolism boosting carnitine to help your cat digest faster. This faster digestion will help your cat’s diabetes and will help him or her to shed a few unnecessary pounds.
Since this food is high protein, most of the weight loss will come from fat cells. Your cat won’t have to lose muscle to get rid of weight.
Due to the high carnitine, this is our favorite cat food for extreme diabetes or for diabetic cats who struggle with their weight. It might not be a great long term solution and it costs a bit more, but this food is effective.
For long term solutions, we recommend mixing this cat food with another cat food. It will save you some money and will prevent your kitty from losing too much weight.
Things We Like
- Great solution for extreme diabetes
- Helps with weight loss
- Keeps your cat lean and strong with high protein
Things We Don’t
- A little pricey
- Might not be a great solution if your cat keeps losing weight; we recommend mixing it with another cat food for a long term solution
This is our favorite option if your cat struggles with his or her weight or if your cat has extreme diabetes. This food goes the extra step and provides metabolism boosting solutions to what your cat is going through.
Pro tip: this food is much less expensive on Chewy than on other online stores. But you’ll need a prescription from a vet to purchase on Chewy
Best Budget Cat Food For Diabetes
Crave’s grain free cat food is our favorite budget pick if your cat has diabetes. It doesn’t cost as much, but it might not be as effective as other cat foods.
Crave’s formula fights against diabetes by providing your cat with a low carb diet. This cat food has quite a few more carbs than other options on our list though. We would recommend it if your cat has a very light and manageable diabetes.
This cat food also works as an allergy prevention method and helps stop any bad shedding that’s due to an allergic reaction.
Crave packs a ton of vitamins and minerals in it to make sure that your cat is staying healthy. You can expect a lot of vitamins and minerals to boost your kitty’s skin and fur health as well as making sure his or her immune system is up to par. This food helps promote skin that has all the nutrients it needs to repair itself as well as a shiny coat for your cat.
This food has a lot of meat and passes on much of the grains that other cat foods stuff in their formula. Low grains means that this food is easier for your cat to digest and helps with gastrointestinal health. If your cat suffers from hairballs due to lots of shedding or self-licking, this food will help.
The proteins and fats are high (that’s a good thing for cats) and the carbs here are low, so this is a good pick for weight loss or very active cats. This food provides the energy your cat needs and helps him feel full, but some buyers mentioned that the smell could be a bit strong.
What We Like
- Ends bad shedding from allergies
- Ends bad shedding by helping skin and fur health
- High in proteins and fats, low in carbs (that’s a good thing)
- Helps end hairballs and promote gastrointestinal health
- Good pick for active or overweight cats
- Reasonable price
What We Don’t Like
- Some buyers mentioned that the smell could be a little strong (but their cats liked it)
- Not as strong as other foods on this list; we recommend this food if your cat has very light diabetes
Crave’s grain free cat food is our favorite budget cat food for diabetes. It stops doesn’t have many glucose-forming carbs, promotes overall health, and is very reasonable.
Things To Know Before You Buy…
Diabetes In Cats
Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by the pancreas inability to produce insulin, or inability to produce it in the quantities required by the body. The body needs insulin to metabolize and breakdown sugar so it can be used to produce energy. Individuals with diabetes, however, are unable to gain energy as their body fails to break down the sugars.
The excess sugar instead is present in the bloodstream or release in the form of urine. This is why to check for diabetes a sample of blood or urine is taken to see if sugar is present. If sugar is present, then that is indicative of diabetes.
There are multiple causes of diabetes in cats. Many cats are genetically prone to contracting the disease. This means that there is an inherited aspect of the disease. One research, however, found out that age was the most important determinant of diabetes. Cats above the age of 10 years or more were much more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.
This makes sense because the pancreas weakens as the body ages, which affects their ability to produce insulin. Another contributing factor is weight. Being overweight has been linked to high blood pressure as well as diabetes in humans as well as cats. A staggering 3.8% of all cases of diabetes in cats is due entirely to weight issues.
With 1 in every 200 cats suffering from the condition, the need to remain vigilant is ever more important. If left untreated, diabetes can be deadly. 85% to 90% of diabetes in cats is type 2 diabetes, which is caused primarily due to genetics and lifestyle factors, as discussed above. On the other hand, type one diabetes is much less common, which is an autoimmune disease. Here are the most common symptoms to look out for in either case:
- Drastic weight loss
- Increased need to urinate
- Increased thirst
- Lack of activity and overall lethargic behavior
- Changes in appetite – it is either increased or decreased
Once you start noticing these symptoms, be sure to get in touch with your vet. Getting your cat diagnosed is really important. A simple blood test or a urine test will determine whether your cat is diabetic or not. Getting immediate treatment is really important because contracting diabetes means that your cat is not getting the energy it requires despite having a normal amount of diet.
Another reason why you should immediately get your cat checked is that diabetes can result in a host of complications. Diabetes is harmful because it weakens the immune system by making the body unable to gain energy from the food consumed. This means that your cat is more likely to get infections. High blood sugar levels have a detrimental effect on the nervous system, as well. Your cat is more prone to getting sick and requiring medical attention.
Diabetes in cats, however, does not have to be a death sentence. Given the right diet and medical attention, cats can maintain a healthy life and even live a long life. Studies show that an initial visit to the hospital to seek treatment for diabetes reduces the incidence of fatality by 10% to 40% in cats, which is great news for pet owners.
Treatment methods involve a combination of diet and medication. In terms of diet, a low carbohydrate diet is best. This is because carbs are broken down in the body into starch, which is turned into sugar that cats with diabetes find hard to metabolize.
Limiting the quantity of carbs consumed means that blood sugar levels are kept in check. Foods rich in protein are not only easy for diabetic cats to digest and turn into energy but also help gain lean muscle mass and make cats remain active.
To supplement a good diet, medication may be added with a prescription from a vet. Many oral medications work to encourage the production of insulin in the pancreas, which help keep blood sugar levels low. But sometimes at the aggravated stage of the disease, medication can actually be harmful. This is the stage where your cat has become insulin dependent.
The pancreas is not able to produce the insulin necessary, and your cat must be injected with synthetic insulin to make up for the shortfall. Injections may seem scary at first, but they can save your cat’s life and help live a long, healthy life. Simply injecting insulin half an hour before a meal is enough to help the cat’s body prepare for the consumption of food, which is broken down into sugars.
Just remember to remain vigilant when it comes to your cat’s health and notice any changes in eating habits, energy levels, moods, and sleep patterns to ensure that any health issues are detected immediately so treatment can be quick. Quick treatment is best right after prevention from the get-go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is diabetes in cats common?
Cats can become diabetic, just like humans. Type two diabetes, in particular, is the more common type of diabetes with 1 in 230 cats suffering from the disease.
What are the typical symptoms of detecting diabetes in cats?
A: Just like in humans, a drastic loss in weight is one of the first signs of diabetes. Frequent urination and drinking water are also common signs. In some cats the appetite increases, while in others it disappears completely. Diabetes may go undiagnosed for several weeks or months even.
How is diabetes in cats diagnosed?
A: Diagnosing diabetes in cats involves taking your cat to the veterinarian who checks for the presence of glucose and ketones. If glucose and ketones are present in the urine, then the cat tests positive for diabetes.
What causes diabetes in cats?
A: Type two diabetes can occur in cats of any age, but it is more common in older cats. Just like in humans, genetics play an important role in determining whether a cat becomes diabetic or not. Being overweight or being less active also makes cats susceptible to contracting diabetes.
Diabetes is hard to handle, but it can be managed. Our favorite pick if your cat has diabetes is the Purina dietetic management food. This food helps your cat fight diabetes by reducing carbs, upping proteins, and managing symptoms.
And it’s not as rough on the wallet as some other options 😉
Please share on social media 🙂 What food are you using to help your kitty? Let us know below!