What should a cat with diabetes eat?


Cats also suffer from diabetes. You have to take great care of these cats so they can live with this hard disease.

Many times, cat lovers tend to personify certain attitudes in our pets that do not correspond to their actions. Despite this, sometimes we find it hard to believe that what does reproduce in patterns similar to those of humans are diseases. It is estimated that more than 15,000 cats in Spain suffer from diabetes disease or are likely to have it at some point in their lives, although some owners of these cats find it difficult to detect or believe in this possibility. So you don't make that mistake, we tell you all about this ailment so you can quickly detect it and help your cat fight it.


Diabetes suffered by cats is a disease that appears when your body is not able to attack and process glucose to make it simpler components of easy metabolization. This failure causes an accumulation of this molecule in the blood, which ends up being eliminated through the urine.


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.


Cats are one of the most sedentary and homemade pets. A feline can get to spend much of his life locked up at home, a place where he enjoys all the comforts and security he seeks. It is because of that many cats develop problems related to sedentary lifestyle.

The main ailment that is triggered by this lack of exercise is the overweight. The lack of constant physical activity can cause this obesity to trigger severe diabetes that we must know to detect in time and not overestimate, since this condition can shorten the life of our cat.

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.


Some of the signs that could presage that we have before our eyes a diabetic cat is that this is losing weight and density of the fur.

Another less superficial and visible signal at first sight is the dehydration. If we begin to see our cat's water container empty, we must always provide more water, since our cat's constant thirst can give us a clear alert that this disease exists. This will in itself cause our cat urinate excessively, another of the most common alarming signs of diabetes. These causes may also be related tosudden enlargement of the liver due to lipid accumulation. Given this, we should not hesitate to contact our trusted veterinarian quickly to carry out a complete review.

You can also detect signs that you have a diabetic cat if it suddenly develops a insatiable appetite while beginning to lose weight in a worrying way. These factors are usually accompanied by a large loss of skills such as the ability to jump and climb. Most cats with diabetes become clumsy and begin to walk little erect and unstable, something that attracts much attention in the case of a kind of unquestionable physical abilities.

We must also pay special attention to whether our cat vomits more than usual or suffers from diarrhea. Our felines usually hide their remains, especially if they live in houses with gardens or natural environments with soil, so it is important that you monitor these factors periodically.

In the most extreme cases, if the possible illness is not taken seriously or it takes to be treated, our cat can be left to lose consciousness. The hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can lead to seizures crisis in our pet that leads to a severe coma. This can lead our feline to die if a treatment is not applied quickly. It is recommended that you offer food to your cat immediately if you notice in him a certain apathy or a strange lack of control of his physical functions. In case of suffering the dreaded seizures, you should insert your fingers into your pet's mouth and take it immediately to a veterinarian.

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.


If we own a diabetic cat that suffers from type 1 ailment, we should know that it is very possible that we have to administer injections to our pet on a daily basis.

It will be the veterinarian himself who diagnoses the case of diabetes and the amount of insulin that our feline will need, so we insist that you visit your trusted specialist as soon as possible. Usually, two doses per day are administered subcutaneously. It is the owner or the owner of the cat who can perform this task from home, administering insulin with an injection under the skin of the neck. The dose should be administered on a regular basis and accurately calculating the time elapsed from one dose to another. Despite this, each cat reacts in a different way to this type of treatment, so the doses should be reviewed and readjusted as many times as necessary by a specialist.

The type 2 diabetes too It can be treated with insulin injections, although treatment focuses more on controlling diet and reducing obesity.

An important step when it comes to a diabetic cat to recover his appetite and his usual routine is adapt and set the hours you should eat. Marking the times well and setting the same amounts of food at each intake is important when our cat remains at his ideal weight and that we can detect abnormalities in his appetite.

We must do the same with water. We must accustom our pet to drink a specific amount of water and recommended. In this way we will check over time if our cat adapts correctly to the routine or keeps asking us for more liquid. If this is the case, the treatment may not be working, so it is recommended that you take your pet back to the veterinarian.

Regarding the medications, these should also be prescribed. Oral hypoglycemic drugs such as the known glipizide They help stimulate the pancreas, so that it can release insulin if it continues to produce it in small amounts.

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.

Does diabetes have a cure?

Diabetic cats often need treatment throughout their lives with an insulin-based preparation such as veterinary specific insulin. Some diabetic cats no longer need insulin after a few weeks or months of treatment. This is known as "clinical remission." Remission does not necessarily imply permanent healing, and you should continue to be careful with your cat's diet and lifestyle.

The goal of diabetic cat treatment

The goal of treatment is the restoration of the quality of life of your diabetic cat. This involves minimizing the complications of diabetes without causing hypoglycemia, and stopping the signs of diabetes mellitus (drinking a lot of water, frequent urination, an increase in appetite and weight loss). Poorly controlled or untreated diabetes mellitus can result in diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a serious problem. It must be treated as an emergency that requires immediate treatment. Read more in the Emergencies section

Long-term complications of diabetes mellitus, such as weakness of the hind limbs in diabetic cats, can also be minimized by insulin therapy.

How are diabetic cats treated?

Success in controlling diabetes depends on a regular routine. Regular insulin injections - See Insulinotherapy Correct feeding - See the Nutrition section for advice on creating a correct feeding regimen for your cat. Helping your cat regain its quality of life through effective diabetes treatment is very rewarding.