Several factors are likely to cause diabetes in cats: overweight, inactivity, poor quality food, overeating… This serious illness requires insulin treatment and a suitable diet. Our advice to better feed your diabetic pet.
Properties of a diet suitable for diabetic cats
The food industrial for pets is often advanced as one of the causes of onset of diabetes. As such, it is essential to offer your cat an adequate diet, the main characteristics of which are:
- Low in fat is essential in order not to make cats’ diabetes worse. Ideally, his diet should contain less than 25% lipids;
- A high rate of protein very digestible and of high nutritional value leads to satiety (thus promoting weight loss) and prevents muscle wasting. Proteins of animal origin from eggs and meat (chicken, turkey, lamb, etc.) are preferable to proteins of plant origin (cereals such as soy, wheat, corn);
- Little carbohydrates in order to avoid blood sugar spikes which increase the cat’s insulin requirements. The rate of carbohydrates in its food should be 5 to 10% maximum. Take a good look at the composition of the products on the packaging because some ingredients have a high carbohydrate content (tapioca, potatoes, peas, etc.). It is strongly recommended not to give your cat extras containing sugar in all its forms (fruit, honey, canned vegetables, carrots, industrial dessert, etc.);
- A reasonable contribution in fibers helps prevent dehydration, helps regulate digestion and – like protein – increases the feeling of fullness in animals. The fibers will preferably come from green vegetables and rice.
The rhythm of meals in a diabetic cat
Along with his insulin treatment, your cat will be fed identical rations every day and at a fixed schedule because a regularity helps reduce blood sugar spikes. However, if your pet is used to eating small amounts of food throughout the day, your veterinarian may advise you not to change their routine to avoid frustrations. Between meals, we can offer croquettes in self-service provided that their composition is adapted to the state of health of the cat. Overweight felines, which require food rationing, will have minimal access to two meals daily.
Diabetic cat: type of food and doses to distribute
The specialized trade offers food specific whose composition and nutritional value are formulated to facilitate blood sugar regulation in diabetic cats. A frequent recommendation by veterinarians is to give food wet felines with diabetes in order to reduce weight gain. If you want to keep the kibbles, be sure to control their carbohydrate level. For practical reasons, owners often opt for a mixed (croquettes + mash). Homemade meals are another option to control the contents of your bowl. This solution is possible provided that the rations are carefully prepared and dosed according to the advice of the veterinarian. In all cases, a transition food to therapeutic food should be practiced over a period of approximately two weeks.
Diabetes in cats and weight loss
As a reminder, obesity is a factor contributing to insulin resistance, which means that insulin treatment is proving less efficient and that higher doses will need to be administered. Therefore, the diabetic cat must achieve a healthy weight which will be determined with the veterinarian according to his morphology, age, lifestyle and physiological status (sterilized). Therefore, the professional will recommend the diet adapted to his case so that the weight loss occurs in a progressive and controlled. A daily weighing should be performed every day and be coupled with regular medical visits to monitor the progress of the disease. Note: in addition to a diet, your pet must practicephysical activity to lose those extra pounds. In felines with type 2 diabetes (the most common), weight loss can significantly reduce or even eliminate the need for insulin therapy.
Unlimited water for the diabetic cat
A cat with diabetes feels a intense thirst and drink in large quantities (we speak of polydipsia). This phenomenon has the effect of diluting the excess glucose present in the blood and eliminating it by urinating frequently (polyuria). In this context, it is essential to leave permanently available for your animal a bowl offresh water and renewed regularly. If possible, consider placing a bowl in several rooms (at least one on each floor of the house). A decrease of water intake bodes well as it means cats diabetes is being managed properly.