Dry cat food is a bad choice for a feline diabetic.

Dry cat food is a bad choice for a feline diabetic.

What’s the best food for a diabetic cat?  This is a question that owners of cats with diabetes ask often.  You may be surprised at the answer.

Diabetic Cats Should Never Eat Dry Food

According to Elizabeth Hodgkins,DVM, a diabetic feline should NEVER be fed dry cat food.  This flies in the face of the traditional veterinary ideas that say that feline diabetes can be managed successfully by feeding a high-fiber dry food.  Why does she feel this way?

She has two reasons.  The first is that dry cat foods usually prescribed for diabetic cats are extremely high in carbohydrates.  In fact, because prescription diets are also low in fat, the fat is replaced with even MORE carbs.  Too many carbs is what leads to weight gain in cats, along with high blood sugar levels.

When you feed a diabetic cat a food that’s high in carbohydrates, you’re pouring fuel on the fire.

Secondly, cats don’t need all that fiber in their diets.  Cats are obligatory carnivores.  This means they should get most of their protein from meat, not plants.

Felines have a shorter GI tract than people or dogs do.  They are unable to digest high-fiber foods very efficiently.  Feeding a cat a high fiber diet, according to Dr. Hodgkins, results in reduced nutrient absorption.  Your cat tends to eat more, since he’s not getting all the nutrients he needs from dry food.  And of course, this is a vicious cycle, causing more weight gain, and higher blood sugar levels.

So What’s The Best Diabetic Cat Food?

Dr. Hodgkins believes that a low-carb, high-protein wet cat food is the best diet for a diabetic cat.  In fact, she has found that many cats will go into remission from feline diabetes when their diets are changed.

If your kitty has been eating a dry prescription food, you may want to consider changing her diet to a high-quality canned cat food.  Many cats are “hooked” on dry food, so they may resist a change in their diets.  Our feline friends are like people; they prefer junk food to good nutritious food, too.

Always read the labels carefully.  Some canned foods contain many fillers which are high in carbs and low in protein.

Move slowly, feeding your cat a little bit of canned cat food to start out, and increasing the amount slowly, while decreasing the amount of dry food available.  Don’t try to force your kitty onto a new diet.  A diabetic cat needs to eat regularly, to avoid blood sugar problems.  You may need to try several brands of canned food before you find the one he likes.

Always consult with your vet before making any changes in your pet’s diet.  You’ll also want to keep tabs on blood sugar levels with urine testing strips or a glucometer.

Dr. Hodgkins believes that feeding a cat an appropriate diet is the best way to manage feline diabetes.  For more information, click on any link in this article.

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