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Diabetes is a fairly common problem, not just in humans but in cats too! Most cats actually suffer from Type II diabetes, which means that the glucose concentrations are high since your cat’s body does not respond to insulin in the appropriate manner. Many pet owners wonder if weight management and diet are factors that affect your cat’s diabetes. Short answer, yes!
This article proposes a few cat diet recommendations and tips on feeding your diabetic cat.
Cat obesity is one of the most crucial factors that leads your cats to have diabetes. Fat cells in an overweight cat actually produce hormones that make its body less responsive to insulin. This means that the more fat is present, the more of these hormones are produced.
If cats are slim and not overfed, many cases of cat diabetes could possibly be prevented. Even if your fat cat has diabetes and needs insulin injections, it may actually be weaned off said injections and your cat’s diabetes could go into remission if your cat loses weight. However, this only happens in some cases and only if treatment begins early.
Certain guidelines are followed although no single type of food is right for all diabetic cats. That would be too general. Instead, feed your cat the following food:
Meals that are high in carbohydrates will lead to sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This in turn leads to an increase in your cat’s demand for insulin. Low carb cat food helps to lower that demand for insulin in your cat’s body.
In fact, cats should get most of their nutrients and calories from animal-based sources of protein as they are obligate carnivores. Cat meals that are made out of about 50% or more protein and 20 - 40% of fat should be sufficient. Carbohydrates should make up 10% or less of the meal.
Carbohydrates are usually a necessary component for kibble or dry cat food. As you are trying to keep carbs to a minimum, wet cat food is best. However, be aware that not all wet cat food is the same as some may contain a lot of sugar.
Wet cat food also contains more water than kibble. As cats often do not drink enough water on their own, getting the water it needs from their diets is essential to ensure they stay hydrated and to maintain urinary tract health. You do not want other issues, on top of diabetes, to affect your cat!
Diabetic cats should eat on a set schedule so that blood sugar levels can be controlled. It is important that your cat looks forward to its mealtimes and its food tastes good. Wet cat food is best as it is both palatable and appropriate for diabetic cats.
The quantity of food you feed your diabetic cat is just as important as the type of food. If your cat is obese, remember that weight loss should be a goal. A healthy rate of weight loss is around 1 percent of body weight per week until they have reached their ideal weight.
If your cat has already been diagnosed and is on insulin, it is best to maintain consistency when it comes to mealtimes. Your diabetic cat should be eating the same amount of food at the same time every day.
Insulin injections for diabetic cats are usually given 12 hours apart. Ideally, your cat should be offered its food just before the next dose of insulin is due. This is because if your cat does not eat a full meal, the amount of insulin can be reduced.
Diabetic cat treats on the other hand, should be limited to 10% of its diet, also subject to the consistency of the same time, every day. Feed it protein based treats such as dried chicken, beef, salmon, tuna or liver. If the treats are interfering with your diabetic cat’s appetite during its mealtimes, stop giving it treats!
Consult your vet if you have any doubts. Your vet should have put together a detailed plan regarding when and how to adjust insulin doses for your feline friend. Never make any changes to your cat’s diet or insulin dose without following the plan or talking to your vet first.
Preparing a homemade meal for your diabetic cat can be rather tricky. Work with your vet to find a recipe that is complete and balanced. If you are unsure about yourself, it is best to keep to store bought meals like PetCubes Gently Cooked Cat Food. As the cat food is meticulously crafted, raw and balanced with the right amount of proteins, it is hard to go wrong.
Cat diabetes management is a rather delicate balance between its diet and insulin levels. Changing its diet invariably necessitates a change in insulin levels. Therefore, to keep your cats safe from fluctuating blood sugar levels, be consistent in feeding, minimize carbohydrates and consult your vet if there is any doubt.
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