best diabetic food for cats

10 Best Diabetic Food for Cats – Full Reviews, Q&A

We, humans and animals alike, love to eat. Food, aside from being a necessity, sometimes become leisure. Food gives our pets the energy to be able to move around and do their day-to-day activities. But what if your cat has diabetes? What is the best diabetic food for cats who suffer from this illness? Luckily, nowadays, there are many solutions.

You surely know that the secret of staying healthy is to burn the calories we intake from the food we eat. Our cats can burn calories while walking, running around, playing with you, and other physical activities that require movements. However, some cats, especially those who are aged, no longer feel to run around the house and be active just like they used to when they were still young.

The problem arises when your enthusiastic cat starts to get lethargic and inactive. The calories and fats they intake from the food they eat daily will not be burned and digested correctly without appropriate and enough physical activities. The inactivity in cats and the lack of physical activity in their daily lives is a common cause of diabetes.

As the fur parent, you would feel very responsible in dealing with this illness in your cat since it poses possible severe complications to your fur baby. Since you very well know that your feline loves to eat but hates to move around, it is necessary to understand what is the best diabetic food for your cat. So let’s discover it together what are the options.

  • What causes diabetes in cats?
  • Signs of diabetes in a cat
  • How to treat a cat with diabetes?
  • Best diabetic food for cats 
    • 5 Best wet food for a diabetic cat
    • 5 Best dry food for a diabetic cat
  • Homemade diabetic cat food
best diabetic food for cats

What causes diabetes in cats?

Aside from inactivity and lack of physical activities, there are other factors which can cause cats to be diabetic. The most common type of diabetes, not just in humans but in cats as well is Type 2 Diabetes. This medical condition is mainly brought by the cat body system’s inability to utilize naturally produced insulin. Insulin regulates all the sugar the body takes in. In a cat with Type 2 Diabetes, the insulin in its body is not functioning well. It is not able to distribute the digested sugar in the system, leaving a high blood sugar level in the body. When the blood sugar level is high, it will cause other body systems to malfunction and fail in the long run if not treated early. That is why diabetes must be treated as soon as it is diagnosed to prevent other possible medical problems in your cat.

One of the main factors that are leading to Type2 Diabetes is obesity. Cats with poor diet and no exercise usually develop diabetes later on. The unhealthy substance in food like fat and cholesterol plays an essential role in the body. Fat, if taken in enormous amounts, process hormones that affect the normal insulin function. Afterall it makes the cat more prone to diabetes.

Not only the food and inactivity can be blamed for diabetes in cats. Some of the following factors put your feline at risk as well:

  • First of all, is being male
  • Being neutered
  • As well, being old and experiencing a natural aging process
  • Having done some medical treatments or being under a specific medication like corticosteroids
  • Having a prior medical illness. Like hyperthyroidism and chronic pancreatitis

You might think that lifestyle is the key to prevent diabetes in the cat, but in some recorded cases, diabetes in the cat is genetically inherited. There are some breeds of feline that were proven to pass on diabetes to offspring through heredity.

Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is caused by the body not being able to produce enough insulin. This type of diabetes is not more challenging to cure, but fortunately, cats don’t usually develop this type of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is more likely to be cured than Type 1 diabetes. That’s good news! This means that correcting your cats’ Type 2 diabetes will not require a miracle. Later on this article, you will learn how diabetes can be treated in cats. Before knowing the most appropriate medication, first, you have your cat examined and diagnosed if she really has diabetes.

Signs of diabetes in a cat

1. Increased Urination Due to Increased Thirst

It’s not summer yet but your cat drinks too much. Cats who are always thirsty may have diabetes. When sugar level on the blood is not normal, the kidneys have to work double-time requiring more water. Thus, when the blood sugar level in a cat is high, her body loses more water and will need to replenish it more frequently.

2. Inappropriate Elimination

Since your cat drinks more water, he would need to pee more. With the frequent visit to the litter box, your cat will find it hard to reach it. Your cat will be tired and feeling ill.

If your kitty is well litter box trained then all of a sudden you see stools outside the litter box, you should be wary about your cat’s health.

3. Odd movements or unsteady walking

Aside from the unusual peeing and littering, you may also notice a change in your cat’s movements. Diabetes affects the nervous system of cats.

This condition is diabetic neuropathy which makes your feline walk flatly with hocks on the ground, unlike the usual sexy catwalk. Your cat’s instability in walking and moving may cause other physical injuries and serious accidents if not treated immediately.

4. Weakness and Inactivity

Although your cat has eaten a full meal, you may notice that she still looks weak after eating. The main reason is that the body is not able to process the calories properly. This issue is, of course, caused by diabetes.

5 Weight Loss

With diabetes in your cat’s system, the digestion fat and ingestion of sugar and calories is not proper. They are causing the body to break down unnecessary fat that can trigger drastic weight loss. While cats without diabetes may lose their weight too, it could be caused by a limit in diet or increase in physical activity. But without these changes in lifestyle and you notice your cat losing so much weight, there is a high probability that your cat is diabetic.

6. Vomiting

Another reason why your cat may be losing too much weight is because of vomiting. Vomiting may signal a severe stage of diabetes in both cats and humans. Cats vomit if there are too many ketones in their blood. Ketones are a waste product from the body’s inability to process insulin and break down sugar. This is called Ketoacidosis. If your cat is suffering from this, you must hurry her to the hospital or clinic because this condition needs extensive care and attention.

While Ketoacidosis is a significant concern, occasional vomiting of cats is normal. Usually, it is caused by something your cat ate. But if vomiting persists several hours after feeding, then this should be a point of concern.

How to treat a cat with diabetes?

As mentioned earlier in this article, it does not take a miracle to treat diabetes in the cat if diagnosed early and dealt with appropriately. Since Type 2 Diabetes is caused by insulin, which not able to counteract correctly with the sugar level in the blood. Decreasing the ingestion of carbohydrates will reduce the effects and could eventually heal this medical condition.

This means that a change in your feline’s diet is one of the critical treatments in battling diabetes. Your cat should shift to a low-carbohydrate but high-protein meal. Before you start planning to change your cat’s diet, it is a must that you first see a veterinarian. The veterinarian will assess if your cat needs to lose weight or to gain weight depending on the current physical condition and the severity of the complications of diabetes. As well he may also prescribe medications or routine to alleviate the symptoms while trying to get rid of diabetes through food and diet.

Treating diabetes in a cat requires a drastic change in food and lifestyle that is why you, the fur parent, need to know the best food for a diabetic cat. Here are some of our suggestions for cat food which received positive reviews from other fur parents dealing with the same dilemma.

Most cats with diabetes only need less than 10% of carbohydrates in their meal. Then at least 50% of the calories of the meal must contain protein which should be animal-based. 20-45% of the meal calories could be from fat. It is better if 70% of its weight is rich in water.

It is best to discuss with your veterinarian the change in your cat’s dietary plan. You could also ask if your cat can eat dry food or wet food. Wet food usually has lower carbohydrates than dry food; however, dry food is easier to maintain and is often less expensive.

10 Best Diabetic food for cats

Best wet food for a diabetic cat

#1. Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Wet Cat Food

What makes diabetes food for cats the best? First of all, it is a low carbohydrate and, secondly, high protein content.

TikiCat wet cat food

Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Wet Cat Food

  • AAFCO Certified
  • Easy to digest
  • High moisture
  • Low or no carbohydrates
  • Taurine
  • Vitamins

Tiki Cat Aloha Friend is one of the best solutions for your diabetic cat.

You can choose from six different options which will suit your cat the most. Whether you go for Tuna & Pumpkin flavor or multi, all products have low or no carbohydrates.

The meals are high moisture (up to 84%), which is excellent for proper cats’ hydration. Only real chicken, tuna, or shrimps are used in this wet food.

Tiki Cat doesn’t contain any potatoes, rice, wheat, or corn.
Pumpkin seeds, which are a good source of fiber, will guarantee easy digestion.

Apart from high-quality ingredients, this wet food is full of vitamins and minerals.

You can please your adult cat with those meals two even three times a day. One portion is 3.0 oz (85 grams). But of course, the feeding should be adjusted individually based on your cat age, daily activity, and health.

Due to a well-balanced formulation, Tiki Cat can be the right choice for kittens as well.

American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) certified all Tiki Cat meals. Which is a guarantee that product is high-quality

#2. Purina Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management for Cats

Purina Veterinary Diets is formulated especially for cats with diabetes. At the same time, is it an excellent product for cats with overweight.

Purina Pro Plan

  • 11.5% proteins min
  • A high concentration of antioxidants
  • Omega-3 & Omega-6 acids
  • Highly recommended for cats with diabetes
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Low or no carbohydrates
Purina Veterinary Diets DM for Cats

The main content is chicken, chicken liver, and hearts as well, soy protein isolate, salmon, and oat hulls fish, so it is high in protein but low in carbs. This wet food is loved for being high in moisture.

Aside from high protein content, it also includes a complex of vitamin B (B-1, B-5, B-6, B-12, and others) biotin, and folic acid to help your cat with her weight concerns. As well, there is a significant level of vitamin E and a complex of vitamin K.

A lot of veterinarians prescribe this product, and if you want to buy Purina’s meals, you will need a Veterinarian Authorization. Maybe it sounds complicated, but it is not. All you have to do is to provide your vet’s information by fax or e-mail.

Purina is one of the best brands in the market with pet food, which provides high-quality pet products for over 90 years.

Your cat will enjoy the tasty flavor of Purina meals, which has a complete and well-balanced nutrition complex. As well your cat won’t be missing essential omega-3 and omega-6 acids in her feed.

#3. ROYAL CANIN Feline Glycobalance 

ROYAL CANIN is the next best diabetic food for cats. It
is an exclusive veterinary product that must be prescribed by the vet.

ROYAL CANIN Feline Glycobalance

  • High-proteins
  • Made especially for cats with diabetes
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Low or no carbohydrates

It is a vitamin-rich and high-protein meal that will guarantee your cat an active lifestyle despite the illness.

Muscle mass is an essential thing you have to take care of while your cat is suffering from diabetes. One of the reasons is that a diabetic cat tends to have overweight, which is a significant burden for the body. Luckily ROYAL CANIN offers a good source of proteins.

A low starch will prevent the risk of increasing sugar in a body.

Similar to other diabetic cat meals, ROYAL CANIN also has a complex of Vitamin B, Vitamin E.

It prevents your cat from gaining weight and, at the same time, provides a significant source of energy.

The specific formula will manage the blood glucose and keep your cat in form for the whole day.

#4. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free

If your feline prefers no grains on her meal, then this could be the cat food for her. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet is primarily made for cats with allergies. However, it is also an excellent product for cats with diabetes.

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free

  • 10% of proteins
  • AAFCO certified
  • High-quality meat
  • Vitamin B complex
  • max 1.5% of fibers
  • Contains Taurine
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free

You can choose from four different tastes, such as rabbit, turkey, duck, or salmon. Only one meat and one vegetable are used in each meal, which is great if your cat has a sensitive stomach.

The Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet doesn’t contain grains, dairy products, or eggs. At the same time, it is a protein-high product as it contains quality meat. For example, the rabbit meal is made only of the farm-raised rabbits.

A highly moistured (76%) meal will guarantee the perfect hydration of your cat. It is a Pâté paste, which is a highly preferred texture by most of the cats, even the picky ones.

It made in the USA and has a certification of AAFCO.

Apart from the high-quality ingredients, it also contains a complex of essential vitamins and minerals. For example, Vitamin E, A, B, and D, as well as, Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids.

This product is suitable for adult cats and as well for kittens.

#5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Wet Cat Food

This cat food is also grain-free and is formulated explicitly by chefs. Its protein source is fish, with no fillers added. It can be a great choice if your cat loves the taste of fish; however, the offer is not limited to it.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Wet Cat Food

  • 9% of proteins
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Suitable for all cats
  • Max 3.5% of fibers
  • Contains Taurine

Your cat deserves a great treat, especially when she has diabetes. Some treats can be given to your well-behaved cats for rewards but will still stick to the diet plan. Therefore Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food is great for every day.

The recommended daily portion is 3.5 containers per 5 pounds of body weight. Of course, you have to consider your cat’s daily activity and lifestyle.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food has a wide range of meals. You can select from Tuna Purrfection, Chicken & Salmon Catterolle, Ocean Fish-A-Licious, and nine other combinations.

All the necessary vitamins and minerals are included in meals. So you don’t need to worry about other food supplements. There is a Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Vitamin D 3, and Vitamin K.

It is a high protein food with a minimum of 9%; it contains a maximum of 3.5% fibers, which is a bit more than other meals we’ve already reviewed.

Whether you have a kitten or older cat, you can freely serve Rachael Ray Nutrish meals, as it’s made for all cats ages.

Best Dry food for a diabetic cat

#1.Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Blue Buffalo is one of the best high-quality products that you can find on the market nowadays. As you already know, not just a diabetic cat but also older cats have lesser energy for play and other physical activities. Blue Buffalo Cat Food is specially made for them.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Blue Buffalo Wilderness

  • 30% protein
  • 100% grain-free
  • Magnesium
  • Taurine
  • Vitamine B1, B2, B5, B6, B7, B12, D3
  • Omega 3 & Omega 6
  • 25% carbohydrates

The main ingredients are high-quality real chicken and a great complex of necessary carbohydrates that are essential for your cat. It contains peas, potatoes, and carrots, which will supplement all the required carbohydrates. As well it contains antioxidant-rich fruits such as blueberries and cranberries.

This high-quality protein product contains, as well as vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for your cat health.

Compare to many other ordinary cat dry foods; the Blue Buffalo contains taurine. Taurine is one of the most crucial and essential amino acids which is responsible for proper brain, heart, muscles, and eyes work. This could be one of the main reasons why it is perfect for older cats.

It is a 100% grain-free cat food, which doesn’t contain: corn, artificial flavors, wheat, soy, or preservatives.

Because it still contains around 25% of carbohydrates, I would not recommend feeding your cat daily with Blue Buffalo. It might increase the sugar level of your cat, and that’s not what you want.

Still, you can serve you cat time to time with this high-quality product if the diabetes is under control.

#2. Hills M/D Weight Loss Diabetic Cat Food

Hills M/D Cat Food is designed to lower the blood sugar level of cats through the high-protein low-carbohydrate content of the food. Taurine is also included in their formulation plus carnitine to help your feline’s body to increase in mass.


Hills M/D Weight Loss Diabetic Cat Food

  • High Protein
  • Contains Taurine
  • Made in US
  • Weight Management  Product
Hills M:D Weight Loss Diabetic Cat Food

If, apart from diabetes, your cat suffers from obesity or has an overweight Hills will be a perfect solution. It is clinically proven to reduce body weight. As well your cat won’t be losing his mussels due to a high level of protein.

It is a glucose and weight management product, which contains as well arginine – an essential amino acid.

This product has been made in America and includes high-quality products from other countries such as New Zeland, Europe, and Australia.

#3. Purina Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula Dry Cat Food

This food has a high protein level and low carbohydrate content. It also has unique additional vitamins like Vitamin B, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D-3, and Taurine, which can help to improve your cat’s immune system.

Purina Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula Dry Cat Food

Purina Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management

  • 51% Protein 
  • 18% carbohydrates 
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Contains Taurine

It is an antioxidation rich nutrition which will lower the risk of many diseases. Antioxidants will recuperate the free radicals from your cat’s body and decrease the damage that has been already generated by oxidants.

Compare to other dry cat food on the market, Purina Pro Plan DM contains a minimum of 51% crude proteins, which is an incredible amount. Although wet cat food is highly preferred and recommended, especially for cats with diabetes, many people will go for high protein dry cat food. And of course, Purina Pro Plan DM is a great choice. It is crucial to maintain muscle mass, and proteins are the best muscle builders.

Another reason why dry food should be considered is that some cats are very selective and

However, Purina Pro Plan DM must be prescribed by your vet. As it has an 18% carbohydrates, this product is not for all cats, surely not for those with an advanced stage of diabetes.

#4. ORIJEN High-Protein Dry Cat Food

ORIJEN is a biologically appropriate high-quality dry cat food. It is grain-free and made only from fresh ingredients.

ORIJEN High-Protein Dry Cat Food

  • 40% Protein 
  • 17% carbohydrates 
  • Contains Taurine
  • Omega 3 & Omega 6
  • Grain-free
  • Whole animal ingredients
ORIJEN High-Protein, Grain-Free, Premium Quality Meat, Dry Cat Food

It is made in the Kentucky state, by the team of ORIJEN’S workers. They don’t outsource the production from other companies with the main goal, which is to guarantee the best product outcome. ORIJEN’S has everything under control, starting from the ingredients supply, production, and ending by sending packages to the clients.

ORIJEN’S dry food is made from whole animal ingredients, which is around 90%. To be more specific, it is made from a wild-caught fish, free-run turkey, or chicken.

With about 17% carbohydrates, this cat food still has low carbohydrate content compared to other dry cat food in the market. Same as all the meals that are recommended for diabetic cats, ORIJEN contains 40% of proteins.

It contains a complex of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin B, Taurine, Omega 3, and Omega 6 acids.

You can choose it from three different size packages and flavors.

Before buying any food, you should talk to your vet. If you have any questions regarding the ORIJEN High-Protein Dry Cat Food, you can contact the company directly. They will be pleased to answer all the questions. We’ve got even an email address for you.

Customer Care team –

#5. Royal Canin Feline Glycobalance Dry

ROYAL CANIN Feline Glycobalance is diabetic dry cat food. However, it can be the right solution for healthy cats as well.

Royal Canin Glycobalance cat food


Royal Canin Feline Glycobalance Dry

  • 44% Protein 
  • 6.8% fibers
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Contains grain
  • Taurine

Using natural cereals, Royal Canin formulated this dry food to avoid spiking of blood sugar level after eating, also known as hyperglycemia.

It is a high protein meal that contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. After having a meal, your cat will have a lot of energy, which will last for a while. As well high proteins will help your cat’s body to maintain the muscle mass.

ROYAL CANIN is a very well known brand with a good reputation, and this is one of the reasons why you should trust them.

It contains 6.8% of fibers and 44% proteins. Apart from the essential Vitamin B complex, this product contains Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and even Vitamin C.

If you are searching for a grain-free product, this one is not for you as it contains corn, barley, and wheat.

Homemade diabetic cat food

Since diabetic cats need low to no carbohydrate content meals, some veterinary recommends homemade raw cat food. Here are some tips that can be useful for you to prepare a good and quality homemade cat food for your diabetic fur baby.

In making a meal for your cat, use these guidelines to determine the correct content each feeding should have:

• Fresh and raw – cats are by nature, carnivores. Aside from very high protein content, serving raw fish meat to your cat ensures zero carbohydrates. Just make sure that the fish is fresh and clean.
• Meat rich in protein – you can use other meat sources like beef, pork, chicken, etc. but it must be properly cooked. Just boil the meat thoroughly in water. No need to add flavour to avoid unnecessary carbs or possible allergens.
• Minimal to zero carbs – although carbohydrate is energy-giving substance, it is not necessary for a feline’s diet, especially if she has diabetes. Occasionally giving carbs like potato, rice, corn, etc. in minimal amount may not be as harmful as it may sound.
• Consult your veterinarian – they are the experts when it comes to your cat’s medical condition. Always discuss with your vet the best meal plan to cure diabetes in your car and alleviate the harmful symptoms and complications.

Our feline friend has been a source of joy in our lives. That is why fur parents want to make sure that their cats are healthy and happy as well. Knowing the best food for a diabetic cat helps overcome your beloved feline’s diabetes.

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