Caring for Cat Diabetes With Diet and Exercise

If your cat has been diagnosed with feline diabetes, it is important to take steps to change his environment and lifestyle in order to maintain his health. Successfully caring for cats with diabetes may involve a combination of medicinal treatment programs and alterations of diet and exercise.

Because feline diabetes is tied to blood glucose levels, which are in turn dependent upon food intake and metabolism, changing your pet's diet may dramatically improve his quality of life. A number of special dietary foods have been developed with diabetic cat care in mind.

Finding the Right Food for Your Diabetic Cat

A typical cat food is high in protein to reflect the fact that wild cats are carnivorous. Many veterinarians recommend selecting food that closely resembles this high-protein diet for general cat health, and especially in cases of feline diabetes. Standard canned cat food contains a higher carbohydrate content than the average diet of a wild cat, while food designed for diabetic cats has a lower percentage of carbohydrates. Diabetic cat food is also available dry, although these varieties tend to have a slightly higher carbohydrate content than the canned alternative.

Caring for kittens or cats with feline diabetes often requires reducing your pet's weight through dietary changes as well. More often than not, a change in food type isn't as important as reduction of meal size is to this goal. Do not decrease your cat's meals without the guidance of a veterinarian, as this process may lead to blood sugar fluctuation.

You can find a number of diabetic cat foods at most pet stores. If your diabetic cat is a finicky eater, consult with your veterinarian for multiple recommendations and find a food that suits your pet. Many cat owners see dramatic improvement in symptoms of canine diabetes through change of diet alone.

Encouraging Your Diabetic Cat to Exercise

Exercise is also a helpful technique for reducing the effects of feline diabetes on your cat. Because many diabetic cats are overweight, be careful not to overwhelm your pet with too much activity. With the help of a veterinarian, develop a short exercise program for your cat the builds gradually over time. Your vet may recommend playing with a string or cat toy as a way to get your diabetic cat to be more active. Other techniques including moving the litter box or placing treats around the house so that your cat is more likely to spend a few minutes walking around each day.

Because blood sugar levels in diabetic cats fluctuate dramatically and for a variety of reasons, it is important to have your cat examined by a veterinarian before you consider adjusting his diet or exercise level. In all cases, diabetic cats should have regular blood work done to ensure that their blood sugar is maintained at a healthy level.