Diabetic Cat Feeding Schedule

Normally, cat feeding entails nothing more than making sure there is always food in her bowl, because cats tend to need to eat throughout the day. However, if your cat has diabetes, this isn't going to be an option for you. Your cat will need a special diet and a special feeding schedule.

About Felines Diabetes

Feline diabetes is the most common disease of the endocrine system that your cat may suffer from. Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to properly process sugars, because it doesn't produce sufficient quantities of insulin or is unable to use the insulin it does produce. Cats that suffer from diabetes will eat more than normal, drink much more than normal and, because if the increased thirst and drinking, will urinate much more than normal.

Diabetic Dietary Needs

Cats, being non-adaptive carnivores, should have a diet high in meats and proteins, even when healthy, just to maintain optimal health. Most cats do fairly well with a diet that is heavy in dry food or kibbles. However, dry cat food is high in carbohydrates. If your cat suffers from diabetes, carbohydrates are analogous to putting a heating pad on a bad burn. It will only make the condition worse.  Some of the prescription feline diets can also be harmful because they contain large quantities of carbohydrate-laden ingredients. You also need to control how much fat your cat takes in and how much she eats, because a substance that is secreted by a type of fat cell called adipocytes makes the body more resistant to insulin. Because more cat food makers are moving from a high carbohydrate content by going grain free, they are creating a high fat content diet. No more than 10 percent of your cat's caloric intake should be from carbohydrates.

Diabetic Cat Feeding Schedules

This is a murky area with a few different opinions from the medical community. Some vets feel you should put your cat (and yourself) on a rigid feeding and insulin schedule. What this means is that if your cat requires two insulin injections a day, you should feed your cat about an hour before and about four hours after receiving an insulin injection. There are other vets that feel that insulin should be given either immediately preceding or following feeding time. However, there is new evidence that states that free choice feeding is still optimal, you just need to control what and how much is fed, and insulin should be administered whenever necessary. The one thing that all vets agree on is that you have to be consistent in your cat's feeding and insulin injection schedule.

Diabetes is a very serious condition that can, if not properly treated, be fatal. If you see any of the mentioned symptoms, you should take your cat to the vet and have her tested as soon as possible. If she is indeed diabetic, proper monitoring and diet can be very helpful in keeping it under control and ensuring that she has a long and happy life with you.