Feline Veterinary Diets for Cat Diabetes

Feline veterinary diet recommendations vary significantly depending upon the type of issues that your pet has. Many different conditions that a cat might experience can be almost wholly regulated and controlled by means of a proper diet. As anyone who has visited the cat food aisle of a pet store has likely noticed, there are dozens of different diet formulations that are available. It's generally agreed that canned food options are the better able to provide nutrients of the two primary types of cat food, but for a feline with diabetes, there are some particular things that you'll need to keep in mind before you select any random food off the shelf.

Dietary Needs of a Diabetic Cat

Feline diabetes is a result of the body's inability to properly isolate and process glucose in the food. This causes a buildup of glucose, as the body cannot produce enough insulin to properly manage it. Without carefully managing the insulin and glucose levels in the diabetic cat's bloodstream, these levels can quickly soar to dangerous areas, and immediate and serious problems that can develop include seizures, comas and even death.

Because most cats that have diabetes are obese, one of the primary goals of a diabetic cat diet is to lower the caloric intake. Over the course of several months and years, reducing your pet's weight with the help of a low calorie diet can actually reduce his diabetes case and symptoms, allowing him to live a much more normal life.

Fiber Levels

Many veterinarians specify that a diabetic cat should be fed a high fiber diet. This is helpful for pets with diabetes for a few reasons. First of all, the fiber is lower in caloric content than fat and protein that make up the bulk of most other pet diets. Additionally, fiber partially blocks the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, which allows your pet's body more time to actively break it down. Unfortunately, however, fiber diets in cats can cause intestinal upset, which may be a concern if your pet already has digestive issues.

Insulin Schedules

You'll need to give your cat supplementary insulin and constantly monitor his levels, so his body will be able to process the glucose in the foods he eats. In most situations, you'll need to give your pet a portion of his insulin dosage (typically half) before he begins to eat. You'll need to then allow him time to process the insulin before giving him his food, and the second portion of his insulin dosage as well. Your veterinarian can help you to determine exactly how to best do this so that your pet maintains levels that are as even as possible.

Because diabetic diets for cats can be more expensive, you may need to shift your budget somewhat in order to accommodate this special food. Know that it will significantly help your pet's health to do so.