Why we should give High protein low carb cat food for diabetic cats?
Diet plays an important role in the management of diabetes. Rather than focus on quantity, the quality of the food is of the utmost importance when it comes to diabetic cats.
If your cat is diabetic then cutting down on high-carb dry foods and moving more into additive-free wet foods (which are closer to the cat’s natural diet) is what is necessary. The foods that are suggested which are high protein and low carb are – Chicken, beef, fish, and lamb. No soy, peas, potatoes, grains, and cereals should be added.
Symptoms of feline diabetes
- increased urination
- increased thirst
- increased appetite
- Unusual Weight loss
What is the role of obesity in a diabetic cat?
The fat levels in the body trigger hormones that interfere with the functioning of insulin. In fact, reducing obesity in the early stages can lead to the remission of the disease. So in short, if the diabetic cat loses weight, the chances are that their insulin dependency may also reduce considerably.
So what kind of cat food can help the cat with diabetes?
A low carb, high protein diet is best for your diabetic cat. Fresh meat and canned foods are examples of high protein low carb diet.
The benefits of low carb, high protein diet for diabetic cats
When the cat consumes food high in carbohydrates it causes sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This leads to the need for more insulin and the cycle starts.
What the cats really need to eat are high protein diets with ample amounts of fat and moisture content. In fact, cats are carnivores and they need very few carbohydrates in their diet. The Wet, high protein food is ideal diabetic cat food.
They need at least 50% of the energy coming from protein (animal proteins preferably) and 40% coming from fats.
Let us now investigate the food we give to our cats, and decide which kind of foods we need to continue, and which ones we need to avoid.
Usually, we feed cats dry food. Normally it has high carbohydrates which are bad for diabetic cat’s health.
The reason for feeding dry food is we can store it easily. Also, we can store these high carbs foods for a Long time. We do not need to worry about feeding as we can fill up the bowl with dry foods and leave it. And the cat will eat little by little the whole day. It is because of laziness
But when you look at the ingredient list you will find that even if it says protein, the carb levels are much higher.
For cat food companies it makes sense to bulk up the food with cheap plant-based substances rather than add animal protein.
So you will find cereals, grains, peas, and potatoes used in the cat food. The actual amount of real food from animal sources (protein and fats) is very minimal.
If your cat is diabetic you need to stop giving these high carb foods as it is making their condition worse.
So what to feed a diabetic cat?
The cat which has diabetes needs to be fed animal protein such as chicken, beef, and fish in its least processed forms.
70% of the food can be from animal protein, the carbs can be 5% or even zero and fats can be 25-30%.
This is simply not possible through dry foods as high carbs are essential for processing dry foods and keeping them in that form.
Canned food on the other hand is the second-best bet as they are closer to the original form of animal protein that cats would have eaten with fats as well as it is moist with high water content.
Yes, the addition of refined plant-based oils in these canned items is a disadvantage but far better than feeding a high-carb dry food diet.
Some of the benefits of feeding the cat with high protein food are as follows:
- High energy
- Normal weight
- Lesser allergies
- Lesser risk of diabetes
- Better overall health
- Greater lifespan
What if my cat simply refuses to eat canned food?
You could try cooking meat, chicken, and fish and feeding it to them. It may take some patience to get to try out natural food but once you find out their favorites it becomes easier to keep them on this diet. In worst-case scenarios, you can ask the veterinarian to prescribe or directly provide dry food with lower carb levels.
How much high protein / low carbs foods should I feed my diabetic cat?
If your cat is suffered from diabetes, Your main aims is to reduce the cat weight.
You need to feed only sufficient portions that the cat remains fairly well. This will help to lose at least 1% body fat every week till it reaches its ideal weight.
Make sure you follow a schedule and get the cat used to that schedule so that the hunger can be better managed.
Feeding at the same time every day will have the cat become habituated to become hungry only during those times.
If you feed haphazardly the whole day, the cat will keep asking to be fed constantly. This is even more relevant if the cat is on insulin.
Specific high protein and low carb foods that suit diabetic cats
Most cats love chicken and you can easily find cans of chicken. Chicken in broth is ideal for satisfying the taste and keeping the cat satiated for a longer time.
There are also combinations such as chicken and turkey in gravy which would be fine as well.
Read the ingredient lists and ensure that carbs are lower at 10% to 5%.
Wet tuna fish shredded and added to fishy broth. This is certainly a blockbuster choice for cats.
Usually, if you get canned foods the level of grains and soy are very low.
It is good to feed tuna once in a while. Mix it up with chicken, beef, and other meats so that the cats have a variety in their diet.
The liver is an excellent source of iron, protein, and nutrients but too much liver is not advisable as it leads to issues with stools and also affects bone adversely over time.
A little liver once in a while is a good treat for the cat.
Chicken liver is usually the liver of choice for cats.
Beef cooked and shredded would be an excellent meal for the cat and is usually given cooked as well as raw.
Beef is good for cats’ health and gives the necessary nutrients it needs.
Although being fussy eaters, cats would want variety so you need to change it up once in a while with other types of meat and fish.