These days, it seems that type 2 diabetes is such a widespread epidemic that even our pets aren't safe. If Fluffy has gotten a little too fluffy and developed diabetes as a result, a radical change in her diet can go a long way toward combating the disease.
Cats, like humans, are prone to developing type 2 diabetes if they become overweight or have too many carbs in their diet. Type 2 diabetes is a combination of the pancreas losing its ability to secrete insulin, as well as cells becoming insulin resistant, which causes an excess amount of glucose in the bloodstream. The good news is that, unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 can be controlled and even reversed with a healthy, diabetic-friendly diet designed to lower blood sugar.
An organic, low-carb, high-protein diet is recommended for cats with type 2 diabetes. Consult with your veterinarian, who might be able to recommend a good brand or prescribe a special diabetic diet for your cat. Your vet also can help you develop a homemade raw diet using pure, organic animal proteins. When fed consistently, raw organic diets have been shown to almost completely reverse signs of diabetes in cats. If a raw diet isn't possible, look for high-quality, organic moist or semi-moist food that is high in protein and low in carbs.
Whether you choose a homemade raw diet or organic store-bought or prescription food for your diabetic cat, it's important to make sure that her new diet is low in carbohydrates. Cats' bodies lack the necessary enzymes to process and utilize carbohydrates, including those high in fiber. Although fiber can be useful in reducing diabetes in both dogs and humans, it only exacerbates the problem in cats, who turn excess carbs into fat. For this reason, diabetic cats should never be fed dry kibble of any kind.
Protein and Water
A good diet for diabetic cats should include high-quality organic animal proteins. Cat's don't process plant-based proteins well, and meat contains amino acids that are vital to the health of any cat, let alone a cat with diabetes. It's also important for a diabetic cat to stay properly hydrated. A meat-based diet, especially a raw meat diet, will help to ensure that your kitty gets all the fluids she needs to get and stay healthy.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Jean Marie Bauhaus has been writing about a wide range of topics since 2000. Her articles have appeared on a number of popular websites, and she is also the author of two urban fantasy novels. She has a Bachelor of Science in social science from Rogers State University.