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15 Best Cat Foods For Diabetic Cats In 2024

Diabetes is becoming one of the most common diseases in the world, not only in humans but also in cats.

With more cats developing diabetes than ever before, pet parents are left perusing reviews and asking how to effectively manage their cats' diabetes.

Diabetes can be effectively managed by weight management and diet. Your cat requires a diet tailored to its specific requirements.

Food strong in protein and low in carbohydrates is the best option for cats, especially diabetic cats, because protein causes less blood sugar increases.

While prescription diets can be offered, they are not always necessary for diabetic cats; any meal with a high protein content and low carbohydrate content can be fed to diabetic cats.

If your diabetic cat is already on insulin, switching to a low carbohydrate diet will most likely result in your cat requiring less insulin, if any at all.

It is critical to monitor your cat's blood glucose levels immediately after switching to a reduced carbohydrate diet and modify insulin doses as needed.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled a list of the best cat foods for diabetic cats currently available.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Reviews

Best Value Purina Pro Plan Vet Diet DM Canned Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula Wet Cat Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • Amount of packaging: 5 oz cans
  • Other diet specialties include: pea-free

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM is our pick for the best diabetic cat chow for the money. They offer both canned and kibble solutions for diabetic cats and are reasonably priced.

Purina Pro Plan’s Veterinary Diets are designed to closely resemble prescription diets, and there are multiple options for various health conditions.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets are high in protein and free of peas. Unfortunately, even though these diets are high in protein, they are not totally grain-free, which can be a turnoff for many pet parents.

However, few other options offer diabetic support and reasonably priced wet and dry food.

Pros

  • Reasonable prices
  • There are canned and dry options.

Cons

  • It is not grain-free.

Canned Wellness CORE Grain-free Classic Pate Cat Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • 3 oz. and 5.5 oz. packaging
  • Other diet specialties include: grain-free

Wellness  is one of the top premium pet food manufacturers. They are known for their grain-free recipes, and their CORE brand is known for its high protein content.

Their grain-free diet is low in carbs and all-natural, making it a perfect choice for diabetic cat owners.

It is slightly more expensive than the usual, but pet parents who opt for it are paying for a high-quality veterinarian-recommended food for their pets.

Pros

  • High-protein/low-carb
  • Veterinarian-recommended
  • All-natural

Cons

  • A little pricey

Canine/Feline Wysong Epigen Salmon Canned Cat Food

Wysong Epigen Rabbit Canine/Feline Canned Formula Dog/Cat/Ferret Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • 9 oz. of packaging
  • Other diet specialties include: grain-free

Wysong Epigen  is a newcomer to the pet food industry.

They have 95% natural meat recipes and the standard filler ingredients found in commercial pet diets. This formulation makes them an excellent choice for diabetic cat owners.

Their 12.9 oz cans will last any pet parent numerous feedings, especially for diabetic cats that require specific food quantities, and are reasonably priced.

Unfortunately, like with any new brand, only time will tell how the brand will fare. Pet parents who have accepted the risk, on the other hand, have reported happiness with Wysong Epigen’s feeds.

Pros

  • Meat content is 95%.
  • Large cans last a long time.

Cons

  • Company that is relatively unknown

Canned Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Cat Food

Instinct Original Grain Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • 5 oz. of packaging
  • Other diet specialties include: grain-free

Instinct food has recently gained popularity among owners and veterinarians due to its low cost and high-protein, grain-free recipes.

Their feeds are suitable for diabetic cats because they contain high-protein and low-carbohydrate formulations.

They have a dry food alternative with a freeze-dried raw coating to boost protein levels and provide species-appropriate nourishment to your cat, even in kibble form.

The most significant disadvantage of this diet is that many pet parents notice a strong stench.

Pros

  • Gluten-free and grain-free
  • Features of the dry formula

Cons

  • It has a strong odor.

Canned Tiki Cat Ahi Tuna & Crab Cat Food

Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free, Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • 6 oz. of packaging
  • Other diet specialties include: Grain-Free

Tiki Cat  is a difficult combination of price and recipe. Their recipes are high in protein and low in carbs, making them ideal for diabetic cats.

All of these are packaged in an appealing can at a reasonable price.

Tiki Cat offers a wide choice of meats, including fish, poultry, and beef, as well as variety packs to ensure that your cat is never bored at mealtime.

They serve both dry and wet meals, although their dry food is more expensive than their wet food.

Pros

  • Reasonable prices
  • Grain-free
  • Food possibilities, both dry and wet

Cons

  • Dry choices are expensive.

Chicken Pumpkin Can Cat Food Weruva Cats in the Kitchen

Weruva Cats in The Kitchen, Funk in The Trunk with Chicken in Pumpkin Consomme Cat Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • 3 oz, 6 oz, and 10 oz packaging
  • Other diet specialties include: Grain-free

Weruva's Cats in the Kitchen canned food contains a high-protein, starch-free diet that is ideal for diabetic cats. Their products are completely grain-free and gluten-free.

The brand takes pleasure in its extensive and honest ingredient list, which demonstrates that their goods are manufactured from high-quality ingredients.

Weruva’s feeds are available in a variety of flavors and sizes, allowing pet parents to select the best option for their needs and budget.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Starch-free

Cons

  • There are no dry solutions for pet parents that require them.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Cat Food with Glycobalance

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Feline Glycobalance Morsels In Gravy Canned Cat Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • Size of packaging: 3 oz. can
  • Other dietary specialties include: high protein, low starch.

Royal Canin is a reputable pet food company, despite being more expensive than most other pet meals on the market. Their Glycobalance solution is designed specifically for diabetic cats.

The Glycobalance diet is available in both dry and canned form.

It has a low starch level to assist reduce your cat’s glycemic index and a high protein content to keep your cat full while also helping them preserve muscle mass.

Pros

  • Reputable and trustworthy business
  • Contains little starch
  • Protein-rich diet

Cons

  • Expensive

Canned Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport Cat Food

Hill's Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport with Liver Flavor Canned Cat Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • 5 oz. of packaging
  • Other Diet Specializations: None

Hill's Prescription Diet is another food designed specifically for diabetic cats. It’s a high-protein, low-carbohydrate mix available in can and kibble form.

However, because none of Hill’s products are grain-free, the carbohydrate level may be higher than in some of the other items on the list.

Hill’s Science Food, which seeks to mimic medical pet diets like their prescription diet, is well-known and trusted by many pet parents.

Those who love and trust Science Diet may be confident that Hill’s Prescription Diet is produced with the same love and care.

Pros

  • Designed specifically for diabetic cats.

Cons

  • It is not grain-free.

Canned Cat Food Merrick Purrfect Bistro Poultry Variety

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free

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  • Type of food: canned
  • 5 oz. of packaging
  • Other diet specialties include: grain-free

Merrick is another popular brand among pet owners, particularly those who prefer products made in the United States.

Merrick’s cheap grain-free feeds have made grain-free nutrition for our pets more accessible than ever. Merrick Purrfect Bistro is available in canned and dry versions.

Some have pointed out, however, that Merrick’s formulas are inexpensive because they contain a variety of low-quality components and fillers that higher-quality feeds do not.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Grain-free

Cons

  • Some low-quality components are present.

Canned Cat Food Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Delights

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Delights High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Meaty Morsels Wet Cat Food

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  • Type of food: canned
  • Amounts in packaging: 3 oz, 5.5 oz
  • Other diet specialties include: Grain-free

Blue Buffalo is another popular brand among pet parents, and their Wilderness range is strong in protein. The Wilderness line’s dietary contents are appropriate for a diabetic cat.

Wilderness is available in canned and dry food mixes, although canned food is better for your diabetic cat.

Because the dry food contains around 25% carbohydrates, it is only appropriate for a cat whose diabetes is well controlled by medication.

Pros

  • Reputable brand
  • High protein content

Cons

  • It may include more carbohydrates than is suggested for diabetic cats.

Finding the Best Diabetic Cat Foods: A Buyer's Guide

When purchasing food to help with a health concern, you must first understand how the problem works. This knowledge enables you to select the appropriate products to help control the problem.

Understanding the specific organs and systems that diabetes affects will assist you in selecting the best meal for their needs.

What Exactly Is Feline Diabetes?

The majority of feline diabetes situations are identical to Type 2 Diabetes concerns in people.

Diabetes causes the body’s cells to no longer respond properly to insulin, the chemical that permits sugar to enter cells and be used as fuel as well as broken down into other important compounds.

To compensate for this shortage, the pancreas produces more insulin, but this additional stress eventually wears the pancreas out, and the organ fails.

Once the pancreas fails, the cat will require insulin shots or oral insulin regulators to keep its blood glucose levels under control.

Without treatment, the body is unable to operate properly because it lacks the ability to regulate blood glucose levels.

What Factors Influence Feline Diabetes?

Obesity is a major contributor to feline diabetes. Cats are naturally lethargic, and an unfortunate side effect of indoor cat care is that they no longer need to search for food, putting them at risk of getting overweight.

Controlling your cat’s weight will be the most important mitigating factor if it has diabetes. Fat cells secrete substances that reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

You can put your cat’s diabetes into remission by regulating or lowering their weight and restricting the carbohydrate amount of their diet.

However, it is critical to remember to gradually reduce your cat’s weight and to adjust insulin treatment with your cat’s veterinarian as needed, as a cat on a low carbohydrate diet may eventually stop requiring insulin.

When changing your diabetic cat’s diet, blood glucose levels and therapy changes must be implemented.

Obtaining Remission

You can put your cat’s diabetes into remission by regulating or lowering their weight.

Remission occurs when a cat maintains a stable glucose level for four weeks without the need for insulin injections or oral insulin regulators.

Not all cats go into remission, but those who do can stay there for years, if not their entire lives.

According to some research, between 17% and 67% of cats achieve remission after insulin therapy, while others claim that remission is feasible in at least 90% of instances.

What Qualifies a Food as Diabetic Friendly?

Diabetic-friendly foods have a high protein content and a low carbohydrate and sugar content.

Carbohydrates and sugars produce blood sugar surges, which can overwhelm the pancreas and throw the cat into diabetic shock.

While several veterinary diets claim to be particularly created for diabetic cats, any low-carb/high-quality protein meal will be fine for your cat if provided in moderation.

Before making any decisions, consult your veterinarian, who will be able to assist you to the right food options and portion out foods according on your cat’s insulin therapy.

Veterinarians also advise feeding your diabetic cat only wet food. Dry foods have more carbs than wet foods, some of which contain no carbohydrates at all.

While dry food can be created with a low carbohydrate content, wet food is generally healthier for diabetic cats.

Diabetic Cat Nutrition

Diabetic cats should be fed on a regular basis. They’ll be given insulin twice a day, twelve hours apart, and their meals will be scheduled to fit with their therapy regimen.

You should feed your cats right before giving your diabetic cat insulin to ensure that the diabetic cat gets the most out of its insulin therapy.

Again, regular blood glucose testing and therapy modifications are critical in the management of diabetic cats, especially after switching to a low-carb diet.

If you have more than one cat, you must feed them individually to minimize food theft, and you will no longer be allowed to free-feed your other cats.

Adjusting all of your cats to a feeding schedule can be challenging, but it is best for your diabetic cat’s health.

If treats are provided to a diabetic cat, they should be limited in quantity. Treats should account for 10% or less of your cat’s diet because they can disrupt the feeding pattern.

Freeze-dried chicken, beef, salmon, tuna, and liver are all good diabetic cat treats. These snacks are high in protein and have little, if any, carbs.

Conclusion

There are numerous solutions accessible to diabetic cat owners.

Canned Hill's Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport Cat Food is the greatest overall product. Purina Pro Plan  provides outstanding value for money for people in need of superior budget food.

Whatever food you choose, remember to check with your veterinarian so they can create a comprehensive diet plan for your cat’s health!

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes that our list of the best cat foods for diabetic cats helped you find the right food for your cat.

Author Image

Dr. Kathleen Champ

Dr. Kathleen W. Champ is a veterinarian and medical writer with more than 15 years of expertise in small animal, general care, surgery, and emergency medicine. As a lifetime animal advocate, Dr. Kathleen W. Champ has devoted her professional life to delivering great care for animals.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Kathleen Champ

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