Low Carbohydrate Diets For Cat Diabetes
It was common knowledge even before the discovery of insulin that a low carbohydrate diet enabled the human diabetic to live longer. The same applies to cats.
However I am astonished to learn that many diabetic cat owners are still feeding their cats commercially available dry food. This dry food contains between 30% and 70% carbohydrate. However cats in the wild would consume far less than 30% carbohydrate.
Cats in the wild would eat small rodents, birds and mammals. If you have ever seen a cat eat a small wild animal you will notice it eats everything including the skeleton!
BD Diabetes and Dr. Plotnick of Manhattan Cat Specialists state that:-
“In the wild cats eat mice which break down into
3% carbohydrate, 40% protein and 50% fat.
While carbohydrates in the form of glucose are
necessary for the body’s cells for fuel, they are not
a dietary must. Cats metabolize protein quite well
turning it into glucose”
Recent studies have shown that cats can be better regulated and even brought into remission with a low carbohydrate and high protein diet. Dry food from what I understand cannot be made without having a large carbohydrate content.
Therefore dry food is definitely a no no for a diabetic cat. I would even go further to say that if you have a healthy cat, you can reduce its chances of getting diabetes by not feeding it dry food!
When looking for a low carbohydrate cat food, it is said you should be looking at a food with a carbohydrate content of between 3 and 10%. In fact another school of thought is that a diabetic cat should be given a formula with a 0% carbohydrate content.
Here’s a great article on low carbohydrate diets for cat diabetes.
Try and look at what cats would eat in the wild and try and mimic as much as possible. After all cats like humans have evolved over millions of years and what is best is what they would naturally eat in the wild.
It is also important to remember that low carbohydrate diets for cat diabetes can often lead to less dependency on insulin and even total remission so it is important to regularly monitor blood glucose levels at home to make sure the correct dosage of insulin is being given.