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Feeding Tips for a Cat With Diabetes

Like people, cats can get diabetes. WebMD explains cat diabetes symptoms, causes, and treatments.
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When Should I Feed My Diabetic Cat? continued...

Typically you’ll feed your cat twice a day, administering a dose of insulin right after those feedings. Frostig feeds his cat half a can of high-protein, low-carb cat food in the morning and half a can at night, following each portion with a shot of insulin.

Your regimen may be slightly different, but regardless of when you feed your cat, it’s important that he eats. Without food in his stomach, he may have to skip an insulin dose, which could be dangerous to his health.

If your cat hates the new high-protein food your vet has chosen, or he balks at eating twice a day instead of grazing, it’s better to go back to your old dietary routine for a while to make sure that your cat is eating.

Do I Need to Monitor My Diabetic Cat’s Health?

Because feline diabetes can have some serious complications, it is very important that you keep track of your cat’s health.

Check her blood sugar levels, either at home or by regularly taking her to the vet. Watch her appetite, weight, and food and water consumption.

Also check the litter box to make sure she’s urinating the same amount. Call your veterinarian about any changes in her normal routine.

Can Diet Improve My Cat’s Diabetes?

If you're careful about diet and insulin therapy, you may notice that you can start lowering your cat’s insulin dose.

In some cats, diabetes will even go into remission. But that doesn’t mean the cat is cured.

“I tell the owners that they should still think of their cat as having diabetes -- it’s just controlled,” Schermerhorn says. Sometimes cats that have gone into remission will experience flare-ups and will still need to take insulin once in a while to control their diabetes. Owners need to be committed to caring for their diabetic cat for life, he says.

Frostig has kept his cat on a strict regimen of diet and insulin shots, and now it’s hard to tell that Bill is anything but a normal, healthy cat -- or that he is 15 years old. “He’s still running around the house like he’s young,” Frostig says. “I have to remember sometimes that he has diabetes.”

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Reviewed on June 08, 2012
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