Many cats diagnosed with diabetes are overweight. Obesity reduces the sensitivity of the cells to insulin and therefore aggravates diabetes. Weight loss is therefore an important aspect to managing the condition. In some cases, the diabetes can go into remission after weight loss.
If your cat is a normal weight, or only marginally overweight, feeding a high-protein, low-carbohydrate food specially formulated for diabetic cats is recommended e.g. Hills Prescription Diet m/d, Royal Canin Diabetic or Purina DM. As with any new food, a gradual introduction is advised. A microchip-controlled cat feeder is useful for multi-cat household where one or more cats needs a special diet as they restrict which cat can access which bowl.
It is important not to over- or underfeed your diabetic cat. The best way to avoid this is to weigh out the daily allowance on some kitchen scales. Measuring cups are very inaccurate.
Feeding times should be kept consistent with relation to insulin injections each day. Some cats will eat meals whereas some prefer to graze. Meals are generally best as they allow you to monitor your cat’s eating more closely.
If you want to give your cat treats, use some of the kibbles out of their daily allowance. Encourage your cat to play – this will help to keep them fit and healthy.