The Best Natural Food for a Diabetic Cat

Written by: Dr. Jean Hofve, Holistic Veterinarian, DVM

Diabetic Animals


Can you recommend a diabetic diet for a cat?? I have opted for a low carb diet……is this good ??


Cats most often get Type II diabetes. This type is most commonly the result of too many carbs in the diet. High levels of carbs in food trigger insulin to be released; ultimately the body tissues become overwhelmed and become resistant to insulin. Feline Type II diabetes is very responsive to a low-carb diet; and in fact, caught early, a large percentage of diabetic cats will reverse the disease, and will remain normal with dietary management.

While Type I diabetes can’t be reversed or managed with diet alone, food does play a role in regulating blood glucose as well as in overall health. A low-carb diet is more in line with the natural feline diet. Limiting carbs helps cats lose fat and maintain lean body mass. When choosing foods for your cat, bear in mind that low or no grains in a food does not necessarily mean low carbs. Some foods substitute yams, potatoes, peas or other starchy vegetables for grains. To get a ballpark estimate of carbs, subtract the percentages of all the ingredients listed in the guaranteed analysis from 100. The remainder will tell the approximate carb content; look for less than 10% for cats. Canned foods are definitely better than dry foods in the low-carb department; but if you must use dry food, be sure to avoid corn as an ingredient since it causes a dramatic increase in blood sugar.

You may also want to consider supplements, particularly antioxidants. Cats are extra-sensitive to lipoic acid, and even small amounts can become toxic. Do not supplement cats with alpha-lipoic acid.

Links to relevant supplements:


Links to relevant food:

Grain-Free Food

Canned Food

Raw Food