As with humans, cats that have been diagnosed with diabetes have special dietary requirements and while you may believe that all cat foods are nutritionally balanced and ideal for all cats, this is not always the case. Indeed, there is a fair range of specifically formulated diabetic cat foods on the market, even these will not always be appropriate for every diabetic cat. Your veterinarian should be your first source of information about what to feed your diabetic cat as nutrition has an immediate impact on the progression and symptomology of diabetes.
Since diabetes is often related to other health concerns like obesity, kidney and pancreas problems, each diabetic cat will likely have very specific nutritional needs. However, in the broad sense, cats with diabetes should be fed a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Naturally, cats are carnivores so it makes sense that they have evolved to eat a protein rich diet. In fact, traditionally cats would have had very little access to carbohydrates yet many inexpensive dry cat foods are rich in cheaper carbohydrate-based additives that are filling like proteins. Canned cat foods are often a good alternative to dry varieties as they are usually high in protein. Still, many canned cat foods can be unnecessarily high in sugars so be selective and read labels.
In some cases, veterinarians will recommend a prescription diabetic cat food that provides your cat with highly specified nutrition. The downside to these diabetic cat food prescriptions is that they can be very expensive and unaffordable for many households. Ultimately, you should discuss your budget and your cat’s needs with your veterinarian to find an effective, yet affordable diabetic cat food. Also remember that many cats are picky with their food choices so you may want to have a few reasonable options available to help you find something to your cat’s taste.