If you’re trying to figure out what the best low carb cat food options for your diabetic feline are, you’re at the right place. It can be stressful trying to find your picky eater a food that’s not only palatable but also doesn’t break the bank like a lot of the prescription-grade low carb cat foods that vets recommend can do.
But, what exactly is feline diabetes and how does it affect your cat? We’ve got everything that you need to know about what feline diabetes is, how it affects your cat, and what you can do to help give your cat a healthier, longer life.
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What is Feline Diabetes?
Having a solid understanding of what feline diabetics is and how it affects your cat will give you the tools that will you to properly care for your kitty. Feeding your cat a diet that’s low in carbs will help you to better manage your cat’s diabetes, as the amount of carbs that you’re feeding your cat has a direct relationship with your cat’s blood sugar levels and insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that’s produced in the pancreas and is expelled into the bloodstream when there is a spike in blood sugar levels. Insulin encourages cells to allow sugar into them, as the sugar is used as fuel for the body.
When a cat has Type 2 Diabetes, the cells in their body do not create enough insulin, which results in dangerously high blood sugar levels. If left untreated for an extended period of time, the pancreas stops producing insulin, which is what leads your cat depending on insulin injections to be able to survive.
Why Should I Feed my Cat a Low Carb Diet?
Feeding your cat exactly what it needs to have a body that’s healthy and thriving is an essential part of caring for your feline, whether your kitty is diabetic or non-diabetic. Some of the benefits that come from feeding your cat a low carb, high protein includes:
- Higher energy levels
- Reduced blood sugar levels
- Reduced gastrointestinal discomfort
- Minimized risk of developing IBS and chronic kidney disease
Should I be Feeding my Cat Zero Carbs?
It’s entirely true that if your cat has diabetes or if you’re worried that your cat is going to develop feline diabetes, you should be feeding your cat a low carb diet. It’s entirely possible to feed your cat a diet that has zero carbs, just try to keep the food that you’re feeding your feline under 10% carb content.
How do I Choose the Best Low Carb Foods for my Cat?
While no one specific cat food is going to be a perfect fit for your diabetic feline, there is a general guideline that you should be following along with. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when shopping around for low carb cat food:
Canned Cat Food is the Best
Dry cat food has a higher carb content than canned cat food, as ingredients that are high in carbs are absolutely necessary for the creation of dry cat food. While the majority of canned cat foods have a minimal amount of carbs, there are some canned cat foods that don’t contain any carbohydrates at all.
Be Careful of Portion Sizing
The amount of food that you’re feeding your diabetic or pre-diabetic cat is just as important as the types of food you’re feeding your furry friend. Cats that are overweight or obese should be eating enough food to create a healthy calorie deficit to encourage weight loss. Aiming for your cat to lose one percent of body weight a week until they’ve reached a healthy weight is an appropriate goal to aim for.
Low Carb, High Protein
Feeding your cat foods that are high in carbohydrates, which will lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, increasing your cat’s need for insulin. Feeding your cat foods that are low in carbohydrate content will eliminate your cat’s need for insulin; many cats thrive on food that is made up with less than 10% carbohydrate content, but if your kitty has a severe case of diabetes, you may need your feed them food that has a 5% carbohydrate content or less.
Develop a Consistent Feeding Schedule
To prevent your cat’s blood sugar levels from dipping too low, you should create a consistent feeding schedule for your cat.
The Best Low Carb, High Protein Cat Food Options
The Feline Natural Grain Free New Zealand Chicken and Venison canned cat food is a great canned cat food if your kitty has food allergies to proteins that are commonly used in the creation of other cat foods. This canned cat food is comprised of chicken, chicken heart, venison kidney, and venison liver; the use of organ meats in this canned cat food makes it rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
With a protein content of 51.4%, a fat content of 28.6%, and carb content of 7.4%, you’ll notice that this canned cat food does have a moderately high carb content for it being a low carb cat food, but the higher carb content is because this canned food contains blood. The blood content in this canned cat food makes it extra palatable for your kitty, which can be helpful to have if you’re having a hard time getting your kitty to switch from dry food over to wet food!
New Zealand green lipped mussel is added to provide the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids that aren’t found in any other marine or plant life.
If you’re looking for clean, simple cat food to start adding into your kitty’s diet, the Crave Grain Free Food Tray wet cat food is comprised of real Turkey, Chicken Liver, Pork Broth and Turkey Broth. This wet cat food comes in individual pouches, which make it much easier to feed your kitty exact portion sizes.
The macronutrient profile on this wet cat food has 50% protein, 19.44% fat, and 5.6%, which makes it perfect to gently step your cat down from a high-carb lifestyle.
Real turkey is the very first ingredient and the food contains no by-product meal, soy, corn or wheat and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. This savory pate is also formulated with added vitamins, minerals and nutrients to meet all his nutrition needs.
Not all cats enjoy the taste or texture of wet cat food, which is why we included the Wysong Epigen 90 Starch Free Dry Cat Food on this list. Broken down, this dry cat food as 70% protein, 17.8% fat, and 0% carbs per serving. With the first four ingredients being a chicken meal, organic chicken, meal protein isolate, and chicken fat, this zero carbs dry cat food is almost too good to be true!
How Wysong is able to get away with producing kibble that has zero carbs issuing gelatin as a thickening agent, rather than using a synthetic ingredient to thicken up the cat food to transform it into a kibble. As for as the plant matter that you’ll find in this dry cat food, you’ll also find chia seas, coconut oil, yeast extract, apple pectin, rosemary extract, chicory root, probiotics, minerals, yeast culture, and vitamins.
Ultra-high protein, meat-based diet is formulated to optimize your furry friend’s wellness with 63% protein including real organic chicken.
The Tiki Cat Puka Luau Grain-Free cat food is made with chicken brother, sunflower seed oil, minerals, chicken, vitamins, and amino acids. The list of ingredients inside of this cat food is so pure, it’s literally like someone went to the grocery store and handmade cat food for your furry friend to eat. The added minerals and vitamins makes this cat food nutritionally appropriate for your feline to eat.
By adding in the sunflower seed oil, it’s a neutral oil that’s commonly added into wet cat food. This is so it adds a fat source into the wet cat food, making it healthy (and tasty) for your kitty.
Also, you’ll notice that the carbohydrate content for this cat food is a lot lower than the fat content. This is what makes it perfectly healthy for your low-carb kitty to consume. It’s so low in carbs, there aren’t actually any carbs inside of this formula! It’s a great option to consider if your cat has IBS or diabetes, and doesn’t enjoy munching on cat foods that are made with a bunch of plant-based options.
This Hill’s Prescription Diet M/D cat food is jam-packed with proteins and fats. It contains liver, which is a high-quality ingredient included in your cat’s food. The biggest downside to this cat food is that it contains fish oil, carrageenan, and corn starch. All of these ingredients are potential allergens, which could affect your cat if you know your cat has these allergies.
However, due to the high-quality ingredients in this cat food, it’s a great option for you to consider if you want your cat to follow a low-carb diet. If your cat needs help managing its weight, controlling its diabetes, liver disease, or heart disease, you should look into this cat food as an option for your feline.
If your cat isn’t a huge fan of wet food, it’s likely difficult for you to find a low-carb dry food option that your cat will eat. The Nulo Freestyle Grain-Fee is an option for you to consider, especially since they have options for both kittens and adults.
The majority of the dry food options contain turkey and chicken as the main sources of protein. Also, there’s deboned fish, which adds to the level of protein found inside of this dry food. This combo of ingredients is what makes up for the high level of protein found inside of this dry cat food.
As for the other ingredients, you’ll find pea fiber and ground flaxseed is what’s added into the formula to act as the sources of fiber. Chicken fat is the main ingredient to add fat into the mixture. Also, you can expect to find other ingredients like dried sweet potato, dried kelp, and dried cranberries. They even have a cat food option that comes with additional probiotics, which help to support the digestive health of your cat.
This is another dry cat food to consider if you weren’t too happy with the option listed above. The chicken and salmon indoor combo has a high level of fiber in the food, paired with a low caloric intake. If your kitty has a problem with hairballs (or is overweight), this is an option you’ll want to consider.
There’s chicken, pea protein, chicken meal, and split peas added into this dry cat food. All of the fat content found inside of this chicken-based recipe comes from chickens. But, you’ll also find tapioca added into the blend, which helps to keep the dry cat food pebbles stocking together. With all of the ingredients found inside of this dry cat food, it’s another great option to consider if you’re looking for a low amount of carbs in your cat’s diet.
This dry cat food option is made for cats that need a diet with high-quality ingredients, but need a special diet that keeps up with their outdoor lifestyle. While this cat food is grain-free, it is a bit pricier than the other options we’ve listed here. The formula is balanced with real chicken, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to keep your cat healthy. Plus, it contains cranberries and sweet potatoes that help to keep your cat’s body detoxing from all of the possible toxins it’s exposed to while outdoors.
Trying to find a low carb cat food for your diabetic feline doesn’t have to be a struggle anymore! Hopefully, you’ve found a low carb cat food on this list that’s a perfect fit for your lifestyle and your kitty’s medical needs. Remember, you should aim to find a cat food that has less than 10% carb content per serving. Here’s to creating a healthier, happier, and longer life for your furry friend- good luck!
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