Is there a diet to manage diabetes in cats?

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If you suspect your cat has developed diabetes, visit your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan. And, yes, there are some therapeutic diets available now to manage cats diagnosed with diabetes.
Follow your veterinarian’s guidelines and instructions for administering medications to your cat. Your veterinarian may prescribe insulin shots or oral hypoglycemic medications. You will need to give your cat the medication at the same time each day.
Develop a routine for feeding your cat at a regular time each day and avoid leaving food out all the time. Obese cats are more prone to diabetes, so controlling your cat’s weight is important. Follow your veterinarian’s guidelines for what to feed your cat; some cats need a high-fiber, high-carbohydrate diet, while others need a low-carbohydrate diet.
Play with your cat regularly and provide toys that will encourage your cat to exercise. Exercise will help your cat maintain a healthy weight and reduce your cat’s need for insulin.
If your veterinarian directs, test your cat’s urine regularly, using test strips that will indicate the presence of glucose and ketones.
Each day, record in your notebook how much medicine you administered to your cat, how many times your cat urinated, how much your cat ate, and any changes in your cat’s appetite or activity level. This information will help your veterinarian determine whether your cat’s diabetes is under control.
Following are some basic nutritional guidelines:
• Avoid carbohydrates: Canned foods with sauce or gravy tend to be especially high and can cause your cat’s blood sugar to skyrocket.
• Skip the rice: While canned food that combines chicken or fish with rice sounds good to humans cats don’t use the protein in rice efficiently, and it, too, can make your diabetic cat’s blood sugar climb.
• Read the labels: Chicken, turkey or fish should be listed first on canned cat food labels. If the first ingredient is “meat by-products,” choose another brand. Also watch for cane sugar, which is an ingredient in some commercial canned and pouch foods, and is not suitable for a diabetic cat.

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