It is your responsibility to keep a constant check on your diabetic cats’ dietary habits. It may not seem like a big deal, but the kind of food your diabetic cat eats during its daily life can have a huge impact on its health. You should always be on the lookout for the best possible food for your diabetic feline friend. A great option is to make homemade food for your diabetic cat instead of feeding it packaged food.
In this article, we will discuss why homemade food is a good option for your diabetic cat, as well as some food ideas that you can easily implement at home.
Packaged food vs. Homemade food for diabetic cats
Multiple reasons contribute to high blood sugar in cats, of which one of the most common reasons is packaged food with a high level of carbohydrates.
Not all packaged food contains a high amount of carbs though, but they are often high in some other ingredients like calories and fat, which mostly do not affect diabetes directly. Instead, they lead to obesity and obese cats are more prone to diabetes type 2.
Treats like Friskies and Fancy Feasts are often go-to options for cats by their owners, but if your cat is diabetic, you have to be extra careful about the ingredients.
So what advantage does homemade food have over packaged cat food?
Well, not only is it healthier, but you can add ingredients based on what your cat likes, so it is more likely to eat the food happily.
Moreover, there are no artificial flavors, as compared to canned food which is filled with preservatives.
You can also include healthy ingredients that control your cat’s blood sugar and stop it from rising very often.
The problem with most foods for diabetic cats
When your cat has diabetes, a small portion of a certain ingredient can make its blood sugar shoot up to the roof. This means you need to adjust the level of insulin, change up the diet again and then repeat this entire process.
Many cat foods available in the market are low in some harmful ingredients, but high in other types of harmful ingredients.
There is no proper balance in the contents of packaged food, and this inevitably leads to high blood glucose sugar.
This is not to say that homemade food is always the best option. If made correctly and with care, it can be good for your cat.
But if not made with proper proportions in mind, then homemade food is just the same as packaged food.
So how to use what proportions should you use to make homemade cat food healthier for your diabetic cat?
Homemade food for diabetic cats
Before you decide to make homemade food for your diabetic cat, here are some things that you should take care of to provide a healthy and filling diet for your feline friend.
Keep in mind that this is just our suggestion based on research, and you should always consult a vet before testing new foods on your cat, especially if it has diabetes.
High protein content
Your cats are not vegetarians. They need a good source of protein in their diet to get the energy they need to go about their day.
Protein could be anything from a meat-based diet, the best examples are fish, chicken, or beef. It is recommended to add around 50% protein to the entire portion of cat food.
Protein is great for diabetic cats because it does not increase blood sugar. That said, there is still a limit to how much protein you should add to your cats’ diet, and you have to make sure that you are using good quality meat sources.
If you use ingredients like unhygienic meat by-products, then it can lead to kidney problems in your cat. And if there is a lack of protein in your feline’s diet, you could find her in cobwebs to fulfill its protein requirements.
Low carbs are good for some diabetic cats, but the actual amount in their diet should be tested to see what works the best.
As a general rule of thumb though, carbohydrates can be added around 10-12% in a cat’s diet, but as mentioned above, this may vary depending on your cat.
The best sources of low carbs are meat-based products like liver, chicken, and other types of meat.
Food such as FrenchFires/Potato Chips has carbs that increase the blood glucose level and you will have to give your cat more insulin to counter its effect.
Moderate amount of fats and high in fiber
Diabetic cat food should not be high in fats because the higher the fats, the more the chance of obesity in your cat.
Obesity and diabetes together can be harmful to your cat and cause internal bodily problems as well.
A moderate amount of fat in your cat’s diet should be good enough to keep it functioning throughout the day. Experts recommend a fat portion of 30% in a meal, but this can vary based on the health of your cat.
Besides this, fiber also helps decrease and maintain blood sugar, so you should aim to feed a small portion of fiber daily as well.
A good meal has a combination of all the ingredients we mentioned above: proteins, carbs, fats, and fiber.
If you feed your diabetic cat a healthy meal, it will stay healthy and its life expectancy may increase as well.
Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad! You can add organic flavorings to make the food taste better so that your cat eats it.
Go the extra mile; make the food taste good so your cat doesn’t always try to go back to those unhealthy packaged treats.
Make sure you add flavorings that are friendly to your diabetic cat. Also, try to avoid artificial flavorings and colors.
Sure, they will make the food look appetizing, but they can harm your cat’s health in the long run.
Ideas for homemade food for your diabetic cat
There are multiple recipes you can use to give your cat a fully balanced homemade diet.
Here we have mentioned a few of them, feel free to mix and match the ingredients and try new combinations!
Rice and boiled chicken
This recipe is simple, take a small portion of a chicken breast, half a cup of brown rice, some fish oil, and some salt. You can also add an egg to the boiler while boiling the chicken.
Mix all these and serve!
This is for all the fish-lovers and diabetic cats!
Take some tuna or cooked salmon, add some boiled egg and some oil. Mash these together and mix well before serving.
You can store it in the fridge for a few days before this mixture expires.
Chicken and veggie stew
For this recipe, all you need is a portion of a chicken breast, then add vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, beans, carrots, etc into a pot and let it boil away. The amount of vegetables may vary depending upon whether the cat likes it or not. As a rule of thumb, the vegetable amount shouldn’t be more than 10% of a cat’s calorie intake.
Boil it until the chicken is soft and tender and separates away from the bone. Then remove the bones and blend the mixture till smooth.
And now serve!
Things to take care of when feeding a diabetic cat
If you feed your diabetic cat a homemade food diet and your cat is finally accustomed to it, you should stick to it.
Try not to change the timings of your cat’s food and feed it a similar diet for the long run.
The reason for this is, if you change your cat’s food timings often, then the insulin schedule can get messed up and it will not perform its function in the body properly.
Also, if you change the type of homemade food you feed your cat often, then each time you will have to adjust the dosage of insulin to suit the cat based on the food it has had.
Hence, it is better to be consistent.
No regular treats
Treats are not the best for your diabetic cat’s health.
In fact, for a diabetic cat, it is best to avoid treats completely. But this isn’t practical because cats need to feel appreciated and valued.
You can make healthy treats at home or get healthy packaged ones from the pet store.
However, if the treats Make your cat feel full and not have any appetite for Its actual meal, then avoid giving them to your cat.
In conclusion, is there any benefit of making homemade food for diabetic cats?
The answer is yes. packaged food usually has some ingredient in high content that isn’t good for your diabetic cat.
But when you make homemade food, You can adjust the proportions based on what your diabetic cat likes.
While making homemade food you need to keep a few things in mind to make sure that your cat gets the optimal amount of benefit from the food. For this, we have a couple of tips that will help guide you.
You might also have to say goodbye to treats if your cat is having a tough time staying on its eating routine.
Finally, before switching from packaged food to homemade food, make sure you consult your vet so that your cat is getting just the nourishment it needs through your food.