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10 Best Diabetic Cat Foods in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat eating food

It is disheartening when your favorite cat is diagnosed with diabetes. But that does not and should not mean that your pet’s quality of life will suffer. Even though diabetes can lead to adverse health impacts, it is manageable with proper nutrition.

The perfect diet should control and manage your cat’s blood sugar levels. This is where a healthy diet comes in. It ensures that the blood sugar levels in your pet are neither too low nor too high.

But which are the best diabetic cat foods? This guide will help you find one or two foods that are suitable for your pet. Read on.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport Cat Food, Veterinary Diet Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport Cat Food, Veterinary Diet
  • Formulated by nutritionists and veterinarians
  • Manages glucose levels
  • Promotes urinary health
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken & Ancestral Low Grain Formula Dry Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken & Ancestral Low Grain Formula Dry
  • Helps to fight free radicals
  • Rich in animal protein
  • No peas, pea protein, lentils, chickpeas, and plant oils
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula
  • Maintains blood glucose levels
  • Maintains lean body mass
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Cat Food, Free-Range Chicken Recipe Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Cat Food, Free-Range Chicken Recipe
  • Meat is sustainably sourced
  • No hormones or antibiotics
  • Food undergoes twin-stage air-drying
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula
  • Ideal for kittens and adults
  • Great-tasting for picky eaters
  • Formulated by veterinarians, researchers, and nutritionists
  • The 10 Best Diabetic Cat Food – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport Cat Food, Veterinary Diet – Best Overall

    Quality: 4.8/5
    Proteins: 45%
    Fats: 17.5%
    Calories: 463 kcal/cup
    Fiber: 6.5%

    Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport cat food is the best overall diabetic cat food.

    Experienced nutritionists and veterinarians formulate the recipe to help your cat manage glucose levels and body weight.  This low-carb food is clinically tested and proven to reduce a feline’s body fat.

    The veterinary diet maintains lean muscle mass and develops a healthy immune system in diabetic cats. It is enriched with therapeutic L-carnitine levels, arginine, and taurine for a healthy heart and vision.

    The food also reduces the likelihood of your cat developing calcium oxalate crystals or struvite with its S+OXSHIELD seal.

    Pros
    • Formulated by nutritionists and veterinarians
    • Manages glucose levels
    • Promotes urinary health
    • Cats love the taste

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Needs a prescription


    2. Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken & Ancestral Low Grain Formula Dry Cat Food – Best Value

    Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken & Ancestral Low-Grain Formula Dry Cat Food

    Quality: 4.7/5
    Proteins: 36%
    Fats: 20%
    Calories: 388 kcal/cup
    Fiber: 1.9%

    Are you looking for the best diabetic cat food for the money? You just found one. Farmina Natural & Delicious chicken and ancestral low grain cat food is worth every penny.

    For starters, 94% of the protein in the cat meal is derived from animal sources. Your pet needs protein for energy as well as maintain their blood glucose levels. Besides, the high protein can help your overweight cat shed weight naturally.

    In addition, due to the cold infusion technology, the included high-quality vitamins in the recipe have a longer efficacy. And since it is a low glycemic formula, your diabetic cat will not spike its blood sugar after consuming it.

    Pros
    • Helps to fight free radicals
    • No peas, pea protein, lentils, chickpeas, and plant oils
    • Rich in animal protein
    • Low in carbohydrates

    Cons

    • Not grain-free


    3. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula Canned Cat Food – Premium Choice

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Formula Canned Cat Food

    Quality: 4.7/5
    Proteins: 12%
    Fats: 4.5%
    Calories: 163 kcal/cup
    Fiber: 2%

    There is no better premium diabetic cat food than the Purina Pro Plan veterinary diets, DM dietetic management food. This special diet is formulated to support the nutritional requirements of your diabetic cat.

    It is rich in proteins and low in carbohydrates. This helps your cat stay active and energetic while managing feline diabetes. It is also suitable for cats with enteritis, hyperglycemia, and chronic loose stools.

    The diet prevents the development of calcium oxalate crystals and struvite for better urinary health.

    Pros
    • Maintains blood glucose levels
    • Maintains lean body mass
    • Promotes a healthy immune system
    • Has antioxidants
    • Ideal for cats with persistent hyperglycemia, enteritis, chronic loose stools, and diabetes

    Cons

    • Expensive


    4. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Cat Food, Free-Range Chicken Recipe

    Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Chicken Recipe Cat Food

    Quality: 4.6/5
    Proteins: 38%
    Fats: 30%
    Calories: 312 kcal/cup
    Fiber: 2%

    Ziwi Peak air-dried cat food is a great diabetic cat food choice. Why? You might ask.

    Ziwi uses Z-Twintech air-drying technology that preserves the nutrition and goodness from the raw ingredients. It also prevents pathogenic bacteria. Besides, the ready-to-serve cat food is formulated to match your diabetic cat’s biological needs.

    It contains 96% meat, bone, organs, and New Zealand green mussels. These superfoods help promote your cat’s mobility, vitality, and immune health.

    The free-range chicken recipe is free of added carbs, fillers, grains, antibiotics, hormones, and growth promoters that are unhealthy for a diabetic cat.

    Pros
    • Meat is sustainably sourced
    • No hormones or antibiotics
    • Food undergoes twin-stage air-drying
    • No added carbohydrates
    • Omega fatty acids

    Cons

    • Some cats vomit after consumption
    • Expensive


    5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Feline Formula Dry Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Formula Dry Cat Food

    Quality: 4.6/5
    Proteins: 51%
    Fats: 15%
    Calories: 605 kcal/cup
    Fiber: 3%

    If your diabetic cat prefers pellets, introduce them to Purina Pro Plan veterinary diets DM dietetic feline formula.

    The recipe meets the nutritional requirements of a diabetic cat since it contains high protein content and low carbohydrates. Moreover, it is tasty for your furry friend.

    This dry cat food supports urinary health. Nutritionists, veterinarians, and researchers came together and formulated st/ox defense, which prevents calcium oxalate crystals and struvite from developing.

    It is also rich in antioxidants for a healthy immune system.

    Pros
    • Ideal for kittens and adults
    • Formulated by veterinarians, researchers, and nutritionists
    • Great-tasting for picky eaters
    • Promotes urinary health

    Cons

    • Requires vet approval
    • Has poultry by-products, soy, and corn


    6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Morsels in Gravy Canned Cat Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Morsels In Gravy Canned Cat Food

    Quality: 4.5/5
    Proteins: 7.5%
    Fats: 1.5%
    Calories: 55 kcal/cup
    Fiber: 2.4%

    Are you worried that your diabetic cat could suffer blood glucose fluctuations? Well, the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance morsels are formulated to balance that.

    It is rich in prebiotics and fibers that manage glucose fluctuations. The gravy contains reduced starch levels to maintain safe blood glucose levels.

    The veterinary diet is also enriched with high proteins to build and maintain your cat’s muscle mass. The fat content is moderate to help your diabetic cat maintain its ideal body weight.

    The canned food also promotes a healthy urinary environment for your feline.

    Pros
    • Balances blood glucose fluctuations
    • Rich in proteins and antioxidants
    • Low in starch
    • Antioxidants promote health and vitality

    Cons

    • Low protein content


    7. Orijen Dry Cat and Kitten Food

    Orijen Original Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Quality: 4.5/5
    Proteins: 40%
    Fats: 20%
    Calories: 463 kcal/cup
    Fiber: 3%

    Orijen dry cat and kitten food feature nourishing proteins to satisfy your diabetic cat’s biological need for meat. The food is formulated with wild-caught fish, free-run turkey, and chicken to make up 90% of proteins for maximum nutrition.

    The wide-caught pollock is rich in omega-3 fatty acids to support a lustrous coat and healthy skin in your diabetic cat. In addition, the diet improves heart health thanks to taurine, an amino acid found in proteins.

    Pros
    • Rich in protein
    • 90% of proteins come from animals
    • Grain-free diet

    Cons

    • Pricey


    8. Royal Canin Glycobalance Veterinary Diet Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance S:O Index Dry Cat Food

    Quality: 4.4/5
    Proteins: 44%
    Fats: 10%
    Calories: 320 kcal/cup
    Fiber: 6.7%

    Every time your diabetic cat eats a meal, there is a spike in blood sugar levels. Therefore, veterinarians and nutritionists crafted Royal Canin Glycobalance dry cat food to balance blood glucose in pets.

    The food combines prebiotics and fibers to manage glucose fluctuations to support post-prandial glucose levels. The reduced levels of starch make dry food safe for cats with diabetes.

    The glycobalance diet has high proteins to improve your feline’s muscle mass. It is rich in antioxidants, too, that support vitality and overall health.

    Pros
    • Manages glucose fluctuations
    • Supports a healthy urinary environment
    • Rich in proteins and antioxidants
    • Low starch levels
    • Formulated by nutritionists and veterinarians

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Some cats vomit and diarrhea after consumption


    9. Instinct Original Grain-Free Wet Cat Food Pate

    Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

    Quality: 4.3/5
    Proteins: 10%
    Fats: 9%
    Calories: 1322 kcal/kg
    Fiber: 3%

    Even though your pet is diabetic and underweight, they need to feed on real meat to satisfy their carnivorous nature. Therefore, Instinct Original grain-free wet cat food includes 95% lamb meat, turkey, and liver as its protein source for strong muscles.

    The rest of the recipe consists of fruits and vegetables that constitute 4% of carbohydrates. This range is ideal for your feline pet.

    The pate diet has 37 calories per ounce to keep your cat active and energetic. Therefore, if you need your diabetic cat to add some healthy weight, try this meal.

    Pros
    • Keeps your cat hydrated
    • Rich in animal protein
    • Low in carbohydrates
    • Nourishing for underweight cats
    • No fillers, grains, by-product meals, and preservatives
    • Pate texture is irresistible to most cats

    Cons

    • Inconsistencies in the texture and quality


    10.  Nulo Freestyle Minced Turkey & Duck Recipe

    Nulo Freestyle Minced Turkey & Duck in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food

    Quality: 4.0/5
    Proteins: 10%
    Fats: 3.5%
    Calories: 77 kcal/can
    Fiber: 1%

    Nulo Freestyle minced turkey and duck canned cat food is an irresistible delicacy. It is packed with proteins from turkey and duck to help your cat develop and maintain lean, strong muscles.

    It contains 82% moisture that hydrates your cat. Besides, since your diabetic cat needs less carbohydrate content, this diet is free of grains. The included digestible carbohydrates make up less than 5% calories.

    The recipe has powerful probiotics that improve nutrient absorption and support digestive health. Moreover, it is low-glycemic too.

    Pros
    • Rich in proteins
    • No grains, carrageenan, corn, soy, and wheat
    • No meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
    • Irresistible texture and flavor
    • Rich in vitamins, minerals, taurine, and omegas

    Cons

    • Expensive


    Buyer’s Guide

    What to Look for When Choosing Best Diabetic Cat Food

    As previously stated, diet plays a crucial role in treating diabetes in cats. Therefore, investigate these factors when choosing the best diabetic cat food.

    Wet Foods

    Did you know that wet foods are much better than dry foods for cats with diabetes? It turns out that starchy ingredients are necessary for dry foods to maintain their crunch and structure. For this reason, it is safe to say that wet foods are low in carbohydrate content.

    In addition, wet cat foods have plenty of moisture, which hydrates your pet and supports urinary tract health. Besides, since most cats with diabetes are overweight, moisture-rich food keeps your cat satiated between meals to encourage healthy weight loss.

    Carbohydrate Content

    Your diabetic cat food should feature more proteins and fewer carbohydrates. Ideally, the diet should include more than 50% protein and no more than 10% carbohydrates. When your cat consumes reduced levels of dietary carbohydrates, its blood sugar will go down.

    But here is the catch. When you switch to a low-carbohydrate diet, ensure you constantly test your feline’s blood sugar levels. Why?

    Because when the diet reduces the cat’s blood sugar and you retain the normal insulin dosage, it can result in low blood sugar levels. This can cause severe health effects to your pet, like permanent brain damage or, worse, death.

    Real Meat

    Cats are carnivores by nature. They need real meat in their diet to survive, including your diabetic feline. Therefore, when choosing diabetic cat food, look for beef, lamb, poultry, or seafood as the primary ingredient.

    The protein content in dry foods should constitute 40% or higher. On the other hand, look for 10% or more crude protein content in wet foods.

    Calories

    You should monitor your diabetic cat’s calorie intake, particularly if they are overweight. This is because you want them to shed the extra weight gradually. If cat food is high in calories, your pet may not lose weight.

    What if your diabetic feline is underweight? Well, it’s best to look for cat food with a high-calorie count to add weight healthily. If this concept is confusing, how about you consult your veterinarian?

    Gravy Foods

    Be careful with diabetic cat foods with gravy. The reason behind this is, the recipe includes starch thickeners that have a high carbohydrate content. And since your pet’s blood sugar spikes after eating carbohydrates, it is best to keep off gravy foods.

    tabby cat eating cat food out of bowl inside
    Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock
    Beneficial Supplements

    High-quality diabetic food should also include chelated minerals, vitamins, and probiotics to support a healthy immune system. In addition, look for fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the ingredients since they are natural sources of essential nutrients.

    Tips to Keep in Mind When Feeding a Diabetic Cat

    The responsibility to balance your feline’s blood sugar levels solely depends on you as a pet owner. Therefore, follow these tips to achieve the goal.

    • Maintain a high-protein, low-carb diet.
    • Be consistent with the feeding times. Have specific feeding times to help stabilize your cat’s blood sugar levels.
    • Feed your kitty right before you give them an insulin shot. This way, you modify the dose should they consume less. For more information about this, talk to your vet.
    • Minimize cat treats and serve them at specific times. Besides, it is best to serve high-protein treats.
    • For an overweight, diabetic cat, choose foods that help with healthy weight loss while balancing blood sugar levels.

    hepper cat paw divider

    Summary

    Not all cat foods are best for diabetic cats. But Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport cat food is a suitable choice because it manages blood sugar levels.

    Alternatively, try Purina Pro Plan veterinary diets, DM dietetic management food. It is enriched with proteins and antioxidants but low in carbohydrates.

    If you have trouble choosing the best diabetic cat food, consult your vet for advice.


    Featured Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock