Feeding Tips for a Cat With Diabetes (cont.)

When Should I Feed My Diabetic Cat?

You might have become used to leaving out the food bowl for your cat to graze whenever she pleases, but you may need to change that routine once your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes. “It's very important that you coordinate your meals with the insulin dosing,” says Kathryn Michel, DVM, associate professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. “You need to have their meals timed with their insulin, so they're absorbing those calories when the peak insulin is occurring so they don't become hypoglycemic [have low blood sugar].”

Typically you'll feed your cat twice a day, administering a dose of insulin right after those feedings. Frostig feeds his cat half a can of high-protein, low-carb cat food in the morning and half a can at night, following each portion with a shot of insulin.

Your regimen may be slightly different, but regardless of when you feed your cat, it's important that he eats. Without food in his stomach he may have to skip an insulin dose, which could be dangerous to his health. If your cat hates the new high-protein food your vet has chosen, or he balks at eating twice a day instead of grazing, it's better to go back to your old dietary routine for a while to make sure that your cat is eating.

Do I Need to Monitor My Diabetic Cat's Health?

Because feline diabetes can have some serious complications, it is very important that you keep track of your cat's health. Check her blood sugar levels, either at home or by regularly taking her to the vet. Watch her appetite, weight, and food and water consumption. Also check the litter box to make sure she's urinating the same amount. Any variations in her normal routine warrant a call to your veterinarian.