The Best Diabetic Cat Food? We Checked

Written by Susan Olayode
Updated: February 27, 2023
© iStock.com/Ukususha

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall diabetic cat food is Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport with Liver Flavor Canned Cat Food, Veterinary Diet.
  • When you’re shopping for diabetic cat food, keep the following criterion in mind: carb content, calories, wet cat food, animal protein.
  • In this article, we reviewed three types of food: wet cat food, dry cat food, prescription cat food. There are pros and cons to each, which we detailed towards the end of this review for your convenience.

Nobody wants to hear that their favorite cat is diabetic. It’s a scary diagnosis that can seem like a life sentence and a point from which there is no return.

Diabetes is not the end, however. Usually, with some lifestyle changes and medication, you can manage this illness in your cat. Diabetes does not mean that your cat’s quality of life has to change.

One way that vets recommend helping your diabetic cat is by monitoring their diet. There is no better way to control the sugar level of your cat than through their diet. Weight management is also recommended, but diet is known to have a more direct link. 

The best diabetic cat food is one that has lots of protein and a reduced amount of carbs. Now many brands claim to offer this, but as we know, your cat deserves only the best. That’s why we’ve researched, ranked, and reviewed the best diabetic cat foods available so all you have to do is choose the one that’s right for your precious kitty.

  1. Hill's Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport with Liver Flavor Canned Cat Food, Veterinary Diet, 5.5 oz., 24-Pack Wet Food
    • Created by vets and nutritionists
    • Manage your cat's glucose level
    • Promote a healthy immune system
    • Clinically tested
    Check Amazon
  2. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management
    • Specially formulated for diabetic cats
    • High in proteins
    • Contains antioxidants
    • Cats love the flavor
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Nulo Freestyle Cat & Kitten Food
    • Contains 83% animal-based protein for better flavor and more amino acids.
    • Includes less carbs and low glycemic ingredients like lentils, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas.
    • Contains BC30 biotic to support healthy gut flora to aid digestion and enhance metabolism and immune response
    • Grain-free and free from corn, wheat gluten, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors


    Check Amazon
  4. Forza10 Wet Diabetic Cat Food for Diabetic Support and Control
    • This specially designed formula helps support therapy of insulin-dependent diabetes in cats
    • Based on salmon, which contains omega-3 fatty acid for overall health and helps control glucose intake
    • Enriched with dried kelp, bitter orange, and chitosan for anti-inflammatory and immune support.
    • Works as a diabetic management cat food.
    Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals’ Top Picks for Best Diabetic Cat Food

#1 Best Overall: Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport with Liver Flavor Canned Cat Food, Veterinary Diet

Cats love the taste of Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport with Liver Flavor Canned Cat Food, Veterinary Diet, and we aren’t surprised. This recipe was created by the best vets and nutritionists to manage your cat’s glucose level and weight while promoting a healthy immune system. In fact, it has been clinically proven to reduce blood glucose levels and weight and to reduce body fat with therapeutic levels of L-carnitine, high protein and low carbohydrates.

It’s also enriched with arginine and taurine, two essential amino acids that cats must acquire from dietary sources.

You must obtain a prescription from a veterinarian to purchase this food.

The primary complaint from reviewers is that it’s expensive.

Pros and Cons of Hill’s Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport with Liver Flavor Canned Cat Food, Veterinary Diet

ProsCons
This canned cat food was developed by veterinarians and nutritionists to manage cats’ glucose level and weight while promoting a healthy immune system.A veterinarian’s prescription is required for purchase.
It has been clinically proven to reduce blood glucose levels and weight and to reduce body fat.The primary complaint from reviewers is that it’s expensive.
It features therapeutic levels of L-carnitine, high protein, and low carbohydrates.
It’s enriched with arginine and taurine, essential amino acids that cats just acquire from dietary sources.
Best Overall
Hill's Prescription Diet m/d GlucoSupport with Liver Flavor Canned Cat Food, Veterinary Diet, 5.5 oz., 24-Pack Wet Food
  • Created by vets and nutritionists
  • Manage your cat's glucose level
  • Promote a healthy immune system
  • Clinically tested
Check Amazon

2. Best For Picky Eaters: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management is formulated to meet the unique nutritional requirements of diabetic felines. This formula was created by a team of scientists, including veterinarians and nutritionists, to be high in protein and low in carbohydrates to support healthy feline glucose levels.

And it’s also specially formulated to support urinary health by promoting an environment that’s unfavorable to the development of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals.

A veterinarian’s prescription is required to purchase this product.

An overwhelming majority of reviewers reported that their cats loved this food. But since cats are the fickle creatures they are, some didn’t like it.

Pros and Cons of Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management

ProsCons
This wet food was formulated to meet the special dietary needs of diabetic cats.You will require a veterinarian’s prescription to purchase this food.
It’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates to support healthy glucose levels in catsBut since cats are the fickle creatures they are, some didn’t like it.
It supports urinary health, too, by creating an environment that’s unfavorable to the development of struvite and calcium oxalate crystals.
Most cats love the flavor of this food.
Best For Picky Eaters
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management
  • Specially formulated for diabetic cats
  • High in proteins
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Cats love the flavor
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Dry for All Life Stages: Nulo Freestyle Cat & Kitten Food, Premium Grain-Free Dry Small Bite Kibble Cat Food, High Animal-Based Protein with BC30 Probiotic for Digestive Health Support

Nulo Freestyle Cat & Kitten Food, Premium Grain-Free Dry Small Bite Kibble Cat Food, High Animal-Based Protein with BC30 Probiotic for Digestive Health Support is appropriate for kittens, adults, and seniors. This proprietary formula includes 83% animal-based protein for the amino acids your feline needs and better flavor It also includes less carbs and utilizes low-glycemic ingredients like lentils, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas.

The recipe supports gut health with flora that aids digestion and enhances metabolism and immune response. Plus, it’s grain-free. In fact, the first four ingredients are made from animal sources.

Nulo Pet Foods is based in Austin, TX. Their products contain no corn, wheat, gluten, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

No prescription is required to purchase this food.

A few cat parents reported that their cats didn’t like this food. Several said that their feline friends vomited after eating it.

Pros and Cons of Freestyle Cat & Kitten Food, Premium Grain-Free Dry Small Bite Kibble Cat Food

ProsCons
This grain-free recipe is appropriate for kittens, adult cats, and seniors.A few cat parents reported that their cats didn’t like this food.
It features 83% animal-based protein for the amino acids your cat needs and for better flavor.Several said that their feline friends vomited after eating it.
It features less carbs and includes low-glycemic ingredients like lentils, sweet potatoes , and chickpeas.
It includes flora to promote gut health, aid digestion and enhances metabolism and immune response.
It doesn’t require a veterinarian’s prescription.
Best Kibble
Nulo Freestyle Cat & Kitten Food
  • Contains 83% animal-based protein for better flavor and more amino acids.
  • Includes less carbs and low glycemic ingredients like lentils, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas.
  • Contains BC30 biotic to support healthy gut flora to aid digestion and enhance metabolism and immune response
  • Grain-free and free from corn, wheat gluten, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors


Check Amazon

4. Best Fish Flavored: Forza10 Wet Diabetic Cat Food for Diabetic Support and Control, Fish Flavor Canned Cat Food Wet, for Adult Cats with Diabetes

If your diabetic cat likes fish, it will love Forza10 Wet Diabetic Cat Food for Diabetic Support and Control, Fish Flavor Canned Cat Food Wet, for Adult Cats with Diabetes. This wet food recipe is specially formulated to support insulin-dependent diabetic cats.

It’s based on salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acid for great overall and helps control glucose intake. It’s enriched with dried kelp, bitter orange, and chitosan for their anti-inflammatory and immune supporting benefits. And this food is made in Iceland from natural raw ingredients that have antioxidant properties that help eliminate and prevent food intolerances.

This vet-recommended recipe tastes great and is ideal as a diabetic management cat food.

Several reviewers said that their cats wouldn’t eat this food.

Pros and Cons of Forza10 Wet Diabetic Cat Food for Diabetic Support and Control, Fish Flavor Canned Cat Food Wet, for Adult Cats with Diabetes

ProsCons
This wet food recipe is formulated specifically for insulin-dependent diabetic cats.Several reviewers said that their cats wouldn’t eat this food.
It’s based on salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acid for overall health and helps control glucose intake.
It’s enriched with dried kelp, bitter orange, and chitosan, which have antioxidant properties that help eliminate and prevent food intolerances.
It’s vet recommended, tastes great, and can be used as a diabetic management cat food.
Best Fish Flavored
Forza10 Wet Diabetic Cat Food for Diabetic Support and Control
  • This specially designed formula helps support therapy of insulin-dependent diabetes in cats
  • Based on salmon, which contains omega-3 fatty acid for overall health and helps control glucose intake
  • Enriched with dried kelp, bitter orange, and chitosan for anti-inflammatory and immune support.
  • Works as a diabetic management cat food.
Check Amazon

Choosing The Best Diabetic Cat Food What To Look For

As you already know, you can improve your diabetic cat’s condition by selecting the right diet. Foods high in protein and low in carbs can help immensely. When choosing the best diabetic cat food, below are some important factors to watch out for:

Carb Content

Diabetic cats need foods that contain lower carbs and higher proteins. A reduced carbohydrate consumption will lead to a lower blood sugar level for your cat. When switching, however, please ensure that you monitor your cat’s sugar level. Most times, when a diet like this is combined with insulin, it can lower the sugar level too much, which is also problematic.

Calories

Calories affect the weight of your cat. Most diabetic cats are overweight, which stops their cells from properly using insulin. Controlling your cat’s calorie intake is a great way to help them gradually lose weight and improve.

Wet Cat Food

Wet cat food is recommended for diabetic cats because most dry cat foods have high starch content. They need it to remain crunchy, which is not the case for wet cat food. As we’ve already established, high starch content is bad for cats with diabetes. Wet cat food also has moisture which is excellent for your cat’s urinary health.

Animal Protein

All felines are obligate carnivores, which means that they need meat to be healthy. Your diabetic cat needs the same too. This is why the diabetic cat food we reviewed here has high animal protein content.

The Different Types of Cat Food: Pros and Cons Compared

When choosing the right cat food for your cat, you should first be aware of the various options. While there are types available, for this article we discuss wet cat food, dry cat food, and prescription cat food. Here are the pros and cons of each to help you make a better-informed decision.

Wet Cat Food

As we’ve already discussed, wet cat food is best as it often has a lower carbohydrate content than dry cat food. It usually comes canned and does not need to be refrigerated until it’s opened.

ProsCons
Low carb contentUsually more expensive than the dry option
Moisture to keep your cat hydrated.It must be refrigerated and used within five to seven days after opening
Great for your cat’s urinary system 
Moisture also helps to keep your cat feeling full in-between meals which is great for weight loss 

Dry Cat Food

Dry cat food is the most common type of cat food but might not be best for your diabetic cat. This is because it is usually made with a high carb content to maintain its crunchiness. However, some dry cat food can be specifically made with low carb content.

ProsCons
Usually less expensive than the wet optionCannot be totally carb-free
Does not need refrigerationYour cat needs an additional moisture source
Comes in many varieties 
  

Prescription Cat Food

Prescription cat food can be dry or wet, but you’ll need a prescription from your veterinarian to purchase it.

ProsCons
Specially formulated for diabetic catsYou need a veterinarian’s prescription to purchase
Tested and trusted ingredientsCan be expensive
Usually has a great taste 

The Best Diabetic Cat Food? We Checked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What's the best food to feed a diabetic cat?

The best recipes formulated for diabetic cats are high in protein and low on carbohydrates. In fact, less than 10% of the calories in your diabetic cat’s food should come from carbohydrates.

Should I feed my diabetic cat wet or dry food?

In general, wet food is better for diabetic cats because it’s lower in carbohydrates. There are some dry foods that are especially formulated for diabetic felines. They typically include carbohydrates with a low glycemic index such as lentils, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas.

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