Feline Diabetes and Weight Loss

by Katie
(Denver, Colorado)


My cat was diagnosed with diabetes about two months ago. When first diagnosed he was at 14.2 pounds. Since that time he has lost 2 pounds. We are following the recommended prescription food for cats with diabetes, which the vet informed us that it is designed to help with weight loss. We don't want the cat to loose any more weight he looks too skinny and seems more listless and disinterested in doing things he typically enjoys.

Is there a way to help him with weight gain, or at least to sustain the weight he is at currently? I am going to try to give him some fancy feast as listed above. That might help. Apparently the taste of the prescription diet food is awful.

Thank you.

Vet Suggestions: Cat Diabetes and Weight Loss

Hello Katie,

Helping a diabetic cat lose weight is an important part of treatment, but it can also be an indication that the cat’s diabetes is not well-regulated. Is your veterinarian aware of this situation? If not, he or she will probably want to see your cat and run some lab work.

Oftentimes, the best way to get a feel for what a cat’s blood sugar levels are throughout the day is for the owner to test small blood samples taken every two hours while the cat goes about its normal routine. If this isn’t possible, a veterinarian can run a similar test in the hospital, but the results aren’t as reliable since cats rarely eat normally when hospitalized and can have a strong stress response that will alter the results. A onetime test called a fructosamine level can also provide information in some cases.

Diabetic management is all about finding the right balance between diet and insulin levels. If your cat is not yet on insulin, it may be time to start that medication. If he is on insulin, his dose may need to be adjusted.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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