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8 Best Cat Foods for Diabetic Cats

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Medically reviewed by  JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM
Updated by  Kate Barrington
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Kirsten McCarthy / Cats.com

The best cat food for diabetes is a low-carb diet that keeps blood sugar under control while providing all the protein, fat, and other essential nutrients your cat needs to thrive.

With obesity and diabetes so closely linked, great foods for feline diabetes also help your cat slim down to reach a healthy weight. That’s why we recommend Tiki Cat wet cat food as the overall best cat food for diabetic cats. With less than 2% dry matter carbohydrate content, this low-starch food controls blood sugar and reduces your cat’s reliance on insulin.

We love Tiki Cat, but it isn’t our only top pick for diabetic cats. Read on to see our favorite diabetes-friendly cat food recipes.

At a Glance: Best Cat Food for Diabetic Cats To Buy

hours of
Overall Best
Picked by 31 people today!

Tiki Cat After Dark Chicken Recipe in Broth Wet Cat Food

  • Exceptionally low in carbohydrates
  • Rich in animal-sourced protein
  • Low in calories to support health weight loss
Runner Up
Picked by 31 people today!

Smalls Fresh Smooth Fish Cat Food

  • Contains over 62% dry matter protein
  • Rich in animal-sourced omega-3s
  • Conveniently shipped to your door
Best Wet Food
Picked by 25 people today!

Open Farm Harvest Chicken Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food

  • Single source of animal protein
  • Contains under 10% carbohydrates
  • Recyclable carton reseals for storing leftovers
Best Dry Food
Picked by 21 people today!

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Kibble Dry Cat Food

  • Packed with animal-sourced protein
  • Very low carbohydrate content
  • Small kibbles are easy to eat
Best Senior Dry Food
Picked by 18 people today!

Young Again LID Zero Mature Health Dry Cat Food

  • Rich in animal-sourced protein
  • Limited list of digestible ingredients
  • Contains under 1% dry matter carbs
Best Senior Wet Food
Picked by 31 people today!

Weruva Truluxe Quick ‘N Quirky Wet Cat Food

  • High in protein but low in fat and calories
  • Relatively low phosphorus level to support kidney health
  • Good source of hydrating moisture
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Picked by 31 people today!

Raised Right Original Turkey Adult Cat Recipe

  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Contains less than 10% dry matter carbohydrates
  • Rich in moisture to support hydration
Best for Weight Loss
Picked by 25 people today!

Caru Classics Turkey Stew Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

  • High in protein with low calorie density
  • Cooked in a flavorful gravy
  • Very low in carbohydrates
Best for Picky Eaters
Picked by 21 people today!

Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Funk in the Trunk Chicken in Pumpkin Consommé Canned Cat Food

  • Multi-protein flavor many cats find appealing
  • Good source of hydrating moisture
  • Low carbohydrate content

What is Feline Diabetes?

Feline diabetes is a hormonal condition that affects the body’s ability to metabolize glucose. There are two main types of diabetes mellitus — type 1 and type 2. Extremely rare among cats, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that destroys the patient’s ability to produce insulin.

Instead, nearly all diabetic cats exhibit the metabolic patterns of type 2 diabetes. Also known as idiopathic hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), type 2 diabetes is an endocrine condition that typically involves some combination of insulin resistance and diminished insulin production in the pancreas. Many cats with diabetes require daily insulin injections, but dietary modification is key to managing the condition.

Also Read: Feline Diabetes: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Remission Demystified

Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM, Esq., cat nutrition expert and author of Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life, describes feline diabetes as “a human-caused disease that kills cats.” Dr. Hodgkins has a point. Diabetes is common in cats fed high-carbohydrate diets that are out of sync with their biological needs.

Most diabetic cats who leave behind a biologically inappropriate diet see significant reductions in their insulin requirements. Many actually go into remission and no longer need insulin injections.

The best time to clean up your cat’s diet is before he shows symptoms of diabetes. As diabetes progresses, the pancreas may become exhausted and stop secreting insulin. In this case, there’s no hope of remission and insulin therapy becomes a life-long commitment. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

What to Look for in Cat Food for Diabetic Cats

The best food for diabetic cats honors your carnivorous cat’s dietary requirements. As obligate carnivores, cats thrive on nutrients derived from animals. They can’t survive without the amino acids, fatty acids, and micronutrients naturally found in their prey.

What your cat’s natural diet doesn’t have is large concentrations of carbohydrates. A wild feline diet may have as little as zero carbohydrate matter. What little carbohydrate or fiber their diet might contain would come from nibbles of grass and digested plant matter found in the digestive tracts of their prey.

Low carbohydrate content is key when feeding diabetic cats, but it’s not the only factor to consider. Here’s what to look for in cat food for diabetic cats.

Dry Matter Carbohydrate Content Under 10%

Compared to dogs and other omnivores, a cat’s physiology isn’t designed to digest heavy carbohydrate loads. For example, cats lack salivary amylase (carbohydrate-digesting enzymes in their saliva). Further down the digestive tract, cats have levels of the digestive enzymes necessary to break down carbohydrates in the small intestine.

To put those details together, cats have a limited ability to metabolize large glucose loads. Even healthy, non-diabetic cats exhibit mild insulin resistance. Look for a cat food that contains no more than 10% carbohydrate measured as dry matter.

High Moisture Content

To help flush excess blood sugar from the body, many diabetic cats develop increased thirst so they drink more water. Cats don’t tend to drink a lot of water on their own, however, so a high-moisture diet is generally the best way to support your cat’s hydration.

Cats with diabetes also have an increased risk of urinary tract infections and bladder stones. A high-moisture diet may help dilute urinary crystals to prevent painful inflammation and obstructions. Consider canned cat food, fresh or homemade cat food, or rehydrated freeze-dried cat food as an alternative to dry kibble.

Balanced Calorie and Fat Content

Diabetes is closely linked to obesity and overweight diabetic cats should be fed portioned, scheduled meals to prevent overeating. Losing weight may help you manage your cat’s diabetes, but don’t just start feeding them less of their usual food — this could result in micronutrient deficiencies. Instead, choose a high-moisture diet rich in lean protein with low to moderate fat content.

Not all diabetic cats are overweight. If your cat struggles to maintain lean muscle mass, a calorie-dense diet with higher levels of fat may be appropriate. The amount your cat can eat depends on the size of their stomach, so simply offering more food may not be enough.

The Best Diabetic Cat Foods: Our Top 8 Recommendations

Our top pick, Tiki Cat Hookena Luau Cat Food is ultra low-carb and packed with both species-appropriate animal protein and hydrating moisture. It may not be the ideal choice for your unique cat, however.

Every cat has their own needs and preferences which is why we’ve included a range of options categorized by price, food type, and other key considerations.

#1 Overall Best: Tiki Cat Hookena Luau Cat Food

  • Made In: Thailand
  • Guaranteed Protein: 17% Min
  • Carbohydrates (Dry Matter): 1.36%
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 30
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $4.44 per day

With an ingredient list centering around meat and under 2% carbohydrate content on a dry matter basis, this food skips the starch and delivers all the protein your cat needs. It’s also a high-moisture wet food which helps keep your diabetic cat hydrated.

This food features a combination of flaked tuna and chicken, lending it a fresh consistency and a flavor that most cats seem to love. Plus, at 30 calories per ounce, it’s not overly calorie-dense. If you follow the feeding recommendations, you shouldn’t have to worry about weight gain.

The downside of this recipe is that it relies primarily on plant-based fat, though it does contain tuna fish oil as an animal source of omega-3 fatty acids.


Chicken Broth, Tuna, Chicken, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Tuna Fish Oil, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Iron Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Ingredients We Liked: Tuna, Chicken, Tuna Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Sunflower Seed Oil

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 17%
Crude Fat: 3%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 1.7%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 77.27%
Fat: 13.64%
Carbs: 1.36%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 69.15%
Fat: 29.63%
Carbs: 1.22%

What We Liked:

  • Exceptionally low in carbohydrates
  • Low in fat and moisture-packed to encourage a healthy weight
  • Contains tuna fish oil as a source of nourishing omega-3s
  • Free from chemical preservatives, artificial ingredients, and animal byproducts

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Fairly expensive

#2 Runner Up: Smalls Smooth Fish Fresh Cat Food

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 15% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 36
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $4.00 per day

While higher in carbohydrates than our top pick, Smalls fresh food is still much lower in carbs than the average commercial cat food. It’s also packed with protein and hydrating moisture to help support lean muscle mass and overall health.

This Smalls Smooth Fish cat food recipe features fresh cod and salmon as the top two ingredients, both whole sources of animal protein. It also contains cod liver oil as an animal source of omega-3s, though the primary added fat source is plant-based (canola oil).

All Smalls fresh foods are made with human-grade ingredients and delivered to your door in regular shipments. The food isn’t pre-portioned for your cat but you can adjust the size of your order according to your cat’s calorie needs. This recipe has a smooth, pate-style texture and comes in 5-ounce packages.


Salmon, Cod, Green Beans, Pumpkin, Dried Yeast, Canola Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Cod Liver Oil, Choline Chloride, Dried Parsley, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Magnesium Proteinate, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin.

Ingredients We Liked: Salmon, Cod, Cod Liver Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 15%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 76%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 62.5%
Fat: 20.83%
Fiber: 6.25%
Carbs: 10.42%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 50.6%
Fat: 40.96%
Carbs: 8.43%

What We Liked

  • Contains over 62% dry matter protein
  • Rich in animal-sourced omega-3s
  • Conveniently shipped to your door
  • Very low carbohydrate content

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only available as a subscription plan
  • No phone support (text and email only)

#3 Best Freeze-Dried: Open Farm Harvest Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 47% Min
  • Carbohydrates (Dry Matter):16%
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 149
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $3.75 per day

Made with 100% traceable ingredients that are both ethically and sustainably sourced, Open Farm freeze-dried cat food is a premium option. With its high content of animal-sourced protein and fat, this food is species-appropriate. It’s the low carbohydrate content just over 3% measured as dry matter, however, that makes it a top choice for diabetic cats.

Featuring chicken with ground bone and chicken organs as the primary ingredients, this is a single-protein formula. Salmon oil provides animal-sourced omega-3 fatty acids.

Like the previous pick, this formula is very low in moisture. To support your cat’s hydration, it’s wise to soak the food in water or broth before feeding it to your cat. If your cat isn’t used to freeze-dried food, warming the liquid prior to soaking may make the food more appealing.


Chicken with Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Neck, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Dandelion Greens, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin) Taurine, Organic Cranberries, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite) Salt, Salmon Oil, Mixed Tocopherols, Magnesium Sulfate, Rosemary Extract.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken with Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Neck, Salmon Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 47%
Crude Fat: 40%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 49.47%
Fat: 42.11%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 3.16%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 31.94%
Fat: 66.02%
Carbs: 2.04%

What We Liked:

  • Species-appropriate blend of muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Short list of highly digestible ingredients
  • Very low carbohydrate content, under 5% as dry matter

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Low moisture, should be rehydrated prior to feeding
  • Can be expensive as a staple diet

#4 Best Dry Food: Young Again ZERO Cat & Kitten Formula Dry Food

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 54% Min
  • Carbohydrates (Dry Matter): 1.67%
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 128
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $0.55 per day

It’s unusual to find dry cat food with under 25% carbohydrates, let alone one that contains less than 5% carbohydrate on a dry matter basis. Young Again cat food is specifically designed to be a low-carb choice and it is very popular among diabetic cats.

This particular formula features hydrolyzed pork as the primary protein, supplemented with chicken meal and herring meal. Chicken fat is the main source of added fat, though the food also contains fish oil which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Keep in mind that this food is very calorie-dense, so you don’t need to feed your cat as much as you might with other dry foods. Also, as a dry food, it’s low in moisture. Make sure to supplement your cat’s moisture intake elsewhere in their diet.


Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Guar Gum, Herring Meal, DL Methionine, L-Lysine, Fish Oil, Psyllium Husk (Source of Soluble Dietary Fiber), Potassium Citrate, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Brewers Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, L-Ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Source of Stabilized Vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Betaine Anhydrous, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Salt, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Copper Proteinate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dehydrated Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Beta Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Potassium Sorbate and Citric Acid (Preservatives).

Ingredients We Liked: Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Herring Meal, Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 54%
Crude Fat: 26%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 5.5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 60%
Fat: 28.89%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 1.67%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 45.51%
Fat: 53.22%
Carbs: 1.26%

What We Liked:

  • Low carbohydrate content under 5%
  • Relies primarily on animal protein and fat
  • Doesn’t contain grains or starchy potatoes

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No dry food provides the moisture your cat needs
  • Guar gum may cause loose stools in some cats

#5 Best For Sensitive Stomach: Raised Right Original Turkey Adult Cat Recipe

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 21% Min
  • Carbohydrates (Dry Matter): 6.06%
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Calories Per Ounce: 44
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $3.20 per day

Featuring fresh turkey thigh, turkey heart, and turkey liver as the main ingredients, this fresh cat food formula contains over 60% protein measured as dry matter. The carbohydrate content comes in at just over 6% dry matter, making it an appropriate choice for diabetic cats.

In addition to being high in protein, this food contains plenty of hydrating moisture. It’s also rich in animal-sourced omega-3 fatty acids from cod liver oil, though flaxseed oil contributes to the fat content as well. The food is fairly calorie-dense at 44 calories per ounce and is free from artificial additives.

The downside of Raised Right cat food is that you can only purchase it in quantities of four or sixteen 1-pound bags. Some cats also appear to dislike the flavor or texture of the food.


Turkey Thigh, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Carrots, Blueberries, Organic Spearmint, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Shell Powder, Flaxseed Oil, Organic Dried Kelp, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate.

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey Thigh, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Cod Liver Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 21%
Crude Fat: 8%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 67%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 63.64%
Fat: 24.24%
Fiber: 6.06%
Carbs: 6.06%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 49.49%
Fat: 45.79%
Carbs: 4.71%

What We Liked:

  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Contains less than 10% carbohydrates measured as dry matter
  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
  • Cod liver oil provides plenty of animal-sourced omega-3s

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some cats seem to dislike the flavor
  • Only available in quantities of 4 or 16 bags

#6 Best For Weight Gain: RAWZ 96% Turkey & Turkey Liver Pate Canned Cat Food

  • Made In: Thailand
  • Guaranteed Protein: 11% Min
  • Carbohydrates (Dry Matter): 8.52%
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 37
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $3.25 per day

Although most diabetic cats are overweight or obese, some cats with undiagnosed or untreated diabetes may become underweight over time. In this case, the best food combines low carbohydrate content with generous doses of high-quality protein and animal-sourced fat.

This recipe is a little higher in carbohydrates than some on this list but still comes in under the 10% mark. It’s a high-protein formula made with a single source of animal protein, and it is rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration.

With about 37 calories per ounce, this food is more energy-dense than the other options on the list. That makes it a standout option for cats who need to put on some weight.


Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Broth, Fenugreek Seeds, Dandelion Greens, Taurine, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Salt, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Turkey Liver

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 9%
Crude Fat: 8%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 40.91%
Fat: 36.36%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 18.18%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 27.75%
Fat: 59.91%
Carbs: 12.33%

What We Liked:

  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Rich in hydrating moisture
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • May help underweight cats gain weight

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Fairly expensive
  • Some cats dislike the texture

#7 Best For Gravy Lovers: Caru Classic Turkey Stew Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 11% Min
  • Carbohydrates (Dry Matter): 2.78%
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 30
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $3.39 per day

It doesn’t do you any good to switch your cat’s diet to something healthier and lower in carbohydrates if they won’t eat it. If your cat is a fan of gravy, they may like this turkey stew.

Like many cat foods in gravy, this recipe does contain some added starch. The dry matter carbohydrate content is still very low, however, under 3%. The food contains over 60% dry matter protein as well, which, combined with the high moisture content of the food, makes this a species-appropriate choice for cats.

This turkey stew is made with human-grade ingredients and isn’t thickened with carrageenan or gums. It’s made in small batches in the United States and comes in a resealable cardboard carton rather than an aluminum can.


Turkey, Turkey Broth, Tapioca Starch, Egg Whites, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Apples, Natural Flavor, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Bitartrate, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Dandelion Greens, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Iodine Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite).

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Egg Whites

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Tapioca Starch

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 9%
Crude Fat: 2%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 82%
Ash: 3.6%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 50%
Fat: 11.11%
Fiber: 5.56%
Carbs: 13.33%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 55.36%
Fat: 29.88%
Carbs: 14.76%

What We Liked:

  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Rich in moisture to support hydration
  • Contains less than 3% dry matter carbohydrate

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some find the consistency too watery

#8 Best Novel Protein: Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

  • Made In: New Zealand
  • Guaranteed Protein: 9.5% Min
  • Carbohydrates (Dry Matter): 6.82%
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 38
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $5.01 per day

If your cat has food allergies on top of their diabetes, it may be wise to switch to a novel protein diet. Ziwi Peak offers several canned food formulas made with novel proteins like lamb and venison. This particular recipe features 92% meat and organs from lamb as well as New Zealand green mussels.

Measured as dry matter, this formula contains over 43% protein and 27% fat. Even with chickpeas as an ingredient, the dry matter carbohydrate content remains low — just under 7% measured as dry matter.

Because it’s made with a relatively short list of animal-sourced ingredients, this recipe should be highly digestible for most cats. Chickpeas and other legumes can be difficult for some cats to process, but they’re finely ground and don’t seem to make up a significant portion of the recipe.


Lamb, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Chickpeas, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone, DL-Methionine, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Ingredients We Liked: Lamb, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Chickpeas

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 9.5%
Crude Fat: 6%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 43.18%
Fat: 27.27%
Fiber: 9.09%
Carbs: 6.82%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 37.15%
Fat: 56.98%
Carbs: 5.87%

What We Liked:

  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
  • Low carbohydrate content under 10% dry matter
  • Short list of ingredients

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Chickpeas may be hard for some cats to digest
  • Fairly expensive

Why Trust Cats.com

Before making our recommendations, we personally purchase and tested the foods on this list. All products are purchased at full retail price and subjected to in-home testing with our own cats.

Throughout the process, we analyze the product information, research the brand, read customer reviews, and examine the food. We also gauge our cats’ reactions to the food’s smell, taste, texture, and general appeal.

In addition to performing our own research and analysis, we sent several recipes to an ISO 17025-certified food testing and analysis lab. This testing yields a report that shows the exact nutrient content of the recipe, as well as potential contaminants like mold, yeast, microbes, and heavy metals.

Also Read: Why We Lab Test Cat Food And How To Interpret The Reports

This guide should not be taken as a substitute for veterinary advice. That said, we consulted with seven veterinarians to make sure our recommendations are appropriate for cats with diabetes.

Our Veterinary Advisors:


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best food for cats with diabetes?

The best cat food for diabetic cats is a species-appropriate diet focused on animal ingredients with minimal carbohydrate content to help control blood sugar.

Is grain-free dry cat food good for diabetic cats?

Grain-free diets aren’t necessarily low-carb — many contain significant amounts of starchy vegetables and legumes. A grain-free cat food may be appropriate for a diabetic cat if it contains less than 10% carbohydrate measured as dry matter.

Is wet or dry food better for diabetic cats?

Wet cat food is generally a more species-appropriate choice for cats and many diabetic cats can benefit from the higher moisture content. That said, every recipe is different and it’s important to evaluate the product on its nutritional merits before feeding it to your cat.

Note: The values in our nutrient charts are automatically calculated based on the guaranteed analysis and may not represent typical nutrient values. This may lead to discrepancies between the charts and the values mentioned in the body of the review.

About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

18 thoughts on “8 Best Cat Foods for Diabetic Cats”

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  1. Dillon

    Why are the calculations for carbs so different in the text describing the food from graphs?

    Weruva gravy lovers says around 2% carbs in the text, but in your graphs shows closer to 15%. How does that make sense and how is 15% carbs low carb for cats?

    I’ve actually seen very odd calculations all over the site, I’m not sure what to trust

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Dillon, the charts and the percentages given in the article were calculated using different methods. I gathered the 2% mentioned in the review from the typical nutrient analysis shown on the Weruva website, while the pie chart was calculated automatically based on the guaranteed analysis (less accurate). I’m aware of the strange discrepancies across the site and have been talking with our development team about a way we can make these automatic calculations more accurate. In the meantime, I apologize for the confusion. Generally, the numbers given in the text will be more reliable than those in the charts, as frustrating as that is. Thank you for reading the site and asking this question.

  2. Gary Reedy

    I am trying to determine the relative appropriateness of available canned foods for my diabetic cat, but the labels don’t include % carbs on a dry matter basis. Apparently, the standard reporting for labels is % protein, fat, fiber and moisture but this seems to miss the carb differences. The only other thing I see is kcal/kg or cal/can … can that be a helpful index of carbs?

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Gary, you can get a rough estimate of any food’s carbohydrate content by subtracting all of the other percentages (protein, fat, fiber, and moisture) from 100%. This calculator makes it easy. Hope this helps!

  3. Mark Glasser

    Have you an opinion on the Hill’s M/D diabetic cat food — both dry and wet ?
    My 9 yr old cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes . Our vet recommends the Hill’s products . Our cat doesn’t seem to like the dry , which she is used to eating . My goal is to get her switched to the wet . She has never tried any wet foods , so this may be a challenge .
    I’d like to find Nancy ( cat’s name ) a good diabetic food she will like . Thanks

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Mark, that’s a good question. The m/d foods are well-thought-out and can help; they contain a variety of components intended to help cats lose weight and manage blood sugar (though you’ll still have to combine them with insulin support in most cases), but at about 15% carbohydrate (dry) and 13% carbohydrate (wet recipe), the effect on the blood sugar is most likely not enough to put a cat into diabetic remission. In contrast, this does seem to be possible when feeding a diet under 10% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis and closely monitoring blood sugar levels. You may also find that your cat accepts a different low-carb formulation more readily, because the m/d’s high fiber content (intended to slow sugar absorption and help with weight loss) can be unappealing to cats. For a cat who prefers dry food, you may be interested in Young Again’s Zero food for adult cats, which is popular among those feeding diabetic cats.

  4. Mark Glasser

    Hi – I failed to mention that Nancy , prior to her diabetic diagnosis, was eating the Hilll’s K/D Early Kidney dry food ( for kidney problems ). She has been on this for years – she’s 9 now .

  5. Laurie Rahn

    Thank you for this helpful list. Is it safe to assume that all varieties of these top-rated brands are low in carbs, or just the form & flavor you highlight in the review?

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      For the most part, yes! I can’t make any promises at this time, since varieties can be added/changed, so you’ll want to double check. But for the most part, they are all good options!

    2. Leslie Hudson

      Hello Mallory, If I fed my diabetic 12 pound cat on Tiki cat it would cost $10 a day and a 24 can pack would last less than 5 days. This is pretty unacceptable. Do you have suggestions for food that is affordable?

  6. Mary

    My cat is overweight and has a diabetic tendency. The vet recommended Hill’s metabolic dry food. Is this ok for diabetic cats?
    I have been feeding her Young Agsin, but she is now sore in her anal area and because of her weight, she can’t lick herself and the vet said she does not have urinary tract infection. What would you suggest?

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Mary, good question. I can’t overrule your vet’s advice on this, but I would lean towards sticking with the Young Again, as it is a lower-carb diet with more potential to help your cat enter remission. You will need to closely monitor her insulin levels, of course, to ensure that she doesn’t develop low blood sugar from the combination of a low-carb diet and insulin support. Regarding her anal soreness, do you think it’s due to constipation or something else? I would talk with your vet to pin down exactly what’s going on so you can address it. Additional fiber supplementation may be a good choice, but we’d need to know what’s happening in your cat’s body to make the right decision. Wishing you and your cat all the best!

  7. Michael Rohrs

    Just found out my cat had diabetes, according to the blood tests and vet was caught early, but between the vet visit(s) and insulin and needle tips it’s taken me all but broke, I on a fixed income with a cat that isn’t a fan of wet food in general.

    My questions are 1st what’s the best way to get him to eat the wet food vett said should be feed every 12hrs a can of food. When I feed in morning after 11-12hrs of no food (have other cats ) put him into pounder room with food and water even after an hour lucky if he ate 1/4-1/3 of a can of food , I ve tried mixing it with dry food he likes he may eat 1/3- 2/5 of a can and most of the dry food.
    when I let him out he goes right to other cats bowels and will eat the couple of pieces left over in there bowel and feed them on different floors so I know he still hungry.
    So any suggestions on getting him to eat

    Second at least till next month when I get my next check and speak with vet they wrote a prescription for wet food pick up 2 cans one each flavor second one he picked for a second and wouldn’t eat, so need ask about a different brand.
    I know carbs need be low below 7-10% is best any recommendations on food that can be bought over the counter at say Walmart or even pets mart (though closest one 45m ride away) or other stores or ideally a big box store where can get a good price on case of quality food. Would be greatly appreciated. Just found out his Diagnosis 2 days pior to my birthday on the 27th of April have do blood sugar curve in 12 days and just want to find a good quality food to feed him even if I get the prescription food I only be able to afford a case a month that’s 24 cans for 59.99 and he should have 1 and 1/4 cans a day so even if I can find a brand that I can use to make up the difference say 3/4 can of prescription and half can of none prescription would be outstanding.