Use of a high-protein diet in the management of feline diabetes mellitus

Vet Ther. 2001 Summer;2(3):238-46.


A study was conducted to evaluate the clinical response of diabetic cats to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Adult cats with diabetes mellitus of at least 4 months' duration were recruited and fed a high-fiber, moderate-fat canned diet for 1 to 2 months during the standardization period. All cats were then transitioned to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate canned diet for a 3-month treatment period. Analyses of treatment effect included hematology, serum biochemistry, fructosamine, lipid profile, and postprandial glucose curves. Cats were also monitored for changes in body weight, appetite, activity level, urinary habits, and insulin requirements. Nine cats completed the study protocol. All cats remained generally stable throughout the treatment period, although there was a slight overall improvement in activity. Insulin levels were decreased in eight of the nine cats when transitioned from the high-fiber diet to the high-protein diet, and insulin injections were completely stopped in three of the cats. Results of regression analysis indicated that exogenous insulin could be reduced by over 50% with no loss in glucose control, as measured by serum fructosamine. Results of this study support the use of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet in the management of cats with diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Cats
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / veterinary*
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*


  • Dietary Proteins