Can you reverse diabetes in cats with diet alone?

Original Question: My sisters (who is non-ambulatory) cat Jewel was diagnosed with diabetes recently. The following week I got rid of the biscuits and Fancy Feast and treats and put her on an all-protein diet, wet and no grain pellets, and dried chicken treats. Since that day, the amount of urine has noticeably decreased. She’s not on insulin as of yet. My question is, "can we reverse this situation with the diet?" Jewel so far is onboard with the changes and seems normal in all ways for a 10-year-old cat however her symptoms have been drinking a lot of water, soaked litter, and lost weight last few months (from being overweight). - Marilyn

Can you reverse diabetes in cats with diet alone? Jul 18, 2017

Hi Marilyn,

It sure sounds like you are ready to make some changes to help Jewel out and I commend you for that. Diabetes in pets is not like that in humans and while some cats may convert to not needing insulin, almost every cat I’ve ever known starts out with getting insulin daily. Dietary changes do help to manage the condition overall and may help reduce insulin requirements but without some careful monitoring, I would not rely on diet alone to control the diabetes. Your veterinarian should be able to discuss further diet changes and monitoring at Jewel’s next appointment.

All the best to you and Jewel,

Dr. Ryan Llera

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