Best Non Prescription Food For Diabetic Cats: Top 5 Pick Ups For 2023





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Robert Taylor

Dealing with a diagnosis of feline diabetes in your beloved cat can be a daunting experience at first. However, there’s hope on the horizon, as this condition doesn’t have to limit your cat’s life. By providing the right diet and following your veterinarian’s guidance, you can help manage their condition effectively. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the best non-prescription food for diabetic cats, making it easier for you to care for your furry companion.

Let’s check it out!

Our Top Picks













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Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

Best Overrall

Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet

  • Protein-rich with real meat, poultry or seafood

  • Smooth and tender pate texture cats love

  • Grain-free for better overall cat health

Best Budget

Dr. Elsey's Cleanprotein Grain Free High Protein

  • Grain-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO

  • No fillers or artificial preservatives

Best Flavor

Tiki Cat After Dark With Variety Pack

  • Real lamb is the primary ingredient

  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

Best Nutrition

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food

  • Limited ingredient list

  • Venison flavor is a lean and nutritious protein source

Premium Choice

Purina ONE Natural High Protein

  • Natural and high-protein formula

  • Grain-free for digestive health

What is Feline Diabetes?

Feline diabetes is a hormonal disorder that impacts the body’s capacity to process glucose. There are two primary forms of diabetes in cats, namely type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes, which is exceedingly uncommon in cats, is an autoimmune ailment that disrupts the cat’s ability to generate insulin.

In contrast, most diabetic cats display metabolic characteristics associated with type 2 diabetes. Also referred to as idiopathic hyperglycemia, type 2 diabetes is an endocrine disorder that typically involves a combination of insulin resistance and reduced insulin production in the pancreas.

Many cats with diabetes require daily insulin injections, but dietary adjustments are crucial for managing this condition.

Top 5 Best Non Prescription Food For Diabetic Cats

1. Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet – Best for Overall

Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet
Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet

Brand: PURINA Fancy Feast | Form: Wet Food | Flavors: Chicken | Life Stage: All Life Stages

Product Highlights

If you’re like me, you want the very best for your furry companion. After exploring various options, I stumbled upon Purina’s Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet Cat Food in the Chicken Feast flavor, and it’s been a game-changer for my beloved kitty. Let me share with you what makes this product so fantastic.

The first thing that caught my attention was the promise of high-quality protein. Made with real chicken, this pate provides the kind of protein that cats adore. And not just any protein, but 100% complete and balanced nutrition. Your cat’s health is in good hands with this food.

Cats can be quite discerning when it comes to their food, and the smooth, tender pate texture of Fancy Feast is a winner. The finely ground consistency makes it easy for your cat to manage with her little mouth. Plus, who doesn’t want to spoil their feline friend with gourmet textures?

What We Liked:

– Protein-rich with real meat, poultry or seafood;
– Smooth and tender pate texture cats love;
– Grain-free for better overall cat health;
– Manufactured in U.S. facilities, ensuring quality and safety.

What We Didn’t Like:

– Canned food may have a shorter shelf life compared to dry kibble.

Our Verdict

Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet Cat Food, specifically the Chicken Feast flavor, is a winning choice for cat owners who prioritize quality, nutrition, and their feline friend’s happiness.

2. Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Grain Free High Protein – Best Budget

Dr. Elsey's Cleanprotein Grain Free High Protein
Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Grain Free High Protein

Brand: Dr. Elsey’s | Form: Dry Food | Flavors: Chicken | Life Stage: Adult

Product Highlights

Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Grain Free High Protein, Low Carb Dry Cat Food is a top-notch choice for feline enthusiasts looking to provide their furry companions with a balanced and nutritious diet. From my experience, this product is truly a game-changer when it comes to meeting your cat’s dietary needs.

First and foremost, I was impressed by the emphasis on high-quality animal-based proteins. As stated in the product information, the use of chicken protein as the primary ingredient is a significant plus. This ensures that your cat receives the essential nutrients required for their overall well-being. It’s reassuring to know that Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein doesn’t compromise on quality.

One of the standout features of this cat food is its commitment to being grain-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO, with absolutely no fillers or artificial preservatives. This is a key consideration for cat owners who are concerned about their pets’ sensitivities or allergies.

What We Liked:

– High-quality animal-based proteins (chicken as the primary ingredient);
– Grain-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO;
– No fillers or artificial preservatives;
– Natural ingredients promote an active and healthy lifestyle;
– Supports healthy kidney function at every age.

What We Didn’t Like:

– Limited variety of protein sources.

Our Verdict

Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Grain-Free High Protein cat food emerges as the best budget-friendly option for pet owners. This product impressively balances cost and quality, offering high protein content without grains, which is ideal for cats’ dietary needs. It stands out in the budget category for its focus on animal-based proteins, ensuring nutritious meals that support feline health.

3. Tiki Cat After Dark With Variety Pack – Best Flavor

Tiki Cat After Dark With Variety Pack
Tiki Cat After Dark With Variety Pack

Brand: DOGSWELL | Form: Wet Food | Flavors: Variety Pack | Life Stage: All Life Stages

Product Highlights

From my experience, I’ve found that these treats are not only delicious but also provide numerous health benefits for your cat. The first thing that caught my attention was the ingredient list. 

Tiki Cat puts a strong emphasis on quality, and these treats are no exception. Made with real lamb as the primary ingredient, you can feel good about what you’re feeding your beloved pet. They’re also free from artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives, a big plus in my book.

One standout feature of these treats is their focus on gut health. I explore various pet products regularly, and many need to pay more attention to this crucial aspect of a dog’s well-being. Tiki Cat, on the other hand, has designed these treats to support healthy digestion with added probiotics. This is fantastic for cats with sensitive stomachs or those who could use a little extra digestive support.

What We Liked:

– Real lamb is the primary ingredient;
– Supports healthy digestion with added probiotics;
– Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives;
– Delicious taste that cats love;
– Convenient 4 oz. bag size;
– Suitable for training and positive reinforcement.

What We Didn’t Like:

– Limited flavor options (only lamb flavor available).

Our Verdict

Tiki Cat After Dark With Variety Pack in the lamb flavour is a top-notch choice for cat owners seeking a delectable treat that goes beyond taste. These treats provide the perfect combination of deliciousness and health benefits, supporting your cat’s digestive well-being.

4. ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food – Best Nutrition

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food
ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food

Brand: ZIWI | Form: Dry Food | Flavors: Venison, Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Mackerel & Lamb | Life Stage: All Life Stages

Product Highlights

From my experience, one of the standout features of ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food is its limited ingredient list. This means there are fewer potential allergens and less chance of upset tummies. For cats with food sensitivities, this is a real game-changer. My own cat, who can be quite picky, seemed to truly appreciate the simplicity and purity of this recipe.

The use of Venison in this formula is a great choice for protein. It’s a lean, nutritious meat that cats seem to love. It’s packed with essential amino acids, making it an excellent source of energy for our feline friends. I find that my cat’s energy levels have been more consistent since switching to this food.

The air-drying process used in the production of this cat food helps retain the nutrients while eliminating harmful pathogens. I appreciate that ZIWI Peak goes the extra mile to ensure my cat’s safety and well-being.

What We Liked:

– All-natural ingredients;
– High protein content;
– Grain-free;
– Limited ingredient list;
– Venison flavor is a lean and nutritious protein source.

What We Didn’t Like:

– May be on the pricier side compared to some other cat foods;
– Limited availability in some regions.

Our Verdict

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food stands out as an exceptional choice for cat owners seeking all-natural nutrition for their feline companions. Its air-dried method locks in nutrients, offering a diet that closely mimics what cats would eat in the wild.

5. Purina ONE Natural High Protein – Best Natural Ingredients

Purina ONE Natural High Protein
Purina ONE Natural High Protein

Brand: Purina ONE | Form: Dry Food | Flavors: High Protein Ocean Whitefish | Life Stage: Adult

Product Highlights

I recently had the opportunity to explore and test out Purina ONE Natural, High Protein, Grain Free Dry Cat Food, specifically the True Instinct variant with Real Ocean Whitefish in a generous 14.4 lb. bag. As a devoted cat owner, I always aim to provide the very best for my feline companion, and Purina ONE piqued my interest. Here’s what I found after my experience with this product.

First and foremost, I was drawn to the fact that Purina ONE offers a natural, high-protein, and grain-free formula. As a responsible pet owner, I’ve been increasingly aware of the importance of a cat’s diet, and this product seemed to check all the right boxes.

Upon opening the bag, I was immediately struck by the aroma – it smelled fresh, not overly processed. This boded well for the quality of the ingredients used. The kibble size was suitable for most cat breeds, and it was evident that Purina ONE put thought into the texture and size of the pieces.

What We Liked:

– Natural and high-protein formula;
– Grain-free for digestive health;
– Attractive aroma and kibble size;
– Improved coat and energy levels;
– Economical 14.4 lb. bag size.

What We Didn’t Like:

– Not suitable for cats with specific dietary restrictions.

Our Verdict

This product is an excellent choice for cat owners seeking a high-quality, nutritious diet for their feline companions. With its natural, grain-free formula and noticeable benefits, it’s a product I wholeheartedly recommend to keep your cat healthy and happy.

Buying Guide

Optimal Nutrient Profile

The best food for diabetic cats should meet the dietary requirements of your carnivorous feline companion. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies thrive on nutrients derived from animal sources, including amino acids, fatty acids, and micronutrients found naturally in their prey.

Low Carbohydrate Content

Unlike their natural diet, which typically contains minimal to no carbohydrates, many commercial cat foods are high in carbs. Cats lack the enzymes necessary to digest carbohydrates efficiently. When selecting cat food for diabetic cats, prioritise options with low carbohydrate content, ideally under 10% when measured as dry matter.

High Moisture Content

Diabetic cats often experience increased thirst, making it essential to support their hydration. Cats typically don’t drink much water alone, so opt for cat food with a high moisture content. 

This can help flush excess blood sugar from their bodies and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and bladder stones. Consider alternatives like canned cat food, fresh or homemade cat food, or rehydrated freeze-dried cat food rather than dry kibble.

Balanced Calorie and Fat Content

Obesity is closely linked to diabetes, so managing your cat’s weight through portioned scheduled meals is crucial. However, simply reducing their food intake can lead to micronutrient deficiencies. Instead, choose a high-moisture diet with lean protein and low to moderate fat content to help your diabetic cat maintain a healthy weight.

Wet vs. Dry Food

When selecting food for your cat with diabetes, opt for the wet version. Dry cat food isn’t as problematic as some claim, but it contains more carbohydrates like starch and grains. Wet cat food is a superior choice due to its higher moisture content, lower carbohydrate levels, and typically higher protein content than dry alternatives.

If your cat isn’t naturally inclined to drink water, wet food is essential to prevent dehydration. However, certain conditions may necessitate dry food, provided you ensure your cat gets enough fresh water to compensate.

Protein Content

Comparing protein content between wet and dry cat foods can be challenging. As a general guideline, aim for wet food with a minimum of 10% protein content and dry food with at least 40% protein content. Adequate protein is crucial for maintaining consistent energy levels in your cat and preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. It also supports muscle mass and a healthy, shiny coat.


The flavour or recipe of cat food doesn’t affect its effectiveness in managing diabetes. Flavours and textures are essential because cats are drawn to enticing smells and meaty tastes. 

When purchasing food for your diabetic cat, choose a recipe based on your cat’s preferences. Persuading picky eaters is more effective than ordering them to eat what you bought. After all, they’re independent cats at the end of the day.


Should I consult a veterinarian before changing my diabetic cat’s diet?

Yes, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for a diabetic cat. They can assess your cat’s needs and recommend the best food and portion sizes.

Can I feed homemade food to my diabetic cat?

Homemade diets can be challenging to balance for diabetic cats. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to create a homemade diet plan that meets your cat’s nutritional requirements.

Are there non-prescription wet cat food options for diabetic cats?

Yes, non-prescription wet cat foods can be suitable for diabetic cats. Wet food can help with hydration and may have a lower carbohydrate content than some dry cat foods.

How can I monitor my diabetic cat’s response to their food?

Regularly monitoring your cat’s blood glucose levels, weight, and overall health is essential. Work closely with your vet to determine the effectiveness of the chosen food and adjust the diet as needed.

Can I give my diabetic cat treats or snacks?

It’s best to limit or avoid treats and snacks for diabetic cats, as they can disrupt blood sugar control. If you want to offer treats, discuss it with your veterinarian to ensure they are appropriate.

What are the potential risks of not managing a diabetic cat’s diet properly?

If a diabetic cat’s diet is not managed properly, it can lead to unstable blood sugar levels, complications, and a decline in their overall health. This is why regular veterinary care and adherence to a proper diet plan are crucial.


In conclusion, searching for the best non-prescription food for diabetic cats is crucial for managing their health and well-being. While consulting with a veterinarian is essential, choosing a high-quality, low-carb, and well-balanced diet can help diabetic cats lead healthier lives. It’s important to consider your cat’s needs and monitor their condition regularly to ensure their dietary requirements are met.

If you want a comprehensive product for diabetic cats, Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate is the most recommended choice.

On the contrary, Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Grain Free High Protein is the best choice for your tight budget.

Thanks for reading!

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Robert Taylor

I love cats, I have more than 10 years of experience in raising cats. I want to share with everyone useful knowledge about cats.

Robert Taylor