Carbohydrates cause obesity
and diabetes in cats.
It's a myth
There is a misperception among pet owners that
because cats are carnivores, they should only be
Like all mammals, cats obtain energy from
three macronutrients: protein, fat and
- Many cells in a cat’s body require glucose, a form
of carbohydrate, for energy.
- While cats in the wild eat minimal carbohydrates,
the domestic cat’s digestive system can readily
handle higher carbohydrate levels.
Although cats metabolize carbohydrates
differently than dogs and other species,
healthy cats can readily digest and
metabolize dietary carbohydrates.2
- Carbohydrates in nutritionally complete and
balanced diets provide energy, while protein
is used for other important functions such
as maintenance of tissues and support of the
The intake of excess calories— whether
from protein, fat or carbohydrate —
contributes to obesity and obesity-related
diseases, such as feline diabetes.2
- An inactive lifestyle also can increase the risk for
feline obesity and diabetes.
- Low-carbohydrate diets are usually higher in fat
and calories, which increase the risk for obesity.
There are circumstances when a lowcarbohydrate
diet is appropriate.
- For diabetic cats, transitioning to a high-protein,
low-carbohydrate diet may be beneficial.
Even though cats are carnivores, a feline diet
containing high-quality carbohydrates serves as an
excellent source of energy and allows the protein in
the food to be used for other important functions.