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What Is The Best Food For A Diabetic Cat?

Feeding Tips For A Cat With Diabetes

Feeding Tips For A Cat With Diabetes

When Randy Frostig took his cat, Bill, to the veterinarian six years ago, he was seriously worried. “He was lethargic and he wasn’t eating, and his urine was sticking to his paws,” Frostig recalls. The diagnosis -- diabetes -- surprised Frostig. “I didn’t even know that a cat could have diabetes. I didn’t know what it meant,” he says. He was concerned about having to give his cat regular shots of insulin, and how the disease might affect his pet’s life. In reality, a diagnosis of feline diabetes is not a death sentence, and caring for a cat with the disease is far easier than Frostig had envisioned. “Giving him insulin is like brushing your teeth. It’s no big deal,” he says. Thanks to regular doses of insulin and a special diet, the gray tabby started acting more like his old self. “He was running around, and he gained his appetite again.” Why Do Cats Get Diabetes? Cats aren’t so different from people when it comes to diabetes. The disease affects insulin -- a hormone that helps the body move sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells. Feline diabetes tends to more closely resemble type 2 diabetes in humans, in which the body makes insulin but becomes less sensitive to the hormone. Sugar builds up in the bloodstream, leading to symptoms like increased urination and thirst. If it’s left untreated, eventually diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications. Although the exact cause of feline diabetes isn’t known, it’s more likely to affect overweight cats, because obesity makes the cat’s body less sensitive to the effects of insulin. Diabetes is also more common in older cats. Diseases like chronic pancreatitis and hyperthyroidism, as well as medications such as corticosteroids, may also make cats more prone to develop diab Continue reading >>

Feeding Schedule For Diabetic Cats

Feeding Schedule For Diabetic Cats

Go to site For Pet Owners Effective glycemic control is dependent upon a controlled and consistent dietary intake. It’s important to achieve and then maintain a normal body weight, because this is a strong indicator of good diabetes control. Body weight is a major factor in diet selection. Obese cats require reduced caloric intake, either through feeding a calorie-restricted diet or a reduced quantity of the normal diet. Increasing physical activity will also benefit obese cats. In contrast, underweight cats may require calorie-rich diets such as pediatric or convalescent foods. Another important consideration is the presence of concurrent disease, for example, renal failure or pancreatitis. In some cases, dietary management for associated problems is more critical than a specific diabetic diet. Also, any concurrent infection, inflammation, or hormonal or neoplastic disorder can interfere with insulin therapy. Control weight Average daily caloric intake for a geriatric pet should be 30–50 kcal/kg. Adjust daily caloric intake on an individual basis. If required, eliminate obesity by decreasing calories and feeding diets designed for weight loss. Feeding recommendations Cats are obligate carnivores and naturally require a high-protein diet. Though diet needs to be tailored to a cat’s individual needs, high-protein, low-carbohydrate foods are ideal for many diabetic cats. Feed canned or dry foods (but canned foods are preferred because they tend to be lower in carbohydrates). Timing of meals For twice-daily Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) dosing of cats: Keep caloric content of meals consistent. Maintain consistent timing of feed schedule. Feed one-half of the total daily food intake either concurrently with or right after Vetsulin administration (at 12- Continue reading >>

Cat Diabetes - Cat Diet Questions

Cat Diabetes - Cat Diet Questions

(Shrewsbury, England ) Our 11-year-old male, semi-feral and highly strung male cat has just been diagnosed with feline diabetes. The vet put him on cat insulin injections twice daily. It was an absolute nightmare, but we managed eventually to give him some injections. However, he now runs away from us every time we came close to him or call him. He has quickly learned when the time is due for his injections. Two days ago he completely went missing and had nothing to eat or drink all day and on his return was totally stressed and hid away. We contacted our vet and he has now taken him off insulin and put him on a Hills special diet food (both dry and wet variety). Our concern is that he weighs 6.5 kilos and is solidly built. He is a 'grazer' and his daily diet since being a kitten consists of about 400 grams of freshly cooked whitefish (cod or Haddock), some prawns in the morning and he sometimes helps himself to our other four rescue cat's food dishes which contains ordinary wet cat food and dry food. The vet has said wean him off the fish. It is not possible to feed him separately, so all the other cats will also have to on the Hills veterinary diet food. Our concerns are: 1. Will this course of action help to manage his diabetes as his current diet is high on protein and low on carbs? 2. As our other cats will now also have to go on the special diet, will it in any way detrimentally affect them? 3. Are there any other treatments for diabetes that can be given orally? Can you recommend any other course of action, because we are out of our minds with worry about our diabetic cat. Dear Judy, First, let me start by saying that I'm surprised your cat even became diabetic on the low carb, high protein you have been feeding him for what sounds like the majority of your kitty Continue reading >>

6 Tips On How To Prevent Feline Diabetes

6 Tips On How To Prevent Feline Diabetes

As the owner of a diabetic cat who, fortunately, has been in remission for a few years now, I get asked about feline diabetes quite a bit. One question a lot of people have is how they can keep their cats from getting the disease. The good news is that for the vast majority of cats, there are six simple steps you can take to prevent your furry friend from getting feline diabetes. 1. The first step in preventing feline diabetes: watch your cat’s weight As with Type 2 diabetes in humans, the most common risk factor for development of the diabetes in cats is obesity. A recent study revealed that 58 percent of cats are overweight or obese, and that’s a lot of ticking diabetes time bombs. Fat cats may be cute, but the health risks certainly are not. Make sure you feed your cat according to the instructions on his food, and if you are going to feed treats and snacks, make sure you compensate by feeding less at mealtime. 2. Feed your cat a species-appropriate diet Cats are obligate carnivores. Their bodies evolved to eat a high-protein, low-carbohydrate and grain-free diet. Most vets these days agree that cats do best on a diet of canned food because the protein-carbohydrate balance is more in alignment with what their systems are designed to handle. Talk to your vet to determine the right diet for your cat. 3. Provide exercise and enrichment Not only will exercise keep your cat’s weight down, it will reduce his stress level as well, so be sure to play with him every day. A bonus of daily play is that it will strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. Environmental enrichment such as “catification” projects or outdoor catios can go a long way to de-stress a cat and give him things to do and play with when you’re away from home. 4. Make sure your cat get Continue reading >>

Low Carb Diet For Diabetic Cats | Ask Dr. Joi

Low Carb Diet For Diabetic Cats | Ask Dr. Joi

Oftentimes, I am amazed at how diligent the parents of diabetic pets are. Not only are you on top of your pet’s diabetes management, but you’re all so willing and wanting to learn more to keep your pets as happy and healthy as possible. Below is an email from someone who is clearly on top of what her cat needs to stabilize his blood sugar levels with insulin therapy and a specialty low carb diet. Have a read. Maybe there is something you can grab from our interaction and apply to how you are managing your sweetie. Q: Can you please tell me what brands and types of canned cat food are low in carbs? I have a 17-year old cat who has been diabetic for 7 years and takes Prozinc insulin injections twice daily to control his diabetes. I feed him Royal Canin Light formula dry food and he does well, but if I could supplement that with a low-carb canned food I could feed him even less of the dry food and possibly lower the amount of this costly insulin that he needs. He is given 7.5 units twice daily of the Pro Zinc. Thank you in advance for any suggestions you can give to me! Answer: Great question! Carbohydrate content makes a big difference for diabetic cats. (Note: Diabetic dog families, this low-carb discussion does not pertain to diabetic dogs). I would expect if you took your diabetic cat off dry food altogether you will be able to lower his insulin dose. I’ve seen it happen lots of times. I once treated a cat whose blood glucose was in the 400s and 500s when we met. The family was feeding him dry W/D, which is a quality pet food. He was eating dry food only, and he had been diabetic for several months. Since I believe in low-carb diets for diabetic cats, I changed his diet and left the insulin dose the same. Changing him to canned-only without dry food dropped the b Continue reading >>

Does Dry Cat Food Really Cause Feline Diabetes

Does Dry Cat Food Really Cause Feline Diabetes

The link between food and feline diabetes is a subject that we’ve talked about before but it keeps coming up so I think it’s a good idea to revisit the subject. One of the concerns surrounding dry food is the carbohydrate content in the foods. Dry foods tend to have moderate to high levels of carbohydrates. Many sources on the internet will tell you that feeding dry foods that contain high levels of carbohydrates will cause your cat to develop diabetes. But is this true and what is the real relationship here? We know that feeding a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet can be effective for controlling the glycemic response in diabetic cats and many diabetic cats fed this type of diet will actually go into diabetic remission. Many people make the claim that since feeding these diets to a diabetic cat is beneficial, then feeding a healthy cat a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet should prevent diabetes. However, the situation is actually much more complex than that. In 2011, at the World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress, Claudia A. Kirk, DVM, PhD, DACVN, DACVIM presented a session entitled Cats and Carbohydrates – What is the Impact? These are some of the highlights of her presentation: Several studies have evaluated the potential role of carbohydrates in the pathogenesis of DM (diabetes mellitus) in cats. Summarizing key findings: An epidemiological study of cats from the Netherlands found indoor confinement and low physical activity and not amount of dry food were associated with DM. High carbohydrate intake was not considered a risk factor for feline DM. But recent reports from these investigators have suggested an association of high carbohydrate foods with calcium oxalate urolithiasis. Indoor confinement and physical inactivity rather than the pr Continue reading >>

What To Feed A Diabetic Cat

What To Feed A Diabetic Cat

One of the most important ways of managing your diabetic cat is maintaining a consistent diet. They need the same amount of the same food food at the same time each day. This allows you to time their insulin injections to match the increase in blood glucose which occurs after a meal. Part of treating this disease is working out exactly what to feed a diabetic cat. When it comes to cats and diet, it’s important to remember that they are carnivores, and their gastro-intestinal system isn’t designed to digest grains. The ideal cat food for diabetic cats has a high protein level, and is low in carbohydrate. This best meets their specific nutritional needs. Owners should also choose a wet or canned cat food for diabetic cats, because it helps to keep them hydrated. It also appears to make them feel more satisfied after their meal. Is there a best dry food for diabetic cats? The answer is no. In fact, some veterinarians feel that eating dry food is one of the risk factors that can predispose a cat to developing this disease. Having said that, many cats eat dry food and never become diabetic. Your veterinarian can recommend a prescription diet for your cat, but these can be expensive. If your budget is tight, there are other options that will be just as good for them. You will be able to find a suitable diabetic diet for cats on your supermarket shelf. Several of the low cost brands of cat food, such as Fancy Feast, can be fed to diabetic cats, and they do very well on them. Some cat owners prefer to cook their own feline diabetic food at home. This is fine if you have the time and inclination, but you must seek advice from a veterinary nutritionist. They can help you formulate a recipe that has all the nutrients needed to keep your cat in good condition. Nutritional defic Continue reading >>

What Is The Best Food For Diabetic Cat?

What Is The Best Food For Diabetic Cat?

Many cat owners feed their diabetic cats with special food formula made for diabetic cats. There are two types of food designed exclusively for diabetic cats – wet and dry form. According to some feline experts, a wet form is the most suitable food form for diabetic cats. But, they do not recommend feeding diabetic cats with dry food, even though it is specially tailored for them. Namely, dry food has a way too many carbohydrates that it should contain. Therefore, they recommend talking with a vet about a diet plan for a diabetic cat. Sometimes, feeding a cat half-cooked meat or raw meat can lead to remission. The best way to ensure that a cat will get enough nutrients from food is feeding him with 50 percent of animal based protein diet with a maximum 2 percent of carbohydrates. However, no matter how well we designed the diet plan for our diabetic cat, it is completely useless if a cat does not find it palatable. Diabetic cats need regular meals, served in proper times to keep blood sugar level at its optimum. Diabetic cats who skip their meals and reject food are exposed to a huge risk of a life-threatening condition of hypoglycemia. To find out more about what the best food for a diabetic cat is, the article “Feline Diabetes: The Influence of Diet” gives us the following suggestion. The more common reasons for obesity and peripheral insulin resistance in cats however, are quite simple. An inappropriately high-carbohydrate diet in a carnivorous species coupled with low physical activity.? In order to understand how this occurs, we must try to understand the feline, their dietary needs, and what their bodies do not need and therefore turn into fat. Cats are strict carnivores. This means that they must eat meat as the major portion of their diet. According to Kir Continue reading >>

5 Tips For Putting Your Cat On A Diet

5 Tips For Putting Your Cat On A Diet

Cats 3 / 6 Diabetic cats are often overweight or even obese, and their extra poundage is a major factor in their inability to produce or correctly process insulin, the pancreatic hormone that turns food into energy. Your vet can prescribe the right nutritional plan to help the cat slowly and safely lose weight. The strictly enforced eating plan should always avoid the soft or moist types of food, high in sugar, that result in a quick accumulation of blood glucose. Usually a diet high in complex carbohydrates and fiber works for diabetic cats, and may also stabilize the blood sugar levels after eating. Some diabetic cats thrive on diets low in carbohydrates and higher in protein, but the individual cat's well-being will determine the correct combination. Never change a diabetic cat's diet without your vet's advice. Commercially produced formula foods, both canned and dry, often help to stabilize the diabetes by controlling the cat's insulin levels. A diabetic cat that requires insulin injections when first diagnosed may respond so well to a specialized diet that he'll no longer need the shots. If the cat won't eat his formula food, work with your vet to find an acceptable substitute. Diabetic cats need to eat regularly to prevent an insulin overdose. Setting mealtimes for the cat, usually two to three times a day, will help regulate his body's insulin levels. If your cat gets insulin injections, your vet will advise you about the right times to give these, usually twice a day, after the cat has digested a meal. 3 / 6 Sponsored Links . DefinitionRare Photos Not Suitable For History BooksDefinition PsychicMondayTry Not To Gasp When You See What Dog's Wife Looks Like NowPsychicMonday 1MD3 Common Foods Surgeons Are Now Calling "DEATH FOODS"1MD JuveTressIf You Have Thinning H Continue reading >>

Diet Tips For A Diabetic Dog

Diet Tips For A Diabetic Dog

Once a dog is diagnosed with diabetes they usually remain diabetic. While there are feeding and dietary strategies that can help keep their glucose levels low and well-controlled, they will usually require insulin injections lifelong. An excellent diet choice for a diabetic dog is a meat-based high protein food that is moderately fat and carbohydrate restricted. Carbohydrates, if included, should be low glycemic (for example, barley or sorghum). Ideally, at least 30 to 40% of the calories in your diabetic dog's food would come from protein and less than 30% of calories would come from fat and carbohydrates each. Further dietary fat restriction may be necessary if your diabetic dog has pancreatitis or blood fat elevations. Options to consider include Nature's Variety Instinct, Wysong, and Halo. Several studies indicate that high or moderately high–fiber diets may help some diabetics by minimizing their post–eating blood sugar fluctuations. While this is true for SOME dogs, a clear clinical benefit has not been shown for the majority of diabetic dogs. Sometimes high fiber diets will cause inappropriate weight loss (in a thin diabetic) and should be avoided. High fiber diets may also be associated with undesirable intestinal side effects such as decreased appetite (due to poor palatability), flatulence and diarrhea or constipation. If your dog is very overweight or obese and in need of weight loss, you might consider a diet with higher fiber to aid in weight loss. Instead of changing to a high fiber diet formulation (which often contains inferior ingredients), you can also consider adding supplemental fiber to your dog's regular diabetic food in order to increase the overall fiber content while still maintaining a high quality food. To best control your diabetic dog's Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes

Feline Diabetes

Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins articulates the need to adhere to common-sense principles in feeding cats as carnivores in this insightful article, which she has very kindly given me permission to publish on this site. If you have an overweight cat or a cat that has been diagnosed with or is at high risk for diabetes, read what Dr. Hodgkins has to say. For more on feline obesity, please see my web page on that subject as well as the terrific page that Dr. Pierson has on her website. The best resource I know for getting educated about Feline Diabetes is Dr. Pierson's page here. Finally, be sure to have a look at Dr. Hodgkins' super-plucky book, published in 2007, Your Cat: Simple Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life. And if you'd like to see two key excerpts of that book translated into French? Good news: Susan Holt has provided exactly that; click here. Feline Diabetes and Obesity: The Preventable Epidemics (excerpted) © 2004 Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM, Esq. Today, the cat is the favorite house pet in the United States, at least if your definition of "favorite" is "most numerous." The cat has outnumbered the dog, the previously "most numerous" pet species, for a decade or more and this trend shows no signs of reversing itself anytime soon. Those of us involved in any of the pet care industries or professions know very well that we are seeing more and more well-cared-for felines, belonging to people and families that are intensely bonded to their kitty family members. Men, as well as women, in all socioeconomic strata, are attached to their pet cats in a way that I could never have anticipated in 1977 when I graduated from veterinary school. In short, the cat has become not only legitimate as a pet underfoot, but also a focus of attachment and affection for humans who are often willin Continue reading >>

Recommended Canned Food For Diabetic Cats

Recommended Canned Food For Diabetic Cats

Your beloved diabetic cat, who cannot regulate her blood glucose levels, can live a lengthy, comfortable life with proper care and treatment. A therapeutic canned-food diet with appropriate nutrient levels and small frequent feedings, along with regular veterinary care, are essential for her health and longevity. Recommended Protein and Carbohydrate Levels Diabetic cats need high levels of protein and very low levels of carbohydrates to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends diabetic cats eat a canned food diet that contains at least 45 percent of its metabolizable energy (ME) from protein and as little carbohydrate as possible, no more than 10 percent ME. ME is the estimated amount of energy available from food after digestion. You cannot determine a food's ME levels by reading the label. Pet food labels list only minimum crude protein levels, which includes protein energy that is not available to the cat because it is either lost during the digestion process or is indigestible and cannot be broken down and absorbed. They do not list carbohydrate levels at all. Finding Canned Foods With Proper Nutrient Levels Ensure that your diabetic cat gets the recommended high level of protein and few carbohydrates by purchasing canned food that contains mostly meat, no starches or fruits, and few or no vegetables. Starches and fruits can cause blood sugar spikes and should be avoided. Starches include grains (such as corn, rice and wheat), root and tuber vegetables (such as potatoes, beets and carrots) and food starch. Ingredients are labeled based on their preponderance of weight. This means the first few ingredients, which should be meat and meat byproducts, make up most of the food. Vegetables should be lower on the list, just a Continue reading >>

Diabetic Cat Food Options

Diabetic Cat Food Options

Since January I have been feeding my cat Purina DM canned cat food. As with everything else, prices jumped significantly. I just returned from the vet with my usual 3 cases and paid $101. for the same order that cost $72. less than 3 months ago. With this increase, along with medication and syringe expenses, it is becoming borderline prohibitive to be a pet owner. I have read that any canned food is better than dry. With 9-lives costing under 40-cents a can it is hard to justify the expense of the DM. There have been occasions where I didn't have DM on hand and fed 9-Lives. The difference I find is that the cat is hungrier than usual throughout the day when fed 9-Lives vs the DM. Does any diabetic cat owner here feed their cat successfully on commercially available canned food? If so, I would appreciate knowing which brands.... Thanks! Continue reading >>

Feeding Diabetic Cats

Feeding Diabetic Cats

The aim of dietary change is to improve blood glucose control. Type of Diet Commercial, ‘prescription’ diets designed for diabetic cats are available. These diets are ideal as they have the correct nutritional value for a diabetic cat. They usually have a high quality, highly digestible protein source, restricted fat and are often low in carbohydrate. Cats are known for their fussy eating habits. Anorexia and resultant hypoglycemia is far more dangerous than hyperglycemia: diabetic cats can be stabilized on their usual diet (preferably exactly the same type and amount of food every day) if need be. Number of meals Many cats prefer to browse, eating many small “snacks” (somewhere in the range of 5-11) every day rather than being fed distinct meals. The usual feeding routine (e.g. food always available (ad libitum), meals/fresh food given twice or three times daily) should be kept when starting to stabilize a diabetic cat. The exception is cats that are obese. These cats should be given a diet designed for weight management (these are high fiber diets) and fed according to a strict regime until they reach their ideal/target body weight. In some cats, weight loss may dramatically reduce or even eliminate the need for insulin treatment (“clinical diabetic remission”). Continue reading >>

What Role Does Diet Play In The Treatment Of Diabetes Mellitus In Cats?

What Role Does Diet Play In The Treatment Of Diabetes Mellitus In Cats?

With diet, we attempt to supply adequate nutrients, maintain the ideal body weight, maintain proper levels of blood glucose, and provide for any underlying diseases or conditions. Also important, along with the actual diet, are the number of feedings, the quantity fed, and the relationship of feedings to insulin or administration. What are the calorie needs of diabetic cats? In general, the caloric needs of a diabetic cat are the same as those of a normal cat. If the cat is obese, the daily calorie intake is reduced by 25%, under the guidance of your veterinarian. The cat should not lose more than 3% of her body weight per week. Too rapid weight reduction can lead to hepatic lipidosis. As weight decreases, the insulin dose would also decrease in most cases. If a cat is underweight, feeding foods with high caloric density (a large number of calories in a small amount of food) may hasten weight gain. How often should a diabetic cat be fed? It will be very helpful for your veterinarian to know your cat's usual feeding habits before beginning diabetes regulation with insulin. There are two main feeding schedule options for a cat with diabetes. If your cat is used to eating 2 or 3 meals a day, the cat may be able to be kept on that schedule. For these cats, the insulin is usually given twice a day (12 hours apart) at mealtime. It is very important that your cat eats around the time the insulin is administered, or her blood glucose level may go too low. For some cats who tend to be finicky, it may be best to feed the cat right before the scheduled insulin injection. If she does not eat, contact your veterinarian who may recommend that you postpone or lower the insulin injection. Some cats tend to eat small amounts throughout the day rather than two or three larger meals. This Continue reading >>

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