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How To Feed A Diabetic Cat

Hydration: Wet Vs Dry Food

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Do cats have a poor thirst drive or are they simply being fed the wrong food?

It turns out that dehydration in cats has little to do with whether a food is dry or wet and has everything to do with the starch content of their diet. The higher the starch content of a diet, the lower the urine volume will be. Our ZERO cat foods contain only a trace amount of starch and behave like a meat only wet food. Urine and blood panel testing will easily confirm perfect hydration in cats consuming any of our foods.

The recommendations above only apply to our food and may not work with other types of food. We encourage you to feed our ZERO foods to all of your cats prevention is often the best medicine.

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How Are Cats With Diabetes Treated

Cats with diabetes need constant attention. They eat a special low carbohydrate diet to reduce the amount of glucose in the body. Even so, most cats require insulin injections twice daily to keep blood glucose in check. The injections are administered under the skin in rotating sites, preferably at the same time each day.

In addition to extensive home care, diabetic cats need frequent visits to the veterinary hospital for blood monitoring, urine tests, and physical exams. Considering the effort it takes to care for a cat with diabetes, remission, even short term, is a welcome relief for both cat and cat owner.

How To Tell If Your Cat Has Diabetes

While there are a few things to look out for, Dr. Erika Raines, DVM, CVA, CVSMT, of the Holistic Pet Vet Clinic in Tigard, Ore., says more frequent drinking and urination is the biggest sign of diabetes in cats. She notes that cats may also develop diabetic neuropathy, where they start to lose nerve function in their back legs and have weak hind legs as a result. Raines says that the most common sign of neuropathy is a cat who walks flat on his back legs with his hocks on the ground.

A change in eating and drinking routines may also signal the onset of diabetes in cats. Without insulin, body can’t use glucose. So in the beginning you notice your cat is really hungry and is still losing weight, says Koble. The body also tries to dilute the high sugar by increasing the thirst, so cats that are diabetic will drink and urinate much more than a healthy cat.

If you notice any of these signs, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately. If untreated, diabetes in cats can lead to severe issues, including weakness in the legs , diabetic ketoacidosis, infections, cataracts, nausea, kidney failure, severe dehydration, seizures, coma, and even death, explains Koble.

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Diabetic Cat How Much To Feed

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What greater gift than the love of a cat.

Staff Member

What greater gift than the love of a cat.

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shebaa said:A medical staff. That same person told me 1 shot of insulin a day but his bag that the insulin came in says 2x a day. Finally got a voice mail from them they confirmed 2x a day. But I don’t trust anything they say. Feels like they don’t know what they’re doing. He gets 1 unit a shot. Kinda scared to give another dose tonight since i don’t know who to believe. I’ve only had him for 3 days, each day he becomes more active but still not a whole lot. He’s 13 months. I feel he should weight 8.5 to 9.5 lbs.


Tiki Cat Puka Luau Succulent Chicken In Chicken Consomme Grain

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Our Top Pick for the Best Affordable Cat Food for Diabetic Cats: You dont necessarily need to spend a small fortune to buy your cat a high-quality, low-carb cat food. The Tiki Cat brand is very affordable and offers a wide variety of flavor options. This particular recipe features succulent shredded chicken breast cooked in a flavorful broth, ensuring that it is rich in both protein and moisture. In addition to being protein-rich, this formula is grain-free and very low in carbs less than 2% of calories come from carbohydrate sources. Though it is low in carbs, this recipe is rich in omega fatty acids to support your cats skin and coat condition and to provide plenty of healthy energy. It is also supplemented to ensure complete and balanced nutrition so your cat can start recovering from the damage done by his diabetes. Plus, hell love the natural meat flavor.

  • Pros: Affordable price, rich in protein and moisture, less than 2% from carbs, plenty of omega fatty acids, full of meat flavor, grain-free formula, beneficial supplements
  • Cons: Some cats are sensitive to chicken ingredients, no notable dietary fiber content

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Monitor Your Diabetic Cats Health

If you want your diabetic cat to gain weight, it is essential to keep track of the cats health. This can be done by checking their blood sugar level, appetite, weight, and food and water consumption.

You also need to check the litterbox to see if the cat is urinating the same amount. You need to see a veterinarian if there is no change in your cats weight regardless of taking all the measures. It is also essential to ensure that your cats metabolism is effective besides gaining weight.

What Is The Difference Between Starch And Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates encompass everything that isn’t protein, fat, vitamin or mineral. This means that all fiber is considered to be a carbohydrate even though they cannot be digested by your cat and therefore will not impact your cat’s blood glucose. Various fibers are, in fact, good for your cat as they regulate digestion and bowel movement. Some soluble fibers such as guar gum have been shown to improve glucose regulation in diabetic patients and is one of the reasons that we use it in our ZERO foods. Starch on the other hand is what diabetics generally think of as the bad carbohydrate. It will dramatically increase blood glucose over time when compared to protein consumption. Starch is found in grains, berries, fruits, vegetables and everything plant derived. Most dry cat foods contain 10-30% starch and many canned foods contain more than 10% starch. It does not matter if the starch is fed wet or dry, it is not natural for your cat to consume and it will impact BG levels more severely than protein. All of the Young Again ZERO cat foods contain less than 1% starch.

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Is It Normal For A Diabetic Cats Blood Sugar To Fluctuate

Fluctuation in the blood glucose levels of a diabetic cat is normal, but there are many ways now to help regulate your cat. As time has progressed with treating diabetic felines, we have learned that we should actually be treating our cats more similarly to how we would treat a person with diabetes.

What Does A Proper Diabetic Diet For Kitties Look Like

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If you have an animal in your home living with diabetes, this article is for you. We’re going to discuss feline diabetes, including what it is, how it manifests, and how you should feed your kitty if she’s living with this condition.

We’re also going to talk all about diabetic cat food: what it is, why it’s important, and even how to feed your cat if she’s currently living with diabetes. We’ll also introduce a list of the best food for diabetic cat breeds so you’ll be able to feel more confident when it’s time to head to the pet store or surf the internet for your four-legged friend’s next best meal.

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What Role Does Starch Likely Play

Your cat will naturally consume 6-10 meals each day. The time between meals is the interval when she digests and converts the food to energy to fuel her metabolism. Once she has converted food to energy, she will again become hungry and search for another meal. This would be perfect if the conversion of all food types into energy matched her use of that energy over a given period of time . Unfortunately, this is not the case. Starch digests much more quickly than animal protein, dumping more glucose into your cats blood stream than she can use at given time. In a non-diabetic cat this excess blood glucose is removed from the blood stream by insulin and stored as fat, another reason that more than 60% of our cats are obese. If you take the starch out of your cat’s diet, can you take the fat off of your feline?

Packaged Food Vs Homemade Food For Diabetic Cats

Multiple reasons contribute to high blood sugar in cats, of which one of the most common reasons is packaged food with a high level of carbohydrates.

Not all packaged food contains a high amount of carbs though, but they are often high in some other ingredients like calories and fat, which mostly do not affect diabetes directly. Instead, they lead to obesity and obese cats are more prone to diabetes type 2.

Treats like Friskies and Fancy Feasts are often go-to options for cats by their owners, but if your cat is diabetic, you have to be extra careful about the ingredients.

So what advantage does homemade food have over packaged cat food?

Well, not only is it healthier, but you can add ingredients based on what your cat likes, so it is more likely to eat the food happily.

Moreover, there are no artificial flavors, as compared to canned food which is filled with preservatives.

You can also include healthy ingredients that control your cats blood sugar and stop it from rising very often.

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There Are Ongoing Expenses Associated With Diabetes In Cats

Caring for a cat with feline diabetes means youll need supplies: syringes, test strips and batteries for your glucometer, insulin, and so on. Pet health insurance doesnt cover pre-existing conditions, so if your cat is diabetic when you adopt her, youll need to be ready financially if she has a health crisis. A diabetic cat needs to be fed regularly even if youre going away for just an overnight trip, you need to make arrangements for your cat to be fed and monitored. For most people, that means hiring a cat sitter. Make sure that sitter is comfortable with managing diabetes in cats and knows how to home test and administer insulin, too.

Giving Insulin Isnt As Hard As It Seems Either

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If your diabetic cat needs insulin, you will need to give it by injection. The good news is that cats have a lot of loose skin between and around their shoulders, and this is the ideal location for giving shots. Your vet will show you how to do this, and videos of this procedure are also available online if you need a refresher.

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Which Zero Food Should I Use For My Diabetic Cat

The ZERO TruCarnivore Formula can be fed to all cats from kittens to adults and contains a full complement of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for growth and development. If you have a diabetic cat and a kitten then this is the food you will need.

ZERO Mature Health Formula should only be fed to cats that are no longer growing bone and is the best choice for all mature cats. Most cats are mature at two years of age and for the giant breeds like the Maine Coon it will be 4-5 years of age. If you are not sure your cat is done growing bone, please consult with your breeder or veterinarian. ZERO Mature is also recommended for cats suffering from stones, crystals and kidney disease. This is the preferred food for any cat that is mature and the best one to use if you do not have a kitten in the house.

LID – ZERO Mature is identical to the ZERO Mature except it uses only one protein source, hydrolyzed pork. It was specifically designed for cats with allergies to chicken and other protein sources. This formula may work well for older skinny cats.

Our goal is to make your life a whole lot easier and your cats life a whole lot better.

Your Diabetic Cat May Live For Many Years With Proper Treatment

Many diabetic cats come in to the vet and their human and the cat dont think theyre that sick.

The cat is eating well but thinks the water bowl has turned into the best open bar in the world.

The pet parent decides to take the cat to the vet when theres urine floating on top of 20 pounds of soaked cat litter. In other words, the cat is severely polyuric/polydipsic .

If the cat is still happy, eating, and his glucose hasnt gotten too high or the diabetes hasnt been going on for a long time, this cat is what we call a happy diabetic.

These cats will usually respond to treatment quickly, and youve caught the disease before lots of secondary problems set in .

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How Many Times Can I Use The Insulin Syringe

Insulin syringes are made to be disposable, to be used once and tossed. However we as veterinarians and pet owner care givers are frugal. Boxes of 100 needles run about $20 to $45 dollars depending on where you shop.

If you are using 2 syringes a day รข that is 60 syringes a month.

Ideally, use the syringe once. This minimizes the chances of infections that can be caused by a dirty needle. If you must reuse the syringe, use them only twice. The needles dull quickly because they are made to be used once. When they are dull, it is more uncomfortable for your cat that may make him resent the injection.

Thats Why The Best Cat Food For Diabetic Cats Is 10% Carbohydrates Or Less On A Dry Matter Basis

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Ideally, your cats food should mimic his natural prey diet. An optimal feline diet is about 52% protein, 46% fat, and 2% carbohydrates. According to Susan Gottlieb and Jacquie Rands Managing Feline Diabetes: Current Perspectives, the highest remission ratesover 80%are reported when diabetic cats eat a very-low carbohydrate diet containing 6% or less calories from carbohydrate.

Controlled levels of dietary carbohydrates lower your cats blood sugar. As blood sugar goes down, so does the need for insulin injections.

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How To Feed A Diabetic Cat

This article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. Dr. Nelson is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion and Large Animal Medicine in Minnesota, where she has over 18 years of experience as a veterinarian in a rural clinic. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998. This article has been viewed 28,776 times.

Cats with diabetes can remain healthy with the right diet and lifestyle. Managing your cats diet will ensure your cats diabetes does not get worse or become a more serious health condition. To feed a diabetic cat, start by selecting food that is appropriate and healthy for them. Then, create a feeding schedule and maintain your cats condition so it can lead a full, happy life with diabetes.

Its A Critical Part Of Managing This Common Disease

If your cat is diabetic, pay extra attention to her diet. Management of feline diabetes involves more than providing insulin injections to control blood glucose, and there are important considerations in food selection.

First is palatability for the cat. If your cat wont eat a diet youre trying to feed even though it is a great food for a diabetic cat, it isnt worth it, says John Loftus DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Assistant Professor, Section of Small Animal Medicine at the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. That means you may have to compromise on the ideal diet versus what your cat will eat.

Diabetics should ideally have a consistent schedule for eating so that insulin injections can be given at ideal times with respect to feeding. This means no more free access food dishes in most cases. Meals should ideally be fed at specific times and the amount of food eaten should be monitored. There are some types of insulin that may allow for grazing if a cat wont adjust to meal feeding. For other types of insulin, cats really should be meal fed exclusively, says Dr. Loftus. The goal for managing a diabetic cat is to establish a regular protocol of feeding and insulin administration.

What to Feed

Its helpful to feed wet food whenever possible, as dry food is generally higher in carbohydrates, and the higher water content in wet foods can be beneficial to diabetic cats.

Keep It Simple

You Can Do It

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What Causes Diabetes In Cats

Not dissimilar to type 2 diabetes in people, most cases of diabetes in cats occur when a cats blood sugar rises because its body is no longer responding to insulin in a normal manner. The pancreas can initially respond by producing more insulin, but the cells that make insulin eventually wear out.

While diabetes is more likely to happen in obese, middle-aged, indoor cats, it can affect any feline at any age and weight.

If your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes, there are several factors that could have led to the development of the disease. Koble explains that some of the causes include, genetic predisposition, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diet , and the deposition of amyloid in the islets of the pancreas.

Koble notes that diabetes in cats is not just caused by one of these issuesit is usually a combination of multiple problems.


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