Food for diabetic cats
Diabetes mellitus is a fairly common endocrine disorder not only in humans but also in dogs and cats.
Previously, it was not so common among felines. According to statistics, 1 cat in 1000 cats that were brought to the vet had one or another type of diabetes. Now the picture has changed slightly, but not for the better, the cases became more frequent. And now the statistics look like this: one cat out of 200 has problems with the pancreas.
The modern medical practice shows that now in the risk group are not only cats who are older than 6-10 years, but also those who are younger. Also, the incidence of the disease among females has increased (previously diabetes was diagnosed mainly in males).
We got the statistics and now let’s move on to more specific concepts.
What is diabetes in cats and what to do about it?
This disease is characterized by high blood glucose levels because the production of the hormone insulin is disturbed (partially or completely). As a result, water-salt, mineral, carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism is disturbed.
Cats can also have 2 types of diabetes mellitus
The first type or in other words – insulin-dependent: It is characterized by the fact that the pancreas stops producing the hormone insulin at all or produces it in insufficient quantities.
The second type is insulin-independent – in this case, insulin is produced normally or even above normal, but the cells of the animal’s body become insensitive to the hormone.
What is interesting, both types of diabetes can be present in the cat’s body.
What happens to a cat with diabetes?
- You may observe a condition in your pet such as “polydipsia”. This is a feeling of unbearable/unquenchable thirst. Your cat may drink more often than usual; you may not even have time to get water in a bowl for him.
- Consistent with polydipsia, your cat will have polyuria, which is increased urine production. The cat will go to the litter box more often.
- A pet with diabetes will have frequent problems with eating behavior (polyphagia). It will become more voracious and eat more than usual.
- Weight changes. The furry friend may gain a few extra pounds or lose weight drastically. But most often those cats that are overweight get sick.
- Another fairly rare symptom, but it still occurs – peripheral neuropathy. In simple words, you may notice how your cat’s gait has changed. Most of all, pay attention to the condition and activity of the hind limbs.
Why do cats have problems with insulin?
It’s all very complicated. There is still no one and the exact cause of diabetes. But there are certain factors that stimulate its development in the cat’s body, among them:
- Excessive pet weight.
- The presence of problems with other endocrine organs (acromegaly, hypothyroidism).
- Pancreatitis and liver problems, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases.
- Hormone therapy or taking medications.
There is also a theory that diabetes is a genetic disease, but this has not yet been proven. While people have a genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes.
Don’t rush to get upset after your pet has been diagnosed with diabetes. Practice and overseas experience show that approximately 50% of furry patients who have been diagnosed with this disease have a chance to live a full life after the first 6 months of treatment.
Therefore, if your pet has a suspicion of this endocrine disorder, you should immediately go to the veterinarian to pass the necessary tests and make an accurate diagnosis.
We have some good news! Every diabetic cat has a good chance (with the right approach and care) of going into remission. This is a state in which the cat’s body is able to maintain normal blood sugar levels on its own after a period of time.
How should a diabetic cat be treated?
In this case, we need to mention some other important components of treatment besides insulin therapy, such as:
- Monitoring blood glucose levels.
- Physical activity.
- A special diet – food for diabetic cats (high protein low carb cat food for diabetic cats).
- Treatment of concomitant diseases that aggravate the course of diabetes.
What is the best food for a diabetic cat?
As we know absolutely all cats are obligate carnivores. These are animals that get all the necessary nutrients from the meat of other animals. Therefore, meat products are the best cat food for diabetic cats.
The owner of a diabetic cat should choose the best diabetic cat food with a high protein content of at least 45%.
Since most furry diabetic pets are overweight, the owner should pay attention to wet diabetes food for cats. You should also pay attention to products that contain arginine. This is the best wet food for diabetic cats along with a high-protein diet. This diet should be aimed at reducing the weight of the pet and its prevention.
What to feed a diabetic cat with kidney failure?
Studies have shown that a high-protein diet doesn’t affect the function of healthy kidneys in the pet. But if a cat has a dysfunction of this paired organ, then you should be even more careful in choosing the best cat food for feline diabetes.
Best dry cat food for diabetic cats – how to choose?
You have to be careful here too. Because standard dry food has a balanced composition of elements and is not suitable for cats with diabetes. Owners should choose those special and therapeutic lines that have a different ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates (low carb dry cat food for diabetic cats).
In addition, veterinarians advise choosing good food for diabetic cats with a low glycemic index. It is logical that if you use a special food you should exclude other food sources.
A little more about high protein cat food for diabetic cats. Yes, as we said meat is the best food for diabetic cats, but that doesn’t mean that the pet doesn’t need carbs and fats. You should choose food that contains complex carbohydrates like fiber and grains. This will keep his blood glucose bump to a minimum.
However, despite our very precise advice, we recommend that you consult a professional to find out more about your cat’s condition and the right food for him. Each case is unique and requires an in-depth analysis.