Natural Options To Help Manage Diabetes In Cats
While insulin may be necessary to ensure effectiveness in managing diabetes in cats, pet parents can also take a natural approach to diet and lifestyle changes following a diabetes diagnosis.
Raines recommends a low-carb diet without the addition of grains, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and green peas. If you are feeding raw or home cooking your cat’s diet, definitely make sure that it is balanced appropriately, she says, This can be done by purchasing a supplement designed to balance a home prepared diet, or by purchasing commercially prepared complete raw diets.
In addition to natural dietary changes, Raines says diabetic cats may also benefit from a cranberry-based urinary supplement since diabetic cats can be at a higher risk for bladder infections.
When searching for a natural urinary supplement, look for companies that perform independent testing and for products that have the GMP label. Its best to work directly with your veterinarian to ensure safe and proper supplementation for your diabetic cat.
Most importantly, never change your cats insulin dose or diet without first talking to your veterinarian. Oftentimes, a cats insulin needs will change when they start eating a different food. A mismatch between diet and insulin can result in serious and even fatal complications.
How To Feed Diabetic Cats
Consistency is key when it comes to feeding diabetic cats, particularly if they are on insulin. Cats should eat the same amount of food at the same time each day. Most diabetic cats receive two daily insulin injections that are given 12 hours apart. Ideally, food should be offered just before the next dose of insulin is due. That way, if a cat does not eat a full meal, the amount of insulin can be reduced. Your veterinarian will put together a detailed plan regarding when and how to adjust insulin dosages. If in doubt, do not give your cat any insulin and call your veterinarian for advice.
Treats should be limited to 10 percent of a diabetic cats diet and given at the same time every day. Good options like freeze-dried chicken, beef, salmon, tuna, and liver are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, just like the foods recommended for diabetic cats. Stop giving treats if they interfere with your cats appetite at regular mealtimes.
Finally, never make any changes to your diabetic cats insulin dose or diet without first talking to your veterinarian. Diabetes management is a delicate balance between diet and insulin levels. Changing one almost invariably necessitates a change in the other to keep cats safe from potentially fatal fluctuations in their blood sugar levels.
How Do We Make Our Recommendations
Our cats nutritional needs are different to those of dogs or other animals. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a high-protein diet. Cats in the wild eat only plant matter from the preys stomach.
There are two types of diabetic food that can be purchased for cats. One is prescription cat food and the other is non-prescription diabetic. For the first, a vet must be consulted to recommend the food. It can be purchased commercially without such a compulsion from any of the brands on the market.
These are the requirements to be able to recommend cat food:
- Minimum 9% crude oil for adults and kittens
- As the first ingredient, a source of high-quality animal proteins
- Balance of omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, mainly from animal sources
- There are no low-quality fillers or by-products.
- Minimum of 9% crude oil for adults and kittens
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Discover our tool that calculates the daily portion for your pet. Fill in your pet’s information and you will get their daily feeding recommendation. In case of weight issues, do not hesitate to consult your vet to adapt this portion. Note that this feeding recommendation is more precise than the feeding table, therefore the values may slightly differ.
Understanding More About Non
If you are wondering that what non-prescription food is, let us explain. The cat with diabetes can have both prescribed and non-prescribed food. It is essentially essential for the underlying situation. It is a balanced diet that contains the right quantum and suitable ingredients for the cat. Such kind of food is easily digestible and allows the provision of constant energy levels.
Food is an imperative factor in treating diabetes and restoring the cats good health why prescription food requires a vets signature. Non-prescription food, on the contrary, can be bought from the market without such compulsion.
In addition to this, non-prescription food is readily available and can also be made at home. We will refer to the proportions that can be tried at home and the canned food types available in the market. Both of you will in helping the diabetic cat.
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Collecting Urine For Ketone And Glucose Measurements
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a very serious and life threatening condition which can result from unregulated diabetes.
DKA can result from:
- not enough insulin
- high level of insulin resistance secondary to infection, inflammation, obesity, etc.
When sugar cannot get inside of the cells for any of the reasons above, the body ends up starving at the cellular level so it starts to burn fat for fuel. When this happens, ketones are released into the blood stream and then end up in the urine.
Therefore, it is important to be able to test diabetic cats for urine ketones daily, if possible whenever there is a threat of DKA.
With regard to using urine sugar levels to manage a diabetic cat, I must stress that this is very far from optimal. Urine glucose testing is a very crude way to manage a diabetic cat but if home testing as described above is not possible, then urine glucose testing is better than no monitoring at all.
See this video for more information:
The Best 5 Diabetic Cat Food: Benefits Reviews And Ingredient Analysis
By Anant Shastri | Updated December 02, 2022
Reviewed by: Ivana Crnec, DVM
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- Best Overall Diabetic Cat Food: Forza10 Wet Diabetic Cat FoodThis is our top pick as it offers a complete package when it comes to diabetic cat food, in addition to being top-rated on online platforms.
- Best Grain-Free Diabetic Cat Food: Dr. Elseys Grain-Free Cat FoodIf your cat faces digestive troubles in addition to diabetes, this cat food offers a grain-free formula for added health benefits.
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What Makes Diabetic Cat Food Different
Diabetic cat food is different on two levels.
First, diabetic cat food is low in carbohydrates, thus preventing unnecessary blood sugar spikes. Second, it has moderate calories, which helps with weight management cats with diabetes are prone to weight gain and obesity. Interestingly, overweight cats are also more likely to develop diabetes in the first place.
Diabetic cat food is still rich in high-quality proteins, which cats, as obligate carnivores, need. If it contains grains or other carbohydrate sources, they are easily digestible and with low glycemic indexes .
Diabetic cat food contains all the necessary nutrients that the cat needs for optimal growth, maintenance, and performance.
What Can I Give My Cat Instead Of Insulin
What can I give my cat instead of insulin to control blood sugar levels? Insulin therapy is often given in small doses. It is important for your pet to eat at least twice a day, or at least a serving of canned food, before the injection. If your cat does not eat, a half-dose of insulin should be given instead. A new dose of insulin takes three to five days to take effect. Do not change the insulin dosage without consulting your veterinarian.
Several types of insulin preparations are used to treat diabetes in cats. There is lente insulin, Vetsulin, ProZinc, and glargine insulin. Each type differs in the amount of insulin and how long it takes to regulate blood sugar. If your cat is taking insulin, you should ask your veterinarian about the pros and cons of each type. Each type of insulin requires a different syringe size.
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What Food Can I Cook For My Diabetic Cat
There are a few things to consider when cooking for a diabetic cat. First, the food should be low in carbohydrates. Second, the food should be high in protein and fat. Third, the food should be free of artificial sweeteners. There are a few recipes available online for diabetic cat food. One is a chicken and rice dish. Another is a ground turkey and vegetables dish. There are also many commercial foods available that are specifically formulated for diabetic cats.
In cats, the majority of cases of diabetes are similar to the majority of cases of diabetes in humans. Weight loss and a healthy diet are important factors in the diseases development and control. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the right food for a cat with diabetes. There are several guidelines that are generally followed when providing diabetic cats with food there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Diabetes cats require consistent feeding they should consume the same amount each day. Treats should be given to diabetic cats at the same time every day for a minimum of 10% of their diet.
Tiki Cat Puka Luau Succulent Chicken In Chicken Consomme Grain
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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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Cats
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency caused by severe complications of diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes mellitus is caused by a decrease of insulin resulting in the inability of glucose in the bloodstream to move into the cells and tissues of the body. Without glucose, the cells and tissues essentially starve since they have no energy or food source. Although there is a large amount of glucose circulating in the bloodstream, it cannot be utilized without insulin. This is why diabetic patients will show high blood-sugar levels on a glucometer because glucose cannot enter the cells where it is needed.
DKA occurs when a diabetic patient develops a secondary medical condition that places additional stress on the cells and the body. The most common secondary medical conditions include:
These conditions increase the bodys energy needs, which causes a spike in glucose demand. At this point, the body becomes desperate for energy and will start breaking down fat to acquire an energy source.
This process leads to the conversion of fat to ketone bodies, which the cells and tissues can use as an alternative energy source. However, they create pH and electrolyte imbalances that result in acidosis and dehydration.
Unless the normal fuel process is quickly restored , the body will spiral into a metabolic turmoil that can quickly become life threatening.
Before We Get Into The Reviews Lets Learn More About Diabetes And How The Best Food Can Help
There are two main types of diabetes mellitustype 1 and type 2. Extremely rare among cats, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that destroys the patients ability to produce insulin.
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Instead, nearly all diabetic cats exhibit the metabolic patterns of type 2 diabetes. Also known as idiopathic hyperglycemia , type 2 diabetes is an endocrine condition that typically involves some combination of insulin resistance and diminished insulin production in the pancreas.
When insulin isnt properly utilized in the body, glucose remains in the bloodstream instead of being taken up by cells and converted into energy this causes high blood sugar. High blood sugar levels affect your cat in several ways, causing lethargy, weakness, excessive urination, and an unwell feeling.
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Nutrition For Dka In Cats
One important aspect of DKA management is nutrition. For a diabetic pet to be successful at home they need to eat without vomiting to receive insulin and prevent DKA from recurring.
In the hospital, blood-sugar levels will be closely monitored and insulin can be adjusted frequently. But at home, cats will need to eat twice per day and receive long-acting insulin.
Since cats often refuse to eat during a hospital stay, it is important a cat eats when transitioning back home to ensure they get their insulin. In some cases, cats with DKA will need a temporary feeding tube to provide nutritional support to help with the transition. Your veterinarian will help you in understanding the type of feeding tube needed, and how to successfully use at home, should your cat need one.
If your cat has previously been free fed, you will want to work with your veterinarian to transition them to meal feedings. If your cat does not eat, please contact your veterinarian immediately to discuss how to proceed with their insulin administration. Giving insulin, if a pet has not eaten without instructions from your veterinarian, can result in low blood sugar and seizures.
Ingredients In Cat Food
Diets for felines with diabetes are primarily high-protein and low in carbohydrates. This means cat food made with quality proteins such as chicken, fish, and beef. Ingredients to avoid include sugar and grains. Supplements such as taurine have also been shown to have a beneficial effect. When looking at food labels for off-the-shelf brands, a guide for the best caloric percentages from VetStreet is:
- 50 percent or more from proteins such as poultry, fish, and beef
- Between 20 and 45 percent from fats
- No more than 2 percent from carbohydrates
- High water content of at least 70 percent of total food weight, which means most off-the-shelf dry foods are not an option
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Foods Cooking Diets And Health
If you are looking for a non prescription food for diabetic cats, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are a number of choices that are safe and highly effective. This article focuses on a variety of diets and wet foods that can be given to your cat instead of insulin. It will give you the information you need to make the best choice for your cats health. Read on to discover more!
Overview Of Diabetes Mellitus In Cats
In short, diabetes mellitus is a lack of insulin production by the body. It is unknown exactly what causes diabetes, but is thought to be a combination of genetics and bad luck.Certain factors can increase the chance of diabetes: obesity, chronic pancreatitis or GI problems, or long term use of corticosteroids. Treatment of Diabetes in Cats All cats diagnosed with diabetes will require insulin injections, sometimes permanently, and some cats will revert away from the need for insulin with initial therapy and appropriate diet changes . Cats require specific diet changes. The key to diabetes control is consistency of feeding, insulin injections, and monitoring of blood glucose readings.
Treatment of diabetes is not a cheap endeavor with costs of food, insulin, and monitoring. Additionally, dental care is even more important in diabetic patients, as the bacteria from poor dental health and higher blood sugars can create more difficulty in controlling the diabetes.
Insulin: We recommend Lantus or Glargine insulin in cats, as research has shown it to be the most effective product in cats with the highest rate of remission. The initial cost of the Glargine is expensive, ranging from 180-200$ / bottle, however the product will keep in refrigerator for up to 6 months . The syringes for Glargine are human U-100 syringes, 1/3 ml syringes to make the small doses of insulin needed for cats easier to administer. DO NOT use any other insulin syringes.
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What Should I Look For In A Diabetic Cat Food
The low carbohydrate content is the main consideration when looking for diabetic cat food. Here is a close look at the important factors to consider:
- Low Carb to High Protein Ratio. If your cat eats food that is rich in carbs, it can lead to a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. This increases the demand for insulin which is exactly the opposite of what a diabetic cat needs. Foods with low carbohydrates negate this response and cats should be getting most of their calories from protein. Therefore look for foods that offer 50% of the calories from protein, 40% from fats, and 10% from carbohydrates. Carbohydrate levels are not often listed on pet food labels, but they are relatively easy to calculate.
- Wet vs. Dry Options. Kibble usually contains more carbohydrates than wet food. Canned food contains low concentrations of carbs or no carbs at all. However, there are also some low-carb diets in dry form. If you are not sure whether to use dry or wet, talk to a nutritionist, or ask the vet to prescribe a veterinary diet.
- Over-the-Counter vs. Prescription. Many low carbohydrate/high-protein foods are available over-the-counter. However, others are prescription diets and need to be approved by a vet.
- Flavor and Texture. Since diabetic cats have several limitations to their foods, it is crucial that their food tastes good and that they look forward to what they have to eat. Canned foods are overall tasty and perfect for diabetic cats.