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Diabetes in cats appears to be similar to type II adult onset diabetes in humans. Diabetic cats usually start out overweight. When they become diabetic, they gradually lose weight and drink and urinate excessively. They may also become tired or lethargic, have a poor coat, and have difficulty walking with their back legs. Diabetes is controlled with a low carbohydrate diet or insulin injections, depending on the severity of the disease.
Canned Cat Food: Meat Flavors (Avoid rice, gravy and fish flavors)
Healthy canned food brands are Blue Basics, Call of the Wild, Innova, Honest Kitchen, Natures Variety, Natural Balance and Wellness Core. There are many other brands to choose from. Look for Grain Free, preferably organic meat flavors. We feed our house cats naturally farmed proteins such as rabbit, lamb, venison and duck. You should be able to read the ingredient list and recognize the ingredients.
This diet is similar to the human Atkin's diet. It helps to maintain a steady blood sugar level and promote weight loss. Your cat should feel more satisfied and eat less on this diet.
Recommended daily amounts:
2 - 3 cans of a 3 ounce sized can (like Fancy Feast) OR 1 - 1 1/2 cans of a 5 1/2 ounce sized can.
It is ok to give cooked meat, lunch meat or freeze dried raw as a treat.
If your cat will not eat canned food, we recommend a grain free dry or Purina Diabetic Management dry. Feed 1/8 cup, three to four times daily. A cat on dry food will not go into remission and will require insulin.
Cats being treated with diet alone should have a blood glucose (sugar) checked every 4-6 weeks until the blood glucose is normal.
A recheck exam and serum fructosamine level is recommended every 3 months. Serum fructosamine is a blood test that tells us the average blood sugar level for the two week period prior to the test. This gives a better picture of the diabetic patient's overall regulation. The patient should be medicated and fed as normal prior to the test. The appointment can be set up for any time of the day.
For all diabetic patients, a chemistry screen and complete blood count is recommended with their annual exam. Diabetics are prone to infections and other complications such as fatty liver disease. These blood tests help us to detect new conditions sooner rather than later, which will give your cat a better quality and quantity of life.
To learn how to give your cat insulin, please go to www.youtube.com and type vetvid diabetes in the search bar. Please watch "How to give your diabetic cat an insulin injection" and "How to prepare an insulin syringe to inject a diabetic cat".