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  1. #1
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    Default Cat food for diabetic cat

    My hairdresser has a diabetic cat. She is currently feeding a Purina dry food from the vet. It is around $50 for 10 pounds.
    She is also feeding a wet food from the vet. She feeds it to all three of her cats. She is going through it in two weeks. This is creating a financial burden for her. She is fine with the price of the wet but is just concerned with the price of the dry.

    Does anybody have any alternate dry food suggestions for her?
    She has said she is willing to cook for the cats to replace or supplement the dry.

    She is due to take diabetic kitty back to vet soon for follow-up and will talk to vet. However the vet has a vested financial interest in keeping her on the Purina Wet & Dry that she buys from the vet.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  2. #2
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    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonnysMom View Post
    My hairdresser has a diabetic cat. She is currently feeding a Purina dry food from the vet. It is around $50 for 10 pounds.
    She is also feeding a wet food from the vet. She feeds it to all three of her cats. She is going through it in two weeks. This is creating a financial burden for her. She is fine with the price of the wet but is just concerned with the price of the dry.

    Does anybody have any alternate dry food suggestions for her?
    She has said she is willing to cook for the cats to replace or supplement the dry.

    She is due to take diabetic kitty back to vet soon for follow-up and will talk to vet. However the vet has a vested financial interest in keeping her on the Purina Wet & Dry that she buys from the vet.

    There is a FANTASTIC resource for diabetic cat care on the web that has a TON of really useful feeding suggestions:

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewforum.php?f=28

    The net of it is that dry food is just plain bad for diabetics. Yes, even the dry food from the vet.

    Many, many diabetic cats have gone into remission simply by changing their diet from dry to canned food (normal canned food from Petsmart, grocery store etc, NOT the $$$$$ from the vet.) Others are able to go into remission by changing the diet plus spending a period of time on insulin - meaning the insulin ends up not being needed forever.

    Of course, some cats do end up being insulin dependent. It's still a very manageable disease once you get the hang of it.

    One thing I have learned - sadly - is that quite a lot of vets know VERY LITTLE about feline diabetes. And what they know about feeding cats with this condition is learned through the seminar sponsored by, guess who, PURINA.

    Diabetic cats need very low carb foods (this is a good plan for ALL cats, actually, as they are obligate carnivores and do not process carbs well.) There is great info on this, written by a vet who is an acknowledged authority on feline nutrition, at http://www.catinfo.org

    There is a great "cheat sheet" on good canned food choices for diabetic cats here: http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewt...p?f=28&t=87391. Note that these are NOT prescription foods, they are regular choices that can be purchased at regular stores.

    I feed mine a combination of Fancy Feast (classic pate style only, as those are the low carb ones) the Friskies "Special Diet" flavors, and the Wellness Core flavors that are 5% carbs or less.

    If for some reason, your friend HAS to feed dry food - there are a couple of low and no carb dry options. I have never tried them; too fearful of messing up my cat's numbers and winding up on insulin ... but the one I would try if I had to is Young Again Zero Carb. http://www.youngagainpetfood.com/10b...&category=cats It's just as expensive as the prescription stuff, though.

    On that program, I have been able to manage two diabetic cats without insulin for more than six years. I just lost one of them a month ago after he developed CKD, but up until that point he did beautifully and was very happy and healthy. The other one is luckily still doing great.

    I know I was absolutely shocked to find out how little a lot of vets knew about this condition and how frequently they hand out the $$$$ prescription food and an insulin bottle - without the proper monitoring instructions or any attempt to regulate the cats with diet. However, the good news is that with a little research, the outcome can easily be a whole lot brighter than that.

    ETA: If the cat is currently getting insulin - diet changes mean the cat's blood glucose needs to be monitored VERY closely.

    There have been plenty of cats whose blood glucose dropped over 100 points literally overnight once they were off the dry food. That could cause an insulin dose that was fine for the cat while they were eating dry food to being completely inappropriate for the cat once it is eating wet food - causing hypoglycemia, a dangerous condition which can be fatal.

    Most knowledgeable cat specialists will advise changing the diet FIRST, before putting the cat on insulin, unless the animal's blood glucose is so high that it requires immediate intervention (unusual.) My cats went from having blood glucose levels in the 500-600 range to under 100 in less than a week once I switched them to canned food, and that is not too unusual.

    If the cat is already on insulin, then the owner can and should test the blood glucose (quite easy to do with a human meter, can be inexpensively purchased at Walmart or similar) so they know where the cat's BG is prior to injecting the insulin, and so they can adjust the dose if necessary. A general rule is to NOT shoot insulin if the animal's BG is below 200.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Lucassb; Mar. 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM.
    **********
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    -PaulaEdwina


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  3. #3
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    Jun. 14, 2002
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    Our diabetic queen is flourishing on BG (before grain) dry food & Friskees wet food. We do pick the lowest carb varieties of Friskees. She has been diabetic for 2+ years now & we just did a full diabetic blood panel & everything looked fantastic, according to the vet. We tried the food from the vet, but she turned her nose up. We also tried the fancy pricey cans found at the specialty stores. Now we scower the grocery store aisle for her favorite pattes, like the rest of the crazy cat people

    Owning a diabetic cat is expensive enough, without the pricey food! Do check out the links provided above as they are excellent resources!



  4. #4
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    you want something with very low carbohydrates. The Purina dry stuff for diabetic cats provides 12.5% of its calories from carbohydrates; the wet purina prescription food is better, providing 8% of its calories from carbohydrates. Of course both are made out of by-products, soy, and glutens, just what kitty doesn't need.

    A cheap low-quality canned food, like friskies, that has rice in it, provides 21% of its calories from carbohydrates, so compared to this stuff the prescription canned food is preferable.

    A grain-free canned food would, of course, be preferable. Hound n Gatos provides around 5% of its calories from carbohydrates. Fancy feast classic provides 6% of its calories from carbohydrates.



  5. #5
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    Just one more note - when comparing foods, there can be very significant variation in the % carbs from one flavor to another within the *same brand.*

    Friskies Special Diet flavors (at least the Turkey & Giblets and the Beef & Chicken ones) are both 5% carbs. The regular Friskies foods are generally *much* higher. The Fancy Feast classic pates are generally between 3-5%.

    I haven't fed the Hound & Gatos food personally; it does look like a high quality product. But maybe a bit $$$ for someone on a budget.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback I will print the thread and bring it to her.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  7. #7
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    An all canned diet is ideal. Evo 95% meat is a good option.



  8. #8
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    Human glucometers and cat specific ones will give vastly different readings. I'd recommend a cat specific one having used both on the same cat at the same time.
    send some of their smart literate deer who can read road signs up here since ours are just run of the mill dumb ones who get splatted all over creation because they won't stay in the woods



  9. #9
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    My folks have a diabetic cat, and she is triving on Evo Chicken canned cat food. NO DRY FOOD AT ALL.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candle View Post
    Human glucometers and cat specific ones will give vastly different readings. I'd recommend a cat specific one having used both on the same cat at the same time.
    Very true. Either one will show you trends accurately, however the cat specific is more accurate. Still not as good as an actual chemistry machine but close enough for monitoring.

    We usually start our patients on insulin at the same time we reccomend a diet change but MOST of the ones we diagnose are in DKA so not your typical cases. However we do start them on a very low dose, just enough to keep them from relapsing until they get the diet sorted.
    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!



  11. #11
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    May. 10, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candle View Post
    Human glucometers and cat specific ones will give vastly different readings. I'd recommend a cat specific one having used both on the same cat at the same time.
    This is true, but the cost of the pet glucometers is ridiculous and the trick is to know that the normal range is different on them. As long as you know that normal readings on a human glucometer range from 50-120 and on a pet glucometer it's 70-150. As long as you know that, a human one is fine.

    AS for food, you want less than 10% of calories from carbs, and less than 7% uis even better. Most grain-free pate foods are fine. Fancy feast classic pates are good. Most Friskies are fine, too, if they're pates. Any food with gravy is high in carbs. Any dry food, even prescription is too high in carbs. I feed the PetSmart brand pate, Poultry Platter-it's not premium, but the first ingredient is muscle meat.

    The hardest part is that the food labels are not an indicator of the % of calories from carbs, so you have to look at ingredients. Here are a couple of charts that have that info for a lot of commercially available foods:

    http://binkyspage.tripod.com/canfood.html



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