Diabetes in Cats or (Feline Diabetes Mellitus)

Diabetes in cats or (Feline Diabetes mellitus) sorry to say is common in older cats, and is especially common in cats that are fed dry food diets. There was a study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery in 2006, that reported a high-protein, low-carb diets are as or more effective than insulin at causing remission of diabetes in cats. Now to me, changing your cats diet would be something to consider. I am no vet by any means or a nutritionist but since most dry cat food is high in carbs and deficient in high-quality protein, it makes sense that a lifetime of eating dry food could cause diabetes in middle-aged and older cats.

If your cat is showing any of these signs you should have him/her checked out by your vet for feline diabetes.

Signs to look for:

· Thirstier than usual

· Urinating frequently

· Hungry all the time but is also losing weight

· Unusually sweet-smelling breath

· Lethargy

· Muscle weakness

· Dehydration

· Poor coat condition

· Urinary tract infections

Diabetes mellitus is the result of not enough insulin that is being released from the pancreas, or there can be an abnormal release of insulin together with an inadequate response of the body’s cells to the insulin. So no matter how much your cat may eat he/she will lose weight.

If diagnosed early it possible to get the blood glucose levels under control and put your cat’s diabetes in remission. That means they might not need to be on insulin or other kinds of medications. On the other hand, if not knowing that your cat has been diabetic for a long period of time the insulin that is being released from the pancreas or has an irregular release of insulin together with an inadequate response of their bodies cells could mean that their pancreas just may be worn out and unable to secrete insulin. There are insulin injections that can control glucose levels and there are also oral hypoglycemia medications which some cats may do better with, so ask your veterinarian about that.

It is also important that cats with diabetes needs to have the right nutrition and being on the “recommend commercial” or “prescription” diets for diabetic cats that a lot of veterinarians prescribe is unfortunate. These foods on average contain a small amount of rendered protein and a large amount of fiber and carbs. When a cats diet is deficient of protein it forces their body to metabolize their muscles, which then leads to muscle loss.

The sad part is that a lot of cats are just getting commercial cat food and not even high quality food at that, so if that is what you are doing at least try adding some canned cat food that is grain and potato free. You want to cut down on the carbohydrates like, corn, wheat, rice, and in particular, soy as much as possible. Dogs and cats don’t need carbohydrates, yet if you read the pet foods labels you will see that they are full of grains or other starches because they are cheap filler ingredients.

Bottom line to help prevent diabetes in your cat give a balanced, species-appropriate diet. Okay let’s face it a lot of the pet food companies are not really creating a nourishing diet for pets despite what you see in their TV commercials. Their focal point is on making money, unfortunately that is at your pet’s expense. A lot of pet foods on the market contain unsuitable ingredients such as rendered, low-quality protein, corn, soy, wheat and rice. These ingredients can contribute to inflammation, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases such as cancer and kidney failure in pets.

There are some Vets that are not educated enough to give you unbiased advice on pet nutrition. Most of the courses that are offered at the U.S. Veterinary Schools are taught by a rep of a major pet food company. Of course they also get perks from these reps to help with their business so they are not going to cut off their nose to spite their face, if you know what I mean.

So what would be the best diet for our pets? Many would say a homemade diet and that is probably right but let’s face in today’s world many people don’t have the time or know how to prepare homemade food for their pet’s no matter how much we love them.

So they will choose commercial pet food and in doing that, one should read the label carefully to avoid carbohydrates and toxic preservatives and make sure it is human-grade ingredients and species appropriate. The quality and freshness of ingredients are important for your pet’s food, so you need to know how to choose the right food.

Just because the package says healthy on the bag doesn’t mean it’s true, so do your homework.