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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Vet says to get senior food, as in the ones sold at the grocery store. I think he should eat grain free, but is that too much protein for a 14-15 year old cat?

Cat nutrition experts, advice please!
 

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did they check his kidney values too? as long he doesn't have kidney disease, generally high protein diets are recommended for diabetic cats. I like Purina DM, which is a prescription diet. it's high protein and gets metabolized slowly, thus keeping glucose levels more stable and lowering the stress on the pancreas.

are you giving insulin?

is he overweight? like in people, obesity is a huge contributing factor. If you manage the weight, feed an appropriate diet and give insulin as directed, a large percentage of diabetic cats can revert back to being non-diabetic.
 

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Wolfie, here's a link to the feline diabetes message board: http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/index.php I learned a lot there, some years ago, with my first two diabetic cats. (I ended up being able to take the second one, Nikki, off insulin after I made adjustments to his diet.) They apparently moved sites not long ago, but at the bottom of the page is a link to all of the archived discussions.

There are actually a few flavors of Fancy Feast (not Friskies, as I originally typed) that are low carb, high protein. I remember that either Sassafras or Nikki took to those much more than to the more expensive, diabetes-appropriate foods.

I would recommend getting a glucose meter so that you can check blood sugar levels from blood at home. It really helps in keeping them properly regualted, especially since dietary changes can so radically affect feline blood sugar. It's easy to get the drop of blood you need from the vein that runs along the edge of the cat's ear. I got so that they didn't even notice I was doing it - I just stroked their ears a lot, whether I was testing or not. Even after they were initially regulated, I tested at least once a week, three times during a given day, to check for spikes and drops. That's how I noticed right away that Nikki's insulin dosage needed to be reduced after a couple of months.

Also, keep some Karo syrup on hand in case of insulin shock. It never happened to mine, thank God, but it's best to be prepared.
 

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A grain-free, gluten-free, high-protein diet is definitely optimal for a diabetic cat. Grains in the diet are a lead cause and aggravating factor of diabetes in cats. There may be a senior formula of some grain-free foods that will have balanced nutrient levels for your cat if you are worried about too much protein.

A lot of people recommend a wet food only diet for diabetic cats, but as long as your cat is on a grain-free diet, you can use wet and dry food. Fancy Feast Classic (not the Sliced, Flaked, or any of that) do not contain any grains or gluten, so they are a good, cheaper option if you want to add wet food to your cat's diet. My friend switched her older diabetic cat over to this food and she is doing extremely well.

Just make sure he is getting fresh water and lots of love!
A glucometer isn't a bad idea if your cat is laid-back- stress can cause an artificial rise in glucose levels in cats, so if your cat gets worked up by you trying to prick him to get blood, the values may be off.

Good advice about the Karo syrup as well. Corn syrup or table syrup work the same way.

Good luck! Let us know what you end up doing.

Julie
 

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My diabetic kitty ate the Purina DM. She was diabetic for over ten years. And on insulin. She was very healthy actually until Lymphoma took her very quickly.

My cat did revert back to non diabetic for about 2 1/2 years. One night she was laying in the dark hallway and I kicked her with my bare foot because I didn't see her. Not hard. Just normal walking. So strange, she became symptomatic after that again. My vet didn't think there was any relation. But I always wondered. And felt terrible.

I'll miss my precious girl forever. She almost made it to 18.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegbunny83 View Post

Fancy Feast Classic (not the Sliced, Flaked, or any of that) do not contain any grains or gluten, so they are a good, cheaper option if you want to add wet food to your cat's diet.
Yes, it's Fancy Feast - I misspoke when I said Friskies, and have corrected that.
 

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Purina DM or Hills Prescription Diet M/D.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

Purina DM or Hills Prescription Diet M/D.
I don't know about the Purina, but I would strongly advise against the Hills - corn is one of the primary ingredients, which is bad generally for cats, and especially diabetic cats, and a total rip off to boot.

Unless she's overweight, she doesn't need a weight loss food. My old cats who've developed diabetes haven't done so because of weight issues; in fact, it was a struggle to keep enough weight on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He's not my cat and I don't really have a lot of control over his care but I can buy him better food. He is kind of chubby and eats grocery store dry food, so it's nothing but grain. A friend who is a vet tech told me cats can go in and out of diabetes so I was hoping grain-free food might take care of the blood sugar problem. The vet never mentioned anything about insulin and it sounds like the blood sugar wasn't extremely high. His kidneys were also fine I was told so I am going to share my cat's food with him until I get a chance to see if I can buy any senior, grain-free formulas around here. Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlp View Post

I don't know about the Purina, but I would strongly advise against the Hills - corn is one of the primary ingredients, which is bad generally for cats, and especially diabetic cats, and a total rip off to boot.

Unless she's overweight, she doesn't need a weight loss food. My old cats who've developed diabetes haven't done so because of weight issues; in fact, it was a struggle to keep enough weight on them.
I would advise canned as the cat is overweight. Ounce-for-ounce, canned food has less calories than dry (and is usually more palatable for the cat).

FYI:

Ingredients in CANNED Purina DM:
Quote:
Liver, poultry by-products, meat by-products, water sufficient for processing, chicken, salmon, oat fiber, salmon meal, guar gum, potassium chloride, carrageenan, salt, Vitamin E supplement, calcium phosphate, taurine, thiamine mononitrate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide.
source: http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com...ntCatFood.aspx

Ingredients in CANNED Hill's M/D:
Quote:
Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Water, Corn Starch, Powdered Cellulose, Soy Protein Isolate, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Calcium Carbonate, Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Rice Flour, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (source of vitamin C), Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.
Source:http://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-...ic-canned.html

It appears that the Purina uses more oat fiber than corn, and Hill's uses more corn than soy-isolate (both sources of carbs), but the primary ingredients in both is meat.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

I would advise canned as the cat is overweight. Ounce-for-ounce, canned food has less calories than dry (and is usually more palatable for the cat).
Agreed about the canned food. Also, it's another way of ensuring that the cat is getting more liquid, which is especially important with old cats, where renal failure is always a risk.

Yeah, those ingredient lists are precisely the point I was trying to make. Not counting water, the third ingredient in the Hills is corn. Compare that to the Fancy Feast classic turkey and giblets canned food:

Turkey, liver, meat by-products, turkey broth, poultry giblets, artificial and natural flavors, guar gum, calcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, magnesium sulfate, taurine, zinc sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide. http://www.fancyfeast.com/wet-cat-fo...giblets-feast/

That's one of the reasons I dislike Hills so much - for years, I used Hills exclusively, and then, after a couple of my guys developed diabetes and I started researching for myself rather than taking recommendations at face value, I realized that I had been paying a premium for food which had the same ingredients as cheap grocery store food, and in the case of the Fancy Feast cans with no grains, lesser quality than the cheap food.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlp View Post

Agreed about the canned food. Also, it's another way of ensuring that the cat is getting more liquid, which is especially important with old cats, where renal failure is always a risk.

Yeah, those ingredient lists are precisely the point I was trying to make. Not counting water, the third ingredient in the Hills is corn. Compare that to the Fancy Feast classic turkey and giblets canned food:

Turkey, liver, meat by-products, turkey broth, poultry giblets, artificial and natural flavors, guar gum, calcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, magnesium sulfate, taurine, zinc sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide. http://www.fancyfeast.com/wet-cat-fo...giblets-feast/

That's one of the reasons I dislike Hills so much - for years, I used Hills exclusively, and then, after a couple of my guys developed diabetes and I started researching for myself rather than taking recommendations at face value, I realized that I had been paying a premium for food which had the same ingredients as cheap grocery store food, and in the case of the Fancy Feast cans with no grains, lesser quality than the cheap food.
Interesting and good to know about the diabetes/grain connection in regard to cat food. I suppose some of it depends on the individual kitty, most of it depends on the food.
My family's two (both 9 now!) have been on cheap-o Friskies and Whiskas because my mother buys the cat food.


One is quite obese, and the other is perfect weight-wise! They are brother and sister to boot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So fancy feast canned is better than premium grain free dry for him? I was going to do both actually but I can skip the dry. I can't afford the premium grain free canned for both him and his cat friend. He is younger, thinner and not diabetic but he is going to want whatever I buy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post

So fancy feast canned is better than premium grain free dry for him? I was going to do both actually but I can skip the dry. I can't afford the premium grain free canned for both him and his cat friend. He is younger, thinner and not diabetic but he is going to want whatever I buy.
I would tend to think so, yes, both because of his weight and because he's old and therefore at risk of renal failure, which is staved off by sufficient liquids.

Just remember - not all of the Fancy Feast varieties are grain free. If you don't want to read labels, I think the FDMB I linked to earlier has a list of the *approved* FF varieties.
 

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Depending on budget constraints, you might also try Friskies cans. The pate flavors contain rice as the fifth or sixth ingredient, but no corn or wheat, so I consider it a pretty decent food, especially for the price. Now that my crew has grown to the size it has, that's what they eat. I buy cases of 48 pate cans at Sams for $20 a case.
 

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in my experience cats are either very diabetic or not, they aren't usually in limbo or barely diabetic etc. seems weird w/ the info here, i think something was lost in translation.

They can potentially revert to non-diabetic, yes. However, feeding him grocery store food or fancy feast and not giving him insulin won't give him very good odds. When managed w/ insulin and ideal diets and weight management, about half of cats can revert if it was caught soon. Canned food is ideal for most cats, but dry food is much more economical and the dry Purina DM works pretty well too. weight loss will be great for his health though and improve his odds of reverting, just like it does in people w/ diabetes.

can you separate the cats for feeding to save some money by only feeding your diabetic special food?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think by early diabetic, and of course this is all second hand, the vet meant his glucose was only slightly elevated, which they said could also be from the infection he had at the time. But I don't think the infection was to blame as he had been drinking extra water for a while, before the URI, yet his kidney functions were fine so it wasn't that. AFAIK the vet didn't say anything about insulin. I was just wondering if cats, like humans, can reverse type 2 diabetes by changing their diets. Of course I don't know if there are different types of diabetes in cats. But he's overweight and eats the wrong thing, like many human type 2 diabetics. A vet tech friend of mine told me cats can go in and out of diabetes, so I was hoping grain free food would help lower his blood sugar. Before I knew about proper diets for cats, my cats ate grocery store dry food and were fat. One was actually obese. After learning that was nothing but garbage, I now buy my cat grain free dry along with Fancy Feast cans (only canned food she will touch and I've tried more than I can count) and she eats nonstop yet is not fat at all. So I was hoping going grain free would help this cat, though he is old and doesn't get a lot of exercise anymore. My cat is still young enough to be active. He's not my cat though so I don't have much control of it and there really is no way to separate them. They both live outside and eat from the same bowl.

Thanks for the Friskies tip, mlp. I may have to try that. Problem is he tends to be pickier than the younger cat and prefers the minced food with gravy. He is also picky about brands while the other cat will eat any wet food.
 

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the diabetes probably came first, then the urinary tract infection. when there's extra glucose in the blood it spills over in to the urine, and the glucose in the urine is a good nutrient for bacteria and can predispose them to infections.

the grain free diet will hopefully help a bit. diabetes is a very hard thing to manage secondhand, good luck, hope he feels better soon
 
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