What causes a cat to become diabetic? A fast short answer is that the pancreas is no longer able to effectively do its job producing insulin. There is a wonderful detailed answer explaining how the body processes/produces sugar and carbs here: http://www.felinediabetes.com/diabetes-info.htm
Why am I bringing it up? Because Big Bob has been diagnosed diabetic. We took him to the vet because of unexplained weight loss. Blood work said very clearly, diabetic.
If your cat sees your vet regularly (which you should be doing) and you get full blood work done (you should always do this) you may catch it before they become symptomatic but the symptoms to watch for are:
How do you prevent it... Something that is hard to do, get your cat to only eat lower carb wet food.
Everyone needs some sugar and carbs so don't go crazy and only try to feed them no carbs, that would be bad too,
This website has a huge list of the carb count of foods, http://www.felinediabetes.com/diet.htm
The raw diet may be a good choice but trying to make sure they get the right nutrition they need must be carefully addressed
If they only like dry food (which is not good for them, but some cats will not touch wet food (Simba is one of them for us) http://catinfo.org/docs/Feeding%20Your%20Cat%20-%204%20pages%2011-13.pdf )
Switch to a much lower carb food. http://youngagainpetfood.com they have a low carb dry food
and they have a zero carb dry food. Their dry food is based upon the nutrition of a mouse since in the wild that would be their natural diet. Your vet will try to get you to feed the prescription Purina or Royal Canin food. That dry food will keep your cat a diabetic because of the carb content. Why would your vet have you feed it? Because the vets do not know better. They get very little nutrition training in school, it is not taught in con-ed and they listen to salesmen. Most have never heard of youngagainpetfood and do not know there is another choice. (And no we are not connected to them, we have just had diabetics and they have converted on this food)
How are we managing Bob's diabetes?
We have ordered him some Youngagainpetfood.com carb free dry food (he likes crunches)
He is eating wet food so he is being fed lower carb wet food (most of the foods on our wish list are lower carb wet foods) His BGL (blood glucose level) is being tested multiple times a day,
and he is receiving insulin. He is removed from the room and fed separate from the others. The dry food is removed when he is in his room. His "sugar" (BGL) numbers are improving since he is not getting dry food at this time. We are adjusting the insulin depending on his numbers.
This is not our first rodeo with diabetes. From our previous experiences, if he is a type 2 diabetic (pancreas is working just not enough to keep up) (verses type 1, pancreas not working at all) , it will take us approx 4 weeks to get him back to a non insulin dependent diabetic. He will still be a diabetic but so long as we manage his diet he will not need insulin.
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