Making Diabetic Cat Food
Feline diabetes is one of the most common endocrine diseases to plague our pets. In the vast majority of cases, it is directly linked to a diet based on commercially prepared dry, high carbohydrate food. Diet is the cornerstone for health in all cats, but in diabetic cats the right food can mean the difference between life and death. Owners of diabetic cats are advised to put their cats on a low or no carb/ high protein “Catkins” plan, in order to stabilize the cat’s blood sugar. All dry foods are too high in carbohydrates to safely feed a diabetic cat. Many commercial canned foods are too high, as well. For that reason, pet owners are learning how to make their own.
Cats have a distinct digestive system that allows them to function on a diet of consisting of nothing more than fat and protein. While most mammals get their glucose from the breakdown of carbohydrates, cats are able to derive glucose from the amino acids found the fats and proteins. Cat foods with a high content of grains or vegetables are unhealthy. These ingredients may represent part of a well-balanced human diet, but they have no place in the feline world, particularly for a cat that is already debilitated by diabetes.
As a general guideline, the main ingredient in your diabetic cat’s food should be cooked, slightly cooked, or raw meat and meat by products. Combine this well chopped meat with water, eggs, wild salmon oil (for essential fatty acids), powdered vitamin E, Vitamin B complex, taurine powder, and iodized salt. This is will provide your cat with a reasonable facsimile the natural, unprocessed food they evolved to digest. Many diabetic cats seem to recognize meat as their natural diet and will attack it with zest.
Monitor your cat’s blood sugar closely after a major change in diet. Once the carbohydrates have been removed, many diabetic cats no longer require insulin. If you continue giving it when there is no need, you could, unintentionally lower the cat’s blood sugar to a dangerous level.
Some of the foods we consider healthy will make a cat sick and can even cause its death. When preparing food for your diabetic cat, avoid the following ingredients: Raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, artificial sweetener, grapes, fat substitutes, egg shells, mushrooms, macadamia nuts, avocados, persimmons, alcohol, pork or dog foods.
Make sparing use of milk and dairy products (even though they love them), fat trimmings, tuna (high mercury levels), raw fish and liver.
Liver and other organ meats can be very high in Vitamin A. If you use too much, you cat could end up with toxic levels in their bloodstream. It’s good for them, but only in small amounts.
Caring for a cat that has diabetes can seem overwhelming. Removing the high level of carbohydrates from their diet and feeding them high protein food will make the disease much easier to cope with and can even reverse the process. By understand your cat’s nutritional requirements and digestive process, you can easily create healthy, inexpensive food for your diabetic cat.