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Anyone who owns a cat knows how awesome they can be! Cats require minimal care as they are pretty self-contained. They don’t need to be walked or let out to use the bathroom and you can feel confident that your shoes will not suffer a beating if you leave them alone for 24 hours.
Of course, those of us who adore cats tend to give them more love and attention than they might desire. We love to have a warm cat on our laps during the cooler weather and when we feel blue. Cats just make us feel better and many studies show that a loving cat can have a wondrous effect on our health. So it stands to reason that it should be of the utmost importance for us to keep our cats healthy for the good health they give us.
Good Food For Good Health
Good food is the first step towards good health in your cat. If you’ve rated cat food brands across the spectrum, you might know that there is a big difference when it comes to the ingredients and nutrients in each bag or can. While most cats can tolerate many different commercial foods, some cats have allergies that can cause skin and stomach irritation. One irritating ingredient is corn and corn products. Corn is often added to cat food to make your cat feel more full and to boost the protein percentage of the food. Since cats are obligate carnivores, however, they do not digest plant based proteins like they do animal based proteins.
The Diabetic Cat
There are other illnesses that can affect cats and one of these is diabetes. You might know someone who once had a diabetic cat, but didn’t really understand what it meant. It seems as though feline diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is becoming more common and affects about .05% – 2% of the feline population. The numbers might be even higher as sometimes this condition is goes undiagnosed. With diabetes mellitus, the cat’s body either does not produce enough insulin or it doesn’t use what it produces properly. This mainly affects overweight and older cats, but it can be brought on by certain medications or other chronic diseases.
Some of the common signs of diabetes are:
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Misusing the litterbox
- Appetite changes – eating less or eating more
- Weight loss
- Change in walking – hocks touching the ground
- Decrease in activity, depression, weakness
Your veterinarian can run the proper blood and urine tests on your cat to determine the cause of these symptoms. If there is a high presence of glucose in either, further tests will be done to find out if diabetes is present.
Managing Diabetes At Home
If you cat does have diabetes, there are a few things that you can do to help her manage her symptoms at home. Insulin injections can be administered daily. Though this might seem like a scary task, your vet will work with you until you are comfortable. Most owners say that once they get used to the idea, they find it something that is easily done and they feel good knowing that they are helping their cat. There are also oral medications that have been found to help lower blood glucose. And finally, an important step in managing your cat’s diabetes is to make appropriate dietary changes.
It’s All About The Diet
Once again, diet plays a major role in the overall health of your cat. Most vets say that obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, so by maintaining your cat’s weight, you have a better chance that they will stay healthy. However, since there are other factors that can cause diabetes in a cat, even the best maintenance can only go so far. With a cat who already has diabetes, it is important to keep his diet as high in protein and low in carbohydrates as possible. This will help to regulate the glucose level in his blood and you might see a vast improvement in his health.
Rating Cat Food Brands For Diabetes
Most veterinarians agree that a wet or canned food diet is best for diabetic cats, as it provides the high meat and hydration that diabetic cats need with very few carbohydrates. But dry food can be okay as long as it is very high in meat-based protein, low in carbohydrates, and you provide plenty of fresh water. If you have a difficult time with canned food, try a combination of the two; maybe dry in the morning before you head to work and wet in the evening when you are home.
When rating cat food brands in cans, look for those with no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. If they have corn, wheat, or soy, give them a pass. Meat by-products are not the healthiest ingredient, either. Some of the high-quality canned varieties include:
- Addiction Hunter’s Venison Stew
- Wysong Au Jus Beef
- Merrick Purrfect Bistro Chicken Pate
- Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Flaked Tuna
- Wellness Minced Turkey Entrée
- By Nature 95% Salmon Cat Food
Dry Foods That Are Protein Rich
When it comes to rating cat food brands of the dry variety, you’ll need to be sure that the food has a lot of high-quality protein and very little carbohydrates to provide the nutrition that your cat needs to maintain his diabetes. But this is not an impossible task. Consider:
- Orijen Cat & Kitten Formula
- Natures Variety Rabbit Meal
- Innova Grain Free Cold Water Salmon and Peas
- EVO Turkey & Chicken Cat & Kitten Food
Look for brands that do not include potatoes as a main ingredient (in the top 5 on the list) as potatoes are full of carbohydrates.
It’s never easy to have a cat who has a chronic illness, but managing your cat’s diabetes isn’t as difficult as you might think. Following the vet’s instructions and feeding your cat well are the most important things that you can do to keep them living a healthy life for years to come.