It is now generally accepted that human diabetes is an immune disorder. There seems no reason to suppose that feline diabetes is any different. This particular immune disorder has the form of failure of the pancreas to produce insulin.
An immune system brakes down because of the burden put upon it, mostly a chemical burden. When you consider all the chemicals most pets are subject to, there is little wonder their immune systems go on strike. Drugs, vaccinations, pesticides in the garden, harsh cleaners in the house, but perhaps worse of all by virtue of it’s frequent ingestion, are the preservatives in their daily diet.
A typical cat food is processed and comes in a box, packet or can. The dried cat food must contain high levels of preservative to keep it at room temperature, indefinitely, despite what the packet may say. Believe me, there’s no other way to have such a long shelf life.
Cats are particularly sensitive to chemicals, so readily succumb to them. A stay in a cattery may well overload them, as most catteries fastidiously clean their pens with strong disinfectants or bleach, to ensure there’s no cross contamination.
There are several things you can do immediately, to help your cat overcome this serious disease, even if they have had it a while. You never know how much good you can do until you try.
- The first thing that’s really important to address is their diet. Start giving your cat a good quality, raw, diabetic cat food. Human grade raw meat, from a butcher, will generally not contain any preservatives or colour as most countries have laws against that.
- It’s better to feed a diabetic cat 3 or 4 small meals a day, rather than 1 or 2 larger meals.
- Diabetic cat food differs slightly from a normal healthy cat food by the fat content. The food must be low fat (but not no fat), as the pancreas is responsible for the production of enzymes which help break down fat.
- No healthy pet food should contain any sugar, in particular diabetic pet food. Many, perhaps most, commercial pet food manufacturers use sugar as a filler. It bulks out the meat and is cheap, with a world glut.
- No cat food should not contain large amounts of carbohydrates, which are a mainstay part of almost all processed cat foods, including those for diabetic cats.
- The mineral chromium assists the body in utilising the insulin more efficiently, so the addition of half to one teaspoon of brewers yeast to the diabetic cat food will help your cat. Chromium is also in liver, beef and spirulina.
- Including vitamin E in the diabetic cat food reduces the amount of insulin required. Vitamin E occurs naturally in raw meat fat and spirulina. Vitamin E is also in eggs and wheat germ oil, but diabetic cat food should be low in oil and fat, so while these are recommended, they should be in small quantities. You can also supplement it in the d alpha tocopheral (the natural form). Try to avoid the synthetic form, which is more commonly used. Synthetic vitamins are not as well utilised by the cat. Dose 30 IU per day until you see improvement.
- And play with your cat, so she gets some exercise. Exercise tends to decrease the need for insulin.
A good diabetic cat food, like any good cat food, is as close to that of a wild cats food as possible. Cats have evolved to efficiently use raw food. They can’t use processed and cooked food in the same way, as they lack the nutrients destroyed by cooking.
Once you have your cat regularly eating good quality raw food, she may need less insulin. And if it isn’t too far advanced, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t recover completely. Recovery from serious disease is not uncommon when the cause is addressed. Ensuring your cat only eats a healthy, high quality, raw, diet, at the very least will reduce her need for insulin.