Diet questions

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Randi & Effy, Oct 8, 2017.

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  1. Randi & Effy

    Randi & Effy Member

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    Oct 8, 2017
    Alright so here's some backstory....
    My cat, Effy, was found as a stray around 4 years ago. He was thin as all hell and covered in scabs. I took him in (well he came to me) and he's never left my side since. We are absolutely inseparable. Anyhoo, he was estimated to be around 8 years old when I found him and took him to get checked out. He's about 11 now if that estimate was right. He was 16.6lbs in May, and has since dropped to 14lbs as of last week. I took him in because he stopped pooping in the litter box and was pooping in random spots all over my apartment which usually meant his flea allergy was acting up and he needed his dose of revolution. When I gave him his revolution and the pooping never stopped- that's when I noticed the excessive drinking and peeing and how thin he started to look. Asked for blood work thinking it was hypothyroidism but turned out to be Diabetes. His blood glucose was 470 if I recall correctly. What weirded me out was they didn't do anything to correct that they just gave me a script of clavamox and gave me the purina DM food. The vet wanted to try to correct it with diet before trying insulin therapy.
    Mind you I have no idea about diabetes in general, humans or cats. So right now I'm scared as heck.
    Anyway, ever since I've had Effy his stools have NEVER been solid, I mean never. Not necessarily diarrhea but just soft, almost diarrhea. Now that he's on clavamox and the new food he's got the WORST diarrhea ever, pure liquid and I can literally hear it shoot out of him from the other room. It's only been a few days so I was going to let his stomach settle on the new diet and call on Monday to tell them about the diarrhea.
    Here's my dilemma. I know that it's my fault he's diabetic. I've given him anything he wanted, and that meant unlimited food at all times (no people food but his dry food which was purina naturals). I never had him on a set eating schedule, I was one of those people who filled the bowl and water and we just coexisted. Whenever it got almost empty i'd fill it and we'd go about our day. He is so accustomed to eating whenever he wants. Now I know I can't do this anymore, I understand that wasn't a good idea now. But I have no idea what IS a good food plan... so here's what i'm asking..
    How many times a day do you feed your diabetic cats?
    How much of a serving size do you give them?
    About what time do you feed them?
    As of right now, he wakes me up everyday at 7am to feed him, then he whines again around 12/1 for a refill, then doesn't whine until around 6, and then again around midnight and then it starts back at 7.
    I'm embarrassed typing this. I've created a gluttonous diabetic monster, lol. I need guidance, anything.
    He took surprisingly well to the purina dm, wet or dry. I've been feeding him dry because I thought the wet would upset his stomach more but I got on here and read the sidebar articles before getting on the forum and saw that this site doesn't recommend the dry purina dm. I have no problem just feeding him the wet but to be honest I don't know what I'm doing. He's 14lbs.
    Is one can supposed to get him through the entire day?
    I know I'm supposed to refrigerate it after opening, do I reheat it before giving him another serving?
    Basically I just don't know how to feed him anymore. I'm so scared I'm going to mess him up, guys. I'm overthinking and driving myself insane with guilt and fear lol. I'm in tears typing this because I feel like such a failure, such a stupid cat mom. I want this to be able to be controlled with food and to not resort to insulin unless it's absolutely necessary I just don't know where to start. I've tried googling serving sizes and just can't find the answers I'm looking for to my stupid questions. Any help is appreciated. I'm so lost.
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Great question. Dry dm issue too high in carbs. Wet dm is good but it's expensive and unnecessary. Most of us feed fancy feast classic or Friskies pate several times a day . You can feed as often as you want, just no food at least 2 hours prior to the preshot test so the number is not food influenced. Diabetic cats often need to eat more then usual because they can not utilize the nutrients properly.

    My 17 lb cat ate about 4 cans of ff.... So 12 Oz. My diabetic cat eats about 5oz of wet and I leave out young again zero carb food to graze on. So how much they eat is up to the cat. Let him eat as much low carb food as he wants as long as you pick it up 2 hours prior to the preshot test.
     
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  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I went through 2 bags of dm before coming here last year and learned it didn't help. Lol
     
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  4. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    First, take a deep breath. It will be okay. :bighug: A lot of us were free-feeding dry food to our cats before we knew better. Not because we are 'stupid' but because we were ignorant. How are we supposed to know about feline nutrition when it seems that even the vets do not?! Anyway.. if you have not seen it yet, there is a site called catinfo.org that has all the info about feline nutrition you could ever want.. and more. It also has a wet food database you can use to help you select foods. One of the primary concerns when selecting food is to keep the carbs low. Staying under 10% carbs is recommended though I try to stay under 5%.

    As far as how often to feed, I feed four times daily, 6am/pm and 12am/pm. You can use an automatic feeder so that you do not have to be around all the time to feed. The AAHA guidelines say that feeding four times a day is ideal. They also say it is okay to free-feed if you cat is underweight. How much you feed depends on how much your cat should weigh. There are formulas for how many calories to give your cat based on their lean weight. I found one that said an average outdoor cat should have about 35 calories per lb of lean body weight and an indoor one should have about 20 calories per lb. That varies, however, based on your cat's activity level. The manufacturers of each wet food usually give suggestions for how much of their food to feed per lb of your cat's weight, too. I have two cats, one is currently about 10.5 lbs and the other about 7lbs but both need to gain some weight. Right now, I am feeding them 1 can of Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast per meal.. that's total for both cats, not each. They also get a little shredded chicken breast. Based on the FF info, I could be giving them 5 cans a day rather than four, but the four seems to be the right amount for them (any more and I end up throwing it away) with the extra chicken.

    If/when I give a partial can of wet food, I refrigerate it. It is good to warm it up a tiny bit in the microwave when you are ready to feed it to them.. literally just a few seconds, maybe 5-10 depending on how much food it is. I add a little warm water to the cat's food every time I feed them, even when the food has not been refrigerated.

    From your post I do not think your cat is on insulin yet, so you do not have to worry about the whole 'take food up two hours prior to shot time' thing. That is important once you are giving the cat insulin. At that point, you want to take away any food two hours before shot time so that you can test his glucose and get a number that is not influenced by food (which raises the glucose), so that you know if it is safe to give the insulin shot. You can worry about that when it is time for insulin. For now, try not to beat yourself up for what you didn't know and just try to learn as much as you can.
     
  5. Randi & Effy

    Randi & Effy Member

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    Oct 8, 2017
    Thanks so much for the answers. I'm trying to stay calm, lol! I only worry because now that I stopped free feeding he acts like he's literally starving and I'm scared I'm going to accidentally mess up his levels and everything will just spiral downhill. He is not on insulin yet, no. My only problem with figuring out how much and when to feed him is because I can no longer free feed him since I also have another cat in the house as well and they've always shared food up until the past few days and they aren't taking it well either. My little cat seems to be no longer interested in her own food and only wants to butt into Effy's new food. The vet was adamant on Effy not even having a single drop of his previous food. Since they've always ate together they both run to their bowls at the same time, and now I have to sit in the kitchen and watch them eat so I can hurry and make sure he doesn't finish off her food or vice versa. I'm just slightly overwhelmed now with the both of them, and i'm trying to find a calm medium and figure out how to start this new diet and develop some sort of schedule so it gets easier from here on out. I'm going to talk to the vet on Monday and see what he thinks about me buying the foods mentioned on here rather than the purina dm though the price doesn't really bother me that much for now since i'm so set on making things work, i'm sure later down the road it will start to get to me lol.
     
  6. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I free feed wet fancy feast classic and Young Again Zero carb (Youngagainpetfood.com) once you start insulin and testing take the food up 2 hours prior to the preshot test. Many use a timed feeders to do that. If your cat is hungry let them eat.... Just make sure it's LOWER CARB. Here's a link to the food chart. Pick foods under 10 % carb. (Under 7 is better).
     
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  7. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Unregulated diabetic cats kind of are starving. Their bodies cannot properly use the food, that is why they start losing weight. So, he may need to eat more right now than he would normally. That's okay. Is 14lbs a good weight for him, or does he need to re-gain some or all of what he lost? If he is diabetic and underweight, do not try to limit him too much Let the baby eat Just make sure you are feeding a good low-carb wet food, and let him eat what he wants.

    My girls have always eaten together, too. That was one of my challenges when this started. I decided to give them both the same low-carb food on the same schedule. They both eat most of their food then they go off, and I leave the rest of it out for them to return to as they want.

    Do not be surprised if your vet insists on the 'prescription' food he has given you. Almost all of them do. Those foods have higher carbs than Dr Pierson recommends at catinfo.org. Also, the AAHA guidelines say to feed the lowest carb food your cat will eat. It will be up to you whether you follow your vets instructions to feed the dm or switch to a lower carb food.
     
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  8. W.K.

    W.K. Member

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    Feb 16, 2017
    In case you're wondering about low carb wet food http://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf
    As far as low carb dry, as Janet said Young Again is a good choice. Also Dr. Elsey's. Evo is a little higher than those 2 but still falls under 10%.

    We feed wet 4x a day usually and leave out the low carb dry for grazing. It's tough when you have more than 1 kitty around!! The low carb will be fine and actually better than whatever else for your civvies. We managed to get my chunky civvie girl to lose weight by switching her to the same diet, and the healthy weighted boy civvie has maintained his normal weight with that diet. You've gotten some great advice above so I don't have much to add :)
     
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  9. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    Your life will be a WHOLE lot easier if you just feed both cats the same food!!....and, by putting your other cat on low carb canned food, you're going to reduce their chances of becoming diabetic!

    Then you don't have to worry about it if Effy gets into the other food!!

    I'd just get some Fancy Feast Classics, Friskies pates or 9-Lives ground and let them both eat the same food. There's no need for the expensive "prescription" food in the first place. You can take it back (even an open bag of dry) and get a refund. Just say your cat refuses to eat it.

    Use the money to get a glucose meter and strips so you can start home testing now and learn how Effy is really doing!
     
  10. Randi & Effy

    Randi & Effy Member

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    Oct 8, 2017
    this is exactly what i needed to hear! thanks so much!!
     
  11. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Hi rndbrkr, we can't keep calling you that can we? I just read your profile, intro and your first post. Amazing honesty. I wish I had your drive and dedication when I was 25; more smarts, less concerned with social norms. You also said you were "All in". Being here is the right thing to do, you can stop Googling a world of half-truths. We are just a group, not purveyors of justice and shame like some groups I've seen. That means there is NO SUCH THING as a stupid question. Many of us have made mistakes, some have blundered (me too). And we all started from absolute zero. Noah is our second diabetic cat. His brother Nigel's life, and ours, may have been easier if I had come here years ago. We're happy to have you here. More questions please!!!
     
  12. Randi & Effy

    Randi & Effy Member

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    Oct 8, 2017
    Thank you so much!! This made me feel a whole lot better, so thank you!! I felt so relieved after finding this, especially not even a week after he's diagnosed. The first couple days were rough and I knew I had to find somewhere to turn to and not just keep googling myself into oblivion! I feel way less helpless and ready to take on whatever comes our way! Effy is my first cat that is solely mine and he gave me my first taste of total responsibility and unconditional love- so I gotta do whatever it takes!
    I have a list of questions I was going to ask the vet whenever he calls me. If he doesn't call me or I feel like I didn't get good enough answers- I'm finding a new vet (lol) and then I'll probably post another set of questions on here. I just don't want to bother this forum with all my worries too soon lol!
     
  13. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    It's no bother at all, many of us are kind of "old". We're retired or on disability so this is like a healthy hobby. The most important thing is that you didn't give up or panic.
     
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  14. Randi & Effy

    Randi & Effy Member

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    Oct 8, 2017
    Good to know! I'm self employed, I make cake balls for a living, so thankfully I'm almost always home with them which I can't be more thankful for at this point lol. I'm just now getting past the panic stage lol! I'll never reach the point of giving up :) I'm sure it'll get overwhelming at some points but I'd rather put up with some bad days than not have him on my lap every night. My name is Randi, by the way! Happy to meet all of you!!!
     
  15. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Wait til you get to Off Topic. That's a great photo, love big Tomcats!
     
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  16. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Mmmm
     
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  17. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Double mmmmmm with extra yumm yumm. Seeing as I weigh 75Lb.s LESS than in high school (upside down metabolism) I'll have 2 for lunch.
    I wonder why I didn't have a date to the prom.
     
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  18. Randi & Effy

    Randi & Effy Member

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    Oct 8, 2017
    lol!! mmm is right! you need more than 2! :)
     
  19. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Boy do I wish I was like you when I was 25. I was living in a party house and if my cat was diagnosed diabetic I would have peed my pants and then just given up. Some people don't get it until later in life, some people never get it. You don't have to devote your entire life to it. It's just compassion, common sense and the willingness to learn and make a few sacrifices.
    :bighug: :banghead: :coffee:
     
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