Info Discussion: "Feed kitty as much as they want?"

Discussion in 'Lantus (Glargine) / Levemir (Detemir)' started by Jill & Alex (GA), Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    it could just be a case of "repeat speak" commonly found on message boards, but prevailing wisdom these days seems to be to feed a diabetic kitty "as much as they want". overfeeding may be ok if kitty is underweight, but many of our diabetics are "fluffy" to begin with. :D

    i felt it was time to resurrect an old post from Dr. Lisa referencing a prior FDMB post by Hilary/Zug for your thought and consideration:


    Feeding hungry..... unregulated cats
    Posted by: Lisa dvm (IP Logged)
    Date: April 11, 2009 02:42AM

    Vic is right when she is discussing a happy medium.

    From this link:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/phorum5/read.php?15,520791,532240

    Please see this post:


    why food should be somewhat controlled...
    Posted by: Hilary & Zug(GA) (IP Logged)
    Date: December 1, 2006 11:22PM


    Here's a really good explanation of why NOT to overfeed/feed until "satisfied":

    In general, brain cells do not need insulin to utilize glucose. A specific area of the brain, called the appetite center (in the hypothalamus), monitors the amount of glucose that circulates in the bloodstream. The lower the blood glucose level in the cells in the appetite center the greater the appetite. Unlike most of the brain cells, the ability of glucose to enter the cells of the appetite center is dependent upon insulin. In diabetes mellitus, with its lack of adequate insulin in the bloodstream, these appetite center cells don't monitor glucose levels properly, thinking the blood glucose is low. as a result, the pet develops polyphagia to correct for this perceived problem. The additional food that is then eaten further increases the blood glucose level.

    from: http://lbah.com/feline/diabetes.htm#Pathophysiology

    Basically, a cat that's unregulated can't really tell what's going on with its appetite, and the high BGs make the cat even hungrier. It's something of a balancing act -- you want to be sure you're feeding sufficient food that the cat is getting the nutrition it needs, especially to help reduce the risk of ketoacidosis, but you don't want to overfeed (which often happens when the cat is "hungry"). The poor cat doesn't know if it really needs food, it just knows that its brain is saying "need food now!".

    Hilary

    Me: Active (albeit intermittently) on FDMB since Dec 2002.
    Zug (GA): B&W Japanese Bobtail, unknown age.
    Diagnosed 12/18/02. Tightly regulated on PZI-VET for most of his fight with diabetes. Died of peritoneal carcinomatosis (a very invasive form of cancer) October 19, 2005, and sorely missed.



    Lisa, dvm
    [www.catinfo.org] Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition
    [www.catinfo.org] Feline Diabetes
    [www.catinfo.org] Feline Obesity: An Epidemic of Fat Cats
    [www.catinfo.org] Feline Urinary Tract Health
    [www.catinfo.org] Quality Commercial Canned Foods
    [www.catinfo.org] Making Cat Food
    [www.catinfo.org] The Litter Box From Your Cat's Point of View
    [www.catinfo.org] Pilling Cats and Dogs - The Dangers of Erosive Esophagitis
    [www.catinfo.org] TLC Cat Rescue and Adoptions - Pictures of a few of my rescued cats and kittens
    [www.catinfo.org] Feeding Tubes Save Lives



    overfeeding can make it more difficult to pull those numbers down. as hilary said, "The poor cat doesn't know if it really needs food, it just knows that its brain is saying "need food now!". many of our diabetic kitties are overweight to begin with. more than one of us have found feeding a diabetic kitty "as much as they want" leaves us with an even fatter kitty. obesity can also create more problems.

    imho, we DO have to reach a happy medium. when alex was initially diagnosed and put on insulin i calculated how many calories she "should" be consuming using the guidelines found on Dr. Lisa's website. i started out with X amount of calories and then added an extra 3oz can to the total food consumed daily since diabetic cats do not utilize their food properly. within a few weeks of being treated with insulin, i gradually reduced the total amount fed to the amount of calories she *should* be consuming. feeding mini-meals throughout the day seemed to help satisfy her. the end result was a kitty who maintained rather than gained.

    maybe it's time to re-think the advice to "feed kitty as much as they want"?

    discuss...



    Edited to add on 05/20/2013:
    Unfortunately, we are no longer able to access the Feline Diabetes Message Board where this discussion originally took place. The links are dead and can't be fixed at this time. Sorry about that!
     
  2. Michelle and Mannie (GA)

    Michelle and Mannie (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED A KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?"

    Thanks for the post Jill. It is good one. Now if I can just figure out to get Mannie to drop a few of those extra pounds it would be perfect. I've calculated how much he should be eating - which is what he gets daily. Where I run into "problems" is when numbers go low, and I have to feed. So by the time the next cycle begins he's been though his daily allotment before the pm cycle even begins. Anyways - he's maintaining where he is right now, but sure would like to see him drop a pound or too.

    Thanks again for the post. I think we all need to know how much to feed - controlled quantity can make such a difference.
     
  3. Ronnie & Luna

    Ronnie & Luna Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED A KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?"

    yes, guilty of saying that, have seen this on the board too.
    But I will add, to which I forgot to add when I last said that, is the part of calculating your own kitty's calories that they should be receiving,
    to which I did do last year after going thru Dr L's link over and over again. Thank you for that reminder!

    I concluded my own results on how much to feed, with a little help from others, to what where are at today.
    We did end up with about the same results as Jill's Alex with a steady weight pretty much the same after that and successful mini meals.

    thank you Jill for bringing this up! Time to refresh what we've learned.
     
  4. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    feeding to manage low numbers does mess a weight control program up, but you have to do what you have to do to keep kitty safe.
    it's a balancing act at best. there will come a time when you won't be fighting those lows with food as you are now...
     
  5. mybuddybinks

    mybuddybinks Well-Known Member

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    Aug 11, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    :lol: :lol: "fluffy"...
    ah, jill...you are the epitome of discretion and sensitivity..
     
    Phoebes likes this.
  6. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    When I first arrived at FDMB, the prevailing sentiment was to feed as much as Gabby wanted. As a result of FD, Gabby had lost weight and was at her ideal weight. Not so much any more. Like Michelle, the challenge has been to watch her calories but then deal with the need to supplement with HC when numbers run low.

    Overall, I think it's a balancing act. The posts point out that until there's sufficient insulin, glucose metabolism isn't working properly so the cat is nutritionally deprived at the cellular level and glucose remains in circulation vs. in the cell. The commentary doesn't really speak to what will turn off the "appetite center" in the hypothalamus.

    What would be interesting to know is how well the mini-meal concept works with an unregulated cat. Since the kitties are hungry much of the time, not feeding all at once would have a better chance of getting the hypothalmus to have a response to the food as it's gradually being metabolized and raising BG levels. It's what's recommended to humans when dieting — eat more slowly so BG levels can come up so there's satiety causing the receptors to turn off.
     
  7. Perry and Sooty

    Perry and Sooty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    With Sooty we've been trying to limit his intake as best we could - we figured that with a cat that's constantly asking for food regardless, since it didn't matter if we feed him or not (as he was still hungry all the time anyhow). In other words he might as well feel hungry for a reason, than not...

    We've also tried to keep an eye on his weight and recenlty bought a baby scales so we could do that better; to begin with, it wasn't going up any so although he was eating 20-24oz a day we figured he was OK. Once his weight started to go up, though we knew we had to try and cut back a bit.

    So bottom line may be, that one extra item of equipment that an unregulated FD cat may need, is a set of scales...!
     
  8. Roni and Moonie

    Roni and Moonie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    I was shocked to see a post from me there!!!
    Moonie as you know, free feeds, and now that she is pretty well regulated, eats when she really feels hungry, not like she did before..
    She happily is almost the same weight for 2 yrs.
    In actuality now,my cats rarely finish all their food at any meal--and as I have been saying, when Moonie is well into the greens, she eats much less.

    This is a great post to bring back here--!
     
  9. Kathy&Powder

    Kathy&Powder Member

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    Sep 4, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    This has been a troubling area for me with Powder because he was practically emaciated. Being diabetic I know large amounts of food at once is hard on the pancreas having to cover the extra glucose. I do think having to feed him more does effect his BG but I feel stuck because he still needs to gain weight. I am trying to feed smaller frequent meals because it should help his body keep up with glucose but it doesn't always work. There is very little advice for those of us whose kitties aren't "fluffy" which makes it hard, I like having something to refer to like all our other stickies. :smile: Maybe with the skinny unregulated kitties it doesn't matter since their FD didn't happen from overeating :? IDK
     
  10. Beth & Atlas

    Beth & Atlas Well-Known Member

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    Mar 17, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    In Atlas' case he was indeed "feed as much as he wants" for a long time, even in the first few months that included leaving a bowel of dry kibble out during the day for him. Much to a few FD members dismay, I happened to agree with the vet on that tactic. If I had try to do strictly wet/canned at that time...I would have needed to have had my own delivery truck for cat food. At 8u of insulin BID it was a risk we had to take...

    After he gained his first 5lbs. back and was hanging out at about 9-10lbs. we started switching to canned and off kibbles. Food control and his overall health improving the hunger issue and insulin issue started to moderate.

    While Attie does still have some moderately high numbers and hunger hits every once in a while, he isn't clawing at me hourly for food. He isn't laying in front of the food bowl normally anymore.

    His raw diet claims he is to get only 4.5 medallions or so a day? We're at about 6 per day. That equates to 6 ozs per day. And Attie is at a nice 14lbs for his size. We weigh in about once a week and have been holding at this weight range for a little while now. :smile:

    And I agree with what some other folks here note...about dealing with the low numbers. It is extra calories in the diet. Although if one is constantly having to feed low numbers on top of the normal food...then maybe your dose and feeding schedule should be evaluated. One would think having to feed low numbers should be like when you have two slices of cake for dessert. It is rare event, not a normal event. Those rare events shouldn't add pounds.

    The other thing about getting our cats to lose the weight. Most information I read states they should get 10% less than their normal weight allotment.
     
  11. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    kathy, when a kitty is underweight like powder, i would just adjust the insulin needs accordingly until the kitty reaches their ideal weight. if he needs more insulin, so be it. you want an overall healthy kitty.

    when alex got so sick last march and wouldn't eat, i would have served her a heaping plate of pasta if that's what it took to get her to eat. if it tripled her dose i wouldn't have cared. lol! we have to look at more than just the diabetes when there are other conditions involved...
     
  12. Kathy&Powder

    Kathy&Powder Member

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    Sep 4, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    I've considered that Jill I sure want him to gain back his weight and fast. It is slower than I would like. I've often thought that if I fed kibble like before he would gain weight a lot faster. Do you think higher carb wet food would offer the same advantage? Am I slowing down his weight gain by the carb percent under 5? I feed him as much as he will eat & he usually has food left. I appreciate your thoughts on this 'cause I wonder about this every day.
     
  13. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    i have no expertise in this area, but i know there are some who do. i'm hoping they'll chime in here.
    my uneducated opinion is to look at the calories in what you're feeding. some lc foods have a higher number of calories. those are the ones i'd be feeding, but like i said... wait for some expert opinions. it might even be worth cross-posting your question on Health...
     
  14. Kathy&Powder

    Kathy&Powder Member

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    Sep 4, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    Thanks Jill good idea. I am trying to feed higher fat. I'll try the cross post and hope someone would weigh on feeding some kibble knowing I would have to give more insulin. we all know kibble makes fluffy kitties. :smile:
     
  15. Karrie and Maverick

    Karrie and Maverick Well-Known Member

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    Oct 22, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    We also have a baby scale - every cat is different and its really important to know your cat. The baby scale helps catch weight gain and weight loss trends accurately unlike weighing your kitty on a human scale.

    We bought our scale when Maverick had feline hepatic lipidosis (10 weeks with a feeding tube). We we It paid for itself twice over since - catching both weight loss trends and both diabetes positive blood tests. It will help once he is stabilized again in the future. We'll always be ready to catch FD if he goes to the falls, but it may catch other things in the future.

    Maverick is a wet food free feeder, still losing since his FD diagnosis, but very slowly. We have to tempt him to eat a bit more with chicken dust and assist feeding via syringe when necessary. He's lost enough weight this year that I don't want him losing anymore. I want a period of maintenance.
     
  16. Beth & Atlas

    Beth & Atlas Well-Known Member

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    Mar 17, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    According to Cornell cats, especially diabetic cats, that are underweight are at greater risk for complications from diabetes. The reasoning being along the lines that underweight cats are already in the ketonic state of having their bodies choose proteins and fats over glucose for energy in a wrong ratio.

    As my vet explained to me, this does not mean feeding high carb kibbles, but it does mean helping their bodies relearn how to utilize glucose. Atlas at 4lbs to Attie at 14lbs today. My vet felt and I agreed with him, that true regulation would not come for Atlas until his weight was more normalized. For Atlas that meant getting free access to food 24/7 and in order to accomplish that with Atlas, we had to use kibble. The kibble of choice at the time was Purina D/M and canned D/M. This diet was maintained until Atlas reached 9-10lbs. At which point transitioning over to the more traditional low carb diet was initiated.

    A similar OTC combo would be Evo kitten/cat canned and dry. The kibble is higher carb than canned, but is not HIGH CARB. in the traditional sense.
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    Does the same apply to acros? I ask because Ollie arrived at 15lbs, gaunt, with all his spine showing and all his ribs could be felt. To me, he looked starved.
    He was once eating close to 30oz a day but now is down to maybe 13 or 15oz, and he weighs 26lb. Before he would eat all in his plate; now he leaves food and comes back later.
    Shadoe weighed 11lb when dx and was eating close to 24oz, but now is down to maybe 6oz and weighs 14lb. Before, she would eat most in her bowl, but now she is a nibbler again.

    I don't know about Ollie, but Shadoe began eating more when she started to get insulin; before she was not a big eater.

    I have always given them what they want; Oliver never asks for food but Shadoe has on occasion.
     
  18. Beth & Atlas

    Beth & Atlas Well-Known Member

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    Mar 17, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    I would say with Ollie, whatever he doesn't eat in an hour gets picked up until next scheduled feeding time. Portion control. If Shadoe is nibbling and holding the line...leave Shadoe be. 'Course there is the problem of Ollie on a food seek and find mission.

    Every cat is different. Read part of Attie's story linked in my tagline. He had a lot of issues. At one point they even thought on top of his diabetes he had cancer. He was given to me to foster...until he died. Little did the shelter understand that his issues were complications....and the complications had become bigger issues than his diabetes.

    Many here thought I made bad choices regarding his care. I chose to take what I had learned here during my Tilei's life (fluffy kitty) and consider Attie's challenges. I thank God every day that I had a vet, from a shelter, that took the time to investigate Attie's treatment plan. And who could explain his concerns to me in a way I could understand.

    Every cat is different. As I told someone else...discuss underweight issues with your vet. It means more insulin and then the very scary task of working them down in dose, which is contrary to everything folks are told here. We have heart pounders here in Lantusland anyway...imagine working the dose thing...backwards.
     
  19. chriscleo

    chriscleo Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    i never agreed with the "feed kitty as much as they want" mantra, unless, of course, you've been battling hepatic lipidosis and need to help the liver along. for a cat with high glucose levels, much more food would have given the insulin a lot more to work on to get the glucose levels down.
    eventually, once cleo got a lot more regulated, she started to put the weight back on that she needed. until that regulation, i believe the extra food didn't really go anywhere anyway.
     
    Mocha aka Cold Play likes this.
  20. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    gayle, have you seen this chart: Evaluating Your Cat's Weight or taken a look at Dr. Lisa's Is Your Cat Overweight? and Implementing a Safe Weight Loss Program? There's some good info to be found...
     
  21. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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  22. MelanieAndRacci

    MelanieAndRacci Well-Known Member

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    May 19, 2010
    Re: *** DISCUSSION: "FEED KITTY AS MUCH AS THEY WANT?" **

    I feed Racci several small meals a day and let her guide me as to what she needs to eat. I usually feed one or two rounded tsps of food to a lot of water mixed together and she rarely finishes. By the end of the day she has eaten about 6-7 oz. She weights about 18 pounds now and she is losing weight the way I want her too, not too quickly and her numbers are good.

    Calories are what make them gain weight, not carbs. I feed Wellness which is high in calories so if you feed something with less calories you would want to feed more per your cat's weight.

    Melanie & Racci
     
  23. Shelly/Boots

    Shelly/Boots Member

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    Dec 30, 2012
    When Boots was first diagnosed and I started trying to regulate her, I didn't know a whole lot and went off my instinct
    and what I knew from have a daughter w/type 1 diabetes. One of the first things I did was buy an automatic feeder. Boots
    has always loved her food and I was afraid of food spikes with her appetite. I truly think this thinking got her regulated.
    At the time I noticed a lot of people were struggling with food spikes, but the message was feed as much as they want,
    because of H BS's causing the hunger. At the time I knew Boots would just keep eating and that method would not work for us.
    I tell people (newbies) not to worry so much and feed because they're hungrier when BS's are elevated and also it's the message I've read here.
    I always have wondered though and fairly convinced that regulating her food was helpful in her speed to being a controlled diabetic.
    It makes sense because it's true for my daughter. I'm not as concerned now, as, she's lost a little weight through the years and doesn't seem to be the little
    piggy she once was. She does still though love her food though. If I felt she was over eating and over weight, I would go back
    to a stricter controlled. I agree with you JIll, it's a balance and very individual as far as choice, depending on the cat's eating habits and weight.
     
  24. Mocha aka Cold Play

    Mocha aka Cold Play Well-Known Member

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    Sep 23, 2015
    THANK YOU. I AGREE FOR MY KITTY, IT RAISED GLUCOSE LEVELS OUT OF CONTROL IN ALL RESPECTS TO VOMIT, URINE AND THIRST. I LISTEN TO HOW SHE CONTROLS HER FOOD AND SHE IS STILL GETTING MORE THAN HER WEIGHT
     
  25. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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  26. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

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    Oct 18, 2015
    When a kitty has muscle wasting and is skin and bones from FD, why do we still want to limit food intake?
     
  27. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    We wouldn't.

    Here's the opening statement in this discussion:
    Care should be taken not to overfeed "fluffy" cats just because they're begging for food.
    The rest of the initial post explains why.
     
    Andy & Pimp likes this.
  28. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

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    Oct 18, 2015
    Thanks Jill. I saw someone asking about feeding their too-skinny kitty and I wanted to make this clear.
     
  29. Mocha aka Cold Play

    Mocha aka Cold Play Well-Known Member

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    Sep 23, 2015
    I too, have a too thin girl. She lost it too fast from gum issue. That has resolved and she is slowly creeping up but not in any danger zone of being too heavy anytime soon. In time, I think we can pull away 1/2 of one of her excess cans. Especially since, she is keeping her food down....which was a problem early on in dx that the extra food could not be processed. That was sad to see but short lasting.
     
  30. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

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    Oct 18, 2015
    That was absolutely the hardest part. I did have to watch him to make sure he didn't eat too much at a time, because he would gorge himself to vomitron status. Waste of expensive food and valuable calories.

    So I conclude that a thin cat should be fed as many reasonable portions as possible until weight is gained back.
     
    Mocha aka Cold Play likes this.
  31. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    :)

    Let's hope the point of the the thread isn't getting lost...
     
    Andy & Pimp likes this.
  32. Lynn & Rupert

    Lynn & Rupert Well-Known Member

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    Jul 15, 2015
    Another issue that many face is having a multi-cat household. I have four, one sugar kitty and I used to free feed all, so I had to really change all their eating habits to wet low carb canned food after dx. I tried 4 to 5 mini feedings a day, but it was hard to feed all of them and keep an eye on the sugar kitty, who would eat all their food and his! So, I settled on 3 feedings a day and weigh my sugar kitties food, trying to keep him satisfied, but not getting too fat. He usually acts hungry, but I know that is just his brain telling him that, he is back to his pre-diabetic weight and seems to be holding. He was never an over weight cat, just ate kibble mainly (if I only knew then what I know now :() . My point is, it is less practical to feed a lot of feedings when you have multi-cat household and every one has to find the right balance for them.
     
  33. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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  34. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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