Info Dry Food - PLEASE consider more than just carbohydrate content

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lisa dvm, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    You old timers know that I used to frequently post the link to Opie's story and I am very grateful to all of you who have picked up the baton and continue to remind newbies that diet is NOT just about carbohydrates but it is also about WATER.

    Opie's story - suffering from a urethral obstruction

    Yes, I truly am shouting.

    I can't think of anything else that causes me as much emotional pain as seeing a cat suffering/dying from a urethral obstruction which in probably well over 95% of all cases is caused by humans and their love affair with dry food.

    It pains me to read about Young Again Zero Carb or any other low-carb DRY food that come about when people get so focused on only the carb content of the food........and they neglect to keep in mind that a cat's urinary tract is much healthier when there is plenty of water flowing through it.

    A cat on wet food consumes double the amount of water compared to a cat on dry food when all sources (food + water bowl) are considered. More water in => more water running through the kidneys and bladder to keep debris (crystals, mucus, blood, protein, white blood cells, etc.) that could potentially lead to an obstructed urethra.

    Feeding a low carb dry food as a treat is no big deal. What I am talking about is when people think that ANY dry food is a healthy substitute for a water-rich diet of either canned or homemade.

    I would be beyond wealthy if I had a dime for every time someone said "but my cat won't eat canned food" or...."but my cat loves his crunchies!" (Oh how I hate that word "crunchies" to describe a food format that often causes such tremendous suffering.)

    Or...."but my cat drinks a lot of water" which neglects to recognize a cat's inherent low thirst drive and the fact that they do consume more water when on a wet diet.

    And, no doubt, some people will throw rocks at me but I will also say that in so many cases (but not all....), the human just has not tried hard enough...they have not implemented enough tricks or the right ones....and have given up far too quickly.

    Believe me, I know that there are some die-hard dry food addicts on this planet having dealt with my own cats (7 back in 2002 when I started the transition) + some stubborn foster cats which were all awful dry food addicts that did not even recognized wet food as food. It was a nightmare to get them all switched but all I had to do was think about the screams in agony of a cat with a blocked urethra and that was all I needed to stay the course.

    Please see Tips for Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food

    I want to make it clear that I am not unsympathetic to the stress that a diabetic cat caregiver goes through.....which is seriously compounded when faced with a dry food addict. Quite frankly, you all amaze me with your dedication when so many people simply euthanize their cats when hearing the diagnosis of "diabetes."

    However, I also hate to see a cat caregiver add more problems to their cat's 'plate' by contributing to urinary tract problems due to being fed a water-depleted diet.

    Opie's obstruction: His medical costs came to $4,350. Ouch. Urethral obstructions are not cheap $2K is not uncommon) and, again, they cause a tremendous amount of suffering.

    Other urinary tract problems are also expensive. It can cost ~$200 just to run a culture and sensitivity to prove that an infection actually exists for supposed "UTIs" which is an acronym that should never be used. People should state "UT INFECTION" (as proved by a culture & sensitivity) or UT INFLAMMATION" but never just "UTI" which simply leads to antibiotic abuse.

    See Urinary Tract Diseases for more information.

    Again, I want to thank all of you wet-food proponents for keeping at this mission to remind people that the water content of the diet is truly a critical component to feeding cats. I don't think you realize how much your help in this area is preventing further suffering of cats by keeping them from ending up with ruptured bladders.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  2. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 2, 2014
    Good post Dr Lisa!!

    Bump


    ETA And THANK YOU for the updated food list you have done.!! :bighug: :bighug:
     
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  3. Frank's Mom

    Frank's Mom Member

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    Mar 16, 2017
    If I switch to an all wet food diet (which I am not opposed to at all, and my cat is a very non-discriminant eater so no problems there) can I just leave it out all day? My worry is that he'll just eat it all as fast as he can (he does that now, but I limit his wet food to about a can and a half a day) and then starve the rest of the day. How do I safely feed him to be sure he has food when he's hungry instead of just when he's a pig?
     
  4. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    Many of the members on here will use a timed pet feeder so that there is small amounts of food available during the times you are not home. Some of them have a space under the bowl where you can put an ice pack. Others will freeze small portions of food and put it in the feeder and it will still be fresh when the feeder opens.
     
  5. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi "Frank's Mom,"

    First of all, we can't control everything in life....which, being the control freak that I am, I have to remind myself of periodically...

    Next, use the frozen food trick. Feed him his usual portion in the morning and then put out another portion that has been frozen. Sure...the frozen part will thaw to a state where he can eat it within a couple of hours, if not sooner, but it will slow him down enough to provide a snack later.

    Yes, you can leave canned food out all day. I am in warm So Cal and I routinely left food out for 12 hours at a time for over 550 foster cats and kittens that went through my foster room without a single problem. If it was a 'cold' day here in So Cal...and the food was still there at the 12 hour mark, I would leave it there for several more hours.

    Regarding cats that like to overeat - I find that many of them will self-regulate and slow down on their rapid/overeating-in-one-sitting habit once they know that food is available 24/7. In general, I like free-feeding all cats (unless I am working to get a cat to lose weight and then I try to opt for at least 4 meals...or more....per day) including my diabetic patients.

    Here is my bottom line: There is always a work-around to prevent a cat from eating a dry food diet.
     
  6. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Tux's mom - I know that this has been discussed before but has there been any recent (the past year or so) discussion of which brand of timed feeder works the best? There were some glitches with certain brands when we were having this discussion here on the FDMB a few years ago.

    (Thanks for your nice words about my post on this important subject!)
     
  7. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    I believe a lot of members here use the Petsafe 5. This might be something to start a thread on to get feedback from all those who do use feeders. (sorry I don't personally use one)
     
  8. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you. I don't use a timed feeder either. I just leave food out for free-feeding. I put out frozen food before I leave the house and also before I go to bed at night.
     
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  9. Frank's Mom

    Frank's Mom Member

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    Mar 16, 2017
    Thanks. I've always free fed, but it was dry food. In Jan I started adding in wet food, because I thought he might be prediabetic and my hope was to treat the disease and underlying causes instead of just medicating. I'm still hopeful, as we don't really know what caused him to get sick last weekend. I'll start in home monitoring tomorrow, for a few days, then when I'm comfort able with that, I'll try switching the food altogether while monitoring. Thanks!
     
  10. Frank's Mom

    Frank's Mom Member

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    Also, he's not really an over-eater. Frank weighed about 12.5 pounds at his heaviest and was down to 9.2 on Tuesday at the vet. We'd like him to gain about 2 pounds, so I don't even know how much I need to regulate his eating right now. (He did, however, chew a hole in his new diabetic food bag and free eat all night Thursday...)
     
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  11. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2013
    THANK YOU for this post, Dr. Lisa! As the mom to 3 cats who have had varying urinary issues, I can say that without wet food, I am sure I would have lost at least 1, if not all of them by now. We've had crystals, urinary tract infections (actual ones confirmed by culture and sensitivity) and many bouts of cystitis. While I worry constantly about them, I know at least that they have plenty of water since they eat a wet food ONLY diet and I add water to it...in addition to my water fountain. My girl with cystitis has flare ups fairly frequently, but I can only imagine how much worse it would be if she didn't have wet food...I still can't believe that I used to free feed only dry food!

    I leave the food out all day, Frank's mom. My cats go back and forth to it and in the evening, it's usually gone. :)
     
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  12. Dusty Bones

    Dusty Bones Member

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    Oct 20, 2013
    I feed my two cats FF and they get plenty of food and all without a timed feeder. I start the morning with 1/3 can each while I'm getting ready for work. Then as I walk out the door I leave them each with what's left in the can and 1/2 of another can each. They're by themselves about 9 hours , the food doesn't go bad and they've learned to regulate themselves. When I get home I give them each 1/3 can again then as I start getting ready for bed another 1/3 can each and before I go to bed I leave them with 1/2 can each to hold them over through the night. Sometimes they eat it all and mostly they don't. When I go out of town my pet nanny feeds them less. They get 1/3 each when she arrives, then leaves them 1/2 can each when she leaves and then come back about 10 hours later and does the same thing with just two visits per day. Now when I was testing and injecting the only difference was test, feed in the morning, still left food out for the day and after work test, feed still feeding several times and leaving food overnight. Hope that helps you...
     
  13. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reminder, Dr. Lisa. Because of your link about Opie which I read long ago, and other information I have learned on this forum, whenever I hear of a cat that is fed dry food, whether family, friend, stranger, co-worker, or neighbor, I always tell them about the dangers of feeding dry food. We'll keep spreading the news.
     
  14. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Thank you for posting! :)
     
  15. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dr. Lisa! Nice to see you! Thank you for posting this...Opie's story has saved a lot of lives. I still see his story shared on Facebook in groups not even associated with diabetic cats, groups focused on cat's health.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  16. dian and wheezer

    dian and wheezer Well-Known Member

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    awesome post dr. lisa. still making my raw food for 9 cats.
     
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  17. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 14, 2015
    Thank you for continuing to make the wet food message clear Dr. Lisa. :) And for the updated food list. I only wish I'd known about it earlier - I am 100% sure that the vet-prescribed dry food that I gave my cats for years and years was a big contributing factor in the health conditions that my Rosa developed which ultimately led to her untimely demise. Now I know better, I recommend your site to everyone.

    @Frank's Mom I switched from free-feeding dry food to free-feeding wet food for our cats. I do keep a small bowl of Young Again out for them too, but they only ever take a couple of pieces at a time...one small bowl will last 3 cats a week or more (and was doing the same for 4 cats), so I think they only take a bite of it for something different from time to time. When we adopted Roxi, she was being meal-fed and would swallow an entire can of food in 5 minutes...and then go looking for more. Since switching her over to the same free-feeding schedule that the other cats are on, she has learned that the food will always be there so she doesn't have to eat it all at once. Her eating has actually stabilized much more on a free-feeding schedule. As the others have mentioned, I don't use a timed feeder at all. I add a lot of water to the food, so it's kind of like a thick soup, to stop it drying out. And then it goes out and stays out for 12 hours...sometimes a bit more (we're in the not-so-warm Pacific NorthWest). If we're going to be out beyond feeding time, then I'll freeze a couple of bowls of food as well with the water already added and put those out just before we leave. It might thaw a little early (and one of ours will actually occasionally try to eat it still frozen), but it means they don't go hungry until we get home. In all honesty, there have been a couple of occasions where one of the bowls has been pushed under the kitchen table by one of the cats and I haven't noticed it when I'm picking up the empty bowls. I've caught all of the cats eating out of that bowl a couple of days later...so the food has been out for a long time at that point. And none of them has ever suffered any ill-effects even from doing that, which leads me to believe that the food is actually pretty stable at room temperature for a fairly long time. Food that's been out for that long isn't something I would encourage, for obvious reasons, but the thinking that any leftovers should be taken away after 30 minutes does appear to be a little unnecessary.
     
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  18. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

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    Is this raw food you are leaving out frozen, Dr. Lisa? I am feeding all raw and don't leave it out; however, my cats are the ssentially free fed because I'm here so much that when they come to the kirptchen and meow, they get a small portion of their balanced homemade raw.

    It would be nice sometimes to be able to leave it out.

    Thank you for a great post!
     
  19. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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  20. Frank's Mom

    Frank's Mom Member

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    Getting much better #'s (not great, but they've come down!) in the last 24 hours with no dry food. Yay!
     
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  21. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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  22. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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  23. PamJV

    PamJV Member

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    Feb 2, 2017
    Lisa, My Ricky refused to ever eat canned food starting at the age of 6 weeks. He has an extreme aversion to it. There's nothing I can do now that's a 14 year old on insulin. I'm not going to give him insulin and then let him go days without eating because he refuses wet food. He'd pass out before ever eating the wet food.

    All this might make you mad but it's real life. I don't have a love affair with dry food. This is just how things are. We all do the best we can with what we have on our plate.

    Pam
     
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  24. Just-As-Appy

    Just-As-Appy Member

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    Oct 17, 2010
    WRT timed feeders. I used the Petsafe5 for several years for my acro. I fed him every 4 hours 24 hours a day. He would be waiting at the 4-hourmark for the feeder to turn. I never had a problem with this feeder.

    I am currently cat-sitting a 'regular' diabetic and she uses a 2 compartment timed feeder. I put down a meal and then set the timers for 4 and 7 hours. The only problem is that the timers are not terribly accurate - ie within about + or - 30 minutes.
     
  25. Just-As-Appy

    Just-As-Appy Member

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    And yes, lovely to see you Dr. Lisa. I have sent many people to your page and just found your updated food chart. Thank you.
     
  26. julie & punkin (ga)

    julie & punkin (ga) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 17, 2011
    Thank you for the updates, Dr. Lisa - your site's information has been essential in helping us educate new members about food and general cat health questions.

    For feeding wet food when you're not home: I used the PetSafe 5 Compartment auto feeder with Punkin for several years. In online reviews people complained that it sometimes doesn't open fully. We found that if you have the food tray fully seated into the base unit, it always opened correctly. It's something that can be double-checked easily each time you put the food tray into the base unit. We only put canned low carb food in it.

    One more trick to keep the food fresh is to put an ice cube in each compartment.

    Just fyi, PetSafe now makes a self-cleaning litter box based upon the same rotating base concept. Great for someone with many cats, or for someone with physical limitations that might make it difficult to clean the litter box as often as it needs. We've had good success with them.
     
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  27. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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    Nov 15, 2013
    Max was a dry food junkie when he had a blockage and either a vet pierced his bladder unblocking him or it happened on its own which I doubt. That led to surgery and a week of ER recovery and I nearly lost him. Even then my vets had me feed Hills CD and didn't care if wet or dry. Luckily he never blocked again. Many years later when pancreatitis hit at the age of 12, I was told to switch to any canned food. Wanting to feed lower phosphorus I didn't know to watch carbs and his Ideal Balance , fancy feast sliced, and Soulistic pouches were very high carb. That led to diabetes. I tell my story to agree with Dr. Lisa. My fosters are eating canned low carb and I'm starting to add gently cooked chicken thighs until I figure out what to feed permanently when they become mine after they get spayed.

    Great reminder!
     
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  28. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    My vet gives us the Purina DM dry stuff for Snickers. So is this any good for her or not?
     
  29. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Their own website lists it at 18% carbs, and it's recommended that diabetic cats have a diet under 10% carbs. Some cats are even more carb sensitive than that.
    https://www.proplanveterinarydiets.com/products/dm-dietetic-management-cat/

    Also, it's dry food which has a strong correlation to UTIs and other health issues since cats aren't good at getting the hydration they need when on a dry food diet.
     
  30. Cat mom

    Cat mom Member

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    Apr 9, 2017
    Interesting thread reading how you all handle wet food only. I've fed my 4 cats dry and canned for 14 years. 2 of those 4 picked at the dry, one (now diagnosed diabetic) was a dry food junkie. When I learned dry food was very bad, I stopped it cold turkey, took it away.

    Their routine for years was dry food 24/7 and I would divide 1 can in the morning 4 ways and 1 can divided 4 ways in the evening.

    Now, I don't know how much to feed them at all. How much canned food does a cat need daily? The diabetic cat looked overweight at 14 lbs, but now looks underweight at 9 lbs, it's why I took him to the vet. I have one other cat on the heavy side and 2 that look skinny but healthy & they both beg non-stop. I could feed them 10 cans a day and they'd still beg.

    So, I am hoping someone can answer this, because there is no answer anywhere online. How many canned ounces per day per cat should I be feeding?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  31. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    There's no "one size fits all" answer

    The general rule is to start with [weight in lbs x 13.5] + 70 calories per day and then weigh once a week....if they need to gain, add more food and if they need to lose, feed less.

    There's a lot of calorie counts for quite a few types of food on this food list ....or you can call the manufacturer and they should be able to tell you (if it's not on the label or company website)
     
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  32. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    For whatever reason our kitty has been eating more of the dry DM than the wet. She may be getting tired of it. We were feeding Friskies pates but she was dropping very powerful poop bombs that stunk up the house so we cut the Friskies out.
     
  33. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Dr elsley's has come out with a 5% carb dry food that looks interesting. It's less expensive than young again zero and Evo.... Although I'm definitely sticking to ya because my cat likes it and it's 1%.... But an inexpensive dry at 5% carb may be worth looking into over the high carb dm food.
     
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  34. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Where can I buy this at?
     
  35. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    https://www.drelseys.com/clean-protein/

    I haven't tried it yet but wrote this morning about getting a free sample. Not sure if they will send one but figured it can't hurt to ask.
     
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  36. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Thank you!
     
  37. Cherryl & Mouzer

    Cherryl & Mouzer Member

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    I love the article - however - I have no love affair with dry food -
    It is that wet food is not affordable for the many cats in my care.
    I would love to be able to feed all of them wet food only. I have had quite a many of them die due to urinary blockage. For me to use wet food only just is not possible. There are 50 cats in my care. I do have quite a few of them on wet food only, due to health issues. I wish I could afford it for all of them, because it would probably cut down on health issues. I already am skipping bills to pay the vet and there is no money left for all of them to have wet food only.
    So, this dry food use is so very far from being any love affair.
     
  38. storm

    storm Member

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    Apr 15, 2017
    May I ask what you spend a week in dry food for 50 cats? .. I ask only because Wal Mart's Special Kitty Classic Pate ( less then 10% carbs) comes in 13oz cans, box of 12 cans for less then $8.50 a box so it may be worth looking into as a 12-16 lb bag of dry is $9+ per bag depending on the brand of dry you are buying and where you buy it from.
     
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  39. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Jul 19, 2011
    As Dr. Lisa said in her title: Dry Food - Please consider more than just carbohydrate content!!!

    It's STILL dry food! It still must be rehydrated using the body's water that's designed to be used for other purposes. It still take water from the colon, it still causes less liquid available to flush the kidneys. Doesn't matter what the carb count is...it's still dry food. And still isn't good!

    Cherryl - if nothing else, mix the dry with water and rehydrate it before feeding. Canned food can also be mixed with it when it softens.

    I had a perfect example happen here. Suzy-Q's story from May 2016:

    Hard food is BAD for kitties! Really great example of hard food to soft food change has happened here over the last week. We adopted a little abandoned kitty who's been fed only dry food her whole life. When she arrived, I used a Cool Whip bowl for her water. The first couple of days I let her stay with the hard food. She would DAILY drink that bowl of water down to less than an inch left in the bottom. The third day, I began changing her to half hard/half soft. The 6th day, there was no more hard food, just soft. Even tho' the same water bowl is right there, she now doesn't even drink down half an inch!!! She's not getting dehydrated - the dry food is gone! There's no longer a NEED to drink that bowl dry. She pees the same amount, it was taking that much water for her body to rehydrate then digest that nasty dry stuff.
     
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  40. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I don't serve just dry... I do wet twice a day with extra water added and have two fountains and two water bowls out all the time.
     
  41. Cherryl & Mouzer

    Cherryl & Mouzer Member

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    May 20, 2017
    I add canned food, to the dry, once a week, but it is NOT affordable. It is when someone donates it. I spend up to $2000 a month, caring for 53 animals. There is no money for more canned food. And I will not waste money to feed dry, add water, most dont like it and will not eat it, as I have done it in past, and the food sours and is trashed. I wont bother to try to explain just what is entailed when being fully responsible for 50 cats and three dogs on the income that goes with this house. I will simply say, 30k in debt and counting, all on animals, and the worry of how to keep up the roof over our heads. The End :)
     
  42. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    can you become a 501c non profit and get donations?
     
  43. Cherryl & Mouzer

    Cherryl & Mouzer Member

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    No, I cannot become a 501c3. It would take thousands of dollars to get set up in the way the code is for our county, plus the money to become a 501c3, plus having the people that the 501c3 requires that you have on a board, which I have no one to even consider for such a thing. However, I have been getting very little donations since 2014. Just because one would become a 501c3, does not mean the donations will start pouring in hahaha It is like pulling teeth, just to get people to share your need, and pulling what, I have no idea, because even harder to get them to donate. Some get it, some dont. From my observation, you have to be part of the main 'clique' to get any help with sharing the need and larger donations. I am not of a 'clique' and will never be.
     
  44. Emmy

    Emmy New Member

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  45. Emmy

    Emmy New Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Thank you for updates so timely for me! Diagnosed Oct '17, 12 yr old Mabel went into remission week of Easter cat_wings>o after an initial liver toxicity close call w glipizide, a trial of prozinc, a Lantus pen (it stung!), and finally Levemir. I'd given her subcu fluids as needed, founded both better dispensing needles & syringes, and gone thru many types of food. I found zero mature young again but to this day give lo carb wet food to keep her hydrated. I also give a little Origin kibble as treats. I am hesitating to reorder YA dry after a scare w a moldy bag awhile back. They replaced it NC w the new "flavor" pork only selenium only no tomato pomace but she eats too much of it on the free feed so I'm restrictin amount now. I've turned to FDMB again for info and the experience of so many & thanks, I'll be reading this and adapting. Mabel does remain in remission but not energetic.
     
  46. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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    Nov 15, 2013
    I've read Dr. elsey's is low carb and low phosphorus.
     
  47. storm

    storm Member

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    Apr 15, 2017
    i tried it, the chicken flavor, but had to go back to the YA Zero as Dr Elsey's Chicken flavor even at 4% carb, sent my boys BG numbers sky high
     
  48. DreMeister

    DreMeister Member

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    Apr 3, 2016
    Our kitty won't hardly touch the soft food anymore. She mainly eats the DM from the vet at 40 bux a bag. We give her Friskies and Nine Lives lo carb, but she barely touches it and somehow is gaining weight.
     
  49. Rebecca Z.

    Rebecca Z. New Member

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    Sep 12, 2017
    Thank you for this information. My cat actually quit eating his dry food and only wants wet. We are 4 days post diagnosis and he is not happy being on a 2 feeding schedule(he was a grazer). The vet said I could give him 1/4 c. per day "snack" of dry food if he wanted it(and I'm looking into a timed feeder to release it while I'm at work) Otherwise to keep him on wet(we use Fancy Feast) I am now looking into lower carb/high protein senior(he's 11) dry food. Chewy has a nice selection and we are going to try Nutro Wild Frontier. They sell a small bag, so no big worries if it's a bomb.
     
  50. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 14, 2015
    You can put wet in a timed feeder too. Many of us either do that, or leave canned food out for times we're not going to be around. You can even freeze the wet food with some water added if you want to be certain it's completely fresh when it's time for him to eat.
     
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  51. W.K.

    W.K. Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Feeding 2x a day isn't a rule as many cats don't agree with this. But you could still feed a full breakfast, maybe leave a snack when you leave for work, give one when you get home, and dinner at the PM shot. This is pretty much how we do things, as well as leaving EVO dry out for grazing during the day since we are a multiple cat household (3). Finding wet foods that they will all eat can be tricky. But they all will eat any wet food with some fortiflora sprinkled on it. Any wet left over from breakfast/dinner is just left out for them to graze on, as long as they are low carb.
     
  52. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    There's no reason to do twice a day feedings....that's kind of "Old school" thinking...it's actually easier on the pancreas to deal with multiple small meals instead of 2 big ones.

    Just like humans are told to eat frequent small meals, it's the same for our sugarcats!

    The Nutro is too high in carbs for a diabetic cat.....all dry foods except the Young Again (about 5%), Evo Cat & Kitten (about 8%) and a new one, Dr. Elsey's Clean Protein are too high in carbs, but as Dr. Lisa says, there are really good reasons not to use those foods either.

    All cat's weakest organs are the kidneys....and a diabetics are even more likely to cause problems, so the more water you get into them, the better. ALL dry foods require re-hydration before they can be digested which pulls water out of their body first, so there's even less water available to keep those precious kidneys flushed out!

    If you're not home during the day to feed, a lot of us use autofeeders like this PetSafe5. It can be used with canned food just fine! Because it's "sealed up", the food doesn't dry out like it does if you just leave it out, or you can even add a little extra water or make "food-sickles" by adding water to canned and freezing it in ice cube trays.
     
  53. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    You can also put freeze dried treats in the autofeeder like freeze dried chicken. That's what I do for my kitties when they need a snack between meals and I'm gone. They eat a raw diet so I can't leave it in the autofeeder as mine doesn't have a good place for freeze packs.
     
  54. Rodrigosan & Enzo

    Rodrigosan & Enzo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Thank you Dr. Lisa, for all your work on the food chart, and advice on the use of dry food..Do you have thoughts on Purina DM, in comparison to EVO 95% animal protein wet food in regards to diet management for diabetic cats? Enzo likes both, but did up-chuck after eating DM this morning. Pet Vet foods in Oakland Ca, said that their clients with diabetic cats have had great success with remission using the EVO 95% Chicken & Turkey in Gravy.
     
  55. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi,
    Regarding (wet) Purina DM, Dr Lisa writes this on her website:

    "The Purina canned DM favorably addresses the overall carbohydrate level but it also contains corn, wheat, and soy and it contains predominantly liver versus a muscle meat. These ingredients are certainly not what a cat would choose to eat in the wild. Note that there is a negative relationship between soy and thyroid health. Given how common hyperthyroidism is in cats, I will not feed soy to any cat in my care."


    [Source for quote: http://catinfo.org/feline-diabetes/ ]
    .
     
    Jill & Alex (GA) likes this.
  56. Rodrigosan & Enzo

    Rodrigosan & Enzo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Thank you Dr. Lisa..Enzo and his 1 year old buddy (Blue) liked DM, but after a few courses it made him throw up...Under recommendations, we tried EVO 95, and they both love it, and Enzo is acting more himself, energy, personality, and no urinating in the house...What do you think of EVO 95? or is Raw Food still the best? Thanks again for the food chart, it seems that there are quite a few foods that are better than most vet prescribed foods like DM. With the EVO he seems much better. Since I am an old hand at testing and curves I am going to check blood sugar readings. His onset began after infection from an abscess and a two week antibiotic injection a month ago....He got well and then lethargic and when checked again, started urinating in the house ( I should have known) they gave him another 2-week antibiotic injection and suggested the DM...I am trying to bring those levels down without insulin, and started with the DM last Friday. They want to do a full blood panel, but we are holding off, because once we took away the Purina grain free kibble and went to DM and EVO he seems to be like his old self, no gobbling of food. His brother Lennox who passed about 5 years ago after a 2-year diabetic period, was prescribed up to 10 units of insulin daily. We found a holistic vet (Dr Richter, Oakland Ca, and he prescribed raw food, 3 drops of walnut bud oil and 2 Duplex tabs daily...full regression 1 week. Finally after a year of peace for Lennox, while on vacation a house sitter on his own left out kibble for a week, and Lennox died of a burst spleen. We will save Enzo, and after spending so far about $600 do not want to go down the money pit. I thank you again for all you have done on this board. Healers are healers, and many Dr.'s are not.
     
  57. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    If you read what she posts on her site you will see what she feeds her own cats which is a raw homemade diet. She also lists in order of most recommended to least based upon budget. I also suggest you consider Food fur life and gently cooked protein. That being said I am feeding my one year old frozen raw. I keep considering homemade though. Check out felineinfo.org
     
  58. Carolyn Ross

    Carolyn Ross Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2017
    Thanks for all the information on how you all are feeding a wet diet!

    After just receiving the information (like 3 days ago) that my cat had diabetes -I tested with the glucometer; got several readings before going to the vet the next afternoon. She suggested switching to an all wet diet before starting insulin. She said to take a couple of weeks for the switch.

    Sam was getting Hills KD (about 1/4 cup +-) and Wellness Core beef, venison & lamb (1/2 small can) each day plus Temptation treats. He was a fan of Fancy Feast classic seafood feast awhile ago (but I thought a more premium brand would be better till now) so I bought several cans (plus some classic varieties to try later) and also got a sample pack of EVO dry turkey & chicken. In reading the food chart for Wellness Core, I found that the carbs were 13% and its also a higher calorie food, so I'll be eliminating it. He doesn't have kidney problems now so I'll be eliminating the KD too. Also, as the temptation treats are probably mostly carbs, they'll need to go too.

    After reducing the amount of "bad" food (especially the dry portion), increasing the Fancy Feast and using the EVO as his treats for just a day, his urine output yesterday was normal, as is his drinking (he did seem to sleep more but I think it was the stress of a vet visit the previous day? I hope so anyway- he is typically a lazy cat) I'm amazed at the quick change. I'm not supposed to take more BG readings for a couple of days since I think my vet wanted me to not get frantic over this, so I'll wait till tomorrow. I'm excited about his change for the better but afraid to get too excited that he might not need insulin afterall. Can diabetes be turned around this quickly? I'm also wondering if a food like EVO dry - used for treats - being that it is so high in protein, it's safe for a cat that is 14. It's says for kittens and adults up to 7.

    Sam is on the heavy side 18.8# but because of his age, a diet was never recommended, but losing a couple of pounds would probably be good for his joints, if not all the other organs. I noticed that most of you feed around 3 cans of food per day - that's a lot more than I'd been feeding, I guess because the dry food is so calorie dense (so feeding so much more canned food is another thing to get used to) What are the treats you give to your cats?

    There is another question about the formula consistency of the Fancy Feast canned food - have any if you ever noticed that your cat wouldn't eat from a certain lot number? Sams done that before (especially after I've bought a number of cans). He'll eat from a differently dated, same variety - it's one of the reasons I switched from the Fancy Feast, although it just happened with the Wellness Core too. Sams is very finicky and, while I see lots of people at the cat food aisle searching for their cats preferred flavor, consistency, and brand - I guess lots of cats are. I really wish the exactness of the recipes used could be more quality controlled so there wouldn't be any difference between lots. Have any of you run into that problem, do your cats only like one flavor, or do you try and give them a variety so you are prepared for occasions like this?
     
  59. pmanderson0417

    pmanderson0417 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    These are all great suggestions re: getting everyone eating canned food and how long to leave it out. I was also wondering about how long I could leave cans out and it seems that I can leave them out longer than I originally thought. We are slowly working our way to getting off the crunchy food. They all love FF Classic, so that's an easy solution.
     
  60. MamasBoBoMan

    MamasBoBoMan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    No kidding!! I am new to this & ordered Young Again (should arrive today) because he is eating MD glucose management dry food now. I will try to wean him into wet food & young again as a mixture as a treat once adjusted.

    Any recommendations on transitioning to new food??
     
  61. pmanderson0417

    pmanderson0417 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    I've had absolutely no problems getting them all to eat wet food; they actually like the fancy feast classic pates but since there are 4 of them, I'm going through a lot of cans. In the beginning, I had a devil of a time finding a food they'd like. I tried darn near every canned food on the list from Tanya's CRF website and wouldn't you know it, they liked fancy feast the best. :)

    One thing I have done since I have multiple cats, I've ordered surefeed microchip enabled feeders for each of them to help with portion control and to make sure tiger (and everyone else) gets to eat when they want AND to stay out of everyone else's food so they can eat smaller meals throughout the day. One is a kitten who I have on low-med carb kitten food and he needs to eat when he wants to right now; one is a 2 1/2 year old little piggie who probably doesn't need to eat quite so much (she's a bit on the heavy side); one is an older kitty who doesn't like crowding in there for food; and then there's tiger, who is the only diabetic. They all eat the same FF food but they like to compete for it. :|

    I would also like to keep letting Tiger have a *little* bit of the young again zero kibble in his bowl to munch on at night but the rest of them don't need it; this food bowl will prevent that. We had great success a few years ago getting his diabetes under control with insulin, YAZ and wet food but trying to keep everyone eating their own food and minding their own business was quite a challenge. (I keep looking at that food bowl and wondering why didn't I think of that?!)
     
    Vader723 likes this.
  62. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Chelsea,

    How's your BoBoMan doing today?

    In general you need to transition any cat to a new food gradually in order to minimise risk of digestive upset.

    For a cat on insulin you need to be home testing before starting the transition to a lower carb diet because a previously safe insulin dose may end up being too high for the reduced carb load. Read this article by vet Dr Lisa Pierson for more detailed information on how to safely transition an insulin-dependent diabetic cat to a lower carb diet:

    http://catinfo.org/feline-diabetes/

    For info, m/d dry food is fairly high in carbs so you really need to heed Dr Pierson's warnings about the need to closely monitor BG and adjust insulin dose as required from the very beginning and right throughout the full period of the diet transition since the foods you're planning to switch to will have a significantly lower carb load. Also, definitely heed Dr Pierson's warning about how highly significant and quickly a reduction in BG levels can appear right from the beginning of the cutover to a food with a lower carb load. This is most certainly true - sometimes the speed and degree of improvement in BG level is absolutely jaw-dropping ...

    [​IMG]


    ... both during the transition and even thereafter since levels may continue to drop into better numbers for several cycles following completion of the food transition. (I can attest to this from personal experience. )


    Mogs
    .
     
  63. MamasBoBoMan

    MamasBoBoMan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    He is doing good, thanks for asking! How's your baby?
     
  64. MamasBoBoMan

    MamasBoBoMan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Random question, when he was last at vets last Saturday when they diagnosed him they also have him antibiotic shot for bacteria uti.....do I need to take him back to test again to be sure it's gone? I never saw any noticeable signs of UTI.
     
  65. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    You could try running some home urinalysis tests to monitor things. (Blood in the urine is a good think to keep a look-out for.) The other thing is to keep an eye on clinical signs, recording any observations you make.


    Mogs
    .
     
    tiffmaxee likes this.
  66. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Urinating a lot or going in and out of the box without going are also signs. Same with going outside the box. The problem with giving a shot without running a culture and sensitivity is that it might not be the right antibiotic for the infection. If it was convenia it’s not the best choice for a UTI. Is that what was given?
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  67. MamasBoBoMan

    MamasBoBoMan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    She never even told me & I didn't see anything mentioned on my receipt but I know she gave him injection.

    He hasn't shown any of the uti symptoms in used to except excessive urination but still in the box but over the past couple days it seems to have reduced a lil and even seen stool... which has been absent for a couple days.
     
  68. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    All good signs. :)

    If I might make a suggestion, always ask for copies of reports and what was given to your pets. That way you know and so will another vet should you need to go to an ER. I learned the hard way after an oncologist didn’t tell me the chemo was hurting my cat until way late despite my asking.
     
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  69. Karen Mulholland

    Karen Mulholland Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Thank you Dr. Lisa for quite possibly saving my Rocky's life. After a long involved story with obstructions, being directed to dry c/d formula and now diabetes and my vet still saying the food was not a big factor, I came across your nutrition advise. I switched Rocky to all wet, with added water Fancy Feast Classics within one week have seen his BG drop over 300 points. I also lower his insulin when I switched as per your advise. It's just amazing to me, I believe my vet is a good man, but one that is very misinformed. Thank you again.
     
  70. Karen Mulholland

    Karen Mulholland Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Yes, I will thank you for the suggestion.
     
  71. Emmy

    Emmy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Mabel still off Levemir except during recent illness when BG once elevated. Both my cats got ill (vomiting & diarrhea/soft stools, and clearly feeling unwell). I had just received a reorder of YA Zero Mature & in trying to determine cause of illness called YA to ask if there have been issues. They denied any issues. Long story short, after 2 weeks of illness, & having taken YA away from kitties, kitties have improved. Am asking if anyone else has had problems with YA food. Last summer I had posted about blue mold but then they replaced it. Needless to say I am dissatisfied with YA product, but also with their customer service and business ethics. I am writing you here though out of concern for you and your cats. Anyone else recently experience illness from YA Zero Mature?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  72. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    I’d post this on main health in a separate condo. Glad your cats are better. Another dry you might want to try is Dr. Elseys.
     
  73. Ozzy Pawzbourne

    Ozzy Pawzbourne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    I was directed to your comments about YA on this thread. I have been testing it on my kitties for about a month. It causes horrible diarrhea in my civie. I haven't noticed any problems with my diabetic but he rarely gets any. I stopped giving it to my.civie and his GI upset went away immediately. Tried it again the last few days and woke up to a pile of stinky diarrhea in my kitchen this morning. Poor kitty. It is just not working for him. Main ingredient is pork. When did cats start eating pork in the wild? Needless to say, we probably are done with this food for my civie and will only give to my diabetic for back up out of the house over night adventures.
     
  74. Emmy

    Emmy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    My diabetic cat ate YA Zero Mature before & did not get sick, except from the moldy food last May, and now again. The timing of taking up food from this latest bag & cat symptoms improving do not seem coincidental. (My young cat has never really liked it and ate little of it. I finally figured she could be allergic.) But what makes it all so exasperating is the company. They claim free feed and if you don't or can't they put the onus on the customer or cat. Re: cost. They will seemingly begrudgingly refund but I pay to ship. It costs them $5 to ship Speedee; costs me $14. The food is $57.71 for 8 lbs. Customers must always pay to return it she claimed. I am just relieved kitties are better now. For me, now, YA is no longer worth the risk. I cannot speak for others. And am in a place where there are other options, but ironically close geographically to YA. I wish you and yours good health.
     
  75. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Main ingredient is pork. When did cats start eating pork in the wild? Needless to say, we probably are done with this food for my civie and will only give to my diabetic for back up out of the house over night adventures.[/QUOTE]

    Actually pork is usually well tolerated. Some of the recovery foods use pork. Of course ECID. Another dry some are using is Dr. Elsey’s which is low carb. It’s sold by chewy.com who has excellent customer service. I bought some to try as a treat for my young ones but haven’t yet.
     
  76. Ozzy Pawzbourne

    Ozzy Pawzbourne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Actually pork is usually well tolerated. Some of the recovery foods use pork. Of course ECID. Another dry some are using is Dr. Elsey’s which is low carb. It’s sold by chewy.com who has excellent customer service. I bought some to try as a treat for my young ones but haven’t yet.[/QUOTE]
    Thanks!!
     
  77. Lesliejm

    Lesliejm Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Mango throws up on it I will never use it again I'm doubting if it's good for cats now that everybody's saying their cat gets sick on it I would not recommend it in my opinion
     

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