Feeding Schedule

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by run4life10, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. run4life10

    run4life10 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Pumpkin was only diagnosed a few days ago and we are still trying to figure everything out. She has always been free fed dry cat food (low magnesium for urinary tract issues). Upon diagnosis we immediately switched her to all canned food, which the vet recommended 1/2 can 2x/day right before her insulin. I have not been able to wean her to two meals per day because she just seems starving. The vet was insistent on this feeding schedule, but some members on here have said that meals throughout the day are ok and may even be better for them. Does anyone have more info on this and why the vet would recommend only 2 meals per day? At this point she seems to have gotten herself on a fairly consistent schedule of wanting to eat every 4 hours, so she eats her larger meals in the morning and at night for her injections (about 1/2 can each feeding), and then 2 meals during the day (about 1/4 can each feeding). She seems to really like this feeding schedule, and I feel awful withholding her meals when she is just acting so hungry.
     
  2. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    As long as you are feeding the the appropriate amount of food (calories) per day and the food is high quality protein low-carb wet food, it is fine to feed multiple times per day. You do want a couple of the meals to correspond to shot times. I feed my girls 4 times per day (about every 6 hours), and any leftovers are left out for grazing on. Some people use auto-feeders to handle the multiple feedings.

    I do not know why a lot of vets recommend feeding only twice per day. I have seen some here say that it may be because the older, harsher acting insulins required eating more at shot time. I have no idea. The AAHA guidelines (link in my signature) talk about portion control and monitoring intake. You can still do that with the food broken into multiple meals. They also say, "Free-choice feeding is acceptable if a cat’s eating habits cannot be changed (the Task Force recommends that the daily ration be divided into multiple meals. The use of timed feeders may be helpful in this scenario)."
     
  3. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    I just had to throw this in... Vets also sometimes recommend bad food options such as 'prescription diet' dry food with way too many carbs and questionable ingredients. Some also give bad dosing instructions that leads to cats having serious hypos. And, some vets recommend against home testing - to me, that is the most ignorant recommendation of them all. So, the best way to go is to educate yourself so that you can make decisions on what advice to take and what advice to ignore.
     
  4. Tracey&Jones (GA)

    Tracey&Jones (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Jones was one of those ones that were free fed. I had the microchip feeder for him so the civvies couldn't get into his food. I loaded it twice a day and shot time. I would put his bowl under his nose at the testing area so he could eat some fresh stuff and I would know he was willing to eat. As long as he took a bite I would shoot. Then I put the remaining in his feeder so he could go and eat when he wanted till text test time.

    That is what worked best for us. Now it is important to keep in mind that the PS numbers may be food influenced...over time I was able to figure out his regular eating schedule and determine if it the number was food influenced or not.

    If you are not sure why your vet is suggesting that, ask why! Then discuss the fact that lantus is a depot insulin, it will act through out the day and can have a nadir anywhere from +2 to +10 or more, so having more meals will actually work best with this type of insulin and work best for your kitty.:D Remind the vet he needs to work with the patient.:p
     
    Noah & me (GA) likes this.
  5. run4life10

    run4life10 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Thank you, that is very helpful! Now my next question is how much she should be eating in a day. The vet had said that 1 6-ounce can per day would be fine, but that does not seem like enough for her. Right now she has been eating about 9 ounces per day. She was a 10-lb cat before all of this started (she has a very petite frame, and 10lb was definitely more than she should have weighed). But since this whole ordeal started she is down to 5.5lb. I think she needs to gain some of that weight back, but obviously I know she has the tendency to over-eat and I don't want her to become overweight again. I'm having a really hard time knowing when she actually needs to eat and how much she actually needs since she just always acts like I'm starving her.
     
  6. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    If she's lost too much weight and her BG is still not well regulated you can feed more in several small meals a day. If the kitty isn't well regulated they can't absorb the carbs in their food properly, they're hungry all the time and putting/keeping weight on will be difficult.
     
  7. run4life10

    run4life10 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    We have not had our first follow-up yet and I don't have a testing kit so I'm not sure how regulated she is. I'm also not sure what would be a proper weight for her and how much she should be gaining back. She was definitely overweight before.
     
  8. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Your vet should be able to advise re good weight. Give some thought to testing her BG at home. You'll feel more in control and what you see with her appearance, behaviour, etc. won't be a big mystery. You also won't live in fear of a hypo. :)
     
    AlphaCat and Noah & me (GA) like this.
  9. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Hi there,

    my girl too is petite framed and several vets said that 9 lb is an "ideal" weight.
    My Ducia is indoors only lazy couch potato type cat and gains on 180 Kcal/ 24 h - like 1 5.5 oz can of Friskie Pate or less.

    If your kitty is the same then try feeding 250-300KCal per day for a while - and check her weight periodically. Smaller portions throughout a day are better than 2 or 3 large servings for diabetics. I see it as a good sign of self regulation that she wants to eat about every 4 hours - sounds very natural for a cat, healthy appy. My Ducia is just like that - 3 - 4 hours small meal.

    At 5.5 lb only and with (presumably) High BG levels you are in a risky position. I would not worry about her becoming overweight again but rather try to get her to eat enough to level at 9lb as quickly as I can.

    @run4life10
     
    Noah & me (GA) likes this.
  10. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    I'd love to know if vets do this with their own cats. When a cat's medical condition changes and we turn their world upside down with new food and strict feeding times it is the opposite of a million years of instinct. Lucky for us we never had an obese diabetic cat, we free fed them and it turned out fine.
    And that stupid chart on the wall showing the cat with the "ideal body weight" belongs in the trash. Do any of us have an ideal body weight? Just like cats we're all different.
    @Tanya and Ducia
    Я скучаю по тебе. Знаете ли вы, что мы недавно спасли большую слюнявую собаку?
     
    AlphaCat and Tanya and Ducia like this.
  11. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    :bighug::eek::bighug:
    god bless your golden heart Dickson, I hope that drooler (слюнявую собаку :):):)) turns out good friend!
     
    Noah & me (GA) likes this.
  12. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Yes, my heart of gold. :rolleyes:
    Or maybe "Heart of gold, head of wood".
    When I'm using power tools (you have to flex your arms for this), "Strong like horse, smart like tractor".
    If you live long enough and are "good with animals" all kinds of things happen. The old woman propping a step ladder against a tree, that was me she frantically waved down. It must have been 40 below so up I went, no gloves, someone frail keeping the ladder steady. "Here kitty, jump into my arms".
    ladder01.JPG
     
    Tanya and Ducia likes this.
  13. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Hi!
    Welcome to the sugar cat club!

    Knowledge is power when it comes to most things, and a diabetic cat is no exception.
    As soon as you can, please consider home testing. Your numbers will be more accurate than the numbers at the vet just due to the environmental factors (car ride, med/vet smells, other animals). Also, the more information you collect the better position you can be with helping Pumpkin.

    My Fabby had lost a lot of weight before she was diagnosed. And the same like Pumpkin, always hungry (and thirsty). Once I learned that the diabetes had been literally starving my poor girl I tried to get as much food in her as possible (as she was also under weight for her size once we found the diabetes).

    I have 2 struvite crystals boys, (not my Fabby) but I was trying to get the household all on the same food. It is really hard to find food that is both low carb and low magnesium. Have you checked your prescription food on the food chart here? The manufacture might be of help to find out what Pumpkin's serving size is supposed to be. (But you'll likely need to know what her target weight should be.) but for right now, feed her whatever she will eat until you can get the insulin stabilized.

    I fed Fabby 4x a day as much as she would eat. (Which sometimes was a struggle... starving all the time, but wouldn't even eat a whole can a day some days.) I also tested 4x a day (right before each feeding). The consistency really helped me see patterns, and then I could corroborate her physical behavior with low or high glucose to just help me get better visibly monitoring her.

    Hang in there!
     
    Noah & me (GA) likes this.
  14. run4life10

    run4life10 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Thank you all for the suggestions! I’ve spent all day researching homemade recipes, ordered a meat grinder and everything else I’m going to need to start making her meals so I will start that this week. I also ordered a testing kit so I can start testing at home. This has really been consuming my life these past few days but I’m staring to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m hopeful that all the hard work will pay off in the end. In the meantime while I’m waiting on the testing strips are there any outward signs I can use to gauge how she’s doing? I know the signs of a serious episode, but anything before it gets to that point? I did notice last night that she was not really able to even walk at all, her poor little legs just kept slipping out from under her and she was getting so frustrated. I am seeing how she is definitely walking on the whole lower part of her legs. I was getting so worried about her, but today she seems to be getting around much better. Is that one of those things where there will be good days and bad days? Is that any indication of how her blood levels are? Is that something that will improve as she gets better or is the nerve damage permanent?
     
    AlphaCat likes this.
  15. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    I don't know if it varies by cat, but when Fabby's sugar was high she would sleep a lot, and be lethargic, and sort of dazed.
    (She was really smart, not that I'm biased or anything, so it was noticeable.) She normally listened well, but when her sugar was high she stopped listening. We didn't have many lows, so I can't help regarding those reactions.
     
    Noah & me (GA) likes this.

Share This Page