New to this - how do I switch my cat's diet?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Rafferty, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Rafferty

    Rafferty New Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    I just adopted a diabetic cat, and the shelter has her on a prescription diet (Royal Canin Glycobalance wet food), but it still seems very high carb to me. I'm looking into switching her to an appropriate, low-carb commercial food, but I'm worried that if I do that, the amount of insulin she's currently on will be too much. I have no idea how or whether to lower her insulin dose. Any advice?
  2. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi and welcome. It is wonderful you have adopted an FD kitty:)
    So we can help you can you tell up the following:

    What insulin and how much insulin is your Kitty on?
    What does your kitty weigh?

    Before you switch over to a lower carb food....which will be much better for your would be wise to start home testing the blood sugars because once you lower the carb level of the food, the blood sugars (bsl) will drop. If you are home testing you will be in control of the situation and will be able to manage the changeover of food to a lower carb food successfully and safely.
    Here is a link to food charts where you can find lower carb food. Look for food 10% or under

    I do not live in the US but I believe you can buy monitors to test the BSL at Walmarts. Look for the human monitor Relion

    Here is a link to how to test the bsl. It sounds scary at first but you will very quickly learn how to do it and your cat will not mind you doing it

    It is a steep learning curve in the beginning. We have all been there so understand how you feeling at the moment.
    Keep asking lots of questions. Read all the yellow stickies at the top of the pages.
  3. Rafferty

    Rafferty New Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    Thank you. She's on PZI, 3 units twice daily. She weighs just under 8 pounds.

    I guess what I don't understand with the home testing process is how you actually use the data you get. Once you find out what the cat's blood sugar level is, how do you know how much insulin to give, etc?
  4. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    3 units is quite a large dose so you would definitely not want to change over to a lower carb diet unless you were monitoring the BSL.
    We test the bsl for multiple reasons.
    First of all we always test every time before we give any insulin, to make sure that it is safe to do so. You would not want to give insulin if the bsl is too low.
    Then we test at different times during the cycle ( the time between one insulin dose and the next insulin dose....12 hours), to see how the insulin is affecting the bsl.
    This way we can see if we are giving too much, too little or the correct amount of insulin.
    When we change the dose of insulin we go up or down in 0.25 unit increments. This way it is safe and we do not go past the correct dose.

    It takes time to understand it one will expect you to "get it" straight away.
    And we are all willing to help you along the way. As lots of questions.

    We have a spreadsheet that records all the bsl and helps to get the bigger picture. You can click onto anyone's SS which you will see in their signature at the bottom of their posts. Have a look at a few and it will give you an idea of what I mean.
    When you have time it would be a good idea to set up your spreadsheet. Here are the instructions. If you are not very tech savvy, yell and someone will help you set it up....many of us needed the help!

    Do you have a good understanding vet? A lot of vets do not know a lot about feline diabetes.
  5. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    I'm going to tag a couple of people who use PZI insulin and who may be able to help you more than I can as I have not used PZI.
    @Kris & Teasel @Djamila @Rachel
  6. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2015
    Good morning, and welcome! Bron has given you a lot of good information already. 3u is a hearty dose, but we aren't sure how long the kitty has been on insulin and how the shelter/vet were testing, so it may well be appropriate. There are kitties around here on even higher doses, so I wouldn't want to change that until you are testing.

    There are "sticky" threads at the top of the prozinc forum that explain the basics of how we use the numbers in dosing. With Prozinc there is a bit of an art to it, as well as the data driven guidelines, so especially at first, it's usually helpful to post and ask for other's to chime in with their thoughts. As you collect data and get to know your cat and her unique responses, you'll get the feel for it.

    Here is a link to the Prozinc forum. The "sticky" posts are the ones at the top.

    You might also find it helpful to click on the links to our spreadsheets. They are the blue text in our signatures (the light grey text at the bottom of everyeone's posts). Looking at the spreadsheets will help you get a sense of how we use the data. One thing to keep in mind is that most of us who post frequently also have the time to be testing a fair amount (I get to work from home a lot). If you work full time, we can help you figure out how to manage all of this with less testing than you might see on many of our spreadsheets, so don't let it scare you away. There are a variety of ways to manage this disease and we can help you figure out what will work best for you.
    Kris & Teasel likes this.
  7. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2013
    Hi!!! You’ve gotten great info from Bron and Djamila already. We make decisions on dosing from both your preshot numbers and any mid cycle numbers you get. You start to get a feel for what your kitty will do over time...and as Bron said we’ve been doing this a LONG time and no one will expect you to get it right off! It took me some time and study of other’s spreadsheets to really understand. And we’re here to help you figure it all out!
  8. Rafferty

    Rafferty New Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    Thanks, all. She goes to the vet on the 26th - they weren't able to squeeze her in before that. I'll be picking up some home testing supplies today, so I may work on (carefully!) adjusting her dose in the meantime, depending on what I find out, and hold off on introducing different food until I can discuss it with the vet. Thanks for all the info/support!

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