UK Diabetic Cat Food Info (including link to low carb food list)

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Elizabeth and Bertie, May 5, 2015.

  1. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi UK'ers,
    Thought it might be helpful to try to collate some food info for new UK folks.
    If anyone else has info they think should be added then please do so!
    :)


    WHAT TO FEED?
    FDMB recommends that diabetic cats eat wet/canned/raw foods that have less than 10% calories from carbohydrates. (And some cats do best on carb levels in the region of 4% - 6%.)
    If your cat has other health issues, for example kidney disease, IBD, or pancreatitis, this may further affect your food choices.

    A note of caution about switching to a low carb diet...
    If your cat is already on insulin and is currently eating a higher carb food then we recommend that you only transition to lower carb food if you can hometest (test your cat’s blood glucose at home) and are able to monitor the effect of the change on your cat’s blood glucose.
    That’s because lowering the carb content of the diet can greatly reduce your cat’s blood glucose level, and the insulin dose may need to be reduced accordingly.
    Too much insulin can cause hypoglycaemia.

    Fortunately, hometesting is not hard to learn (yay!), and it should not hurt your cat at all. Many cats come to look forward to the process if they are rewarded with treats.

    POPULAR FOODS

    Popular foods amongst UK’ers in recent years have included: Butcher’s Classic, Bozita (cans and tetrapaks), Felix pouches in jelly, Toplife chicken dinner, Sheba 'fine flakes', Lily’s Kitchen, Thrive complete, Smilla, Granatapet, Catz Finefood, Ropocat, and Nature’s Menu.

    POPULAR ONLINE SUPPLIERS
    Zooplus http://www.zooplus.co.uk/
    Bitiba http://www.bitiba.co.uk/
    Happy Kitty Company http://www.happykittycompany.co.uk/
    Nature’s Menu http://www.naturesmenu.co.uk/
    Fetch (offshoot of Ocado): https://fetch.co.uk/


    CAT TREATS/REWARDS
    Many commercial cat treats are laden with carbohydrates. Avoid if possible.

    The current low carb favourites among UK FDMB members are Thrive freeze dried treats (widely available), and Cosma freeze dried pure meat treats (from Zooplus).
    (Avoid the Cosma ‘Thai’ treats as these contain rice.)

    Other 100% meat treats include:
    Hi Life freeze dried meat treats, chicken or duck
    Applaws Natural Meat Cat Treats, ‘sea trout’
    Applaws Tuna Loin Cat Treat
    Rosewood 'Leaps & Bounds' Premium Meat Cat Treats; chicken, duck, duck liver, fish
    Orijen Freeze Dried Cat Treats; ‘Tundra’, ‘Original’, ‘Wild Boar’, ‘Lamb’, ‘Regional Red’
    Tigeria ‘Sticklettis’ Cat Sticks; chicken or tuna (only from Zooplus)
    Zoolove air dried meat treats; chicken or duck (only from Zooplus (Zooplus own brand))

    Little pieces of plainly cooked or raw meat, or cooked fish, also make good treats.


    DRY FOOD

    We do not recommend dry food for cats.
    Firstly, almost all dry foods are far too high in carbohydrate. Secondly, dry foods are....um.....'dry'. Cats have a low thirst drive and may not get all the water they need on a dry diet.
    However, some cats come here 'addicted' to dry foods, and it can take time to transition them to low carb wet. In the meantime, it may be possible to transition them to a dry food that is lower in carbs than the one the kitty is currently eating.

    There are two dry kibble foods in the UK that are relatively low in carbohydrates.
    The first is Porta 21 Sensible 'grain free' from Zooplus (about 10.8% calories from carbs). The second is Thrive Premium Plus chicken cat food (widely available). This may be slightly higher or lower than 10% calories from carbs.

    There is only one dry food (that I’ve yet found in the UK) with less than 10% calories from carbs, and that is Ziwi Peak air-dried cat food. This is really dried meat, so the texture is not like that of regular kibble.

    Be aware that, if switching to a lower carb food - even if that food is dry - it is still important to be monitoring the cat's blood glucose at home and reducing the insulin dose if necessary in order to avoid hypoglycemia.


    HIGH CARB FOOD
    – for low blood glucose emergencies.
    You may never need to use this, but it is advisable to have some higher carb food on hand just in case you need to raise your cat’s blood glucose. See more info on the Gourmet Gold ‘in gravy’ foods here: UK, high carb gravy food for Hypo Kit.
    (It can be helpful to jot the carb level on the can with a marker pen so you don’t feed it by accident! ;) )

    It’s also important to make sure you have some source of simple sugar available, such as honey or liquid glucose (the kind sold in tubes in the baking section of supermarkets is fine); or some ‘Glucogel’ (sold specifically for diabetics).
    If you think your cat’s blood glucose is dropping too low please post on the forum, or call your vet for advice.


    'CONVALESCENCE' FOODS
    Liquivite
    is a liquid food for cats. The consistency is a bit like thick chicken soup. Many cats find it very palatable, especially if warmed. It is low in carbohydrates, but also fairly low in calories. Very useful for helping kitties to stay hydrated. For more info see here: http://www.liquivite.co.uk/
    Gourmet Gold pates have been used by some folks for 'syringe feeding'. The food is smooth and quite easily mixed with water to make it a good consistency for syringing. Miamor pates would probably do a similar job.


    CAT FOOD INGREDIENT GLOSSARY – What’s in your cat’s food…?

    There are a number of glossaries online, and it’s hard to find one which is entirely impartial (everyone has an angle…). But this one seems fairly good:
    http://www.pet-shopper.co.uk/static/pet-food-ingredients
    For balance on some of the above (especially regarding animal derivatives/by-products) see also the following info from the US Catinfo.org site (written by Dr Lisa Pierson)
    http://www.catinfo.org/?link=cannedfoods#Ingredients

    ONLINE CARB CALCULATOR
    http://scheyderweb.com/cats/catfood.html
    The above is a very nifty tool.
    If you enter the percentages for protein, fat, ash, fibre and moisture from the cat food label it will calculate the calories from carbs per 100g of food. If you want to go further and calculate the ‘percentage of calories from carbs’ you just grab a calculator and do this: Divide the calories from carbs per 100g by the total calories per 100g, and then multiply by 100. Bingo!

    CARB CALCULATORS FOR YOUR PHONE
    Some members have found this phone app from Rogar Rioz useful when shopping (this is one of many places it’s available online):
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=myapp.catscarbscalculator&hl=en_GB

    DRY MATTER CALCULATOR
    http://fnae.org/dmb.html?inputboxm=77&inputboxi=1.7&button.x=75&button.y=21&button=Click
    Some things are best compared on a dry matter basis; phosphorous for example.
    This 'dry matter calculator' is a useful tool for this; and could also be useful for comparing fat content (especially for those pancreatitis kitties who’ve been found to benefit from lower fat intake).



    UK FOOD LIST (link)

    Note: Be aware that some apparently low carb foods might still spike your cat's blood glucose levels. There are a number of possible reasons for this, but it may be due to a food intolerance (not uncommon).
    Sometimes, finding out what works for your cat will be a matter of 'trial and error'.

    Notes on the list:
    The carb percentages on the list have been worked out using the label values for protein, fat, fibre, ash, and moisture (usually called 'typical analysis').
    These values may not always be an accurate representation of what is in the tin/pouch at any given time. Values can fluctuate.

    The list includes some foods that can be bought in supermarkets and pet stores; and some that can only be bought online. All price ranges are included.

    The 1st and 2nd columns give the brand name and flavour of the food.
    The 3rd column says where the food may be bought.
    The 4th (yellow) column shows the percentage of calories from carbohydrates.
    The 5th (blue) column shows the dry matter phosphorous level, if known (for CRF/CKD kitties).

    The section on the far right of the list gives the 'Typical Analysis' data as it is shown on the cat food label. This is for reference, or in case folks want to do further calculations.

    Ingredients to Avoid..?
    The 'Comments' column on the list may include ingredients, if known, that folks might want to be aware of.

    Cats with CRF/CKD may wish to avoid cranberry (acidifying) and dandelion (diuretic) . (Thanks to Mogs (Critter Mom) for raising awareness of this.)
    More info on this can be found on the Tanya CRF website:

    http://www.felinecrf.org/holistic_treatments.htm#cautions

    Allergies/intolerances. Beef, fish/salmon, chicken, grain and soya seem to be most common.

    Carageenan has been observed to affect some kitties. (And carageenan is known to be an inflammatory agent.)

    Foods containing 'Vegetable protein extract' have raised blood glucose in a minority of kitties, sometimes quite dramatically. ('VPE' may be made from soya or other vegetable protein). Felix 'As Good As It Looks' seems, historically, to have been the main culprit in this regard.

    Soya: Some folks choose to avoid this because of a possible link to thryoid problems. Dr Lisa Pierson of catinfo.org says;
    "...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.”
    www.catinfo.org
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
    Reason for edit: Jan 2017 updating
  2. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    @Elizabeth and Bertie this is a really fantastic resource that you have drawn up for us UKers. It must have taken you a fair while to draw it all together and I for one and very thankful that you done this.

    Thank you very much :bighug:
     
  3. Amy Dobson

    Amy Dobson Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Awesome, what fantastic resources! Thank you from me and Murphy too!
     
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  4. Gill & George

    Gill & George Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    @Elizabeth and Bertie
    Just came across this thread of yours, some fantastic links, will be a godsend when placing my next food order with zooplus for George.
    Thank you for taking the time to put this together.

    ps George and I live in Spain now, we moved from Camberley, not a million miles from you and Bertie.:cat::cat::cat:
     
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  5. Sushi The Cat

    Sushi The Cat Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    @Elizabeth and Bertie
    This is precious, Elizabeth!! I can't thank you enough!! Particularly for the dry food, since my cat is giving us a hard time after a couple of months on exclusive wet... He now refuses it...
    But thanks to you I am already on the hunt for Ziwipeaks! It won't hurt to try!!

    Lots of love and thank yous!
    Sara
    :bighug:
     
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  6. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Bumping up this post for any new UK members...
    .
     
  7. Helena & Murinka

    Helena & Murinka Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    @Elizabeth and Bertie

    Eliz, now that things with Murinka have calmed down a bit, I continue to do my research as far as food is concerned. Your list is super great, unfortunately the composition of the same product sold in my country slightly differs and some time even more than slightly.
    I am still testing what she likes to eat, I have to find more sorts of food because she can get easily bored with just one type ...

    Would you be please so nice and let me know what formula did you use to calculate your list? I googled something but sometimes I get the same result and sometimes not. I think I will have to build up my own list specific for the Czech republic which Im of course willing to share if someone else from this part of the country appears here:)
    This great tool http://scheyderweb.com/cats/catfood.html often gives N/A values :(
    The formula I somehow figured out but not sure is correct: 100 - (%protein+fat+fiber+moisture+ash) = %carb but I want to now % calories from carb. I found somewhere that 1g of carbs means cca 4 cal. My question is: analytic analysis refers to what quantity of food? If I read analytic analysis on the etiquette, it means analytic analysis of 100 g or does it refer to the actual weight of the pouch (sometimes 85g ..) Maybe it's crystal clear but I simply can't figure it out:confused:.

    Thank you!
    Helena
     
  8. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Helena @Helena & Murinka ,

    The formula I use calculates the 'percentage of calories that come from carbohydrates'. That's the comparison figure we usually use here.
    It is a similar formula to the online Scheyderweb calculator, but also has a tiny extra calculation at the end.

    The formula is this
    First add up the food %'s for protein, fat, fibre, ash and moisture. And deduct that from 100%. That will give you the percentage of carbs by weight.

    Then you calculate the calories:
    Protein x 3.5 = ?
    Fat x 8.5 = ?
    Carb x 3.5 = ?
    And add up those results. That gives the 'total calories per 100g' of food.

    Finally, to get the 'percentage of calories from carbs' you do this.
    Divide the 'number of calories from carbs per 100g' by the 'total calories per 100g', and then multiply by 100. That figure should be the 'percentage of calories from carbs.

    I do have a rather ancient Excel spreadsheet that does my calculations for me. And I will gladly email it to you. Just PM me your email address if you'd like it. :)

    (Alternatively, you can use the Scheyderweb online calculator to get the nutrient values per 100g of food, and then just do the last calculation above.)

    Oh, do aware that sometimes the food labelling is wonky. If protein, fat, ash, fibre and moisture add up to more than 100% the calculation won't work...

    Helena, which foods are labelled differently to the UK foods? Maybe the formula has just been updated and I need to update that on my list...

    Eliz
     
  9. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Helena!

    I see Murinka has a 3.7!!! :D
    .
     
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  10. Helena & Murinka

    Helena & Murinka Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Eliz, thanks a lot, it would be great to have your excel sheet, I will PM you.

    Re the different composition, I checked once again (MAC's pouches concretely) and it looks like I was mistaken, the composition looks the same but the problem is that often the food has different names here and it's difficult to find out whether it is actually really the same.
     
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  11. herman_and_weasel

    herman_and_weasel New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2016
    This is such a great resource. I was trying to find out what to feed Herman, my bengal cat, who has a super-complex medical history. He is on prozinc twice a day (I also check his sugars twice a day). I have been feeding him Hills m/d, but I think my vet will promote products they stock in-house, so was trying to find alternatives.
     
  12. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Just for your info there is a company called Bitiba.co.uk that although seem to be under the same umbrella as Zooplus, are selling their pet supplies at a slightly less cost ..... the only difference seems to be that their minimum order is £39 and not £29 as is the case with Zooplus. Delivery was just as prompt.
     
  13. Helena & Murinka

    Helena & Murinka Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Eliz, I come back to my impression that the composition of some food may vary from country to country.

    I found that Sheba Fine Flakes might have a bit different composition in countries like Germany, Austria or Czech republic where it's called Delicatesse in Gelee, than in UK.
    Well Im not 100% sure that it's the same product but I believe so.
    Here's the link to the UK site https://www.uk.sheba.com/products/favourites/fines-flakes-in-jelly-poultry-collection-12x85g-pouch
    Here's the link to the German site of the product https://www.sheba.de/produkte/genus...gelee-geflugel-variation-8x85g-portionsbeutel

    And unfortunately according to the UK site, it looks that they changed a bit the composition in comparison to your list as well :(
    Why manufacturers just can't stick to their composition?!
     
  14. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Helena,
    Thanks for that info. :)

    Yes, that would make life a lot easier for us!
    Mogs @Critter Mom sent me a message to say that the UK formula has changed. So I need to look into that and update the info on the UK list. Will try to do that today if possible.... :bighug:

    Eliz
     
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  15. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Eliz - there's a mismatch between the as fed analysis on the website and the values on the actual packs for the new version of Sheba in the UK.

    Sorry I can't be of more help with this right now; it's too painful. Very bad times here.


    Mogs
    .
     
  16. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Oh, thanks for that Mogs.

    And please know that we're holding you very tightly in our hearts... :bighug::bighug::bighug: xxx
    .
     
  17. Laszlo

    Laszlo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Bit of a heads up, Lily's Kitchen refreshed their whole cat range in September. WARNING: they haven't flushed through the supply chain yet!

    It seems that carbs have come down across the board (please do not take my advice here - but my amateur sleuthing based on the website figures suggest that even the non-organic range now fits the bill except Lamb?) and the big tins have been discontinued.

    Edit: marketing release - http://www.lilyskitchen.co.uk/compl...e=Facebook&utm_medium=Sophie&utm_campaign=Cat

    Edit x2: I wonder if one can tell by the new heart-shaped packaging?
     
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  18. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Thank you for this info! :bighug:
    And yes, things seem to be in a state of flux with LK at the moment (I'll rather miss those large tins....:rolleyes:)... Will update the list with the new foods shortly (and also update/add some other foods too....) x
    .
     
  19. Laszlo

    Laszlo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Just had a delivery - Organic Chicken Dinner (changed recipe by the looks of it).

    Coming out at 0% carbs. Protein - 9.5%, Fat 6%, Ash 2.2%, Fibres 0.3%, Moisture 82%.

    Not sure much change in terms of the ingredients - it's still chicken 30%, Pork 12%, Beef 10%, Fish 4%, Carrots and Minerals.

    Oh here's a big change - 85g trays now instead of 100g!
     
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  20. Sootyca

    Sootyca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    Sky loves Lily's Kitchen so that may be my food of choice for her now. The food list is a really good resource so thanks for putting it together :)
     
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  21. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Watch out for Lily's Kitchen foods that contain carrageenan (it's an inflammatory agent).


    Mogs
    .
     
  22. Sootyca

    Sootyca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    Thanks Critter Mom - didn't realise that. It's an absolute minefield!
     
  23. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    And then some. I bitterly regret taking vets' word for what was good to feed my little ones instead of educating myself about cat nutrition. When one starts looking at what goes into some foods it makes one's heart sink (and many Rx foods are some of the worst offenders).


    Mogs
    .
     
  24. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Great info about foods.
    I still make my own and somehow resist commercial food for Rocky. After doing it for so long I find it easy although I have to admit that it requires a lot of planning.
    So I buy mince turkey thigh (it is the cheapest meat), sometimes lamb or beef and often we have wild meat, add to it specially prepared egg shell powder and a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar which helps with absorption of calcium, add taurine supplement, vitamin B complex, various oils or fats, egg yolk, some herbs and a little bit of psyllium husk powder. In addition to that I give Rocky fresh offal like kidney, liver and heart (from wild rabbit and pheasant etc) often as I freeze small portions. I make a batch for a week, freeze daily portions and make little portions in the ice cube tray and freeze them to be used as feed at night dispensed frozen in an automated feeder so by the time he needs to eat his midnight meal it is defrosted but not spoiled.
    Somehow in my head I have the idea that raw food is best. Of course sometimes I worry about bacteria contamination. But if we consider what they eat in the wild - there is more bacteria there, many times I found just a remain of a mouse or bird with the rest being consumed by Rocky.
    I remember my discussion with the vet about cat's diet - she insisted that I feed him dry diabetic so I asked her to show me the ingredients. I told her that wheat, corn, soy and vegetable protein has no place in cat's diet and firmly refused to buy prescription food. She kept saying she had good results with that food! Over my body, I want best for Rocky.
    If somebody does make their own food could you please share your ideas.

    Marlena:cat:
     
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  25. Sootyca

    Sootyca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    I tried to switch my two to raw food but they were having none of it! I think if I have any kittens in the future I will have them on raw.

    Nearly got caught out buying treats today - was going to buy the Festive treats by Lily's kitchen. Looking at ingredients is now becoming second nature. Was very surprised that potato was listed as the highest ingredient! They went back on the shelf.

    Sky doesn't really like treats but I want to give her something to act as a reward for when she has her bloods taken - she really doesn't like it (not helped by the fact that she isn't bleeding easily so has to be done multiple times).
     
  26. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    I think I'm incredibly lucky with Rocky when it comes to food. He eats absolutely everything and never refused any food so switching him to raw was no problem at all! But I do hear about difficulties others have and there are cats which are finicky eaters - very difficult.
    For treats I often use cooked shrimps! They are quite convenient because you keep them in the freezer and take one or two when needed, you can run one under tap hot water and you have a treat! Cooked chicken is good too (you can also keep small pieces frozen and take one when needed) or Nature's Menu has good treats but they are a bit smelly.
    With regards to blood testing I find the only way I can get blood from Rocky is to use a small plastic bottle filled with very warm water and massage his ear with it for about a minute. My vet just lance without warming the ear but then she has to squeeze the ear to get some blood but when I try this Rocky is not happy.
     
  27. Max99

    Max99 New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Thank you for this information and links! My cat has always been on dry food (she has hypoallergenic food) and I didn't know about cats having a low thirst drive. I'm going to ask the vet next time I go about possibly swapping to another food.
     
  28. Max99

    Max99 New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Hello,

    I have to prick my cat a few times also before enough blood comes out to take the test. I don't know if she'll like treats but I've always been under the impression she can't have them (before being diabetic) as she has food and skin allergies. She does love being brushed though, so today I started brushing her just after I'd taken a glucose sample. I'm hoping this will help with her. Would this be something that may help with your cat Sky if she doesn't respond to the treats?
     
  29. Gill & George

    Gill & George Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    I use these for treats, http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/...a_cat_snacks/cosma_snacks_single_tubes/283431

    They have no additives, preservatives, 100% meat, they are either chicken/rabbit/fish/tuna. Depending on what your kitty is allergic to, they may not be a problem.
     

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