Info Dry Food - PLEASE consider more than just carbohydrate content

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

  1. pangie

    pangie New Member

    Jan 15, 2019
    Hello, im looking for some I'll with my cats diet. She was diagnosed with diabetes in january and started insulin. I switched her to a wet diet and she gained a lot of weight really fast. The vet wanted me to put her on prescription dry food so I did. She has lost the weight she gained from the wet food, and I feed the amount suggested by the vet but she seems constantly hungry. I feed her twice a day, before each dose of insulin and she eats it immediately and spends the rest if the day jumping up in the table/counters looking for food-she never did that before. I also hadto change how we feed the dog cause she would just go eat the dog food.

    Is there an alternative to the hills prescription diet that would help her feel more full? I'm not sure what to do and the vets just tells me the prescription is the best thung for her. Ant tips or advice from experiences you have had would be great. Thanks!
  2. TerriC

    TerriC New Member

    Sep 20, 2019
    I have 13 cats I just recently lost my favorite boy to mouth Cancer. He also had kidney Disease & FIV but he was 14 & he had a great life. I found the perfect dry food for cats. Its high in protein, 50 - 54% & less than 5% carbs. There are several varieties. There are 2 that are designed for diabetic cats. I have 2 that are diabetic. You can only get it online at It's made to have the same nutritional value of a juvenile mouse, which is what they eat in the wild. It will seem pricey but in reality it isn't as expensive as it appears because your cat will eat much less since it's so high in protein. They stay full longer so eat much less. A 25lb bag lasts my 13 cats for a month. I also feed them canned food but only twice a week now. I just can't afford to give 13 cats wet food every day, especially since the wet food I use is also rather expensive. I've done A LOT of research in order to find the healthiest cat food. There are a few canned cat foods that are extremely low in carbs. None are more than 2%. I use Nutro- chunky chicken dinner, WERUVA - Mack& Jack, Asian Fusion, Marbella Paella, & Backyard Grill. These are the ONLY varieties within the brands that are low in carbs & high in protein. All of my 13 cats like at least one of these flavors which says a lot because I have a really hard time finding foods they'll eat. I hope this helps ppl looking for healthy cat foods. The Young Again dry food is perfect for all cats. About 80% of diabetic cats can go off insulin but you have to make sure you don't negate the purpose of the food by feeding high carb wet food & treats. I also have a cat that was prone to UTI's but ever since I've been feeding the YA food, which has been several yrs, zero UTI's.
  3. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    May 30, 2010
    We are all very familiar with Young Again and consider it still to be in the dry food category and not the best choice for diabetics. If you read the very first post by Dr. Lisa, a veterinary feline nutritionist, she addresses YA. Several other posters discuss moldy bags of YA that made their cats sick. Don’t drink the kool-aid on YA;)

    If you read the website Truth About Pet Food, you’ll be shocked at what commercial pet food companies knowingly get away with. Even the ones that are supposed to be “highest quality”. Many companies have replaced carregeenan with gum which is still not a healthy alternative and can contribute to IBD and lymphoma.

    It’s why many of us here have switched to homemade raw diets. Cats don’t need the majority of the stuff (to put it nicely) that commercial pet foods put in the food. And it’s not more expensive to feed a balanced raw diet. The makers of EZ Complete premix are, themselves on limited budgets with 13+ cats.

    My philosophy is “pay now” by giving a balanced prey model raw diet or “pay later” in vet bills due to IBD, diabetes, urinary tract issues, and/or cancer from commercial foods.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  4. Chelon Nickolette

    Chelon Nickolette Member

    Oct 2, 2019
    I bought it at Chewy's. It arrives in the mail but I haven't tried it yet.
    DreMeister likes this.
  5. Patricks

    Patricks New Member

    Jun 23, 2018
    I feed YA and Dr Elsey dry (after trying all the transition methods and spending hundreds on various canned food) but also make a "soup" from primal freeze dried for breakfast and dinner, each containing probably 2 ounces of water. Are there any actual guidelines on how much water a cat should be consuming daily?
  6. Kitty mom

    Kitty mom Member

    Nov 2, 2014
    I have been feeding my boy YA for 5 years or so. I have never had a problem with it and my guy is still in remission.
  7. AliceR

    AliceR Member

    Jul 9, 2020
    Just bought Heart to Tail cat food from Aldi.

    Small 3-oz cans
    • Gourmet chicken entree: protein 11% fat 5% fiber 1.5% moisture 78% ash 3%, which then according to the calculator would mean 1.5% carbohydrate ingredients in order chicken water animal liver meat by products poultry byproducts natural flavor salt guar gum....
    • Cod Sole and shrimp entree: protein 13% fat 2% fiber 1.5% moisture 78% ash 3.5% ingredients cod animal liver meat by products fish water soul shrimp natural flavors guar gum
    5.5 oz cans
    • Ocean white fish and tuna entree: protein 11% fat 4% fiber 1.5% moisture 78% ash 3.2% ingredients ocean whitefish meat byproducts poultry byproducts water animal liver tuna mackerel guar gum
    • Salmon entree: protein 10% fat 5% fiber 1.5% moisture 78% ash 3% ingredients meet by products water salmon poultry byproducts brewers rice natural flavors guar gum
  8. sherrib

    sherrib Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2015
    Very well said! Great job on everything, especially “ pay now or “ pay later”

    Since, my sugar baby has passed on I’m more determined more than ever to get his brother switched over to Raw/Homemade but he is still NOT having it. They both refused ( I truly believe that contributed to skittles dying ) and now since skittles died, Feisty will only eat beef flavor Fancy Feast. Since he doesn’t have diabetes I stopped buying the pro plan that I had them both on for the last 2 years. I’m worry about Continuing to feed food for a diabetic to a non-diabetic. But like I said he is down to only eating that one flavor of food ( once the pro plan ran out, I switched back to Fancy Feast) . And with all of the stores still having trouble getting shipments of anything in, he actually went 2 days without eating because the stores were sold out of beef flavor. I know feisty is not a diabetic cat and I know I really don’t have any business asking this but if anybody help me out with tips on how to get him switched over to homemade or premix med ( I actually prefer the premade ones but I can just add protein) I would be forever grateful and I am pretty sure skittles would be very happy that you were helping his brother. Feisty is still mourning the death of his brother so bad .... I’m worried about that as well, so concerned that I’m going to make him an appointment with their doctor to talk about what to do and if I need to put him on anti-depressant medication . ( heck, I need some myself to be completely honest)
    I don’t want to leave this site, I’ve been A member here and coming here with advice and getting advice since 2008, this place feels like home .
    Happy to report that my dog has been fully switched over to premix raw since July 3rd, I’m using Dr Harvey, hoping to be making my own raw soon , but for my life style right now I can only do premix add raw protein .Dr Harvey stopped making cat food though so I’m still on a hunt. Feisty won’t even drink the goat milk made by Answers. Also struck out with Tiki cat raw ( Duck )
    Critter Mom likes this.
  9. sherrib

    sherrib Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2015
    Unfortunately dry food is The worst food to have a cat on. Cats have a natural low thirst drive and they will never get the amount of fluid their body needs from eating dry food only. Even if they were to drink 10 bottles of water a day but it’s still not gonna be enough because cats are designed to get their fluid from their food. Dr Lisa explains this a lot better then I can, please look on the site and read about dry food.... it’s a real eye opener! I’m guilty of feeding dry food my entire life until I read Dr. lisa explanation. My non diabetic has not drank water since 2015 because he gets all the fluid his body needs from his can food. He did drink the day he got home after dental surgery and then again one more day after he had been throwing up and had diarrhea the day before. Other than those 2 times I swear to you he has not drank water. I’ve had to move 4 times within 3 years so he has had 3 different vets, all of them know he only eats canned food and all of them now that he has not drank any water and none of them were concerned at all because of the food that he eats and because they know cats get fluid from food ( AKA prey) just like you said they get all they need in the wild by eating juvenile mice. Think about the larger felines ( lions, tigers ) they don’t have a steady supply of water because they live in deserts, they get all of their fluid intake required from eating their prey. And I to have known a lot of people get bad food from that company.
    Thank you for your time
    Critter Mom likes this.
  10. sherrib

    sherrib Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2015
    My non diabetic has not drank water since 2015, he gets all the fluid his body needs from his can food. He just had new bloodwork in April, all was really good. Even his kidneys ( he is 15 years old )
    Probably longer then 2015, I just say that year because that’s when I starting noticing that I was having to fill the water bowl up a lot less because I moved and went from having 4 cats to 2 cats and my diabetic cat was the only one drinking and I was measuring his water intake ( Long story short, that’s the year that I finally realized that he was not drinking water anymore )
  11. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi there,

    Bit late to the party on this question, but just in case you didn't get it answered elsewhere as a rough guide a 10lb cat ideally needs about 300ml water per day. If you're feeding a wet diet then if you track the amount of food your kitty eats for a few days then you can use the moisture % on the food label and weight of food consumed to calculate how much water your kitty is getting via their food. (If you can't find the moisture content on the wet food label then work on the guide that most wet foods contain about 70% moisture.)

  12. Pabs&Ro

    Pabs&Ro Member

    Aug 16, 2020
    I recently found katovit diabetes wet pouches. Does anyone have experience of it?
  13. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2013
    They look to be too high in carbs for a diabetic at about 17%

    Most of the foods that say "diabetes" on them are really not good for them. We have the same problem in the US.
    Pabs&Ro likes this.
  14. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    Is it the food linked to below from Bitiba? If so, it calculates at just under 13.2% cals from carbs.

    Here is a list of some UK foods that should be below 10%

    And if you find a UK (or European) food that isn't on that list you can use this simple online calculator to calculate the % of cals from carbs:

    Pabs&Ro likes this.
  15. The Mason Cats Mama

    The Mason Cats Mama New Member

    Jul 14, 2020
    Thank you for the great post Dr.Lisa!

    One of my cats was a kibble addict at the time I adopted him & after trail & error the method I had the most success with transitioning him to wet food was to slowly add water & eventually wet food to his kibble.

    Im sharing the method that I used below incase someone else who's having a hard time transitioning might be able to find it helpful.

    Transitioning by Slowly Adding Water & Wet Food to Kibble
    1. On day 1, I started adding a very small amount of water to his food, just enough to moisten the kibble
    2. The next day I'd double the amount of water and so on for each day (However, If I increased the amount of water to fast hed turn his nose up at it).
    3. After a few days I started adding a very small amount of the meat chunks from a can of wet food to the kibble\water mix
    4. Each day after, I would slowly increase the amount of wet food\water while decreasing the kibble at an amount equal to the wet food.

    Eventually he was eating chunky, shredded & pate wet food. The odd thing was that it ended up that he'd prefer the canned food when I had added water to it (where it was like soup).

    Prior to this method, I tried to do a similar method but without the water & he wouldn't touch the food. He was the hardest & pickiest to transition out of any cat that I have transitioned. I remember felling frustrated by his reluctance & confused by his super finicky preferences a lot, but luckily we eventually I found the method above & it worked for him.
    Dyana likes this.
  16. Shorty

    Shorty Member

    Jul 2, 2016
    The worst wet food, is 1000% better, than the best dry food... for a cat. Do whatever it takes.

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