Newbie - advice please, constantly hungry kitty

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Kami, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. Kami

    Kami New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    Hi all
    I'm Kami and new to this forum, based in the UK. I'd like to start by wishing everyone well and I hope you're all ok during this time.
    I really appreciate any advice as I'm not sure what to do with my cat. Get comfy, this is a long one...

    My cat, Mario was diagnosed back in August and since then he's on 300g on Integra Protect Diabetic wet (150g twice a day) and 3 lots of Integra Protect dry, probably about 3g each portion from his auto feeder. He's a 14yr old tabby and about 4.2kg. He's currently on 2.5mg of Caninsulin twice a day.

    The problem we're having is that his hunger cries haven't changed since Aug, he seems perpetually hungry. I weaned him off of whiskas pouches and high carb dry food but nearly everyday since, he follows me into the kitchen, meowing for food, he is constantly sniffing and licking the floor or digging the kitchen kickboards, where he can smell crumbs, recently he's started begging us when we're eating too. His behaviour has definitely changed since he's been diagnosed, he was so chilled and calm before and now it's like he's different cat. For info, his schedule is:
    07.00- wet food and insulin
    12.30 - dry
    16.30 - dry
    18.30 - wet food and insulin
    04.00 - dry

    At 9.30am, his meowing starts, then he chills out about 11am once the insulin kicks in (that's what I think is happening) and then once I make lunch at 1pm, they start again for a bit but at 4.30, after his dry food, he doesn't stop meowing till his last wet food. If we're still up at 10.30/11pm, he'll begin again. He drinks a lot of water throughout the day and I add a little into his wet to "bulk it out", not sure if this is wise.

    As a lot of us have been working from home, his cries are inescapable and I feel terrible for letting it get to me and don't know how to help him. There have been times I just hide upstairs to get away from it. On a number of occasions, he's urinated and on one, defecated in the house after I've ignored him. So, when he starts those short, loud and frustrated meows, I've started popping him into the garden, which I know isn't the best solution but giving him cuddles or playing to distract him doesn't work and I don't want him peeing on the floor. We've also had to cat proof the garden so he can't leave as I'd pop him outside and he'd go in search for food. Then he was hospitalised after eating, we think, bird seed from a garden which contained nuts, 4 times in 2 weeks. He seems fiendishly hungry... I'm lost for ideas.
    Told you it was a long one I thought I'd provide as much info about him and our situation as possible. I've literally told my vet about this behaviour for months and they've not been able to provide much useful help.

    I'm hoping to get answers to:
    1. What can I do to fill him up for longer?
    2. Should I change his insulin from Caninsulin?
    3. I don't have a meter yet but when I do, what are good BG numbers? What should I be aiming for?
    4. Should I make his food instead of buying it? If so, where can I find recipes?

    Thanks for reading and hopefully helping our forever hungry feline
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  2. Rossi46

    Rossi46 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    Hi Kami, I'm Kris, also new here and from the UK, with an 11y/o tabby who was diagnosed in late September.

    My boy, Rossi, has seemed to be permanently starving since his diagnosis! He's also on Caninsulin, we are currently up at 4 units twice daily. He's on Royal Canin diabetic dry food as per our vet recommendation, but he seemed much more satisfied previously on a mix of wet and dry food, which we were advised to wean him off. He has got to the point where he's squaring up to our dog when the dog gets fed, to try and steal his food, it's a nightmare! My vet is not giving much advice re his hunger and feeding. We think Rossi is now patrolling the neighbourhood raiding bins and basically eating any food he can find while out and about.

    I'd be particularly interested in some 'make it yourself' wet food recipes - at least then I'd know exactly what's in it.

    With regards to some of your other questions, I've just emailed my vet tonight to ask about changing insulin after doing some reading on this forum as I'd have hoped to see soem improvement in BG levels by now. Rossi has been on Caninsulin since early October, we are up to 4 units twice a day and his BG levels today at their lowest were 16.8 and at their highest 33.9 which is not good at all. I'll be following this thread with interest to see what advice anyone can offer!
     
  3. Kami

    Kami New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    Hi Kris
    I'm sorry you're experiencing similar issues, however it does help to know that I'm not alone with this.
    I'm actually going to do some more reading about Caninsulin and suggest the same to my vet. The last visit, I remember the vet saying it had gotten better but not dramatically.
    I did find some recipes online but there was some confusing parts regarding vitamins and/or supplements...so I got nervous and thought I'd carry on with the Integra.

    It does sound like Rossi might need something similar to Mario, the vet suggested him becoming solely indoor but he's always been allowed to go out so I did the best of both worlds with the "prison garden". I was too worried that I couldn't monitor his food if he was left to his own devices. I've also put a medical collar on him so noone would feed him. I'd love to get him into remission.

    I really hope you get the advice you need too.
     
    Rossi46 likes this.
  4. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Here’s something you should read and share with your vets. The section on cats indicates how caninsulin, made for canines, is usually not the best insulin for cats who have much higher metabolisms

    https://www.aaha.org/globalassets/02-guidelines/diabetes/diabetes-guidelines_final.pdf

    also, has anyone told you both that diabetic cats should eat food that is low in carbs, 10% or less, and dry is not. I’d suggest transitioning him to all wet food but not until you are willing to home test his bg as the numbers can significantly drop with any change in food. Especially on such a harsh fast acting insulin like caninsulin
     
  5. Howiesmom

    Howiesmom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2020
    I’m in the States so some of my suggestions might have to be converted as I don’t use metric. First, yes...please start home testing as it will help you a ton to have data to make some decisions about dosing, potential issues, etc. Use a human meter as that is what most everyone on here uses. Shooting insulin blindly without knowing where your sweetie is at is scary (my Howie was diagnosed 2 months before I started testing him and now I can’t believe I did that for so long!) Follow the instructions on the sticky note on the forum about getting started to also get your signature set up on your profile.
    https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/spreadsheets-tech-support-testing-area.6/
    There are so many great expert practitioners on here and they look at your spreadsheet constantly if you have questions. I would also figure out how to ween him off the dry food (aka Kittie Crack). It is so high in carbs (even the diabetic prescription kind) and you’ll never get him regulated while on it. If you absolutely can’t get him 100% off dry, there are some low carb dry foods (at least here in the States). Finally, unregulated diabetic kitties don’t use all the calories they consume, so that is the constant “hunger”. Howie was HORRIBLE but has gotten better. The average cat needs 20 calories per pound of weight (again...you’ll need to convert to metric). So a 10 pound normal cat needs roughly 200 calories. But diabetic kitties need more (1.5 times or more). I was giving Howie double his calories as he needed to put on some weight and just recently dropped him down to less food. The constant hunger does go away. If you don’t know how many calories he is getting with his food, see if you can contact the company. Even though he may be getting what seems a large quantity of food, it may not be enough calories for him.

    I would also recommend regularly checking him for ketones either from urine dipsticks or a blood ketone meter (I use Nova Max if you have that available). If your kittie has ketones or is prone, they also need more food so that the body doesn’t start breaking down his fat.

    I don’t know anything about your insulin but most people on here i don’t see recommending that kind. Most people are on Prozinc, Lantus, or Levemir. There is a whole forum on here for users of different types of insulin and each has a ton of info sticky notes at the top of the forum to help you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
    Kami likes this.
  6. Rossi46

    Rossi46 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    My vet actively discouraged, in fact told me straight, to stop feeding Rossi his Applaws wet food and switch him to Royal Canin diabetic dry food and don't supplement it with anything else. One of the things I said in my email to them tonight, was that his glucose curve today was worse than it was at the start of all this when he was on much less insulin and much more food!

    I made the switch to Royal Canin dry because it was all new to me and you trust your vet - they're supposed to be the expert! But after doing some reading up I can see that was the wrong thing to do and I'm pretty annoyed about it.

    Do you have any particular recommendations for low carb wet foods available in the UK please?
     
  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Fill yer boots, Kris! :cat:

    UK Low Carb Food List

    Welcome to yourself and Rossi. :)


    Mogs
    .
     
    Kami likes this.
  8. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    That's why Rossi's so hungry: with blood glucose (BG) in that range he can't properly utilise his nutrients at the moment.

    Which Royal Canin dry food is Rossi being fed at the moment?

    Is he now exclusively on this food?

    Is 33.9 unusually high for his preshot BG? If yes, what would be roughly the lowest value he's been at for preshots recently?


    Mogs
    .
     
  9. Kami

    Kami New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    I do know that dry food is carbie, however because of Mario's behaviour, I've never felt comfortable or confident enough to get him off those biscuits and just the 2 wet food portions. When chatting to my vet about it, they've not been the most helpful with food, just telling me to feed him more.

    I've actually been struggling a lot with this and until this, haven't found anything helpful.
     
  10. Kami

    Kami New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    Thank you, I'll take a look at the resources. I feel a little overwhelmed with it all so will probably take me a week to get it all right in my mind. I'll update the signature too
     
  11. Kami

    Kami New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    T
    Thank you for posting this up, saved me finding it. Quick one, should the yellow column, cals from carbs be low? I guess I want to know, should I be going for food which are higher or lower?
     
  12. Howiesmom

    Howiesmom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2020
    I feed Howie his main meals at shot time and then 3 mini meals in a timed feeder during each cycle so that his pancreas doesn’t have to work as hard. With the extra protein coming from the wet food, that will help fill him up more too. I have also struggled to listen to what my vet has to say and then compare it to what you learn on here! Frankly, unless your vet is a FD specialist, you will get better info and advice on this forum! Keep asking good questions!
     
  13. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Kami,

    Welcome to yourself and Mario. :)

    You're looking for foods with less than 10% calories from carbs for general feeding. It's also helpful to get a small supply of foods at 15% and c. 20% for your hypo toolkit (used to boost BG if numbers are running low).


    Mogs
    .
     
  14. Kami

    Kami New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2020
    Thank you for the reply. The food I've been giving him since Aug is listed on there (Animonda, Diabetes aka integra) so nothing to change there, which in one way is good, but I need to do some reading on how I can stop him feeling hungry, it's just too sad the way he's changed and how it's affected the relationship between us.
    I suppose the next steps are monitoring his BGL level and speaking to the vet about different insulin.

    From the post @Howiesmom sent, his calories appear to be pretty much right. However, I will take him off dry or maybe move him to Thrive Premium in the meantime, while to wean him off.

    I'll read up on how to fill out the spreadsheet, hopefully I'll get the hang of this soon.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  15. Wurly

    Wurly Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2020
    Hi Kami, my cat used to scoff the dry biscuits and that is what caused DM, she would eat pouch after pouch of gravy food until I switched to low carb and stopped the biscuits. She now has low carb wet <10% with about 3g of biscuits per day, no more howling and begging for food. The transition has to be done gradually and then you will hopefully see an improvement. Whiskas in cans, cheap but low and some of the water your cat needs is obtained from the jelly.

    There are a lot of experienced people on here and some of them who helped me 4 months ago have already replied, stick with it things will get easier. Start testing and get your cat regulated on a low carb diet before thinking about changing insulin.
     
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  16. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    1. I think poor regulation is very likely to be the reason Mario's hungry. I'm glad you're looking to home test because not only will it help keep Mario safe, it will also help you to find out what's going on with his BG levels and start optimising his treatment. Provided the hunger is being driven by high BG numbers, then if you can help Mario to get into better regulation you would expect to see the appetite start to normalise.

    Questions:

    (a) Have you ever had Mario's thyroid levels tested? (Hyperthyroidism is another common driver of excessive hunger. May be worth checking, if only to rule it out.)

    (b) Is he losing weight/underweight?


    2. I suggest that you first get started on home testing, gather some data on how Mario's currently responding to his Caninsulin, and then look at a switch (if my suspicions are correct based on the observations you've posted thus far, it sounds like he may not be getting great duration of effect from each dose, a common issue for cats being treated with Caninsulin.) In the UK, the next insulin that the vet is legally required to prescribe will be Prozinc, since products licensed for use in cats must be tried first before different insulins can be prescribed under drug cascade rules (unless the rules change at the end of the Brexit transition period - I have no idea whether or not they're likely to). Prozinc is better suited to cats' metabolisms and typically has better duration than Caninsulin in feline diabetics.

    3. I've seen recommendations for the Gluco navii meter here. The test strips are quite well priced (available on Amazon). The normal feline BG reference range as measured on a human meter is 2.8-6.7mmol/L.

    We can help you learn how to test and give you lots of tips. Then, when you get a spreadsheet going for Mario, we'll be able to help you better interpret what's going on with his response to the Caninsulin and also offer better suggestions on how to help him.

    As advised above, please don't make any changes to Mario's diet until you're home testing and know what's going on. (Reducing carb load typically requires reduction in insulin dose otherwise a cat might go too low.)

    Question:

    (c) At what times do you give Mario his Caninsulin injections?


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
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  17. Kami

    Kami New Member

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    Dec 29, 2020
    Hiya

    Mario had his thyroid levels done quite recently and it was fine.

    Weight is a little under, he's 4.2kg (9.25lb)

    I've spoken with the vet about the other insulin and they said, due to Brexit they're struggling to get it in but will call me back once I've provided them with the BG levels for 2 weeks.

    That's the one I've bought. I've tried to take blood this evening but wasn't successful. Mario was too agitated before dinner as he's been meowing at me since 5pm so was having absolutely none of it and I am very conscious that I'm distressing him more which will only result in a crappy situation for him.
    I used the warm rice in a sock technique to warm his ear but wasn't successful with getting any blood (probably didn't get the vein) and he was really p***ed off.

    I popped his schedule above but it's 7am and 6.30pm at the moment
     
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  18. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    I hear you and I understand completely. I’ve been there myself. Listening to the vet and doing what they told me because I thought they know better. The good news is that now you know better and can advocate for what’s best for your cat :bighug:
     
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