Underweight Diabetic Cat

Discussion in 'Caninsulin / Vetsulin and N / NPH' started by MeganJeanne, May 27, 2020.

  1. MeganJeanne

    MeganJeanne New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2020
    I have a cat that is 15 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes on April 20th. He had his fructosamine levels checked on May 20th and they said they were looking really good and almost in the range that they want him in (which was surprising for being on a 1 unit twice day dosage). My vet initially told me to stop his free feeding diet and switch to feeding him twice a day and that is what I have been doing for the past month+. My only concern is that he is very very skinny (his spine is easily felt and the area around his hips looks almost emaciated). Can I feed him more throughout the day to help him gain weight back or will that affect his glucose levels too much? I am not concerned with him not eating at injection time because any time he sees food he will be willing to eat.

    I have attached a picture of how he looks now. (He was trying to see if we had any food for him on the counter, my poor baby)
    IMG_6635[1].PNG
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  2. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Feed him more. Most diabetic cats do better on many small meals a day. Simply feed him before +6.
    What food are you feeding him and how much?

    He looks very emaciated. Has he been checked for hyperthyroidism (aka Hyper-T)?

    What was his fructosamine levels? What country are you in? The reference ranges vary outside the US.

    p.s. Feline Health is the best place for new members to post. More "eyes" there to help you.
     
  3. MeganJeanne

    MeganJeanne New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2020
    I am currently feeding him half a (larger) can of wet food and 2 tbsp of indoor formula dry food at 9:30 am and pm.

    They ruled him out for hyperthyroidism because those levels looked good.

    I am in the US. I cannot remember the exact levels (I will request his report in the morning) but they said he was right outside of the high end of the range.

    Thank you for the suggestion!! I am new here. :)
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  4. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    When you say "half a can" is that a 5.5 oz can or a 13 oz can?

    Please spend some time getting your User Id Signature setup and then the spreadsheet.
    Most of this was in the email links you got when you signed up. You probably haven't even had time to read your emails lately. I know that life is so busy, I'm having a hard time keeping up with things. Can't imagine what you are dealing with for a newly diagnosed diabetic cat in this covid age.
    What did you vet say about your cat and his weight? Was the vet concerned or not?
    (What is your cat's name by the way?)
     
  5. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Looks to me like he has lost muscle mass from his hindquarters, from what I can see in the picture. He may not be getting enough protein.

    Does your cat have other health conditions? Like kidney disease?
     
  6. MeganJeanne

    MeganJeanne New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2020
    Okay I will go ahead and get that set up.

    It is a half of a 5.5 oz can twice a day so 5.5 oz per day (supplemented with 2 tbsp dry food twice a day).

    He is 8.96 lbs and they didn't express any concern with his weight, however, there wasn't much face-to-face interaction due to just dropping him off at the vet due to COVID. I would only receive calls with his lab results a day or two after.

    His name is Rudy!

    He does not have kidney disease, however, they initially said he could be slightly anemic, but it was not concerning enough to worry about it at this point in time.
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  7. MeganJeanne

    MeganJeanne New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2020
    I should also mention that he has a good amount of dandruff. I'm not sure if that's related to the diabetes but it started a little bit before he got diagnosed. The flakes aren't too large but enough to be noticeable in his fur. Any help with fixing that would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  8. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Skip that dry and give an extra half can of wet. Dry food is keeping his bg up. Those indoor formula dry foods are around 40% carb.

    Typically you give 20 calories per IDEAL weigh. So if he's underweight, let's say he should be 11 lbs, you would want him to have at least 220 calories, but diabetics often need more calories because they don't utilize the nutrients properly and so are starving even though they are eating.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I just looked it up and Friskies is about 180 pet can. So if it were my cat, I would do 1/2 can for breakfast, 1/4 can mid day, 1/2 can at dinner, 1/4 can before bed. If he's still hungry don't give dry but you could give extra wet. Just no food at least two hours before the preshot test. If you are not yet testing at home we can teach you how. I have a video in my signature showing how I test my cat CC at home.
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  10. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    They tend to get dehydrated. Add extra water to the wet food.
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  11. MeganJeanne

    MeganJeanne New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2020
    Thank you so much for the advice! I will switch him over to completely wet food and feed him more often!! :)
     
    Deb & Wink and JanetNJ like this.
  12. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    sounds good. The next thing you can do to help us help you is to set up a signature. To do that, click on your name at the top right and choose "signature". Add info such as your cat's name, date diagnosed, insulin type, meter you use to test BG, food you are feeding, and any other health concerns or medications he's on.

    Please, if you have any other questions we might help you with, don't hesitate to ask.
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  13. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    If your cat is already on insulin, stopping the dry food completely could easily drop his BG levels by 100 basis points or more. Please be home testing the blood glucose before you totally stop the dry food.

    Wink was eating 10-11 ounces of canned food a day. Until his diabetes was better regulated. Then he started to eat and need less food, around 6-7 ounces of food a day.

    He also had severe dandruff, patches the size of nickels and dimes. The dandruff resolved once he was on the wet/canned food diet and had time to heal.

    So yes, the dandruff or dry skin is a sign of the diabetes. You can brush your cat Rudy with a natural bristle brush, to distribute the oils in the fur. That often helps with the dandruff. Adding some water to Rudy's wet food also helps, to keep him hydrated from all that excess peeing. Try 1-2 teaspoons, so the food is like a thick soup or stew. Add more water as needed.
     
  14. Cole's Fur Mommy

    Cole's Fur Mommy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Hi, My cat, Cole was also underweight when diagnosed 2 months ago, 6 pds! Now he is 8 pounds. He will gain weight and I agree that you should give him some extra feeds because my vet said that they are diabetic hungry and they need to eat. Keep at it!
     
  15. Jajsmom

    Jajsmom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2020
    Jasper is the same. He weighed 8 lbs at the vet and very bony and lots of dandruff when he got diagnosed a couple of weeks ago. I've switched him over to 9 lives pate and now FF pate. I don't see the dandruff anymore, but he's still skinny. I've been giving him extra pate feedings throughout the day hoping he'll gain some weight back. Just trying to keep my overweight cat away from them. Vet didn't say anything about it.
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  16. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    One point that's easily overlooked....it's not entirely how many cans of food your giving your kitty. You need to pat attention to the calories. There are some foods that are ideal for a diabetic cat (e.g., many of the Tiki varieties of food) as far a the carbohydrate amount. They are, however, quite low in calories since they are almost entirely protein. (They look like and smell like shredded chicken.) Some of the low carb brands, like Wellness, are higher in calories due to a higher fat content.

    I want to second Deb's point. If you eliminate the dry food, please home test if you're not doing so already. We've had kitties go into remission once the dry food was out of their diet. We want to make sure Rudy is safe so please test Rudy's blood glucose (BG) especially if you're changing his diet.
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.

Share This Page