Just like humans, cats can also have diabetes. If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, you may be shocked at first. Nevertheless, cats and tomcats with diabetes can also lead to a cat-worthy existence, albeit with a few measures and adjustments. One of these adjustments could be the switch to grain-free cat food. By the way, grain-free cat chunks are also suitable for cats that do not have diabetes.
Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is relatively common in cats. Overweight cats are especially at risk of developing diabetes sooner or later in life.
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If a cat or a male has diabetes, this means that a problem has arisen in the sugar and insulin balance in the body. A shortage of insulin (which is produced in the islets of Langerhans, in the pancreas) ensures that sugar in the blood can no longer be absorbed into the body cells. This increases the amount of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. This can be easily demonstrated in a blood test.
Recognizing diabetes in cats
If your cat has diabetes, he or she will develop more and more symptoms as blood glucose levels rise. Symptoms of diabetes in cats are:
- very thirsty
- Frequent urination
- Increased appetite
- Susceptible to urinary tract infections
- Acetone smell from the mouth
- weight loss
If you suspect that your cat or male has diabetes, don’t decide to look at it again! Diabetes can be treated well, but without treatment, your cat will get sicker and weaker and eventually die.
How is diabetes in cats treated?
Successful treatment of diabetes consists of several components. A very important, and really necessary, part is the administration of insulin injections. This should be done once or twice a day, at a set time. You don’t have to go to the vet every time for this: he/she will teach you how to measure the glucose level in the blood and how to administer insulin.
The medication that the cat is already taking is also looked at. A cat or tomcat who is on prednisone, for example, will have to stop taking it.
Adapted food for cats with diabetes
Carbohydrates and starch belong to the long sugar chains. This means that they are slowly absorbed into the blood. (This is in contrast to fast sugars, which are quickly absorbed but also quickly disappear.) If the cat consumes a lot of carbohydrates, this food will cause the blood sugar level to show more fluctuations. This makes it harder for the cat to adjust to insulin and he/she will feel worse.
Ingredients grain-free cat food
Unlike regular cat food from the supermarket, many grain-free cat food contains a low carbohydrate content. The cat food that you buy in the supermarket has a carbohydrate content of 30 to even 50%. This means that the sugar level in the blood rises enormously after eating these chunks, with all the consequences that entail.
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Grains are difficult for cats to digest. There are also cats that are allergic to grain. Grain-free cat food naturally contains no grains. Grain-free cat food can contain corn, soy, potato, or peas. The disadvantage of this is that these ingredients can also be quite carbohydrate-rich. The producer may also have replaced the grain with animal fat. In the best scenario, the grain has been replaced by animal protein, which unfortunately is reflected in the price (which increases as a result)
Grain-free cat chunks for diabetes
If you want to switch to grain-free food because your cat has diabetes, it is important that the grain has not been (completely) replaced by other carbohydrate bombs such as potatoes. These carbohydrates are still converted into sugars in the body. For cats with diabetes, you should make sure that the food contains a high content of easily digestible proteins. (As a rule, this means the higher the meat content, the better.) This will help your cat maintain a healthy weight and blood sugar levels. Please note that grain-free food is a supplement to the use of insulin, not a substitute for it!
It is also a good idea to give your cat wet food in addition to grain-free kibble. Canned food contains a lot of meat and is therefore high in protein, but low in carbohydrates.
Grain-free cat food: also for hypersensitive cats or cats with allergies
Not only cats with diabetes, but also cats and males who suffer from allergies, or cats that are very food sensitive, can benefit greatly from grain-free cat food. Cats are, after all, carnivores, and their digestive tract is therefore designed for food that contains a lot of proteins and few carbohydrates. Grain-free cat food is therefore considered to be high-quality cat food.