If you’re like most cat owners, the thought of any connection between feline diabetes and dry cat food never crosses your mind. But it should. The ugly truth is that a steady diet of dry cat food often leads to major health problems like feline obesity and diabetes in cats. Here’s what you need to know if you think your kitty is doing just “fine” on dry food.
Cats Are Obligate Carnivores
What is an obligate carnivore? Simply put, it’s an animal who needs to get her protein from meat, not grains. Proteins are made up of amino acids. Meat contains all the amino acids needed by an obligate carnivore. Grains do not. People and dogs are able to make the missing amino acids, but cats can’t. This is why you can’t make your feline into a vegetarian. You can’t argue with Mother Nature.
The problem is that dry food is made up mostly from grains. Why? Because grains are cheaper than meat, so using more grain is better for the bottom line of the pet food companies.
Don’t be confused by protein percentage on the dry food bag label. It looks like dry food has more protein in it than canned food does. You have to look at the dry matter basis, which is the accurate way to compare them. On a dry matter basis, canned food has more protein. Also remember that the type of protein is critical too–whether it comes from grains or from meat.
Too Many Carbohydrates Leads To Feline Obesity
Another problem with grain-based dry food is that it contains too many carbohydrates. In the wild, your kitty would be eating mice and other prey animals. This diet contains only three to five percent carbohydrates. Compare this to dry food that contains 35 to 50 percent. Cheap brands contain even more.
The pet food companies recommend “free feeding,” which means leaving dry food out in a dish for your kitty to nibble on whenever she wants to. Too many carbohydrates plus too much food leads to overweight cats. This problem is becoming an epidemic among the feline population, and only leads to health problems like a diabetic cat.
Can You Prevent Feline Diabetes?
Some experts believe that diabetes in cats is a man-made problem that can be avoided completely by feeding kitties the right kind of diet. Since this disease can sometimes be reversed in cats with a change in diet, this may be true. It’s much easier to prevent your pet from becoming a feline diabetic than it is to treat the disease once it’s developed.
Start by feeding your feline friend a high-quality canned food. Lots of exercise is essential to burn up extra calories and keep her in top shape. Set aside time for two or three energetic play sessions every day.
Studies have shown that natural remedies for cats are also helpful in preventing diabetes in cats. Look for a product that contains astragalus, goat’s rue, fenugreek, bilberry, and chromium picolinate. These ingredients are effective in maintaining normal blood sugar levels, and they’re safe and effective.
Now that you have this information, what are you waiting for? Start making changes today to prevent feline diabetes.