Sunday, September 10, 2006


I THINK I have come across the right combination to put weight back on Em. We'll have to wait and see if it fully pans out. So far, it appears that if we feed her four times a day, with canned food, and then give her handfuls of dry, and keep her on pepcid, it works. Last weight was 11lbs 13 oz!! I almost wanted to take a picture of the scale... lol She just sat on it all proud like. Hopefully, when she gets back up to a decent weight, we can go back to two times per day.

However, her blood sugars have been running VERY high. When she's on just a high protein low carb food, her highest bgs were in the low 200s. Now she's getting the 'kitty crack' the lowest high reading is 350ish. I can compensate with more insulin, but I have to imagine the swing in the sugars during the day can NOT be good. But then again, she used to eat exclusively dry food for years, and was getting up to 7 units twice a day at the time, so maybe she's just used to it? (which totally doesn't make sense, but I don't really care, she's gaining weight!!!)

Zoe asked about dry food, science diet, and mentioned how her vet said dry food is better for the cat's teeth. I want to address these issues. I was going to write to her directly, but then thought maybe I should post this cause it is kinda important.

First off, unfortunately, science diet is not a good quality food. It is actually one of the lower quality foods out there. So is Eukanuba and Iams. I know they are often recommended by vets and are touted as being the "leading" brands. Unfortunately, they are the leading brands because they promote themselves and give their product at very low cost to vets so that they push them. To see this, look at the first ingredient listed in the food. If the first couple of ingredients are not meat, or worse some sort of grain product, then it is a low-quality food. Cats are not designed to get energy from carbohydrates. Why are they in all the cat foods then? Cause they are cheap and drive up profits for the food companies. The same with wheat gluten. It is a protein derivative from wheat that a lot of cats have problems with.

As for the dental aspect of dry food, that is a myth. The teeth are designed for the tearing and ripping of flesh. When a cat chews kibble, it breaks it into smaller pieces and then eats it. More often than not the cat will eat the kibble whole, not even bothering to chew it, and later when it drinks some water, it will expand in the stomach, causing the cat to have to regurgitate the food. Check out this written by a vet.

A vet who has studied the effects of dry food on cats, and hundreds of owners who have diabetic cats, have seen the effect of dry food on a cat's blood sugars. Many diabetic cats are actually able to come off daily insulin if they are direct to a species appropriate food. A high protein, low carb diet, which is impossible to get in a dry food.

So from all the new research, experts are now equating dry food to a McDonald's type diet to humans. It has some nutritional value, but not a whole heck of a lot, and it has a lot of bad calories to go along with it. This means your cat has to eat more of it to get out of it what it needs, which in the long run taxes your cat's system and another side effect is that you have a lot more waste in the litter box. Cats also do not have a high thirst drive, so most cats who are on a dry diet tend to be slightly dehydrated. Many cats live nice long healthy lives on dry food, I won't deny that. But it is a very low-quality food.

I have culled this research from many different sources, but one of the main sites that helped me realize that the dry food had to go was it is created and run by a vet. She has stated that most vets don't even take nutritional classes, that it is an elective in school, and if they do it is only a very short class. Most of the vets training on good nutrition comes from (wait for it....) the companies that provide them food for sale... Mainly Science Diet, Eukanuba, and Iams. (which btw, all make kitten foods that almost none of my 200 foster kittens would eat)

Check out and and (and just because they talk about diets for diabetic cats does not mean it is an inappropriate diet for non-diabetic cats)

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