Cat Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I took the kids to the vet last week for check ups, shots, and a glucose test for Trey's diabetes.

They told me Trey's glucose level was in the upper 400's so I have to give him insulin and prescription food. Well, after all the advice I got on here and research I found online about diabetic cats, I decided I wanted to try the raw diet so I could give both of them the same food. I started slowly with some chicken and eventually added some pig blood - they LOVE it. I even bought some giblets and livers last night.

But, I took Trey back today to get his glucose tested again. The vet brought up the w/d food they prescribed him and I asked her how she felt about the raw diet. She told me she does not recommended the raw diet at all. She said it was dangerous, they could get sick or get salmonella, or have congestive heart failure. She talked me into the dry w/d kibble again today and said Pancakes (still a kitten) could eat the same kibble too. She also mentioned that it would cost me more time and money. (w/d is 14.99 per 4lb bag.. I'm not 100% sure on my numbers for the raw food.. but for some reason I'm thinking it won't make too much of a difference money wise)

I just don't know what to think now. From all I've read about the diets the rest of you kitty parents give.. Something about her recommendation just seems off to me.

What would you do?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,855 Posts
I've never fed raw, I do a wet/dry mix. They get a certain amount of wet food a day and if they're still hungry, they have kibble. I haven't done much research but from what I've read here, the general thought is that raw likely is best but you really have to know what you're feeding them, just feeding some raw meat is not the way it works. If you don't get the right balance of bone and such you can endanger your cats health. The whole things seems too complicated to me, and I figure wet food and kibble are what over 90% of cat owners feed their cats, and most live a long life, so I don't worry about my decision.

One thing I've read though is that many vets don't know much about the raw diet, not a lot of their focus in school is on a cat diet and they just spew out whatever they were told in school.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,394 Posts
I would find another vet. Any vet recommending kibble for a diabetic cat is not one that I would want treating my cat. She's entitled to her concerns about raw, many people/vets have them...but if not raw, then wet food. Diabetic cats need to avoid carbs, any kibble is going to have way more carbs than a grain free wet. EVO 95% or CORE are the two best wet foods for diabetic cats imo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
I feed my cats raw and no grain canned...no kibble. Kibble is the worse thing you can give a diabetic cat. Their glucose level sky-rockets with carbohydrates just like us. Carbs = glucose. Raw = protein and low carbs. That being said, raw also means not too much profit for the Vet practice, which I am certain sells the prescription food as well or they take kick-backs to promote the food. Cats have enzymes which kill bacteria commonly found in meat, and a shorter digestive tract than we do...so salmonella is not a realistic danger for cats unlike it is with us. How would your Vet explain Salmonella being found inside kibble as well?

Raw is not that complicated. If you feed a variety of proteins (chicken, turkey, quail, pork, beef, venison, etc.) and feed mostly meaty bones and liver, gizzards, kidneys, intestines, etc., and an oily fish once a week you will be just fine. However, it will take your cat time to adjust to chewing meat and eating bone.

Another option is a quality non-grain canned food like EVO, Weruva, Wellness, etc. since they are all low in carbs and high in protein....just get rid of the kibble. If you cat is overweight, this should also bring his/her weight down gradually, which would also regulate the glucose levels.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,136 Posts
Your vet is talking out of her butt. Im sure she hasnt extensively studied and considered raw diets. There are vets who would tell her what she told you is horse hockey. Its a new idea which vets hear they are slow to come around to. But that is the way with everything in the vet world.

Vaccinations are now being readdressed. Ive taken the heat for my conviction and experiences with vaccinations. Id say half the vets wouldnt beleive what I do and half support what I do!

The same issues are happening with vets who say only western medicine should be used to treat an animal. Then there are vets like Dr. Pitcairn who has a practise and book on homeopathic care for your companion animals.

Heck I had a well known vet tell a friend of mine because a rescue cat was found with felv, that the whole colony is to be euthanized. That is backward thinking from when he graduated vet school 30 years ago. Consider the source when your asking advice from a vet.

If you are going to continue to feed your cat raw and deal with its diabetes then you must find a mentor, a vet, a knowledgable friend who can walk you thru it. You need to make this a real conviction and move forward with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,513 Posts
I think it's just common sense. Just like with yourself, if in doubt get a second opinion, or a third or more. Also, get your own self educated, get out there and talk to rescue groups, other people who own cats. Get as much info as you can from a variety of sources, then make your own decision.

Personally, I feed half raw and half wet and dry for a snack. If I'm not doing the raw correctly, then the wet meal plus the dry snack will help provide what's necessary. I feed dry only as a snack as I found it definitely isn't a good idea for cats. Many cats get dehydrated health issues such as urinary crystals so more moisture is definitely a good idea. I even mix water into the wet food to make it a soupy meal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
I posted a reply covering this topic in another thread rather recently, so I hope you don't mind me linking to that post rather than retyping or copy-pasting the whole thing here: http://www.catforum.com/forum/36-cat-chat/139251-why-do-i-feel-so-guilty.html#post723484

For what it's worth, I scheduled a nutritional consultation with my own vet when putting my cats on raw. I found a vet who thankfully happened to be educated in depth on cat nutrition and he was very encouraging about it.

I also purchased this book (I know I keep linking it everywhere, but it's great) and it really really helped me understand why raw is so good for cats and gave me the education to respond to all the supposed concerns about it:

It's what really tipped the scale of my opinion on the subject. She did a lot of research into commercial pet food, she's a certified nutritionist, and she gives a detailed explanation of what her own veterinary education about nutrition was like which really clarifies why so many vets are uninformed on the topic.

Also if you're nervous about doing homemade raw, there are premade raw diets like Nature's Variety or Primal that require no additional supplementation. They come in frozen nuggets or patties, and you just defrost them in the fridge and feed them as-is. Very simple! I've become a huge fan of Primal, as it's done wonders for my cats, and it's actually cheaper than the grain-free canned I was buying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
I've become a huge fan of Primal, as it's done wonders for my cats, and it's actually cheaper than the grain-free canned I was buying.
I have a question for you, saitenyo, since I just purchased a trial package of Primal and served the first part over the weekend. Do you supplement the Primal with anything that allows the cats to gnaw or chew, exercising their jaws and maybe helping keep their teeth cleaner? I got a bone from the same store, but it was a large bone and not the kind I've read about, that they'd end up swallowing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
I have a question for you, saitenyo, since I just purchased a trial package of Primal and served the first part over the weekend. Do you supplement the Primal with anything that allows the cats to gnaw or chew, exercising their jaws and maybe helping keep their teeth cleaner? I got a bone from the same store, but it was a large bone and not the kind I've read about, that they'd end up swallowing.
Yeah, I'm looking into supplementing with raw meaty bones and currently slowly working on building up their jaw strength with raw meat chunks. The Primal contains ground bone pieces which may offer a little dental maintenance but my understanding is there's a lot of debate on how much raw ground actually helps, dental-wise, so I'm not sure.

It definitely seems to offer a little more jaw-workout than canned, but likely not the same amount as unground and raw meaty bones.

What you want to do with getting their jaws exercised if first get them used to chewing small chunks of raw meat, then once they seem comfortable with that, you can introduce small, soft bones (always uncooked!) like quail or cornish game hen bones, or chicken ribs.

I haven't reached the raw meaty bones stage with my cats yet so I'll turn any further advice on that over to the more experienced raw feeders like Auntie Crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
I have a question for you, saitenyo, since I just purchased a trial package of Primal and served the first part over the weekend. Do you supplement the Primal with anything that allows the cats to gnaw or chew, exercising their jaws and maybe helping keep their teeth cleaner?
Besides Quail, and the other bones Saitenyo mentioned, you can also try chicken necks cut into 1" disks, chicken wing tips, gizzards are wonderful to strengthen their jaws and get some flossing action going. I started off with chicken and worked up to duck and finally turkey gizzards, which are much larger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
Excellent. Thanks to you both. I'm mainly relying on the frozen, prepackaged portions for the raw feeding, but for what we are talking about now, which is the supplemental, really chewy raw, these sound like great suggestions.

Excuse my ignorance, but I haven't generally seen packaged chicken necks or gizzards on sale at my local grocery store--but then again, until now I really haven't looked! I've seen turkey gizzards, but only inside a large frozen turkey. So, will they be for sale in the poultry refrigerator case, or do I need to ask the butcher for them from the back?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
thanks guys! I'm officially in search of a new vet. What's funny is there are several doctors and tons of techs there who all seem to push the w/d. If they only do it for job security for themselves.. that just makes me feel bad for the rest of the animals belonging to people who don't think twice about the recommendations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
I get all my raw from the Asian market, which is a great resource for all types of raw meats. I don't recall seeing anything past maybe chicken livers at my local western supermarket, either. I would suggest trying to locate an Asian market near you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
I get all my raw from the Asian market, which is a great resource for all types of raw meats. I don't recall seeing anything past maybe chicken livers at my local western supermarket, either. I would suggest trying to locate an Asian market near you.
I am envious of all the people who live near Asian Markets. You'd think being near LA I would have a ton of them around, but I seem to be in a pocket of empty space where there is not a single one within an hour's drive!

I think sometimes meat counters can special-order stuff NRD. I think some people here source some of their meats by talking directly to the butchers at the supermarket meat counter. I haven't tried with my local supermarket yet. Still need to find time to run over there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
Excuse my ignorance, but I haven't generally seen packaged chicken necks or gizzards on sale at my local grocery store--but then again, until now I really haven't looked! I've seen turkey gizzards, but only inside a large frozen turkey. So, will they be for sale in the poultry refrigerator case, or do I need to ask the butcher for them from the back?
LOL- move to the South and they will be a staple in your local grocery store (shudder)!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,059 Posts
thanks guys! I'm officially in search of a new vet. What's funny is there are several doctors and tons of techs there who all seem to push the w/d.
Techs are going to support the recommendations of the vets who sign their paychecks. Vets are going to follow clinic protocols, if specific treatment protocols are in place. Unfortunately, your current clinic seems extremely poorly educated in the proper dietary management of feline diabetes. You should go back to the raw diet for your diabetic cat (for both of your felines, actually), or at the very least switch to a high quality canned food like EVO or CORE. Kibble should NEVER be fed to a diabetic. That said, you need to be very careful about switching from a high carb diet to a low carb diet, because the change in diet is likely to substantially impact your cat's insulin dosage. Before making drastic dietary changes, find a vet who will help you safely adjust the insulin dose to accommodate the change in dietary carbs. Also, acquaint yourself with the signs of hypoglycemia so that you'll be able to identify and reverse it quickly if it should happen to your cat.

Laurie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
That said, you need to be very careful about switching from a high carb diet to a low carb diet, because the change in diet is likely to substantially impact your cat's insulin dosage. Before making drastic dietary changes, find a vet who will help you safely adjust the insulin dose to accommodate the change in dietary carbs. Also, acquaint yourself with the signs of hypoglycemia so that you'll be able to identify and reverse it quickly if it should happen to your cat.

Laurie
I second this excellent advice. As a hypoglycemic human (although mine's genetic, not diabetes-triggered), I can attest that it is an unpleasant thing to go through. I would not wish those episodes on anyone, human or cat!

To elaborate, if Trey is on insulin to lower his blood sugar, and then switches to a low-carb diet, he's going to require less insulin to keep his blood sugar levels stable. Too much insulin will push his blood sugar too low, resulting in a hypoglycemic episode. Mild low blood sugar is just unpleasant, but severely low blood sugar can be dangerous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,331 Posts
Vets don't get kickbacks from the pet food companies. They do get all of their information from them though. A few times a year the companies will come in and go over their products (especially if they have something new) and all the studies that go into why the diets are so great. The clinics I worked for only carried the prescription diets, not maintanence. At one point we were stocking almost full lines of THREE different diets. Why? Because the reps were all very impressive that the vet decided we should use them all... you know, in case Fluffy didn't like the Science Diet K/D we could try the Iams/Eukanuba formula, then the Royal Canin formula.

As a raw feeder, I always looked forward to the reps coming in, especially our Iams guy... he was in the most often and we'd always have a few words back and forth. I used to love when we tried to convince me that their foods were so much better because they created a lower volume of stool. I couldn't convince him to go out to the back yard to compare my dog's tiny hard raw fed poop to the giant soft smelly piles of various other dogs.

The biggest factor I've found is simply research. You put enough studies and numbers in front of a vet and they'll think it just HAS to be the right choice. One vet I worked for would never give an opinion on any other food unless they had feeding trials to back up their claims.

As for the technicians... a lot of them get a short course in nutrition in school (probably along the same lines of what the vets get) and then just sell what their vets tell them to. They often feed the foods to their pets because they get them at cost without the markup, and depending on the company some will get free food. (That was another favorite part of my day... when the Iams rep would put together the orders for free staff food and couldn't understand why I wouldn't even feed his food to my pets if it was FREE)

What I do think is a little amusing is the wide variety of foods my current coworkers feed. We don't get big discounts on food. A few will order the Science Diet, but most of them feed foods they can find at the grocery store. Why? We don't make a heck of a lot of money and pet food is expensive! Almost all of them are completely grossed out by canned food and wouldn't imagine why anyone would want to feed it to their cats.

Is your cat currently on Insulin? If so, diet change is definately a risky thing to do without close supervision. If your cat has not yet started on the Insulin I would wait a few weeks until settled on a new diet (ideally raw or canned) before starting as it may not even be needed with proper diet.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top