Alternative Treatments for Cat Diabetes
There are some inescapable facts that might lead one to question the validity of conventional treatments for many disorders that afflict both humans and animals, and there is a body of opinion concerning alternative treatments for cat diabetes.
In their natural state all cats eat meat and sometimes fish, but very little else, putting to bed the idea of all mammals having to have a “balanced diet” in order to stay healthy.
Virtually all members of the cat family, whether wild or domesticated, are obligate carnivores and physiologically geared towards eating meat.
It seems obvious that it is purely a matter of convenience that has led modern day cat owners to believe that their pets can exist in a healthy manner living on a diet of processed foods, either canned, pouched, or dry foods such as kibble. “Kibble” sounds so attractive doesn’t it and yet it is really nothing other than cereal.
Such foods are a long way away from the fresh meat the animals have evolved to eat, and a lot of the blame for obesity and diabetes in modern cats is surely due to their diet which is extremely high in carbohydrate.
It is undoubtedly commercial interest that pushes the idea of manufactured pet foods being good for our pets when, in fact, they are patently not.
This view is shared by many vets and seems unquestionably to be at the root of the problem of much of the secondary type of diabetes suffered by cats whereby the body’s tissues become resistant to insulin and sugar builds up in the blood. If this condition is left unchecked it could cause serious health problems such as kidney, heart, and eyesight problems.
In order to reverse the condition it would seem therefore logical to look to the diet first and foremost, and to significantly reduce the amounts of carbohydrate your cat consumes. This is best done gradually though in order to give adequate time for re-adjustment.
A high protein, low-carbohydrate diet, preferably including at least some fresh meat would seem to be the best option and may help to slowly turn around a developing diabetic condition if not left too late.
Some fresh meat is useful because processed cat food in cans is subjected to cooking or heat treatment of some kind that destroys or depletes certain nutrients such as vitamins, and certain amino acids like taurine.
Amino acids are essential for growth and repair in the body and a long-term deficiency can lead to health problems. It is unfortunate that manufacturers of pet food are allowed such leeway in their advertising to make their products sound so attractive, using terms such as “nourishing” indiscriminately.
So your first line of attack, if you have a cat developing a blood sugar problem and are looking for alternative treatments for cat diabetes, is to suitably modify the diet by gradually cutting out the breakfast cereals and turning to a high protein diet. You will need to monitor blood glucose all the while either by testing the urine, or preferably with actual blood testing.
Response to this approach will vary and if your cat can’t be adequately stabilized by diet alone then it will be necessary to turn to, or continue with, the conventional approach of administering insulin.
There are those who suggest alternative supplements to help treat diabetes in cats but there are just as many people who warn against these products as being ineffective and merely scams.
The scientific evidence for these products doesn’t seem to be available, although many people who have used products such as Mellit, do think they are helpful. The idea is that such products might help bio-availability of the insulin that is available but this seems difficult to prove or disprove.
Helping your cat to do more exercise is another way to reduce the weight problem and benefit health, so increasing the amounts of playtime might be a good idea, even if you can’t actually take your cat for a walk. Apparently some will walk happily on a lead but most refuse, reacting as if they were being strangled!
When buying canned cat food or food in pouches it is best to avoid those with ingredients on the label such as wheat, soy, sweet potato, corn gluten, or any plant derived materials because they are simply unnatural and unnecessary for a cat.
Vegetable products are put into pet foods to bulk them out because they are cheaper to produce than meat. They are not there to improve your cat’s health despite what the manufacturers would have you believe. The only exception here might be to add in a little flaxseed oil which contains beneficial omega fatty acids. They can also be derived from oily fish like sardines, tuna, and salmon if you can afford these!