Cat With Pancreatitis And Now Diagnosed With Cat Diabetes


An owner of a cat with pancreatitis and now diagnosed with cat diabetes asks about what food is best for his cat. He has been recommended a certain brand but after his own research believes the recommendation may not be the best course of action.

“I have a 13yr old cat that was diagnosed with pancreatits 7yrs ago. He almost died a couple of times but thankfully has been stable for the past 6yrs – we always feed him Hills C/D seafood wet and dry food and includes enzymes in the wet food 2x a day..

Well, he was just diagnosed with diabetes and we are in the process of changing him over to W/D Hills dry food with the C/D wet just before he gets his insulin shots 2x day.

I have been doing some reading here and it sounds like the W/D Hills isnt the best choice.. Anybody out there with a pancreatic cat with some better food suggestions?

I hate to change him over again because the pancreatitis seems to flare up with any changes in his environment ( food, stress, etc) so I feel like I am just holding my breath hoping he accepts the food change.

He has been on insulin (2 cc) 2x per day for about 1 week now but I don’t see much change – seems like still urinating alot and I found a pee spot outside the litter box yesterday and today 🙁 WE take him back next week for another vet check but would like some input.

I don’t care if I have to cook the food myself – we have done so much for this cat over the years and he is our family but trying to keep the pancreatitis in check while getting the diabetes under control. Any advice would be great! Thanks”

Here are soem excellent replies:-

“For diabetics, we recommend grain free, low carbohydrate canned or raw food with 10% or less carbohydrates. With a history of pancreatitis, you may also want to aim for lower fat content. Google Janet & Binky’s Food Charts for detailed protein/carbs/fat data for many canned and dry foods. The labels don’t have enough detail on them, and Janet & Binky’s data were gathered by many people over the years.

please learn how to test blood sugar at home — it is the best way to gain control over the diabetes and get your kitty feeling better.

2 units may be too much – we recommend starting at 1 unit 2x per day and checking blood sugar at shot time and a couple more times per day – usually +6 hours after the shot. We have an international membership across many different time zones, so we note times as AMPS, PMPS and +1, +2 etc for morning “pre-shot” test, evening pre-shot test and then how many hours after injection the blood sugar test was taken.

My cat Tiggy only needs 0.5 units 2x per day to maintain good control of blood sugar. We have a saying “Every Cat Is Different” (ECID), so it is possible that your kitty needs more – but it is safer to start at a lower dose and work up methodically than to start to high and risk HYPOGLYCEMIA (low blood sugar from insulin overdose that can cause seizures, blindness and death — please study the signs and treatment!!!).

Too much insulin CAN cause high blood sugar numbers due to “rebound”, where the liver produces sugar to absorb the overdose of insulin.

This is why it is important to learn to check your kitty’s blood sugar every day at home.

by the way, a “cc” is = 100 units of insulin — you are probably giving 2 “units” or 0.02 cc.”

“I think your best bet for both health issues is raw food. The best diet for any cat, with any health issue, is low carb, high protein, wet food.

There are canned foods that fit that bill, but any canned food is going to be a compromise on nutrition to some degree. I mix Wellness canned with PetSmart’s Great Choice canned – and then add supplements, including digestive enzymes, a probiotic, and water to it. But Wellness is high in fat, so may not be good for your cat. I would feed all raw if I could afford it.

One of mine, Beau, had chronic pancreatits, diagnosed when he was 3. He was dx with cardiomyopathy at the same time and almost died. He had p-titis flares on and off for 5 years before being dx with diabetes.

After five years of wear and tear on his pancreas, I was expecting diabetes because no one told me there were other things I could do to support him nutritionally.

After his diabetes dx, I changed his diet to canned low carb and got rid of all dry. I had been feeding one that was loaded with fillers that probably irritated his system and contributed to p-titis.

He is diet controlled now and has not had any p-titis flares in three years. He will be 14 in August.

What I feed now is the best I can afford. Wellness is a high quality protein and had no grains in it. The Great Choice is lower quality proteins, but doesn’t have wheat, corn or soy in it.

I really think there is no good prescription food. If you read the ingredients they are all by-products, organ meats and fillers and not that high in protein. For the money you spend on that food you can probably buy raw food.

You are doing so much for him already, that I hope you can add home testing his blood sugar as soon as possible. Diabetes is a home managed disease no matter what species you are talking about.

A pediatrician would not tell you to shoot insulin into your child without testing its blood first for very real safety reasons.

A cat needs testing for the same reasons. I NEVER give insulin without knowing what my cat’s blood sugar is. Get a human meter and test strips. The expensive part is the test strips so price your meter based on that.

Walmart’s Relion meter is one of the cheapest and has good ratings. (I am NOT a fan of Walmart, but they do have a good product). I use a Bayer Contour meter.

Let us know what insulin you were given. Starting dose should be no more than 1u twice a day. Cats are not dosed by weight. Also, what was his blood sugar at the vet when he was diagnosed?”

I think the two most important messages for this cat with pancreatitis and now diagnosed with cat diabetes is that diet is the key,  a raw food natural diet that is low in carbohydrate and fat. And also home testing of blood sugars before giving insulin shots is extremely important as mentioned many many times before.


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