Diabetes

  • Nutrition-based remission is possible.
  • Starch processes into blood glucose five times faster vs protein.
  • Any diet you feed should contain less than 1% starch.
  • Roughly two parts protein to one part fat is ideal.
  • All of our Zero diets are made for diabetic and normal cats.
  • Diets with les than 1% starch (carnivore diets) are a necessity for a diabetic cat and a great choice for any normal cats.
Cat getting an insulin shot

What is feline diabetes?

There are numerous sources on exactly what feline diabetes is, however it can be summed up in one sentence. Your cat has too much glucose present in his/her blood stream and no longer has the ability to produce enough insulin to remove that excess glucose. Your cat’s pancreas is also likely diminished; the important question is by how much.

Why did my cat get diabetes?

True carnivores don’t need to eat their vegetables. In fact, some carnivores deliberately seek out and eat vegetation to induce vomiting, not because it supplies needed nutrition. The domestic cat is an obligate or true carnivore and has no nutritional requirement for starch/carbohydrates or other vegetable matter.

The excess starch/carbs and plant products found in many other cat foods may even contribute to diabetes, obesity and urinary tract issues like stones and crystals. Starch digests much more quickly than protein and this puts unnecessary stress on your cat's pancreas causing it to weaken. As the pancreas weakens, it can no longer produce the insulin needed to remove the excess blood glucose produced by the over consumption of starch. Once this happens, you have a diabetic cat.

Are there different degrees of diabetes?

Yes. Some cats whose starch exposure has been severe and long-lasting will always need insulin injections to live. However, if damage to the pancreas has been limited, your cat has a good chance of going into remission. Think of it this way – your cat's compromised pancreas may not be able to handle a diet containing 25% starch, but could it handle a food containing less than 1% starch? The answer is yes. And, for cats that do not go into remission, their glucose regulation can become easier to manage with less insulin. Please keep in mind that a small percentage of diabetic cases are caused by infection or medication; other cases may be environmental or genetic. Your veterinarian is your best resource to make this determination.

The ZERO advantage of Young Again foods…what does it mean?

Our entire line of ZERO foods only use animal protein and fat. We do not use grains, vegetables, berries, fruits or sources of plant proteins. If there is a plant source in our food, it is a non-digestible dietary fiber (like Guar Gum, Citrus Fiber or Psyllium) used to regulate gut mobility and transit time and it will not impact blood glucose in any significant way.

Young Again has developed three ZERO Cat Foods created specifically for pre-diabetic, diabetic and obese cats. Our 54/26 ZERO TruCarnivore™ Formula can be fed to ALL cats of any age.

Our 54/24 ZERO MATURE Health Formulas are low in minerals and vitamin D3 which is necessary for any cat that is no longer growing bone. Our Mature foods are also recommended for cats with urinary tract issues and cats with kidney disease. Our definition of a MATURE cat is a cat no longer growing bone. If you are unsure of your cat’s growth status please consult with your veterinarian. If you have a multiple cat household with both mature and young cats, the 52/26 ZERO formula should be fed.

Young Again ZERO and ZERO Mature Health are the ONLY dry feline diets that contain less than 1% starch. Our special process allows us to make a dry kibble without a traditional starch source. Our diet contains absolutely NO grains, No peas or legumes, NO plant proteins, NO gluten, NO vegetables.

To insure that our ZERO foods only contain a trace amount of starch, we test with an outside laboratory to confirm starch content. You will see throughout our website that the ZERO line of foods all contain less than 1% starch.

What can you expect from our diabetic cat food?

  • Vets clearly believe that Nutrition-based remission is possible. We encourage you to give one of our Zero foods a try. Why wait to try one of ZERO foods? We are so confident that nutrition-based remission is possible that we offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee. Young Again foods are highly acceptable and only a few cats refuse to eat it. If you feel your cat may be difficult to convert, request the FREE flavor pack in our special instructions section when placing your order.
  • The vast majority of our clients report complete satisfaction with our food and their diabetic cat as well as their other household cats. Our Zero foods are a great choice for Pre-diabetic cats and clients report complete satisfaction within two weeks.
  • Our ZERO foods on average contain less than 1% starch/digestible carbohydrates. Caloric breakdown: 46% from Protein, 53% from Fat and 0.8% from starch. We only use animal protein, NO plant proteins.
  • Your cat(s) will maintain the same body hydration as meat-only canned foods, even though our food is a dry kibble. (Hydration Paper)
  • Our ZERO foods can and should be fed to all of your household cats, diabetic or not. All your cats are obligate carnivores and will thrive on an animal protein and fat diet that contains no significant starch.
  • Comparison charts of various diabetic cat foods. See what is really in the food you almost bought. (Charts)
  • Our most expensive ZERO food will only cost about $0.58 a day to feed the average 8-pound cat. The least expensive low starch canned food will cost $1.12 a day, high carb veterinary canned foods will cost almost $2 a day and the high end low carb canned foods will cost more than $5 a day to feed a 10 pound cat. Our food may look expensive, but an 8 pound bag will last the average 10 pound cat 100 days when fed free choice.
  • You will be able to feed our ZERO foods free choice (food available at all times) in all but a few cases and should do so for best results.
  • Our ZERO Formula can be fed to all cats and our ZERO Mature foods are low in phosphorus (0.5%) and are recommended for all mature cats that are no longer growing bone and is our best choice for cats with kidney disease. (CRD Paper) We also highly recommend our ZERO Mature foods for cats with a history of crystal and stone formation. (Urolliths/Stones)
  • Your phone calls are answered by real people during business hours and we monitor our email from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. CST, 7 days a week. Response time for emergency questions is generally less than one hour. We also monitor Facebook after hours.

Which ZERO food should I use for my diabetic cat?

The ZERO TruCarnivore™ Formula can be fed to all cats from kittens to adults and contains a full complement of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for growth and development. If you have a diabetic cat and a kitten then this is the food you will need.

ZERO Mature Health Formula should only be fed to cats that are no longer growing bone and is the best choice for all mature cats. Most cats are mature at two years of age and for the giant breeds like the Maine Coon it will be 4-5 years of age. If you are not sure your cat is done growing bone, please consult with your breeder or veterinarian. ZERO Mature is also recommended for cats suffering from stones, crystals and kidney disease. (Urolliths/Stones) This is the preferred food for any cat that is mature and the best one to use if you do not have a kitten in the house.

LID - ZERO Mature (Limited Ingredient Formula) is identical to the ZERO Mature except it uses only one protein source, hydrolyzed pork. It was specifically designed for cats with allergies to chicken and other protein sources. This formula may work well for older skinny cats.

Our goal is to make your life a whole lot easier and your cat’s life a whole lot better.

Which ZERO food should I use for my diabetic cat?

The ZERO TruCarnivore™ Formula can be fed to all cats from kittens to adults and contains a full complement of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for growth and development.

ZERO Mature Health Formula should only be fed to cats that are no longer growing bone and is the best choice for all mature cats. Most cats are mature at two years of age and for the giant breeds like the Maine Coon it will be 4-5 years of age. If you are not sure your cat is done growing bone, please consult with your breeder or veterinarian. ZERO Mature is also recommended for cats suffering from stones, crystals and kidney disease. (Urolliths/Stones)

LID - ZERO Mature (Limited Ingredient Formula)  is identical to the ZERO Mature except it uses only one protein source, hydrolyzed pork. It was specifically designed for cats with allergies to chicken and other protein sources.

There are three types of households with diabetic cats.

Household 1: You have a newly diagnosed diabetic cat that has not yet been put on insulin. In most cases, we recommend simply placing your cat exclusively on our 54/26 ZERO Cat Food. (Choose the 54/24 ZERO MATURE if your cat is done growing.) If your cat has secondary symptoms such as neuropathy, ketosis or exceedingly high blood glucose levels, then food based remission may be unlikely and you will need to inject insulin while feeding our food. You should consult your veterinarian to see if food-based remission is possible based on you cats exam. Please monitor your cat’s glucose levels weekly. There are some cats that will not respond to diet change alone and these cats will still need to receive insulin. Before being diagnosed, your cat was living with high glucose levels, so an additional week or two should have no negative impact on her health. It is critical that NO STARCH/CARBS in the form of treats, food or hairball treatments be given to your diabetic cat. Most canned foods on the market today contain too many carbs. If the label has anything on it that looks like a plant (fiber sources are exempt) do NOT feed it. NO exceptions.


Household 2: You have a diabetic cat that receives regular insulin injections with in-home blood glucose (BG) monitoring. Start feeding your cat one of our ZERO formulas. Be sure to only feed a Young Again ZERO food. Do NOT give your cat insulin without first checking her BG levels. If BG levels are falling, the amount of insulin you give should also be reduced. It is far better to give less insulin and have higher than normal BG levels, than it is to have low BG levels. Blood glucose levels below 50 are life threatening. Most cats that are going to respond to a less than 1% starch diet will generally do so within 4-12 weeks.


Household 3: You have a diabetic cat that receives regular insulin but blood glucose levels are not monitored at home. If your cat is already receiving insulin when you start using our food, you must always test BG levels before each injection. If you do not test blood glucose levels before each injection of insulin you cannot use our food. Because you are injecting insulin without first doing a BG level, it will be impossible for you to feed Young Again ZERO Cat Foods without the risk of overdosing insulin and killing your cat. By testing before each injection, you will be able to adjust the dose of insulin down to match the lower blood glucose levels you are seeing. Do not become complacent, BG levels can remain high for weeks, even months and suddenly BG will plummet. You must always test the BG level before each injection. If you have any question or concerns on this please contact your veterinarian, call us or email us at info@youngagainpetfood.com.

 

Diabetic Cat Food Comparison Table

Ingredients Young Again ZERO Young Again ZERO Mature Young Again LID ZERO Hills Prescription Diet m/d Glucose Weight Mgmt DRY Hills Prescription Diet m/d Glucose Weight MgmtCANNED Royal Canin Veterinary Glyco Balance DRY Royal Canin Veterinary Glyco Balance CANNED Purina PROPLAN DM Dietetic Mgmt Feline Formula DRY Purina PROPLAN DM Dietetic Mgmt Feline Formula-Original CANNED
1st Hydrolyzed Pork Hydrolyzed Pork Hydrolyzed Pork Chicken-By-Product Meal Pork-by-products Chicken Meal Water sufficient for processing Poultry By Product Meal Liver
2nd Chicken Meal Chicken Meal Chicken Fat* Corn Gluten Meal Pork Liver Corn Gluten Meal Pork-by-products Soy Protein Isolate Poultry-By-Products
3rd Chicken Fat Chicken Fat Liver Flavor Pork Fat Water Barley chicken liver Corn Gluten Meal Meat-By-Products
4th Chicken Liver Flavor Tomato Pomace Guar Gum Brewers Rice Corn Starch Wheat Gluten chicken liver Soy Flour Water sufficient for processing
5th Tomato Pomace Chicken Liver Flavor Fish Oil Wheat Gluten Powdered cellulose Tapioca wheat gluten Animal Fat Chicken
6th Guar Gum Guar Gum DL Methionine Powdered Cellulose Soy Protein Isolate Powdered Cellulose powdered cellulose Cornstarch Salmon
7th Herring Meal DL Methionine Lysine Pork Protein Isolate Chicken Fat Soy Protein Isolate gelatin Animal Liver Flavor Oat Fiber
fruits no no no no no no no no no
protein 57.6 57.9 62.2 51 50.1 48.88 52.49 57.95 52.27
fat 28.6 28.8 25.1 20.2 21 11.11 8.82 17.04 20.45
fiber 3.3 3.3 1.29 4.8 7 7.55 11.76 3.4 9.04
fiber 4.6 4.8 5.15 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
ash 5.9 5.2 5.26 n/a n/a n/a n/a 8.52 n/a
moisture 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
carbs trace 1% trace 1% trace 1% 18.2 16.3 comp 25% comp 14% Company supplied 18% comp 9.67%
portion no no no yes yes yes yes yes yes
  4653 kcal/kg 675 kcal/cup 4446 kcal/kg 645 kcal/cup 4337 kcal/kg 629kcal/cup 3954 kcal/kg 493 kcal/cup not available 3512 kcal/kg 390 kcal/cup 4241 kcal/kg 4118 kcal/kg 592 kcal/cup 5577 kcal/kg

Why is feline diabetes on the rise?

There is no clear consensus in the medical community that can explain the tremendous increase in feline diabetes and obesity over the past 40 years. We do know that prior to this time almost all cats were fed a meat only carnivore diet and obesity and diabetes were rare. We also know that the vast majority of wet and dry diets fed to cats today contain up to 30% starch/carbs. Your cat is an obligate carnivore and has no nutritional requirement for starch/carbs in their diet. None.

We also know that presently more than 60% of our cats are overweight and that obesity is a contributing factor for developing diabetes. Basically, the industry has changed the way we feed our cats. We believe these changes have led to the epidemic of health issues we see today.

What is the difference between starch and carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates encompass everything that isn't protein, fat, vitamin or mineral. This means that all fiber is considered to be a carbohydrate even though they cannot be digested by your cat and therefore will not impact your cat's blood glucose. Various fibers are, in fact, good for your cat as they regulate digestion and bowel movement. Some soluble fibers such as guar gum have been shown to improve glucose regulation in diabetic patients and is one of the reasons that we use it in our ZERO foods. (Guar Gum) Starch on the other hand is what diabetics generally think of as the bad carbohydrate. It will dramatically increase blood glucose over time when compared to protein consumption. Starch is found in grains, berries, fruits, vegetables and everything plant derived. Most dry cat foods contain 10-30% starch and many canned foods contain more than 10% starch. It does not matter if the starch is fed wet or dry, it is not natural for your cat to consume and it will impact BG levels more severely than protein. All of the Young Again ZERO cat foods contain less than 1% starch.

What role does starch likely play?

Your cat will naturally consume 6-10 meals each day. The time between meals is the interval when she digests and converts the food to energy to fuel her metabolism. Once she has converted food to energy, she will again become hungry and search for another meal. This would be perfect if the conversion of all food types into energy matched her use of that energy over a given period of time (her metabolic rate). Unfortunately, this is not the case. Starch digests much more quickly than animal protein, dumping more glucose into your cat’s blood stream than she can use at given time. In a non-diabetic cat this excess blood glucose is removed from the blood stream by insulin and stored as fat, another reason that more than 60% of our cats are obese. (Obesity) If you take the starch out of your cat's diet, can you take the fat off of your feline?

Because starch digests much faster than protein, it will cause higher blood glucose levels which may stress and  damage your cat's pancreas over time. Faster digestion means that your cat eats more and more frequently than she would eating animal protein in the wild. This cycle of eating excess starch can cause obesity in a normal cat and high blood glucose levels in a diabetic cat. The longer the starch abuse continues the more severe the damage may become to your cat's health. Animal protein, on the other hand, digests much more slowly than starch and at a rate equal to your cat’s ability to use that energy to fuel her body's needs. (Indoor Carnivore) No excess energy is produced so nothing is left to store as fat or to spike blood glucose levels that may cause harm to her pancreas.

Hydration: Wet vs Dry Food

Do cats have a poor thirst drive or are they simply being fed the wrong food?

It turns out that dehydration in cats has little to do with whether a food is dry or wet and has everything to do with the starch content of their diet. The higher the starch content of a diet, the lower the urine volume will be. (Hydration) Our ZERO cat foods contain only a trace amount of starch and behave like a meat only wet food. Urine and blood panel testing will easily confirm perfect hydration in cats consuming any of our foods.

The recommendations above only apply to our food and may not work with other types of food. We encourage you to feed our ZERO foods to all of your cats; prevention is often the best medicine. (More on Cat Care)

If you have any questions, please call us at 800-311-6646 or email us at info@youngagainpetfood.com. We are here to help.