You have a diabetic cat. . .now what?
Nutrition-based remission is possible when a recently diagnosed cat is taken off of a diet containing more than 1% starch/carbohydrates and is placed on a diet containing less than 1% starch/carbs. Remission often occurs within weeks of removing the overabundance of starch/carbs from your cat’s wet or dry diet. The longer the cat is diabetic and the longer you feed starch/digestible carbs in excess of 1%, the longer it will take or the lower your cat’s chances of going in to remission will become. For cats where remission is not possible, the management of their diabetes will almost always be more consistent. All of our Zero diets contain less than 1% starch/digestible carbs and we offer a satisfaction guarantee to ease your concerns.
There are many online experts who are offering help for your diabetic cat. Many of these people have been around for decades and have always been disappointed with available dry foods because they contain excessive starch/carbs. This has led them to ban the feeding all dry foods. They do not realize that our ZERO foods contain fewer digestible carbs than many of the wet diets they currently recommend. These experts are also fearful of hydration issues. No worries, cats being fed Young Again show hydration ratios the same or better when compared to cats eating a wet food. Our ZERO foods are nutritionally identical to a raw or wet food, but produced in a convenient, dry kibble that is easier, safer and much less expensive to feed. Please see our papers on hydration and crystals.
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 tomato pomace) 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 recommended for 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, which up until now, was not possible. Our diet contains absolutely NO grains, 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. We are not aware of another extruded food that contains less starch than our ZERO line of foods. There are few canned foods that can claim less than 1% starch, but the vast majority of them contain starch levels in excess of 10%.
What can you expect from our diabetic cat food?
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. 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 encourage some older cats to gain needed body mass.
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 base on the 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 or they are unlikely to go into remission. 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. Not every cat will go into remission, but those that don’t often require much less insulin.
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 and your cat will be in remission. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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