Some cat owners have advocated not feeding dry food to cats, and now the science may back that up. A recent study conducted by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences found that several things contributed to an increased risk of diabetes in cats: indoor confinement, being a greedy eater and being overweight. Cats of normal weight whose diet was predominantly kibble were also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
The study, Environmental Risk Factors for Diabetes Mellitus in Cats, is the largest case-control study about diabetic cats to date. While being overweight is an obvious risk factor for diabetes, it may be surprising to many pet parents that cats at a healthy weight can easily develop diabetes when they are fed a diet of mostly kibble, even though dry food is predominantly fed to cats around the world.
Many loving pet parents don’t realize that kibble is processed food with a short shelf life. No matter what the ingredients, the carbs in kibble (even grain-free) is starch turned into sugar.
What you can feed them instead:
Cats can eat the same raw foods a dog can eat, just in smaller portions and always fresh. It’s important to remember that cats are carnivores. While some choose veganism for their dogs, even though it’s a controversial subject, cats are carnivores and should not be fed a vegan diet. According to WebMD, they need protein from meat or fish, amino acids (from meat or fish), fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and water. When feeding a raw diet, like dogs, it’s best to supplement with some fresh food as well.
Symptoms of cat diabetes:
According to WebMD, “an alarming number of cats are developing diabetes mellitus. Left untreated, it can lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting , dehydration, severe depression, problems with motor function, coma, and even death.” Thomas Graves, associate professor and section head of small animal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, told WebMD that the main symptoms are increased thirst and increased urination. “Some cats with diabetes have a ravenous appetite because their bodies cannot use the fuel supplied in their diet.”
Do your cats eat dry food? If not, what do you feed them alternatively? Thanks for sharing your experiences in a comment below.