Cat food for sale at an Istanbul animal market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A researcher, P. Roudebush, has compiled information on studies done to determine adverse reactions to foods (ingredients) in cats. Only 10 different studies, representing a total of 56 animals, have described cutaneous lesions, gastrointestinal signs, or both, associated with adverse reactions to specific foods or ingredients.
In these studies, adverse reactions to beef, dairy products, and fish accounted for nearly 90% of all the reported cases in cats.
Animal proteins were reported to cause primarily cutaneous lesions or a combination of cutaneous and gastrointestinal signs, while wheat and corn were more often associated with gastrointestinal signs. No specific food allergens have been identified in cats, thus more research is needed.
So, it’s been a while since I last posted. But I’m back. I, unfortunately, lost one of my cats last December, which I’m still reeling from. He was the most amazing creature, rescued twelve years ago from the streets. This is his picture. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and heart condition a year before he died. I am certain that his diet is what kept him going that last year, right till the end.
Then to start the new year off, I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. Let me tell you, it really sucks! Luckily, I was diagnosed immediately. Many people have these crazy symptoms (heart palpitations, erratic blood pressure, erratic pulse, fatigue, depression, anxiety, aches and pains and many more symptoms) and their vitamin D levels are never checked and they are misdiagnosed with depression, MS, lupus, autoimmune disease, etc. It’s now stated by many experts that a high percentage of people worldwide are deficient. Go get yourself tested. You don’t want to experience this – EVER!
And as though this wasn’t enough, I thought a lifestyle change would do me good. I have been feeding my cats a homemade raw diet for over two years now and the changes they have experienced are great. Well, if an ancestral diet is good for them, then of course, I reasoned it would be good for me. Continue reading
Many substances are available to cats during the winter and holiday season. Antifreeze is deadly. Just a few sips from an antifreeze puddle on your garage floor or the licking of paws after walking through a puddle can produce symptoms within 30 minutes such as staggering, vomiting, weakness, listlessness, frequent drinking, and urination that could be followed hours later by coma and death. After four hours, the ethylene glycol in antifreeze causes severe kidney damage that is irreversible. If treated without delay, the veterinarian will induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal to bind the antifreeze in the gastrointestinal tract and give the cat intravenous ethyl alcohol (ethanol) for three days or longer. The ethanol works by competing for the enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, that metabolizes ethylene glycol into toxic components. Keep a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide on hand in case your veterinarian tells you to induce vomiting before bringing your cat in. To reduce exposure of your cat to ethylene glycol, choose a product such as Prestone® LowTox® or Sierra®, made from propylene glycol, as these are much less toxic. Continue reading
The Winn Feline Foundation has just released a study that showed that cats lack a glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) response to glucose. GIP is a hormone secreted from the intestine upon ingestion of glucose or nutrients to stimulate insulin secretion from pancreatic cells. In other words, a hormone that helps metabolize glucose. They concluded, that this lack of GIP response makes the cat relatively glucose intolerant which might lead to inappropriate glycemic control in cats fed a diet high in carbohydrates.
This study proves, yet once again, that cats should have little to no carbs in their diets. A low carbohydrate feline diet is less likely to produce diabetes in a cat and if diabetes does occur, a low carbohydrate diet along with meds may be essential for glucose control in most cats.
The good thing about choosing a weight loss food for cats is that the food will be used for maintenance as well. The following is a short list of requirements for choosing a commercial cat food. If the commercial food in question, meets the following criteria, then look for the quality of ingredients and question the company as to the source of those ingredients. (Percentages are on a dry matter basis – DMB*).
- Protein – from meat and over 45%
- Fat – from meat and over 25%
- Carbohydrates – 0% but not over 10%
- Water – at least 60% (not DMB) this excludes all dry and semi-moist foods!
- Grain-free and soy-free
Basically, the best cat food is a wet food that contains lots of meat and fat. It is as simple as that. Cat food should never contain any grain, soy, vegetables, fruits or ingredients from plant sources such as flaxseed oil. These ingredients are poorly, if at all, used by the cat. I also recommend canned cat food that contains some organ meat such as liver or kidney (heart is considered muscle meat); many varieties contain none. Continue reading
One of the biggest problems with getting cats to lose weight is realizing why they are gaining it. It is wrong to assume that it is only because they are eating too much food, particularly if fed free choice. Limiting carbohydrates is the number one weight loss and weight control tactic.
Many cats fed animal protein and animal fat with limited to no carbohydrates, may actually be fed free choice. Since their protein and fat requirements are reached, these cats will typically stop eating when sated.
Water is essential for feline health and regulation of body functions. Flushing the kidneys and bladder are also important to reduce or negate urinary crystal formation. Continue reading
So, we know that the typical 4 Step Program doesn’t work. However, steps 1 (reducing quantity) and 4 (exercise) aren’t exactly necessary if you change steps 2 (changing food) and 3 (feeding mealtime), particularly step 2. It really all comes down to the type of food you feed your cat.
While reducing the quantity of food and feeding mealtime only can be helpful, it won’t be unless you change the type of food that is being fed. By feeding the wrong type of food while reducing the quantity, you will essentially be starving your cat. The cat requires high levels of protein in its diet and will begin utilizing its own organs and muscle (digesting them) if given a reduced protein diet or a reduced quantity of food thereby reducing the protein load. The majority of overweight cats are eating a free-choice dry diet. The problem is threefold: too many carbohydrates, not enough animal protein and not enough animal fat. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require certain nutrients that they cannot synthesize which are only found in meat and are able to metabolize only a small amount of carbohydrates. Continue reading