At the beginning of September, Chives had become very lethargic, he was losing mobility, and was having ‘accidents’ in inappropriate places (partly because his litter box was in the basement and the stairs had become a challenge for him). When we took him to the vet, it turns out these were symptoms of two different problems.
The second problem surprised us – Chives had also become diabetic. His glucose was alarmingly high at 580, and the treatment for that was switching to a high protein, low carb diet and twice daily insulin injections. We started out on two units of insulin per dose, but slowly increased that to five units per dose.
A high protein, low carb diet is easier to achieve if your cat loves wet food, but Chives prefers crunchy dry food (with a little gravy for “dessert”). Our research led us to try Tiki Cat Born Carnivore High Protein dry cat food. This brand has a good safety record (no recalls) and was moderately priced. It was also available in a 2.8 pound bag, so we could be sure that Chives would actually like it. Since he’s always been a fish loving cat, we tried the Herring & Salmon blend – and he loves it! We plan to try the chicken variety next, and will probably start buying larger bags to get a better price.
A month later, Chives’ glucose level was down to 102, a very healthy level. With his second monthly Solensia injection, he’s also become much more active and has even started playing and wrestling with his toys. He’s also started using the stairs again (still a bit of a struggle, but improving) and is acting like himself again.
You might want to consider a high protein, low carb diet for your cat as well. Read the ingredient labels and watch for fillers like corn or wheat which are binders used to help the dry food nuggets hold their shape – this is a big source of carbs. And a protein content of 40% and higher is ideal. For comparison, Tiki Cat uses peas, tapioca, and chickpeas for its binders, and has a protein level of 42-43%. Your cat might need some adjustment time as their digestion adapts to whatever new food you choose to try, but it will be worth it for the health of your furpal.
We’re very grateful for Dr. Livingston’s caring attention to Chives, and appreciate the entire staff at Patterson Veterinary Hospital, who always make sure we feel welcome and in good hands.