According to data from pet insurer Animal Friends, there has been an increase of 1161% in domestic cat diabetes cases since 2011. An expert from UK veterinary charity PDSA says that one the main reasons for this is that people are feeding their pets with human snacks. I would argue that quite possibly the major reason or another important reason is that more people are feeding their cats with dry cat food which is high in carbohydrates.
It a bit like us eating cream buns and bread and jam every evening while watching TV. Humans are bound to put on weight with that sort of diet and yet we are giving our cats an unnaturally high-carbohydrate diet in dry cat food, often on the recommendation of veterinarians who sell the products in their clinics.
I know research is required on this but to me it’s common sense that a cat’s diet should be balanced and should be perfect for the cat and quite frankly dry cat food is not. The same expert says that people should be feeding their pets healthy, balanced diet for their species, age and lifestyle.
Yes, I agree, why are they, therefore, feeding their cats an unbalanced diet of dry biscuits every day? That said, the extraordinary increase in diabetes amongst the feline population is very worrying. This is been going on for a long time. Nothing has been done about it. People have been discussing this explosion in feline diabetes for years now. In parallel people have been discussing obesity amongst domestic cats for a long time as well. Yes, the two go together. But not always.
On August 13, 2015, I wrote an article entitled “Magic Cure for Feline Diabetes: Feed Wet Cat Food Only“. I stand by that article today. A well-known veterinarian and author, Dr Hodgkins, says that feline pancreatitis is also on the increase. Pancreatitis causes a deficiency in the production of insulin which in turn causes sugar diabetes. This, as the data states, is on the increased and Dr Hodgkins says that a major factor in the increase of feline diabetes is a change in the domestic cat’s diet to a large increase in dry cat food with high-carbohydrate levels. Remember, carbohydrates are needed in the manufacture of this food. Is that the only reason why carbohydrates are in the food? If so, it is appalling.
Amongst domestic dogs, there has been an 850% increase in diabetes over the same period (i.e. since 2011). An article in the online daily Telegraph newspaper urges that we stop pampering our pets because pampering them can result in diabetes. It certainly can and I would agree that we should not pamper our pets by giving them too much food but, as mentioned, I don’t think it’s all about pampering our pets. I think the answer is largely in the type of food that we give our pets which is almost always commercially made and which I have to conclude cannot be of sufficient quality otherwise I don’t think we would have such a crisis amongst the best in cats in respect of diabetes.
Another aspect is exercise. Cats cannot be getting enough of it. Owners should be aware of this. People are becoming fatter too. It seems that we are transferring our lifestyle onto our pets.
The data concerns UK pets but the problem is not untypical in the West particularly the USA.