Experts say the number of cats with diabetes is soaring.
Francis Kallfelz, a professor of veterinary nutrition at Cornell University, said, “The literature shows that there is a huge incidence of overweightness in our pet population that’s getting to be a bigger and bigger problem. Just like it is in the case of human beings.”
Some animal health experts state that the reason for the rise in numbers of cats with diabetes is because dry cat food is too high in carbohydrates and too low in protein.
Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, a vet in Yorba Linda, Calif., said feeding cats dry food is like feeding children sugarfrosted flakes. Hodgkins said that diabetic cats need to change their diets. If cat owners do not switch their cat’s food, she said, “it’s akin to treating a child for lead poisoning while continuing to feed them paint chips.”
Kallfelz disagreed that feeding dry food to cats is the reason for increased cases of cat diabetes.
Kallfelz, a member of the National Pet Food Commission, stated, “I have seen no published evidence to the effect that feeding cats dry foods is a risk factor for diabetes. To make the leap of faith … that dry food is causing the problem is not a rational leap of faith.”
He said a recent study from Utrecht University’s Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals in the Netherlands concluded that indoor confinement and inactivity were the biggest factors to cat diabetes.
One veterinarian thinks that both theories are valid. Cats need to both watch their diet and get enough exercise. She recommended moving a cat’s bowl around every two or three days to make a cat hunt around for it in the house and get more exercise.
Source: Chicago Tribune