"Feline diabetes is not the natural fate of hundreds of thousands of pet cats world-wide. It is, rather, a human-created disease that is reaching epidemic proportions because of the highly artificial foods that we have been feeding our feline companions for the past few decades. Without the constant feeding of highly processed, high carbohydrate dry foods, better suited to cattle than cats, adult-onset feline diabetes would be a rare disease, if it occured at all."

Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM, JD

     I am delighted to welcome you to a new forum for those who are presently caring for a diabetic cat, or anyone who is interested in the subject of managing, curing, and preventing diabetes in our pet cats. My name is Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins and I have been studying this disease for over a decade.I have conducted research into this condition and have worked with many hundreds of diabetic kitties. Through all of that, I have discovered some very important things about feline diabetes.This forum is a place for me to share that knowledge and for those who are caretakers of diabetic cats to speak with one another about their experiences with their pets.

      Let me say first that I am committed to the management technique known as “tight regulation.” This technique uses what we know about the causes of feline diabetes to reverse the processes that have caused the otherwise normal cat to develop this potentially life-threatening disease. In my hands, tight regulation can and does allow over 80% of diabetic cats to cease their dependence on insulin and become well again. As a veterinarian for almost 30 years, I have tried every technique known to veterinary medicine and can say with great confidence that this is the only one that works with this level of success.

      There is nothing about tight regulation that is mysterious or difficult. As I say to my clients, the successful treatment of feline diabetes is not “rocket science.” Rather, it is a very logical approach to the known origins of the problem to which cats seem to respond extremely well, in every case. Even those few cats that do not become free from dependence on insulin become much healthier and happier cats with high quality of life.

      As important as the proper management of feline diabetes is, it may be even more important that cat lovers learn to prevent this terrible disease in any cat with whom they ever share a home in the future. Diabetes in the cat is a man-made disease, which is completely preventable by avoiding the "kitty junk-food" that is dry kibbled cat food. Without question, it is the continuous, day-in, day-out consumption of this poor-quality, highly processed, carbohydrate rich "breakfast cereal for cats" that causes so many felines to become diabetic.

      Many cats also become obese from such a terrible diet, but obesity does not cause diabetes, as some experts would have cat owners think. Rather, obesity and diabetes simply have the same cause, non-nutritious, high carbohydrate commercial cat food. To prevent both obesity and diabetes, we need only avoid such junk food when we feed our cats. Instead, we must feed the cat what it evolved to eat: meat. Fortunately, there are many canned and pouched cat foods, as well as many recipes for raw meat diets, that provide good quality nutrition of the obligatory carnivore that is the cat.

      You will hear some experts say that dietary fat causes diabetes. This is simply not true. The pet food companies, all of which use massive amounts of cereal to make their dry cat foods, wish to deflect criticism from this terrible ingredient for cats. Most commercial cat foods are quite low in fat; if this ingredient were responsible for feline diabetes, we would see very little of it. These same experts will tell you that the key to a good diet for diabetic cats is high protein, this is simply not true. It is dietary CARBOHYDRATE, pure and simple, not high fat or low protein that leads to diabetes in cats.

      If you reduce the carbohydrate in a diet, you must increase the protein or the fat in the diet, or both, in order to take the place of the reduced carbohydrate, so low carbohydrate diets will often have higher protein as a result. It is not the increase in protein that makes these diets work, however, it is the reduction in carbohydrate that gives the results. The cat’s natural diet is high in protein (about 45-70% dry matter), moderate in fat (about 15-35% dry matter), and very low in carbohydrate (0-5% dry matter). Contrast this with the breakdown of most dry kibble for cats with moderate protein (22-34% dry matter), low fat (10-25% dry matter) and very high carbohydrate from processed cereals (35-50% dry matter). Clearly dry cat foods are entirely upsidedown compared to the natural prey diet of the cat. You cannot put the wrong fuel in any engine, day after day, year after year, without dire consequences.

      To read about the protocol I recommend and use with all of my diabetic patients, please use the link to My Protocol from this home page. Again, welcome to Your Diabetic Cat Forum. I hope you find useful information in this place, as well as the opportunity to talk with others who are working to make their diabetic kitties well.