? OTJ since 2015, is there ever a time we can start dry cat food?

Discussion in 'Honeymooners / OTJ' started by Sarah and Baby, May 16, 2019.

  1. Sarah and Baby

    Sarah and Baby Member

    Jul 11, 2011
    I know, I know! But hear me out!

    Kitty has had not sugar related incidents in 4 years. We were concerned about the quality of fancy feast, so we've switched to several different single serving wet foods, including Sheba, Novo, Crave, and Novo Wilderness. We tend to rotate brands.

    The issue is that she spreads her eating out over about 12 hours, which has always been how she self-regulates her sugars. With the very high quality wet food, it goes rotten very quickly and she can't wat it all. We're usually out of the house for around 10 hours during the day or we'd feed her half and half.

    We're concerned about the quality of her food because she's started puking a lot more than she was when she first switched to wet food, and nothing seems to help that. She's also 13 years old now.

    Could we ever switch her to a really high quality dey cat food that would last all day long or all night long?
    Jennifer R. likes this.
  2. membeth

    membeth Member

    Jul 11, 2017
    Personally, I wouldn't risk feeding dry food. Remission is fragile and a cat that seems to be solidly in a non-diabetic BG range can get knocked out of it after months or years by some change, like an infection, a higher carb diet, or medication. Pants had 15 months of remission and then a couple of doses of steroids knocked her out. After five months on insulin, she's back in remission, but ugh, that was a mess.

    You should be fine leaving wet food out for 12 hours without it going bad, even if it's higher end canned. I do that for Pants, and it's always been fine. So that's probably not the cause of the puking. There are a bunch of other things that could cause frequent vomiting, from food allergies to IBD, so you may want to have her checked out.

    Also, if wet food sitting out really is the issue, a bunch of other users on the site have had good luck with feeding smaller, more frequent meals using timed feeders that have ice packs to keep the food fresh. I don't know what brands of timed feeders folks like as I haven't used one -- if you're interested in trying that, maybe post over in the main forum and ask?
    Jennifer R. and Jill & Alex (GA) like this.
  3. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2016
    @membeth just wanted to sneak this in. This isn't the greatest photo of Zoe (Noah's momma) but she could have been Pant's sister. Just the most beautiful female cat we've ever had and our first orange cat.
  4. membeth

    membeth Member

    Jul 11, 2017
    Awww, she's adorable.
    Jennifer R. likes this.
  5. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

    Feb 18, 2019
    Hi Sarah. I was wondering if you could try one of the low carb dry foods - Young Again Zero or Dr Elsey's Clean Protein? I use Dr Elsey's sparingly, as a testing treat, but mostly give him freeze dried shrimps or duck liver. I know other members have used those low carb foods successfully. However, I would be diligent in testing Baby's BG to be sure that it doesn't raise the numbers.
    Also, maybe you could freeze cubes of canned food, and leave that down (if you're concerned about spoiling).
    But I have to add...four years off the juice with no problems with BG? I think I would be afraid to rock the boat!

    Edited to add: Some cats have digestive issues with Young Again Zero, so Dr Elsey's may be your best bet, if you decide to use dry.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    Si am cat mom likes this.
  6. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2017
  7. Badtux

    Badtux Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    I'm mostly feeding my guy Fancy Feast but I will feed him Dr. Elsey's when necessary due to going out of town etc. (my cat sitter only comes once a day, and between him and the kitten they eat 4 cans of Fancy Feast per day so she feeds them 1 can of FF and the autofeeder drops the Dr. Elsey's four hours later). No real effect on blood sugar, he's been OTJ for 18 months now and tests well both on my tests and on fructosamine/A1C. You will hear all sort of doctrinaire "you must do ZISSS! ACHTUNG!" from some members of this forum but you are the one who know your cat.

    Regarding the quality of the Fancy Feast, I'm feeding the Fancy Feast Turkey and don't see any issues with it quality-wise. My cats like it and seem to be healthy, so (shrug). Variety is not something cats appreciate, they like consistency, so I keep feeding them the same food.
    Jennifer R. likes this.
  8. katiesmom

    katiesmom Member

    Mar 1, 2013
    I know you think your safe after 4 years, but Katie was in remission for 3 years and suddenly came out of it for some unknown reason. I wouldnt chance it.
    Jennifer R. likes this.
  9. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Have you had her blood work done recently? Throwing up frequently can also be a sign of hyperthyroid. Been there.
    Jennifer R. likes this.
  10. Marisa Licata

    Marisa Licata Member

    Aug 5, 2019
    I put in some crushed ice with the food to keep it fresh. Personally would not risk dry. it can make them dehydrated in addition to bumping them out of remission.

    Mine has panc so he gets cerenia, ondansetron and pepcid for nausea. cerenia ia anti vomit. You can get it at the vet then get script and buy cheaper from Allivet. Cerenia has anti inflammatory properties in addition to anti vomit.
  11. Jennifer R.

    Jennifer R. Member

    Dec 20, 2019
    You can make a Pet-sicle by adding water to the pate type food, and freezing it in ice trays, and putting it out in an auto-feeder. She only has to have one or two meals when you're gone, right? You would be feeding her at say, 7 am before you left, and again when you got home at around, say, 6 pm, so there would only be two meals in between, right? I wouldn't do dry food, both because of the higher carbs and the lack of water.

    Has the vet ruled out medical causes for the vomiting, such as IBD? Have you looked into digestive enzymes or other dietary remedies? Did you try an elimination diet? My cat Simba also began vomiting after switching to all wet food, and I wondered if lack of fiber is the issue. We cut out beef and that seems to have stopped Simba's vomiting. Does your cat have access to cat grass? Regular brushing can cut down on hairballs.

    I would swap to a cheaper wet food over a so-called high quality dry food. Or use an auto feeder with pre-frozen food for the away times.

    I don't know how you feel about raw food, but we sometimes feed our OTJ kitty Northwest Naturals freeze dried food, and I could see fixing it with a combination of the freeze dried nibbles and ice and putting it into an auto feeder or something. I think if you're worried about it being "raw" you could nuke it, but don't quote me on that.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  12. Steph & Quintus & L & O

    Steph & Quintus & L & O Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    For what it's worth Quintus has been on Hill's m/d dry since his remission until a few weeks ago where I had to change because of his kidneys. His numbers remained stable throughout. Oscar is on m/d dry too and charging (at snail's pace) towards remission.
    SullivansDad likes this.
  13. SullivansDad

    SullivansDad Member

    Jan 17, 2020
    My cat is also on Hill's m/d dry and appears headed toward remission. *fingers crossed*
  14. SullivansDad

    SullivansDad Member

    Jan 17, 2020
    With that said, we did just get our first ever mid-day reading with no insulin and it was 132 at +5 (AM was 80, +2.5 was 83).
  15. Steph & Quintus & L & O

    Steph & Quintus & L & O Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    My experience with Lantus and Levemir so far on the French group (hundreds of cats these last two years) has been that wet vs. dry doesn't really make such a difference as long as it's therapeutic dry food (diabetes special, though we do have some cats on other dry food because of other illnesses). I've also seen very bouncy cats with wet low carb food even out somewhat when switched to complete free-feeding dry food (higher carb than the wet obviously). Carbs aren't everything!
  16. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Feb 28, 2012
    Have you read Dr. Pierson's post: Dry Food - Please consider more than just carbohydrate content

    We have seen many kitties go on smaller doses or even into remission switching from dry food, even the "therapeutic" ones to a low carb wet or raw diet. Dry food makes a huge difference, and not in a good way. The largest difference in my time here that I have seen was a cat that went from 13 units of Levemir on a veterinary dry food, down to 1.5 units on an all wet food diet.

    We have also seen our share of cats return to insulin when their caregivers gave into the convenience of dry, even for as short as a couple week holiday. It's typically harder to get a cat into remission the second time. Why risk it?
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  17. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Don't know if there have been any scientific base studies to show the effects of long term, chronic dehydration in pets. But the increase of kidney disease and other illnesses in cats and dogs do seem to correspond some to the 'convenience' of the dry food diets we feed our pets.

    If your pet doesn't drink a lot of water to compensate for the lack of water in the dry food diet, that seems to me it would put a lot of long term stress on the kidneys. Chronic and persistent long term dehydration effects on kidneys (and other organs) are what???

    It certainly affects people.Chronic Dehydration: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More
    Water, Hydration and Health - NCBI - NIH
    for humans.
    Dehydration - Mercola Healthy Pets for pets.

    Dry foods and risk of disease in cats - NCBI
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2387258/ almost 2 decades old for some of this research.

    Predictors for relapse of diabetic cats in remission

    There will always be disagreements about dry vs wet food cat diets, low carb vs slightly higher carb vs medium carb diets for cats. Conflicting information. We do the best we can and make choices for our own cats.
    Wendy&Neko likes this.
  18. Grumpy

    Grumpy New Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    I do agree that it is risky adding dry food. I know Tiki has on that they say is low carb but I personally would not take the chance. Can you try using freeze dried treats/food for Kitty during the day? Periodically one of my cats (she has a sensitive stomach) starts throwing up more than usual. I found that switching her food constantly was not a good idea. I have had one batch of food that seemed to be worse than others. I have given my cats Tiki chicken and it looks just like shredded chicken. They seem to love this but it is pricey. I have tried switching to the Fancy Feast naturals because I do not like what is in all the other food. The problem is that some of the better brands still put foods in the food that are too high in carbs.
    You never said how much food Kitty is being fed at one time. My cats are 15 and 13.

    Have you talked to your vet about her situation?
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  19. Steph & Quintus & L & O

    Steph & Quintus & L & O Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    FWIW I put Quintus on Hill's m/d as soon as he was in remission, Jan 2018. Oscar is currently starting his remission on the same kibble. In the French facebook group, we have a bunch of cats on kibble who are in remission or wonderfully regulated. So... I'd try. Transition gently, keep your eye on the meter, and my recommendation would be choosing a diabetic therapeutic diet.

    Edit: from a diabetic diet point of view, looking just at carbs is not enough. Other things than the carb % (in particular, which carbs, but also, other elements like certain amino acids, etc) are going to determine how a certain food influences blood glucose.

    Edit 2: ouch, sorry, hadn't realised this was an old thread, and I'd actually already responded to it! Time to go to bed I think :p
    Deb & Wink likes this.

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