Can you get diabetes from eating cat food?
The answer is yes, if you are a cat. It’s not caused by the cat food, either. Like people getting older, it can be one of those treats that are in store for all our aging bodies.
Simba, our cat of questionable parentage, came into our lives as a ball of fighting fury 13 years ago when I discovered him shivering on a curb. After years of coddling and whispering sweet nothings in his ear, he has become our prince of peace. Simba is the one to greet me at the end of a workday. Simba is the one who comes first when I call, “Cookie time!” with the rest of the gang springing in behind. He is our Lion King, our knight errant, our 10 lb sugarloaf on four legs.
We whisked him off to the vet as soon as we noticed he was not himself (when my husband or I will lie half-dead on the couch before calling in a doctor). He had slowly been losing weight and become a tad lethargic. He hadn’t raced across the ceiling in weeks. But he’s older now, we reminded ourselves. Older cats can’t do the same things they used to (sound familiar?). But when he developed a maniacal craze to sip water from the bathroom tap, we said, off to the vet!
The vet called within 24 hours with the results of the blood test. “Simba is trying to be a diabetic,” she said. “We’ll try to manage it with his diet first. If that doesn’t do it, we will use a little medication. If he still doesn’t respond, we can use insulin injections, like people do, which is very easy to do in cats.”
I must digress here by saying that I have been using vets for my dogs and cats for over 30 years, and have decided I am going to place myself under their care. I can usually get an appointment that fits my schedule, am rarely left waiting for long periods of time, everyone is respectful and courteous and knows my name as well as the name of my pet, and I can hop up onto the table just fine. The biggest advantage is that I don’t have to wait a week or more for the results of a blood test. I get them from the vet THE VERY NEXT DAY.
So we are monitoring Simba with his food intake, not easy when you have half a dozen indoor cats zooming around. But he is the Lion King, and we, his lowly minions.
Will diet be enough to turn his health around? Stay tuned….