Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Choosing Dry Or Wet Food For Cats Makes Little Difference When It Comes To Feline Diabetes

Date:
December 4, 2007
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
The causes of diabetes mellitus in cats remain unknown although there has been a strong debate about whether a dry food diet puts cats at greater risk for diabetes. A new study suggests that weight gain, not the type of diet, is more important when trying to prevent diabetes in cats.

The causes of diabetes mellitus in cats remain unknown, although there has been a strong debate about whether a dry food diet puts cats at greater risk for diabetes. A new study from a University of Missouri-Columbia veterinarian suggests that weight gain, not the type of diet, is more important when trying to prevent diabetes in cats.
Credit: iStockphoto/Hagit Berkovich

Although society is accustomed to seeing Garfield-sized cats, obese, middle-aged cats can have a variety of problems including diabetes mellitus, which can be fatal. The causes of diabetes mellitus in cats remain unknown, although there has been a strong debate about whether a dry food diet puts cats at greater risk for diabetes. A new study from a University of Missouri-Columbia veterinarian suggests that weight gain, not the type of diet, is more important when trying to prevent diabetes in cats.

Related Articles


Because dry cat food contains more starch and more carbohydrates than canned cat food, some have argued that a diet containing large amounts of carbohydrates is unnatural for a cat that is anatomically and physiologically designed to be a carnivore. Carbohydrates constitute between 30 percent and 40 percent of dry cat food. Some have been concerned that this unnatural diet is harmful to cats and leads to increased incidence of diabetes. Wet cat food, on the other hand, is high in protein and more similar to a natural carnivore diet.

In the study, Robert Backus, assistant professor and director of the Nestle Purina Endowed Small Animal Nutrition Program at MU, and his team of researchers compared a colony of cats in California raised on dry food with a colony of cats in New Zealand raised on canned food. After comparing glucose-tolerance tests, which measures blood samples and indicates how fast glucose is being cleared from the blood after eating, researchers found no significant difference between a dry food diet and a wet food diet.

They also compared the results between cats less than three years of age and cats older than three. The MU veterinarian indicated that allowing cats to eat enough to become overweight is more detrimental to their health than the type of food they eat.

"Little bits of too much energy lead to weight gain overtime," Backus said. "We did find that cats on canned or wet food diets have less of a tendency towards obesity than cats on dry food diets."

Forty percent of all cats in middle age are overweight or obese. According to Backus, male cats should weigh between 10 and 11 pounds, and female cats should weigh between 5.5 and 7.7 pounds. Besides diabetes, overweight cats are prone to other conditions such as skin diseases, oral diseases and certain cancers. When cats are spayed and neutered, they have a tendency to eat more and gain weight. Backus suggests monitoring the food even more closely at this time and not allowing the cat to eat in excess.

"The most effective thing you can do is be the one who determines how much your cat eats," Backus said. "We have been conditioned to fat cats, but cats should have only between 18 percent to 20 percent body fat."

Backus' research was presented recently at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Conference in Seattle.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Choosing Dry Or Wet Food For Cats Makes Little Difference When It Comes To Feline Diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203164728.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2007, December 4). Choosing Dry Or Wet Food For Cats Makes Little Difference When It Comes To Feline Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203164728.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Choosing Dry Or Wet Food For Cats Makes Little Difference When It Comes To Feline Diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203164728.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) 3-D printing helps another two-legged dog run around with his four-legged friends. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the adorable video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins