Diabetes is caused by abnormalities in the pancreas. It is not an uncommon illness among modern pets. According to Holistic Pet, one in 400 cats and one in 500 dogs develop the disease. The pancreas is the organ that secretes insulin, the hormone that controls the body’s level of blood sugar. There is no cure for diabetes, but with injections of insulin, diabetes in cats is usually manageable. Natural remedies can aid in making conventional treatment more effective in a cat with diabetes.
If you plan to treat your cat’s diabetes with only natural remedies, you should consult with a holistic veterinarian. Your holistic veterinarian may recommend, just as your conventional veterinarian would, that you consider insulin for your pet. The holistic veterinarian, however, also can provide recommendations for additional natural treatments that may aid in the conventional treatment of the condition. Diabetes is a serious illness and, without proper management, can be life threatening to your cat. You can locate a holistic veterinarian near you by visiting the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s website, www.ahvma.org/.
In addition to giving your cat insulin, the first part of treatment for your diabetic cat–either conventional treatment or holistic treatment–probably will involve changes to your pet’s diet. Diabetic cats are most often put on high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets. Many cats that become diabetic are obese. Helping these cats to loose weight through therapeutic diets, exercise programs and calorie reduction is most often part of treating diabetes in felines. In diabetic cats, it’s also important that food be given on a regular schedule and that meals be given in several small portions throughout the day. This is a natural method for controlling blood sugar levels.
Holistic veterinarians often prescribe herbal treatments for diabetic cats. These treatments usually include the herbs Galega officinalis and Bilberry for their abilities to stimulate insulin production and reduce blood sugar levels. These herbs also may have properties that will balance cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve vision and help wounds and tissues to heal–all of which are issues in cats with diabetes. Fenugreek, a Chinese herb, also is used because of its ability to help keep blood sugars within a normal range. The mineral Chromium picolinate often is used for cats with diabetes. Chromium is an essential nutrient for the metabolism of sugar and fat. It also helps improve the effectiveness of insulin given to the cat.