(St. Louis, MO) October 13, 2000 – Managing cats with diabetes may be easier for your veterinarian and you thanks to a revolutionary new diet from Ralston Purina available only through veterinarians. Purina’s extensive research in feline nutrition has led to the development of CNM Clinical Nutrition Management® brand DM-Formula®, the first feline diet that works with the cat’s unique metabolism to help manage diabetes.
Unique Nutritional Needs
“(From a clinical perspective) diabetes in a cat is essentially the same condition as in dogs, but a cat’s unique nutritional needs makes the management of the disease much more challenging than in dogs,” said Gary Norsworthy, DVM, of the Alamo Feline Health Center in San Antonio, Texas. Norsworthy, an expert in feline veterinary care, participated in clinical trials of DM-Formula.
Traditionally, veterinary diets for diabetic cats have followed canine models and have been formulated to be high in complex carbohydrates and fiber to help slow the absorption of glucose, a method that works well with diabetic dogs. Cats, however, are carnivores and have much higher requirements for protein compared to dogs. In addition, cats lack glucokinase, the enzyme used by most mammals to clear glucose from the bloodstream. They rely on a less efficient enzyme to metabolize carbohydrates and clear glucose, which can be a particular disadvantage for diabetic cats.
“CNM DM-Formula was developed as a result of collaborations between scientists at Purina and Heska Corporation, and incorporates Purina’s research in proteins and understanding of the feline metabolism,” said Dottie Laflamme, DVM, Ph.D., a research fellow at Ralston Purina Company. “The DM-Formula diet capitalizes on the cat’s efficient mechanism for protein breakdown, while reducing the reliance on its less-efficient carbohydrate metabolism.”
The treatment goal for diabetes is to gain better control over blood glucose levels and minimize the extreme highs and lows inherent with this disease. Insulin injections or oral medication, exercise, and regularly timed meals can help manage this chronic illness, but dietary management is also very important. “We have found that DM-Formula helps manage diabetic cats because their nutritional intake is consistent from one day to the next so the cat’s blood glucose levels are stabilized,” said Dr. Norsworthy.
The DM-Formula diet was developed jointly with Heska Corp., a leading biotechnology based in Fort Collins, Colo. Heska conducted clinical research to test the effectiveness of DM-Formula on cats with naturally occurring diabetes. The results of these tests showed blood glucose levels were generally stabilized while feeding this diet.
In addition to being high in protein and low in carbohydrates, the DM-Formula is a highly palatable canned diet, which is an important factor for anyone feeding a diabetic cat.
“Taste appeal is a big hurdle with a diabetic cat because they don’t always feel well and they don’t always want to eat,” said Dr. Norsworthy. “If there’s a diet they like, it’s a huge plus.”
Symptoms of Feline Diabetes
Not surprisingly, the symptoms and causes of feline diabetes seem to be the same as in humans. Feline diabetes usually occurs in overweight or middle-aged cats. Symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirst, and unexplained weight loss. A veterinarian should be consulted if a cat exhibits any of these signs.
Purina CNM DM-Formula is sold only through veterinarians. It should be fed only under veterinary supervision and can be introduced when the cat is clinically stable and eating well.
Cat owners who are interested in learning more about DM-Formula should see their veterinarian or visit www.purina.com.
Ralston Purina is the world’s largest manufacturer of dry dog and dry and semi-moist cat foods, and the leading producer of cat box filler in the United States.