Is it possible to treat cat cancer with a good diet? Is there an anti-cancer diet for cats? Read on for our overview of the different types of diets that are available to feed a cat with cancer, in order to help maintain good health and give it every chance of recovering.
What is the best diet for a cat with cancer?
Surprise! There is no one perfect diet that is right for all cats with cancer.
The choice of cat cancer diet cat should be made according to its clinical signs, the findings of its veterinary examination and the results of various diagnostic tests.
Many cats are very finicky, especially when they are not feeling very well, therefore you should also listen to them and offer them food that they will be happy to eat.
The animal's physical condition (whether it is fat or lean), as well as its muscle mass, should also be taken into account before choosing its diet.
Some cats with cancer are obese when diagnosed, while others have lost weight and muscle. It is therefore necessary to adapt their diet to their needs.
Maintaining good muscle mass is essential for good health. Note that an obese animal can also suffer from loss of muscle mass.
The idea, then, is to find a diet suited to your kitty cat’s unique condition.
What are the different types of diets?
Raw food, keto diet, grain free, high in protein, low in carbohydrates, liquid ... It can get confusing working out what foods to give a cat with cancer! Let's try to demystify it together to find the best diet for your sick cat.
Raw food is controversial in the veterinary world in general, as it has received very little attention from scientists.
What worries many vets about this type of diet is, among other things, the possible transmission of certain parasites and bacteria.
As animals with cancer have weakened immune systems, raw food is all the more risky for them, as infection can be fatal.
In short, the ketogenic or keto diet is a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates.
Combining these three macronutrients at very specific levels permits a human to enter into a state of ketosis (increased ketone bodies in the blood). So, the body is called upon to use fats and ketones for energy, generally for the intention of weight loss.
You would be right in suspecting that there is very little, if any, scientific study on this subject in animals, let alone in the context of disease.
Generally speaking, cats need a high level of protein (more than dogs) as they are strict carnivores.
I therefore recommend that you follow the nutritional recommendations of your vet to feed your cat in the way that is most optimal for it.
High protein and grain free diet
A diet high in protein will help your cat to feel good and maintain good muscle mass.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends a minimum of 26% protein in dry food for a healthy adult cat, while vets even recommend foods with protein levels ranging from 35% to 45%. To give you an idea, a mouse contains around 55% protein.
A sick cat could benefit from a little more protein, to help maintain muscle. Be careful though, a diet too rich in protein (and therefore in phosphorus) can lead to kidney problems.
As for grain-free food, that's a myth!
Grains are good for your kitty. The vast majority of cats tolerate grains very well, and very few of them develop allergies to these ingredients.
The carbohydrates found in grains are even important in a cat's diet.
By using these ingredients as a source of energy, the proteins ingested are then available for the maintenance and development of muscle mass.
Liquid diet for cats with cancer
I see the benefit of a liquid diet in cases where the animal has difficulty feeding because of a tumor in the mouth, for example.
Adding water to food to make it like a soup is also a great way to keep your cat hydrated and prevent urinary problems. In fact, sick cats tend to become more dehydrated.
Does canned cat food cause cancer in cats?
Canned food is not known to cause cancer in cats, however, giving poor quality canned food can predispose certain problems, for example urinary problems among others.
How to help a cat with cancer that is losing its appetite?
Has your cat with cancer stopped eating? A cat with cancer may change their food preferences, they may be less hungry or even lose their appetite altogether.
Here's what you can do to encourage your cat to eat:
Heat the food up: Sometimes this little nudge is enough to restore their taste for food.
Add water to the kibble: Sometimes this change in texture can stimulate the appetite of some cats, in addition to ensuring that they stay properly hydrated.
Appetite stimulants for cats with cancer: Your vet may, in some cases, prescribe appetite stimulants, either by injection or in tablet form.
Change to a new food: Cats with cancer sometimes have a disdain for a certain flavor or ingredient. So simply try new kibble, taking care to transition slowly over to new food!
Hand feeding: Sometimes a little love and care is all they need!
Canned food: It is often very popular with cats, in addition to ensuring a good supply of water!
What to feed a cat with cancer that is not eating?
For a cat who refuses to eat, we all tend to offer a variety of delicious table food to encourage them. However, you must be careful doing this as it can cause diarrhea and worsen their condition by causing dehydration.
If your cat seems to be nauseous (cat not eating, salivating more), you can try to feed it table food, but without giving all the leftovers from your supper!
I recommend starting with something tasteless and easily digestible, such as a plate of boiled chicken and white rice. Food that does not taste or smell will be more easily accepted by a nauseous cat.
How long can a cat go without eating?
It is important that a cat who has lost their appetite doesn’t go too long without eating.
A sick cat that won’t eat for just a few days can develop serious health problems, including liver problems.
A homemade recipe for cats with cancer
If your cat isn't nauseous, but just picky, here is a recipe that can be cooked at home. Be careful though, this is not suitable for a long-term diet.
1 cup canned mackerel (excellent source of omega-3!)
1 tablespoon of sunflower seed oil
1 to 2 tablespoons of chicken broth
What supplements should I give a cat with cancer?
Supplements such as omega-3 and probiotics can be given to a cat with cancer to help them in their fight, here's why:
Fish oil supplements (Omega-3)
They are recognized for a ton of benefits. I am thinking, among other things, of their anti-inflammatory properties and their beneficial effects on heart and brain health. Omega-3s can even help reduce muscle loss in animals with cancer.
In addition to promoting good gastrointestinal health and preventing diarrhea, probiotics also help strengthen the immune system. They are therefore important allies in this battle.
Learn more about these high quality probiotics for pets here.
It support your cat in his attacks against cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. It is also good when using in conjunction with conventional therapies such as chemotherapy.
In conclusion, to make sure that your cat is getting enough calories throughout the day, it’s important to control their nausea, especially if they are undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
This is also where natural products can be of great help!
Are you using natural products to treat your cat's cancer symptoms? Let us know in the “comments” section below what worked for your kitty!
You can contact us directly if your cat is fighting cancer or if you are concerned about its health. We are here to advise you. You only have to fill out our Free Consultation Form to get in touch with us!
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