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Feline Pancreatitis

Updated on April 12, 2012

Up until 2008, I have never heard of Pancreatitis, much less have known that cats and dogs can get it. I had to learn about it the hard when when my cat, Twiggy, was diagnosed with this disease in 2008. At the time he was only 1 and a half years old. Watching him go through this nearly broke my heart in two. Here I am, yet again, watching him fight another battle from it. I wanted to share a hub about this so people will know how to prevent this from happening to their feline friends. As I am sitting here typing this, I am praying that Twiggy makes it through this horrific battle once again.

Twiggy, when he was about 3 months old.
Twiggy, when he was about 3 months old.

What Pancreatitis is...

Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) is a common gastrointestinal disorder in dogs and cats. While it is unknown where this disorder comes from, many links have been made to a cat's diet. Over weight cats have a higher risk of developing this disorder which is why is it VERY important to watch what you feed your fuzzy children.


  • Vomiting
  • Not eating
  • Painful abdomen, hunched appearance (more common in dogs
  • Fever or below-normal body temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Dehydration, evaluated by noting sunken eyes, dry mouth, and increased skin turgor (skin tents when pinched)

Proper diet is very important for cats who have had this once. I can not stress this enough. Do not make the same mistake I did and feed your cat crap they label as food. ALL FOOD IS NOT CREATED EQUAL!

Avoid all commercial brands of food. They are all JUNK! (Friskies, Purina, 9 lives, Fancy Feast, Meow Mix(ONE OF THE WORST!), ect.)

Common Cat Diet

The common household cat diet consists of dry kibble and water. In this kibble, you will find no moisture, high carbohydrates, low protein, soy, bad meat supply, dyes, colors, and added ingredients that your feline can not digest.

Proper Cat Diet

A proper diet for house cats should NEVER consist of JUST dry kibble and water. Kibble can be fed as a filler, but not the main portion of the diet. Cats need hydration in their food to help digest it and properly absorb nutrients. Canned cat food should be the main food in their diet. Yet, not every canned food brand is created equal.

Diet For Cats Prone To Pancreatitis

Their diet should consist of high amounts of protein and low to no carbohydrates. The food should be grain free as well as soy free. The main ingredient in the food should always be the main source, such as a food labeled "Tuna" should just say "Tuna" listed as the FIRST ingredient on the food label. The first item that appears on all nutritional labels is the main ingredient of said food, as the list continues, the amount of each product listed is less.

Example listing (B.F.F. Canned Cat Food: Tuna/Be Mine recipe) : Ingredients: Tuna, Water Sufficient For Processing Balance, Bonito, Sunflower Seed Oil, Locust Bean, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K), Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Please take notice to the first 3 ingredients: Tuna, Water and Bonito. Water should also be with in the first 5 ingredients on the label.

Thanks to my lack of knowledge about food, my poor cat Twiggy, has to go through this again. I'm literally crying as I type this. If you have never seen a cat go through this, you do not want to. Even if your cat has not shown signs of this happening, does NOT mean it has not had it in the past or may get it in the future. Proper diet is very important in felines. Dogs and cats digest things way differently and this is what confuses people. Dogs get their water supplies from actual water, cats on the other hand get most of theirs from FOOD!

Twiggy was on a basic diet of meow mix, friskies, and the occasional 9 lives. He has been staying with my mother until my fiance' and I move so I had little control of what he was fed. She refused to feed him can food because he always puked. A cat that always pukes is being fed the wrong food! This is not a common occurrence and normal for cats and don't let anyone tell you it is! The only thing they should be puking up is hair balls and very, VERY rarely.

Please do not make the mistakes I have. Feed your cats the right diet so they can have happy, healthy. long lives with you! I have been doing research all over the internet and found that a raw food diet is the best. The second best if canned cat food with human grade meat. I am going to be giving Twiggy the brand B.F.F. once he is able to eat again. Not many pet stores carry this, however. Other brands that are good are Wellness and Blue Buffalo. They are carried at most pet stores.

For information on the brand B.F.F. visit


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    • ii3rittles profile image

      ii3rittles 5 years ago

      Thanks CJ! Twiggy is doing better today. He is drinking on his own. Thank God! Literally! I pled the blood of Christ on him and told him to drink in Jesus' name and he did! And has been since. I, too, read about the raw diet. That's why I said the best diet to feed your pet cats is a raw one. I, for one, can not stomach the stuff. Most meat I don't even like. I was a vegetarian for awhile. Anyway, the second best food for both dogs and cats is human grade canned food that has no bi-products, soy, wheat or meat "product". If you don't have to refrigerate it after you have opened it, it is NOT good food. That means it has all kinds of preservatives in it, ones dogs and cats can not digest properly. Its amazing what the FDA will approves. Me and my aunt joke and call them the "Federal Death Association". Anyway, thank you for your prayers! =)

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 5 years ago

      Oh, Rittles, you poor thing. I hate to see you suffer.

      There is a saying, and I believe it is true: "A parent is only as happy as their unhappiest child." You are Twiggy's mommy, and a good mommy at that, and you naturally are feeling your baby's pain and want to fix it...that's what good mommies do. :0)

      I am sure Twiggy appreciates everything that you are doing for him and I am positive that he feels the love and warmth that you have brought into his life.

      Thank you for this thought-provoking and educational article...I know I learned a few things.

      Just so you know, I met a young man recently, who suspects all store-brand dog foods to be nothing more than garbage, so refuses to feed his dog any of it.

      He is convinced that canines, like wolves, are carnivores and should only eat raw meat. He thinks the stuff one buys in the stores takes years off a canine's life. I hope I run into him again to see how his precious pup is doing.

      I sure do hope Twiggy comes around and I will continue to pray for you both.

      May the peace of God be with you - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • ii3rittles profile image

      ii3rittles 5 years ago

      Thanks for your comment Seeker7! I do hope it helps people out. Our pets need good food and good love to live happy, healthy lives.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      An excellent and very useful hub.

      I do have an idea what you are feeling. My Rough Collie bitch Megan - who died a few years ago now - was plagued by pancreatitis since she was about 5 years old. It is, as you say, heartbreaking to see your beloved pet go through this horrible illness.

      This hub will be very useful for all owners of cats who are unfortunately going through this terrible condition.

      Voted up!