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Diabetic Cat

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  • Diabetic Cat

    Just found out my 10 year old cat has diabetes, he is still at the vet and will pick up on Mon. They say he will require 2 shots a day, has anyone ever dealt with this?

  • #2
    A client of mine did. Her cat lived well to the respectable age of 15. It did make it hard to go on vacation, but she was fortunate to have someone who would house sit and look after her kitty.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    • Original Poster

      Yes, we are leaving for 3 weeks of horse shows in June, my husband is thrilled His symptoms were bad diarrhea and being lethargic, hoping the insulin will clear this up since he is an indoor kitty. Just wondering on how precise you have to be with the shots and if you happen to skip one of two how tragic are the concequenses?


      • #4

        Skipping the insulin shots can be disastrous, especially if you are just starting the treatment. If you can't find a pet sitter to administer the shots while you are gone, consider boarding your cat at the vet. Your cat will also need to have its sugar level tested every few week in order to determine the correct maintenance dose.

        Our 13-year old Siamese has been on Lantus (glargine, a synthetic insulin) for the past 4 years with good results. Many cats go into remission after a few months of the treatment. Our cat, unfortunately, still requires 1 unit, twice a day, but we have managed to get his weight down, which helps with his health overall.

        We found that the 3/10ths cc syringes are the easiest to read, considering the small amount you have to administer.

        Good luck! KarenRO


        • #5
          I don't know a ton about feline diabetes, but there are two things I understand about it.

          First, try to get your cat's weight down to a normal level. Overweight cats are something like four times as likely to develop diabetes.

          Second, transition him to a low carb diet.

          I'll leave other questions about managing the disease to other posters who are more knowledgeable about the topic than I am.


          • Original Poster

            Bud is not overweight. I have heard they can go into remission. He has always had a sensitive stomach and have had him on sensitive stomach food for several years. Although we use to leave him and other inside kitty at home for several days with pet sitter coming in every couple of days, seeing this will not be an option now will have to have a plan B, take him with or board. Also have a Helen Keller JRT with Alzhiemers, he is 15, geriatric pets are challenging. JRT gets me up every night between 2 and 5 to go out and then gets lost in the yard


            • Original Poster

              LPH, (we have a small palomino hunter pony) thanks for the info, he has been on a dry diet and will discuss with vet on Mon. But he is not at all what I would consider overweight, thanks everyone else for your concern and replies.


              • #8
                A newly diagnosed diabetic should NEVER be left alone for more than a few hours. Even on 12 hour insulin dosing, things can still happen that may leave them with an abnormally low drop in blood glucose that can be life-threatening. Once the diabetes is better managed, it will be much easier to predict where the lows and highs will be so you can schedule things easier.

                I believe that he may not be overweight...sometimes cats can be skinny and diabetic.

                I hope you can board him at your vet's clinic; that would be ideally the best thing, as they also have the resources to check his glucose levels and monitor his eating/drinking etc.

                Good luck!


                • #9
                  Administering the insulin is really easy. I had a diabetic cat that lived to be 17. We also used to housesit a diabetic cat for a realtive since we could give the shots.
                  We never missed a dose but my vet strongly warned us the opposite way- if you are not absolutely sure the cat has eaten recently don't give the dose.
                  Roux was able to be maintained on two doses per day. We did our own blood testing since this was before there were litmus papers things for the litter box.
                  We set it up so that he got fed twice per day and would run out of food between meals. We would give him the food and while he was eating give him the shot. He never even noticed. The syringes and needles are really pretty small.
                  I would think that a professional housesitter would be able to deal with the shots.
                  My vet never told us that Roux couldn't be alone more than a couple of hours- even at the beginning. Since both DH and I work FT that would not have been possible.

                  However the vet took Roux for a couple days and he is the one that tried a few types of insulin and did the blood testing every couple of hours to determine which insulin and which dosage to use.
                  I don't think either type of insulin is available anymore. One was beef that didn't last long enough and the pork insulin did.
                  Roux was on the insulin about 1 year before he didn't need it anymore and was insulin free for about 2 1/2 years after that.
                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                  • #10
                    Once you get the dosage stabilized, it is not a big deal. Getting there will cost money and time as you will become a very good friend of your vet & his staff.
                    However, not all cats with diabetes have a happy story. I had a little calico, not overweight at all, who got diabetes. One of our biggest problems was that she hated going in the car, hated being at the vet, & would get sick at both ends and refuse to eat at the vet's. This made getting a good blood test just about impossible. She did improve, but then got rapidly worse. When she started to pee & poop on the bed and in the middle of the floor I had to admit defeat & figure she was telling me she was done here.
                    Most cats do not mind the injection, I've been told. Of course, little miss calico did not like the injections, but I got the job done anyways.
                    The other part of diabetes control is what you are feeding. You need to feed as low carb as possible, which means canned food, not dry. Google will become your friend!

                    Good luck. I am sure you will do better with your cat then I did with mine.
                    There is no such thing as "bad" horsemanship or "good" horsemanship. There is simply Horsemanship or the absence thereof.



                    • #11
                      Hi, I had a diabetic cat who also was not overweight. He was diagnosed when he was 11, and did just fine until he passed away at 18 years old due to kidney failure.

                      This website was my go-to place when I needed advice -


                      I don't spend as much time on COTH as I used to (just popped in today to lurk, until I saw your post), since I'm not currently riding, but if you would like any advice or help, send me a PM and I'll be happy to share all I know

                      ETA - I highly recommend that you pick up a glucose testing meter from the local drug store, and do home testing for your cat's glucose levels - it's pretty easy to do once you & kitty get used to it.


                      • #12
                        Some good info on this site (and links to more sites on the right hand side of the page):



                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks all for your concern, really appreciated and will look at all the info harder tomorrow. Picked up Bud this afternoon and I'm amazed at the increase of his energy level, running around like a kitten. Have given him our first shot, no problem. Will take it day by day, love our vet, has told us how to moniter urine, and what to do if he gets too much insulin. Very much appreciate all your info as does Bud


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Serendipity View Post
                            ETA - I highly recommend that you pick up a glucose testing meter from the local drug store, and do home testing for your cat's glucose levels - it's pretty easy to do once you & kitty get used to it.
                            Our vet had us order a special glucose meter that used strips calibrated for cats not for humans. It was long enough ago that I can't remember why we couldn't use a human one.
                            Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                            • #15
                              It's called the AlphaTRAK
                              Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                              Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                              Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                              Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.