My cat has diabetes, now what?
If your cat has feline diabetes the first thing your cat needs for you to do is don’t panic. The good news is that feline diabetes can be managed through diet and brought into remission with many cases of this disease. When you cat has diabetes it can be very stressful but lets focus on the good news, it is treatable and your cat can have many, many years of a good life.
Many pets develop feline diabetes. It is essentially the inability of their hormone insulin to balance the sugar that goes into their bodies. It is because their pancreas stops insulin production or that their little cat body don’t respond to the insulin. Their bodies have a hard time processing the available glucose. It is very dangerous if you let this get out of control. But don’t worry.
When your cat receives the diagnosis of feline diabetes, it does not mean that they will have to be on insulin, you might be able to handle their illness through diet, often called the Catkins Diet. But make sure that you have constant monitoring from your local veterinarian.
But if you suspect that your cat may have feline diabetes, you will have to see some definite signs:
More Weight or less weight. When your cat first develops the illness he will actually eat more because his appetite will increase due to the fact that their insulin will be unbalanced. But their energy will begin to fall and your cat will start to lose a lot of weight.
A Lot of Urine – The diabetic cat will have a lot of sugar and it needs to go places so their kidneys will push it into their urine and they will pee a lot.
Increase in Thirst – Because they are peeing a lot they will become very thirsty due to the need for more water.
Sleepy/lethargy – Your diabetic cat will become tired and his activity will not be the same. He might not even climb the stairs anymore. Make sure you get help and send him to the vet.
How to treat your cat with feline diabetes.
Diet – The Catkins Diet or close to it, meaning a canned food diet. Canned cat food has more protein and carbohydrates than very dry cat food. It is a good idea to stay away from dry food that has way too much starch and other ingredients that can help make your cat dehydrated.
Insulin – It has been determined that about half of felines with diabetes will need to have insulin injections to help them manage. But don’t worry, they are done with small needles and they only require a low dosage of insulin. The insulin Lantus is one of the common choices for new patients and can be given in 12 hour increments. Make sure to consult with your vet about the proper choice of insulin, the dose and how many hours in-between. Every cat is different.
Proper Exercise – If your cat is overweight then they need way more exercise than they are getting right now. Play with your cats every day; it is good for your cat and good for you. It will help their muscles and also help their metabolism.
Make sure to get a good glucose blood meter to check your cat’s blood. It should be done every morning meal and after the insulin injection. It is actually better to have a slight higher glucose reading than a lower one because if it is lower they can become lethargic and get sick very quickly. So make sure if there are any changes that cause you concern to consult a vet right away.
Once you know that your cat has feline diabetes and does in fact need insulin injections, your vet will go over with the family members who will be responsible for giving the shot all of the proper ways to administering it to your cat. They should go over the proper way to handle the syringes, how to take care of the insulin and other things like:
All of the insulin has to go into the refrigerator after each use. Make sure not to store it in the door. There is some insulin that can be stored in regular room temperature and last for about 30 days, however, if you do put it into the refrigerator then it could last above 5 months.
There is some insulin that needs to be rolled to mix it up but there are others like Glargine that won’t need to do that. Consult your vet about it if they don’t inform you.
Use the syringes only one time because that is when they are most sterile.
Inject into the cat at different sites so to reduce scar tissue.
Make sure to stay on time, every 12 hour or whatever your vet tell you. Try not to miss a dose.
If you are afraid that you did not inject your cat properly make sure that you do not repeat it. You don’t want to give your cat to much insulin. It could cause your cat’s blood to drop into dangerous levels which could be deadly. Be very careful.
There are some signs to look out for if your cat’s glucose levels drop to low which is a inability to finish his mean as usual, lethargy, or they could have kind of a glassy-eyes look to them or even pass out. If you see any of those symptoms make sure to contact your vet right away. You should have their phone number and address nearby or on the refrigerator along with a 24 hour nearby animal hospital number and address just in case.
Feline diabetes is very treatable and your cat can live many, many cat years. Just make sure that you gather all of the available knowledge and monitor your cat at all times. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet if you have any questions. Write down any questions before you go and bring a pen and notepad to write down the answers, because sometimes you might ask the vet a question and they will tell you the answers but when you get home you may forget and especially when they are showing you how to properly inject and control your diabetic cat. Write it down and post it somewhere if you need to for others to help you when you are not home to do so. Teach others that you trust on how to treat your diabetic cat and together you can help your cat live all of her cat lives.