Many people hear the news their cat is a diabetic, and they think it’s a death sentence.
This is not true. Don’t panic.
Diabetes is a complex condition, so treatment can seem daunting. But take things a step at a time, and the problems shrink down to size.
In this expert guide to caring for a diabetic cat, we’ll discuss:
- The upsides to having a diabetic cat
- The cost of insulin for cats
- Other costs to consider when you have a diabetic cat
- And why diabetic cats need extra care when you’re away
Part 1:The Upsides to Having a Diabetic Cat
Here are some of the many good things about having a diabetic cat these days:
1. Diabetes in a cat is a treatable disease.
A diagnosis of diabetes means your cat can get treatment.
When an older cat is presented to the veterinarian with the common symptoms of drinking lots of water, urinating tons and losing weight, a diagnosis of feline diabetes can actually be good news. It’s often better news than kidney failure or liver failure in many cases.
If your cat seems very thirsty, this is not normal. Get the cat to the vet.
Early intervention with diabetes, as with so many other diseases, gives your cat the best chance of a better life, and possible remission.
Daily insulin injections, along with watching what the cat eats, can help get blood sugar levels back on track and allow the cat to act normal.
2. Sometimes diabetes in cats is reversible — it goes away.
With proper diet and the correct insulin therapy, a significant number of cats can go into remission or have their diabetes reversed.
We don’t completely understand this, but we are getting better treatment results with low-carb/high-protein diets and early insulin intervention.
Diabetes is more common in male cats, and the statistics show that males have a slightly better chance of reversing their diabetes.
Anywhere from 30–90% of cats will return to normal with early diagnosis and treatment.
3. Better diets are helping diabetic cats live healthier lives.
A poor diet may have brought on your cat’s diabetes in the first place. Now it’s time to get back on the right track.
Vets put overweight or obese cats on a calorie-controlled diet.
These cuddly cats have an unfortunately habit of storing fat inside insulin-producing cells, which smothers their ability to produce vital insulin. But slim down the cat, clean out the pancreatic cells and ta-dah! Some cats become normal again.
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Most experts recommend a diet with about 7% carb content:
- Fancy Feast Chunky Chicken or Turkey is a good food for a diabetic cat.
- Friskies and 9Lives have some options too.
Some of these “regular” cat foods are probably better than the prescription diets.
If your cat is addicted to dry foods, there are probably decent dry diets out there — but we still wish you could convert your cat to a wet diet.
Certain manufactured foods (such as some semi-moist pouches) contain high levels of humectants, which cause spikes in blood sugar. It’s best to avoid them.
4. Your diabetic cat may live for many years with proper treatment.
Many diabetic cats come in to the vet and their human — and the cat — don’t think they’re that sick.
The cat is eating well but thinks the water bowl has turned into the best “open bar” in the world.
The pet parent decides to take the cat to the vet when there’s urine floating on top of 20 pounds of soaked cat litter. In other words, the cat is severely polyuric/polydipsic (PU/PD).
If the cat is still happy, eating, and his glucose hasn’t gotten too high or the diabetes hasn’t been going on for a long time, this cat is what we call a “happy diabetic.”
These cats will usually respond to treatment quickly, and you’ve caught the disease before lots of secondary problems set in (pancreatitis, neuropathy, cataracts, to name a few).
By the way, 10 “great” vets will treat feline diabetes in 10 great, but different, ways. So have an open and trusting dialogue with your own vet and vet techs.
5. Insulin injections for cats with diabetes are actually not complicated.
Injections are not that difficult to give, even when cat, Mr. Mug, is acting like Mr. Angrypants.
Stick the furry face in some food and pop in the tiny amount of insulin, and it’s over. Pilling a cat is probably much more difficult on a daily basis than giving an injection.
Your vet and staff should give you all the help you need when learning how to give insulin to your cat.
There’s lots of debate about which insulin works best in cats. Each vet has their favorite, and if your cat doesn’t do well, they will switch to a different option. Be prepared for some trial and error.
For information about the cost of insulin for cats, see Part 2 of this article below.
6. Home monitoring is possible.
Home monitoring devices are available for pets, just like human diabetics use.
These cut down on vet visits and are great for the cat who is anxious at the vet’s office.
Some cats won’t let you prick their ear for a drop of blood. Home monitoring is certainly not for everyone, or every cat. But it’s worth discussing with your vet.
7. Cats don’t act “sick” when their diabetes is well managed.
Proper diabetes care for a cat allows many patients to lead normal lives.
There are certainly exceptions, and some diabetic cats have many problems — no 2 diabetics are the same.
If we catch the illness early, a diabetic cat will stop drinking tons of water, have a normal amount of energy and lead a happy life.
8. It’s relatively easy to find a pet sitter, friend or kennel to give injections when you’re away.
If you’re used to leaving your cat for long weekends with a big bowl of food and a “see you later,” your life is going to have to change.
If your cat needs insulin injections, you’ll need to find a reliable pet sitter familiar with diabetics, a family member or a pleasant boarding situation.
If you travel constantly, caring for a diabetic cat will not be easy. But for most of us with average home/work situations, being home morning and night for 2 kitty meals and 2 injections shouldn’t be that difficult.
9. Think of it as a bonding experience with your cat.
Caring for a diabetic cat is both a challenge and something to be proud of.
Tons of information is available, and someone with a diabetic cat should become as knowledgeable as possible.
If your friends hear the news and tell you horror stories about “other diabetic cats,” or think you’re crazy to give injections to Mr. Mug, here’s our advice: Stay calm. Smile serenely. And move on.
You won’t know how this is going to go until you try. Remember, more and more diabetic cats are getting early treatment and going into remission.
If your cat is not a diabetic yet, get on the healthy bandwagon:
- Keep them at a normal weight
- Feed them a good-quality canned food.
- There’s also a place for you raw-food and home-cooking fans out there. It just takes more work.
Obesity in cats, just like in Americans, is a huge problem.
FeedingMeow Mix is like tearing into a big bag of Doritos.They both stain your fingers, too — there’s something not right about that.
So stay healthy. Eat right. And do the same for Mr. Mug.
Healthy diets, proper weight management, diabetic monitoring and treatment of concurrent conditions are all imperative to a successful outcome for a diabetic cat.
Getting your cat on the right track early can save you a lot of money and add years to their life.
Next, let’s talk about the cost of insulin for cats. Keep reading!
Part 2: Unfortunately, the Cost of Insulin for Cats Is Ridiculous
And we were on such a good roll there with all those upsides to having a diabetic cat!
Oh well. Now we’ve reached a huge, honking downside: the skyrocketing costs of insulin.
When the first version of this article was published, in 2012, we mentioned thata bottle of Lantus (glargine) insulin — considered by many vets to be the first insulin choice for diabetic cats — ran about $100.
Research has shown that early treatment with Lantus gives the best possibility of remission. It’s labeled for human use for only 30 days, but veterinary experts believe it’s effective for several months past the expiration.
Anyway, $100 a bottle of this stuff wasn’t too bad considering it can last a few months. But times have certainly changed. The cost has skyrocketed lately.
Cost of Insulin for Cats
An avid Petfulreader wrote in to tell us she couldn’t find Lantus for under $285 a bottle for her diabetic kitty.
She was correct.In the course of a few short years, the cost of Lantus more than tripled! (The last time we checked, in December 2018, the price of Lantus was still just under $300.)
“It is very expensive and very crazy,” this reader told us. We agree.
Unfortunately, you’re at the mercy of greedy Big Pharma when it comes to filling human scripts, such as insulin, for your pets.
Your vet may go to another insulin, PZI (protamine zinc insulin, or ProZinc), when Lantus has not worked. Unfortunately, these other, less expensive insulins don’t seem to work as well in cats.
Here are some simple facts about the cost of treating cat with diabetes today:
- Lantus is, according to most specialists, the best choice for diabetic cats.
- Newly diagnosed diabetic cats given Lantus as the first insulin have the best chance of remission. This means they may return to being a normal, non-diabetic cat.
- Lantus means easier control of diabetes, which translates to fewer trips to the vet, which translates to less money spent.
- Lantus is expensive, no matter how you cut it. The product will probably not be available as a generic for several more years.
How Can I Get Lantus as Cheaply as Possible?
A 10 ml vial is good for at least 3–4 months, maybe longer if handled properly.
Most cats require very little insulin, so some of the insulin will go to waste, even if it lasts for 6months.
Pharmacists may tell you that you can use the bottle only for 1 month. They are wrong. This is the human usage instruction. Veterinary specialists have tested the insulin, and it stays effective for 3–4months, often longer.
Your pharmacist might talk you into Lantus Solostar “pens.” These are 3 ml pens that are sold in bundles of 5. The bundle of pens is more expensive than the 10 ml vial, but the insulin will definitely stay stable and not expire.
Some pharmacies, we are told, will sell only 1 pen at a time. It’s a good deal if you can find it. Local, privately owned pharmacies may be your best bet.
Talk with your vet if you want to try the insulin pen. The delivery system is not designed for a cat.
Most specialists recommend that you have your vet put the insulin in a sterile vial and withdraw your insulin from that vial.
You can check it out on YouTube.
Here’s one example:
A few more ideas if you’re looking to save money on Lantus:
- Glargine insulin (a generic Lantus) can be compounded at a special pharmacy in smaller amounts. Many veterinary specialists worry about the quality of compounded insulin. Most experts don’t recommend using compounded glargine insulin.
- You could also try to get Lantus through a Canadian pharmacy.
- Or you could get creative and find a friend with a diabetic cat and split the bottle.
Part 3: Other Costs When You First Get a Diabetic Cat
Think of the cost in 2 phases:
- Initial stabilization:
- Stabilization can be expensive because of the thorough screening and monitoring involved.
- Ongoing costs:
- Insulin (once- or twice-daily injections)
- A Vetpen or insulin syringes
- A disposal box for used syringes
- Urine test strips
- Vet checkups and blood tests (every 3–12 months, depending on how stable the cat is)
Immediately after diagnosis, ask your vet for 2 estimates — for stabilization and for ongoing costs — so you understand the financial implications.
Initial Screening and Stabilization
Recognizing complications at the beginning makes for smoother stabilization.
When you go on a long journey, you check your vehicle’s tire pressure, the oil level and that there’s sufficient gas in the tank. This helps reduce the risk of breakdown en route.
The same goes for the newly diagnosed diabetic cat.
When finances allow, let your vet run a barrage of bloods tests to help identify issues that could make stabilizing the cat difficult.
One example is screening for high levels of growth hormone in the cat’s bloodstream. The latter is a condition called “acromegaly,” which afflicts around 25% of cat diabetics and can make their care more difficult.
Ongoing Costs and Routines
We’ve already discussed the cost of insulin for cats. Here are some other things you’ll want to keep in mind:
A couple of times a week, you should test the cat’s urine with a dipstick.
This is a safety check to ensure no ketones are present. Ketones are a natural toxin and an early warning of trouble ahead. If the cat has ketones in the urine, then contact the vet urgently.
From time to time, monitoring is necessary to check if the insulin dose is correct.
This involves taking a pinprick of blood every hour or so to see how much sugar is in the blood.
This test can either be done at the vet clinic or at home. Home testing is preferable because the cat is usually less stressed.
You’ll quickly adapt to the cat’s daily routine of injections, and it usually isn’t too much of a bother.
Having a diabetic cat does mean sticking to a regular routine of mealtimes and injections. They’ll need feeding at least twice a day, and once you’re happy they’re eating, then give an insulin injection.
Most people find this fits seamlessly into their daily routine, although it can be complicated if you travel a lot or go on vacation — which we’ll discuss briefly next.
Part 4: Why Diabetic Cats Need Extra Care When You’re Away
Sick pets (and older pets) require additional mental and physical care than your average pet.
Our best buddies are sentient, feeling beings — they thrive on routine and the security of familiar surroundings and family members.
So keep your diabetic cat’s routine as stable as possible while you’re away. Besides their medical conditions, these pets may have anxiety disorders. Any changes in routine can cause them dangerous stress.
The Diabetic Cat
Even well-regulated diabetics, particularly cats, experience stress when their family leaves.
Stress can change their metabolism and therefore change their insulin needs.
If they are solitary, independent animals, like many cats, then a change in their level of exercise, amount of human contact, and feeding schedule or amounts of food consumed can play havoc with their diabetes.
The Sitter Should Watch for These Signs of Trouble
Ifyour diabetic animalwill be in a pet sitter’sor kennel’s care, make sure the caretakers will call your vet if there is any change in behavior, such as:
- Lack of appetite
A pet sitter should spend at least 1 hour twice a day in your home.
Just feeding and giving insulin injections is not a sufficient level of monitoring for a diabetic animal:
- Make sure the caretaker knows your cat’s daily routine and personality.
- The cat must be seen eating, walking around and exhibiting a bright and alert demeanor.
- If your cat is sleeping every time the pet sitter visits and the sitter just refreshes the food and water and gives the required insulin, this cat could be on their way to a diabetic crisis.
Too often, a client tells the vet that the pet sitter “couldn’t find the cat” and left. This is bad in any case, but it could be life-threatening to a diabetic cat.
This may be a tough topic for many of you who love your pet dearly but are also in desperate need of a vacation. Take the time to find a solution that prioritizes your pet’s health so everyone can have a pleasant time while you’re away.
Diabetes in cats is a HUGE subject, and we feel we’ve only skimmed the surface here.
However, if your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, don’t be downhearted. Diabetes is not a death sentence and, with a little planning and some experience under your belt, you’ll barely notice the commitment it takes to care for a diabetic cat.
- Bruyette, David, DVM, DACVIM. “Diabetes Mellitus.” MSD Manual Veterinary Manual. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/endocrine-system/the-pancreas/diabetes-mellitus.
- Cornell Feline Health Center. “Feline Diabetes.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. March 2017. https://www2.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feline-diabetes.
- Feldhahn, J.R. et al.“Insulin Sensitivity in Normal and Diabetic Cats: Part 1, Pathogenesis.” Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 1(2): 107.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11919024/.
- Rand, J. “Current Understanding of Feline Diabetes.”Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 1(2): 143.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11919029/.
This expert guide to caring for a diabetic cat was written by veterinarians, Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, andDr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS. This article was last updated Dec. 7, 2018.
Is it worth treating a cat with diabetes? ›
Though there is no cure for feline diabetes, the prognosis for a good quality of life is good with adequate management at home. With early, aggressive treatment of diabetes, many cats will enter a state of diabetic remission, meaning they are able to maintain normal blood sugar levels without insulin injections.Is caring for a diabetic cat difficult? ›
Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrinopathy in feline practice. Cats with diabetes can be challenging to monitor and treat because of the complex pathophysiology of the disease and cats' propensity for stress-related hyperglycemia. In addition, the small size of feline patients makes insulin dosing more difficult.What should diabetic cats avoid? ›
If your cat is diabetic, it is best to stay away from foods that are based on white flour. Generally, white flour is not a preferred food for both humans and animals and it should be strictly avoided in case your cat is diabetic. Instead, feed your cat food that is based on whole grains or even no grains.How long do cats usually live after being diagnosed with diabetes? ›
Cats who are treated effectively for diabetes can live for very prolonged periods after diagnosis. Average length of life after diagnosis is variable dependent on which study is examined, however, average lifespans of up to around three years are reported in some studies.How much do insulin injections for cats cost? ›
Insulin costs for cats vary depending on where you get their medication and the brand name. You can typically expect to pay $50-$100 per month, but prices can be as high as $300 per month. You can purchase generic drugs, which work just as well, to save some money on your cat's prescriptions.Does insulin make a diabetic cat feel better? ›
Calculated insulin doses paired with a consistently low-carbohydrate diet (no cheating) help balance blood glucose. Cats can enter remission while treated with any type of insulin; however, many veterinarians find that cats have better glycemic control with long-acting products.Is there an alternative to insulin injections for cats? ›
Acarbose must be given with food if it is to work. Acarbose can be used in both dogs and cats.How long can a diabetic cat go without insulin? ›
Do not give insulin again until we tell you otherwise. It is safer to go without insulin, even for 36-48 hours, than to risk giving too much insulin and possibly causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar/glucose).How many times a day should a diabetic cat eat? ›
“You need to have their meals timed with their insulin, so they're absorbing those calories when the peak insulin is occurring so they don't become hypoglycemic [have low blood sugar].” Typically you'll feed your cat twice a day, administering a dose of insulin right after those feedings.What is the best food to feed a diabetic cat? ›
Good options like freeze-dried chicken, beef, salmon, tuna, and liver are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, just like the foods recommended for diabetic cats. Stop giving treats if they interfere with your cat's appetite at regular mealtimes.
Can cats with diabetes eat dry food? ›
Cats need to be on a low-carbohydrate diet.
The bad news is that none of them are dry. Dry foods, every one of them, contain too much carbs for diabetic cats.
“Hill's m/d diet is formulated to have fewer carbohydrates and less fat than other cat foods, but it still may have too many simple carbohydrates for some cats. The reason Fancy Feast Classics worked so well is that the ingredients are also high-protein, low-fat, high-moisture and lower-calorie ones.How does a cat with diabetes feel? ›
The 7 symptoms we've outlined are increased urination and thirst, weight loss, lethargy, poor hair coat, plantigrade stance (walking on heels), unkempt appearance and an increased appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, make sure you take them to a veterinarian near you for diagnosis and treatment.Do cats with diabetes suffer? ›
An alarming number of cats are developing diabetes mellitus, which is the inability to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar, or glucose, levels. Left untreated, it can lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting , dehydration, severe depression, problems with motor function, coma, and even death.Do cats with diabetes feel pain? ›
Diabetic cats are vulnerable to neuropathic pain. It is a condition that affects the body's nerves. This can pain can affect the hind legs and even the spinal cord.Can a diabetic cat misses insulin shot? ›
If you miss a dose, contact your veterinarian for advice on when to give the next dose. If you cannot reach your veterinarian and your pet is acting normally and is eating, skip the missed dose and give the usual dose at the next soonest regularly scheduled time.Where is the best place to give a cat an insulin shot? ›
Insulin injections should be given just under the skin. Many cats tolerate the injections well when given about one to two inches from the middle of the back, near the shoulder blade or hip bone. Be sure to alternate the location each time you give an injection to avoid soreness.Is 2 units of insulin a lot for a cat? ›
The starting dose for insulin should not exceed 0.25–0.5 U/kg BID. Regardless of the insulin type, most cats require twice daily administration. The maximum total starting dose, even for large cats, should not exceed 2 U/cat BID. Most cats are well regulated at doses from 0.2 to 0.8 U/kg.Can a diabetic cat go without insulin for a day? ›
If you must miss a dose or two of insulin (occasionally), do not be concerned. Your cat's blood glucose will get too high for a day or two, but that will not cause great problems. There are two forms of diabetes in cats: diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus.How do cats feel after insulin? ›
"If a cat receives too much insulin, it is possible for the blood sugar level to drop dangerously low." Clinical signs displayed by a cat with a very low blood sugar level include weakness and lethargy, shaking, unsteadiness and even convulsions.
How much food should a cat eat before insulin? ›
Time feedings and insulin treatments so that glucose absorption coincides with peak action of given insulin. In general, feed half of your cat's total daily food right before or with injections.What is the new treatment for cat diabetes? ›
Bexagliflozin, the active ingredient in Bexacat, prevents the cat's kidneys from reabsorbing glucose into the blood, causing excess glucose to be passed out in the urine and resulting in lowered blood glucose. Bexacat is given to cats orally once daily via a flavored tablet.What is dangerously high blood sugar for a cat? ›
However, diabetes is the only common disease that will cause the blood glucose level to rise above 400 mg/dl (22 mmol/L). Some diabetic cats will have a glucose level as high as 700-800 mg/dl (44 mmol/L), although most will be in the range of 400-600 mg/dl (22-33 mmol/L).How long after starting insulin will my cat feel better? ›
When given properly, regular insulin injections can help keep your cat's blood glucose levels stable throughout the day. It could take a month or more to see improvement in the signs of diabetes as your veterinarian adjusts your cat's insulin dose to regulate blood glucose levels.What is late stage feline diabetes? ›
The final stage of diabetes is ketoacidosis that leads to decreased appetite, dehydration, and vomiting. These symptoms take a serious toll on your cat's body, eventually causing it to break down if diabetes is left untreated.Can I give my cat insulin only once a day? ›
PZI, a long-acting veterinary insulin, can be given once daily to some cats, but most cats require twice daily injections. The most serious potential side effect of insulin injections is insulin overdose, which can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).Why do so many cats get diabetes? ›
Obesity and High-Carbohydrate Diets
Obesity is hands down the biggest cause of feline diabetes. The majority of cats in the U.S. are fed a high-calorie, high-carbohydrate diet loaded with grains they have no need for, such as corn, wheat, rice, soy, millet or quinoa.
Some of the causes for hyperglycemia may be pancreatitis, and the resulting inability to produce insulin; normally occurring hormones, especially in female cats; diet; and infections of the body (such as teeth, or urinary tract).What wet food can diabetic cats eat? ›
- ROYAL CANIN Feline Glycobalance Morsels In Gravy. ...
- CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Wet Cat Food. ...
- ROYAL CANIN Feline Glycobalance Dry. ...
- Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Cat Food. ...
- Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe Natural Cat Food & Toppers. ...
- CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food. ...
- ZIWI Peak Wet Cat Food.
Mealtime plays a role
Make sure that your cat eats around the time of the insulin administration — up to one hour before injection. This will assure that she has food in her stomach to counteract the action of the insulin to prevent low blood sugar after the insulin injection.
Can I give my cat insulin while he's eating? ›
In most instances, it's okay to leave food out and let your cat graze. The important thing is to make sure your cat eats before you give an insulin shot. You do not want to run the risk of dropping your cat's glucose level too low. This means your cat should eat twice a day before receiving insulin injections.Can too many treats cause diabetes in cats? ›
Durban - Pet parents may need to consider decreasing the amount of unhealthy sugary and salty treats given to their beloved pets as these in large amounts result in obesity, a major risk factor for diabetes.Is Purina One good for diabetic cats? ›
Premium-quality cat foods can cost a pretty penny, but you can find a decent cat food for a reasonable price – even a low-carb option for diabetic cats. This Purina ONE formula is animal-based and rich in moisture to support your diabetic cat's overall health and nutrition.How to make homemade diabetic cat food? ›
Take half a pound of cooked chicken breast, one hard-boiled egg, one half-ounce of chopped clams one-third a cup of cooked brown rice, four teaspoons of butter or oil, and a dash of salt. Serve immediately, or refrigerate. Add in supplements as per your cat's health recommendations.Is Purina DM good for diabetic cats? ›
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Feline Formulas are high protein and low carbohydrate to help support the unique nutritional needs of diabetic cats. They are also formulated to support your cat's urinary health.Do cats know you love them? ›
The truth is, cats understand affection just like any other animal, and domestic cats might actually see us as their real-life mommies and daddies. A 2019 study revealed that kittens evince the same behavior towards us as they do their biological parents.Do diabetic cats lose their sight? ›
Although not common in cats, cataracts, or lens opacities, from chronic hyperglycemia can develop but tend to be much less severe than those seen in poorly controlled diabetic dogs, and blindness is rare.What are the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis in cats? ›
- Loss of appetite.
- Lethargy and depression.
- Collapse or coma.
Glucose will appear in the urine of cats if the blood glucose level goes over 260-310 mg/dL; the normal blood glucose level is 55-160.Does diabetes in cats affect their legs? ›
In rare cases of uncontrolled diabetes, cats may experience damage to the nerves in the hind limbs, resulting in a “plantigrade” stance of the hind limbs (walking or standing with their hocks on or close to the ground). This is not painful, and will often resolve with treatment.
Is caring for a diabetic cat hard? ›
Caring for Your Cat With Diabetes
Diabetes can be managed successfully with proper treatment, diet and exercise. Although it cannot be completely cured, your cat can live a happy, normal life. The goal in managing diabetes is to keep glucose concentrations regulated, avoiding spikes and drops.
Cats with diabetes can develop other health problems. Weakness of the hind legs is a common complication for cats. Persistently high blood glucose levels may also damage nerves, causing weakness and muscle wasting. Controlling high blood glucose levels can lead to healthier outcomes for your cat.What happens if a cat is not treated for diabetes? ›
Untreated, the condition leads to increasingly weak legs in cats, and eventually malnutrition, ketoacidosis and death. Early diagnosis and treatment by a qualified veterinarian can not only help prevent nerve damage, but in some cases even lead to remission so that the cat no longer needs injected insulin.Can cats live a happy life with diabetes? ›
Caring for Your Cat With Diabetes
Diabetes can be managed successfully with proper treatment, diet and exercise. Although it cannot be completely cured, your cat can live a happy, normal life. The goal in managing diabetes is to keep glucose concentrations regulated, avoiding spikes and drops.
“Some diabetic cats can be managed on a low-carb food alone, without insulin,” says Koble. ”This is the only 'natural' treatment that sometimes works by itself. Many cats need a combination of a low-carb food and insulin.”Are cats in pain with diabetes? ›
Diabetic cats are vulnerable to neuropathic pain. It is a condition that affects the body's nerves. This can pain can affect the hind legs and even the spinal cord.What are the final stages of cat diabetes? ›
The final stage of diabetes is ketoacidosis that leads to decreased appetite, dehydration, and vomiting. These symptoms take a serious toll on your cat's body, eventually causing it to break down if diabetes is left untreated.Can I feed my diabetic cat 3 times a day? ›
Number of meals
The usual feeding routine (e.g. food always available (ad libitum), meals/fresh food given twice or three times daily) should be kept when starting to stabilize a diabetic cat.
Most vets recommend a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet for diabetic cats, and no dry food is low in carbohydrates. Even grain-free dry foods contain a lot of substitute carbohydrates such as potatoes, peas or tapioca. Carbohydrates tend to make blood sugar levels fluctuate quite a bit.Can I give my cat insulin 2 hours late? ›
If your day's schedule isn't cooperating, it's OK to give the insulin injection as much as 2 hours early or 2 hours late on occasion. Otherwise, try to keep an every 12 (or 24) hour schedule.
What are 3 common side effects of animal insulin? ›
Side effects include low or high blood sugar levels (at doses that are too high), insulin resistance, and skin allergic reactions to the injections.