Diabetes in Cats

Managing Diabetes

Caring for Your Cat With Diabetes

Diabetes can be managed successfully with proper treatment, and diet. Although it may not 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. Proper management can reduce or eliminate signs of diabetes, such as excessive thirst and urination, and in some cats their diabetes may improve so that insulin injections are no longer required. This is called clinical remission.

Starting Insulin Therapy

After diagnosis, your vet will use your cat’s weight to determine the insulin dose needed. Your vet may also recommend a change in your cat’s diet as this can be an integral part of successful treatment of diabetes in cats.

Your veterinary surgeon is your best advocate. They will teach you everything you need to know about giving Caninsulin® via syringe or VetPen®. They can also discuss monitoring your cat’s blood or urine glucose levels at home.

At the start of treatment, closely monitoring your cat’s clinical signs (water and food intake, activity, urination frequency, etc.), blood glucose level, and urine glucose levels are important to make sure dosage is correct. Based on this monitoring, your vet may adjust the dose as necessary over several weeks or months to best help your cat.

Some cats with diabetes no longer need insulin after a few weeks or months of treatment, a condition known as clinical remission. This does not mean your cat’s diabetes has been cured, only that it’s stable. Care must still be taken with your cat’s diet and lifestyle. Insulin treatment may be required at a later date, so it’s important to continue regular checkups.

“At first my family thought my diabetes would
be hard to handle, but now that we’ve gotten in
a routine with my insulin and special diet
everything feels normal again.”

Monitoring Glucose Levels

An important part of managing overall diabetes therapy for your cat is to monitor the glucose level. It can be done in two ways:

  • Blood Test

Measuring the glucose level in your cat’s blood is the most accurate method. It can be done either at the veterinary practice or at home with a portable glucometer and blood test strips. Learn More About Monitoring Blood Glucose

  • Urine Test

This test checks your cat’s urine for the presence of glucose and ketones (a chemical produced when the body burns fat for energy). It is not as accurate as measuring glucose in the blood, but can be done at home easily. Learn More About Monitoring Glucose & Ketones

If your pet has significant weight gain or loss, or recurrence of signs that were previously controlled, talk to your veterinary surgeon. This may affect treatment or may be a sign of a complication of diabetes.

Controlling Diet

Diet plays a vital role in helping to keep your cat’s diabetes regulated. Your vet can recommend choices specifically for your cat, but these basic tips can help:

  • Choose cat foods with quality sources of protein, and low carbohydrates.
  • Ideally, your cat should be offered meals at the same time each day.

Overall, a tasty and nutritious diet can minimise fluctuations in blood glucose, help your cat maintain a healthy weight, and manage diabetes . Learn More About Nutrition for Cats with Diabetes

Spaying Your Female Cat

If you have a female cat, your vet will recommend that you have your cat spayed as part of the treatment. That’s because one of the female sex hormones, progesterone, can interfere with the normal action of insulin. In order to remove the source of progesterone, spaying your diabetic female cat is critical.

Regular Veterinary Checkups

Keep up with regular visits to your vet to help identify any changes in your cat’s condition. This is the best way to keep your cat’s diabetes stabilised. It can also prevent possible complications and side effects from occurring. Typically your vet will recommend visiting 2–4 times a year for a physical examination and possibly laboratory testing once your cat is stabilised.

Even after a long period of stability, changes to insulin requirements may need to be updated. Many of these updates are due to changes such as:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Dental problems
  • Presence of other diseases or infections
  • Progesterone in unspayed females
  • Additional medications

If your cat is going through any of these changes, they may again show signs of diabetes (drinking, urinating more, etc.). If you’re aware of changes, or notice signs reappear, consult your vet straight away.

Living with a Cat With Diabetes

Attentive care and regular doses of Caninsulin® can help your cat lead a happy and healthy life.

The good news is that the life expectancy of cats that stay regulated with insulin is similar to cats without diabetes. Good communication between you and your veterinary practice, and adhering to the management regimen, will help keep your cat healthy.

Find more information and FAQs about managing diabetes. Read Now

Tracking Results

Tracking Tools & Resources

1. Pet Diabetes Tracker app
Review and keep important information to manage diabetes.

2. Blood Glucose Curve Tool
Review and keep important information to manage diabetes.

3. Helpful Downloads
Additional resources to understand and manage cat diabetes.

Next Article: About Glucose Curves >

Further Reading

Talk to Your Vet Today

to learn more about pet diabetes, and how cats and dogs can lead a happy,
healthy life with proper management