Administering a Cat Insulin Shot

If you have a cat with diabetes then there are a few things that you need to know about giving your cat insulin. Giving your cat insulin injections is easy when you learn the three main steps of administering insulin: insulin storage and preparation, preparing the injection, and giving the injection. Once you have completed this article you will be ready to give your cat insulin with minimal discomfort to you and your cat.

Cat Insulin Storage and Preparation

  • Although insulin can be stored at room temperature for up to 30 days, it maintains its potency best when stored in the refrigerator.
  • Insulin should never be shaken, as shaking causes air bubbles, which can make insulin difficult to draw up accurately and may cause the insulin to form clumps.

Preparing the Injection

1. Remove the insulin from the refrigerator a few minutes before drawing up the injection to allow it to warm slightly. Cold insulin is more uncomfortable for your cat. 2. Mix the insulin by gently rolling the bottle between your palms. Clear insulin does not need to be mixed. 3. Cleanse the top of the insulin bottle with alcohol and remove the cap from the syringe. 4. Never substitute another type of syringe to give the insulin, as you will very likely obtain the wrong dose, which could be fatal to your cat. 5. Draw up an amount of air into the empty syringe equal to the required insulin dose. Inject the air into the bottle of insulin and invert. 6. Fill the syringe with the required insulin dose, lining up the markings on the syringe with the top of the plunger. If you get air bubbles larger than the size of a pin, push the insulin back into the bottle try again. Now you are ready to give your cat the injection.

Giving the Injection

1. Always give insulin after your cat has eaten to prevent low blood sugar. 2. Start the injection process by petting your cat. Use a calm and matter-of-fact demeanor. Making the injection process pleasant for your cat is vital to success. 3. Pull up the skin on the back of the neck between the shoulder blades, using the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand, forming a tent of skin. Slightly roll the skin over the top of your index finger to make the skin taught. This makes the needle easier to insert and the injection will be more comfortable for your cat. Make sure that you never inject into the same spot repeatedly. 4. Hold the syringe by the barrel between the thumb and middle finger of the dominant hand, keeping your index finger close to, but not on the plunger. 5. Keeping the syringe almost horizontal, quickly push the needle under the skin. Move the index finger to the end of the plunger and depress it quickly. 6. Remove the syringe and dispose of it in a puncture proof container. 7. Rub the injection area gently to help disperse the medicine. Finding wet fur means that some of the insulin spilled or the needle went completely through the skin. Do not give your cat more insulin as it is difficult to tell how much was spilled and your cat could develop low blood sugar from too much insulin. 8. Reward your cat by giving a treat or by petting.