Blood Glucose Testing for Cat Diabetes at Home

Cat diabetes is a serious blood sugar condition in felines, and cats suffering from this disease must be monitored frequently and carefully. If your cat has diabetes, consider measuring his blood glucose level at home with the help of a glucometer, urine strips or other easy-to-use devices. This will serve to both save your pet the stress of frequent trips to the veterinarian's office and increase your ability to respond quickly in diabetes-related emergency situations.

At-home blood glucose testing is a straightforward and simple procedure. Although your pet may be uncomfortable at first, most pets adapt to the test after a few times. Read on for an overview to testing your pet's blood glucose level at home.

Materials Necessary for Home Blood Glucose Testing

In order to test your pet's blood glucose at home, you will need to collect the following materials, all of which are available at a veterinarian's office or pet supply store:

  • Glucose level test strips
  • Lancets
  • Glucometer
  • Cotton balls
  • Warm washcloth

In most cases, the glucometer comes packaged with test strips and lancets. If not, speak with a veterinarian.

Testing Glucose Levels at Home

Before beginning a glucose level test at home, carefully read the instructions for the glucometer and any other materials that you will use. Once you are familiar with the manufacturer instructions and methods, assemble the materials as indicated and ensure that your hands are clean.

  • Using calming words and a soothing tone of voice, maneuver your cat so he is as comfortable as possible. Most lancet pens recommend drawing blood from an ear vein. In this case, shine a light behind your pet's ear in order to locate a vein. Veins will appear as thin red lines.
  • Warm the area surrounding the ear vein with a warm washcloth. This helps to stimulate blood flow to the area, which makes a glucose test easier to accomplish with a single prick.
  • Following the lancet pen instructions, prick your pet's ear one time. Carefully touch the edge of the test strip to the blood drop, angling it so that the blood will rise up the test strip effectively.
  • Hold a cotton swab over the sight of the prick and apply slight pressure in order to control the bleeding. Hold the swab to your cat's ear for a couple of minutes, or until the bleeding ceases.
  • Measuring and Controlling Your Cat's Blood Sugar Level
  • Using a glucometer, measure your pet's blood glucose level. With the help of BG curves or blood glucose profile charts, determine when your pet requires an insulin shot. Monitor your pet's blood sugar levels at predetermined times of day, and always at the same length of time after a meal. It is best to keep as many variables constant from test to test in order to ensure an accurate reading.

Administer insulin or other supplements to your cat according to your veterinarian's instructions. If you notice any abnormalities in your pet's glucose reading, do not hesitate to call a vet's office. An unusual glucose level may be the first sign of a diabetes-related health concern.