Caring for Cats with Diabetes

Caring for cats with diabetes is a joint effort between pet owners and veterinarians. There are two primary forms of diabetes that cats get. Diabetes mellitus occurs when a cat's body cannot produce or use insulin correctly. Then there is type 2 diabetes, which does not require insulin. Care for your diabetic cat according to her special needs. Review this information to help you get started.

Insulin Injections for Cats with Diabetes

As soon as a cat is diagnosed with diabetes, she will likely require insulin injections. The insulin dosage depends on the specific needs and condition of the cat. What type of insulin to use will also vary from cat to cat. Since insulin requirements may change over your cat's lifetime, you should periodically test her blood sugar.

After you observe your vet performing an insulin injection, try and accomplish this task on your own. A good place to inject the needle is along the side of your cat's body. Generally, insulin shots are given twice a day in either 1 or 2 units per shot.

Oral Medication for Treating Diabetes

Some cats do well with oral medication, rather than insulin injections. Research suggests that cats given oral medications instead of injections transition easier to diet-controlled regimen. There are also special drugs that prevent a cat's body from absorbing the carbohydrates in food to control the disease.

Environmental Factors and the Diabetic Cat

Create a stress-free environment for your diabetic cat. Limit any external distractions when giving medications, or administering injections, to your cat. Many cats become anxious when you try to give them medication. Approach this process calmly and strategically. It's best to catch your cat off guard. Then, praise her while you begin the treatments.

Perform insulin injections when the home is quiet, and there is nothing to distract your cat. As time goes by, most cats become acclimated to such procedures, and will put up less resistance.

At Home Monitoring

Once you get used to caring for your diabetic cat, you will come to know her usual behavior. Always monitor your cat continually to notice changes in her weight, blood sugar levels and eating habits.

Diabetes can lead to a host of other health complications and illnesses. Watch for any signs of the following, and have your cat tested.

  • Liver problems
  • Retinitis
  • Gangrene; circulatory problems
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Cataracts
  • Heart disease; blocked arteries

Diet Issues for Cats with Diabetes

Larger cats may have trouble responding to insulin. There are special diets you can feed your cat to stabilize the disease. A diet high in fiber and complex carbohydrates can control a cat's blood sugar levels. However, some cats do better on low-carbohydrate diets. Each pet's case is different. A diet should be geared toward your cat's weight and diabetic condition.

The right diet will help control your cat's insulin levels, and replenish her body with vital nutrients. If insulin levels fall drastically, cats benefit from increased quantities of Vitamins E, C, B and potassium.