How To Care For A Cat That Has Been Diagnosed With Cat Diabetes


Dr. Marty Becker was recently asked how to care for a cat that has been diagnosed with cat diabetes. More specifically the questioner wanted to know whether the cat could be cared for at home.

“My cat has been diagnosed as diabetic. How realistic is it for me to assume at-home care for him?”

Dr. Marty Becker is known as “America’s Veterinarian.” He’s a best-selling author and regularly appears on“Good Morning America”. He is also the resident veterinarian on “The Dr. Oz Show”. He states that cat diabetes is a very manageable disease and carries on by giving an excellent answer:-

“The thought of giving daily injections probably sounds scary, but the good news is that diabetes is a very manageable disease in cats.

Diabetes occurs when the cat’s pancreas no longer produces the levels of insulin needed to permit the body’s cells to use glucose for energy, or when the cat’s body becomes “insulin-resistant” and can’t use the available insulin properly.

Sugar builds up in the blood and urine, causing the kidneys to work overtime trying to rid the body of the excess sugar. The cat eats more and more, in an effort to get the fuel needed to survive.

However, with proper medical management, careful observation on your part and perhaps a change in diet, your cat can live a relatively normal life for many years.”

He then goes on to talk about the three most important aspects of looking after a diabetic cat at home.  I have talked about each of them at length in other posts.

But to recap, dependent upon how bad the cat is, it will probably need insulin injections, the diet needs to be changed and the blood sugar levels need to be carefully monitored.

“We now know that a change in diet can positively affect the course of diabetes and, in some cases, even help send it into remission.

Studies have shown that diabetic cats who eat high-protein, low-carbohydrate foods are easier to manage and may sometimes even go back to normal, meaning they no longer need insulin injections.

However, a diet change isn’t an option for every diabetic cat, so talk to your vet before changing your diabetic pet’s food.

Daily insulin injections replace the naturally occurring insulin that the body is no longer making or can’t use effectively. There are several types of insulin available for cats, and your veterinarian or a technician can show you how to give the injection properly.

The needles used are small and fine, so many cats seem to barely feel them. Most cats tolerate injections without a fuss, especially if they are given a treat afterward. Some cats will even remind you that it’s time for their injection because they want that treat.

Testing the level of glucose in your cat’s blood allows you to help ensure that he gets an appropriate amount of insulin. Blood glucose meters for home testing are inexpensive, small and easy to use.

A tiny prick of the ear with a lancet produces a drop of blood that is placed on a testing strip and put into the meter, which then measures the amount of glucose in the blood.

Give him a nice ear rub first to make sure the blood is flowing well. Good control of blood glucose levels, especially in the early stages when the disease is first diagnosed, makes for better management and may increase the chances of remission at some point.”

How To Care For A Cat That Has Been Diagnosed With Cat Diabetes

The video above is extremely informative but there are a couple of things I would disagree with. Firstly, I see the owners giving dry food. I would never give dry food to a diabetic cat unless there are additional complications. Secondly, I think the owners put some cat food in the microwave. Again, I and my family never use a microwave so I would never give microwaved food to beloved pet. I personally believe there are health hazards with eating microwaved food. You can do your own research on this subject.

So, how to care for a cat that has been diagnosed with cat diabetes at home is absolutely possible and really a necessity. Furthermore it is not as daunting as it can initially seem.

Once a routine is established the care becomes quite straight forward and the cat can expect to live a normal a life as possible for many years to come.

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