Need Advice for Diabetic Kitteh

Benni am wanting sum advice:

Hope you’re doing well? Quick question: Do you know anyone with a kitteh that has diabetes? One of our oldest office cats has just been diagnosed and is taking the treatment very hard and my boss just doesn’t know if he will have the same quality of life or what to do.

His name is Piering (“saucer” in Afrikaans, coz his paws are as big as saucers 🙂 ) and he’s somewhere between 14 & 16 yrs old – my boss found him in 2000, but he was already grown up, so not sure about the age. Interesting note, he’s a polydactyl.

Any advice would be appreciated!


10 thoughts on “Need Advice for Diabetic Kitteh

  1. If your kitty’s levels aren’t too high, you can probably get by with oral medications and change his diet somewhat. That is a LOT easier than shots and getting readings. You could just keep an eye on him and look for signs that his sugar is too high. My diabetic kitty’s levels were too high for that, so I had to checked his levels twice daily. I pricked his ear, right on the edge where the vein runs. I was then able to put the reading device right next to the spot of blood and it sucked the blood into the stick. I would get the reading and keep track of his levels. His sugar was so high that I would automatically give him a shot of insulin twice a day. Good luck and keep us posted on your kitty!

  2. My heart kitteh Smudge had diabetes, so I read as much as I could about it. One thing I learned is that dry food is much higher in carbs than canned food. When I put him on an all-wet diet, his diabetes went into remission after just a few months. Remissions are unpredictable, and his lasted about 6 months before needing insulin again. I always had a special treat to reward him for sitting still for his injection. In his case, it was a little piece of freeze-dried salmon. There are some great videos out there on administering insulin. Just do a search on “giving insulin to a cat.” Best of luck.

  3. The above advice sounds good. I chose a different treatment option, myself, due to personal beliefs. My tortie, Serena, came to me from the animal shelter in 2001 when she was already a mature cat, so she’s now 12+X years old. About a year ago she started the “drink-pee endlessly” routine. I prefer to use natural healing methods so I obtained some homeopathic “Insulinum” and as soon as she began receiving it, her water consumption and urination returned to normal. I prefer the “water prep” form of delivery with all the homeopathic remedies I use. It’s a great deal easier to administer that way, plus you can vary the dose as well if needed. One pellet of the remedy (or two) was dissolved in a 1 or 2 oz water bottle. As soon as the pellet(s) were dissolved, I shook the bottle vigorously 100X; then put her dose on her tongue (or paw). I use her urination pattern to monitor her status, not a blood draw. Currently, she receives three drops (squooshed out all at once) twice a day and she’s doing fine. Oh, yes, prior to every dose, I shake the bottle vigorously 10X. This seems to “wake the remedy up” each time.

    There’s a lot of info on the web about homeopathy and you may be able to purchase the Insulinum online from either French of British companies. Actually, since you are in South Africa, you may be able to find a local vet trained in homeopathy. I have purchased several vet-hp books online as well, and they have paid for themselves many times over.

    Incidentally, I treated Serena for cataracts last year as well, another “old gal” problem, using the remedy Calcarea fluorica. In that situation, she only received ONE drop as the first dose and within several hours, her arthritic movements began to improve and the opacity in her eyes was beginning to clear! I could scarcely believe my OWN eyes! I gave her one more drop a week later and another two weeks after that. She began running around like a kitten again the very next day and within a month her eyes appeared perfectly normal. I am not kidding. I know that sounds like either a lie or a miracle, but I have a few photos to prove it (ever tried to photograph a cat’s eye when they hate to have their picture taken under any circumstances?!?!)

    If all-natural methods appeal to you and you can find a V E T who uses homeopathy, that would be my first advice to you. There are also some online advice columns (free) sponsored by supply companies. The above procedure was what I had to do myself due to limited care options. For those who are interested in homeopathy, you will find that the remedies are “all-natural,” extremely inexpensive and can be used safely in conjunction with whatever treatment protocol is already in place.

    Best of luck to you all!

  4. I have not known any diabetic kittens personally, but have friends who have had cats develop the condition.

    I am wary of a number of homeopathic remedies – this is not a claim about them working or not, I’m wary of celery too. I have heard of people obtaining food or drink supplements and finding those worked. The wet food approach sounds sensible, as does the insulin.

    All these things probably have a place, other methods as well. I have no doubt that if you discuss the options with said cat, they will be able to offer excellent insights on which to use.

    And that is the main advice I can offer. Just like humans, cats respond best when treatment is combined with listening and tender loving care.

  5. This to jd. I do not disagree with you. I don’t even disagree with your wariness of homeopathic remedies. Caution is always wise. They should be used with respect, but need not induce fear IF you know what you are doing with them. I always tell people, “These are not M&Ms!” You DO need to know what you are doing despite the fact that they are “over the counter” because after all, anything whatsoever which has the power to work can also be misused. The remedies MUST be matched to the symptoms. For the greatest part, though, the remedies are quite safe and unlike conventional drugs, have no side effects. As with any workable scientific system, homeopathy does have rules. In this case, they were worked out via two hundred years of clinical experience during which the “experimentation” was done on the doctors themselves, not on lab rats!

    There is nothing in the world which pleases everybody. (smile) That’s why we have so many religions, for one thing, not to mention political points of view! For some individuals, homeopathy doesn’t present a practical option and for some, conventional meds don’t (I’m one of those). I appreciate your gentle remarks as you shared your opinion. (Fankeez 4 playin nyse!)

    I agree with you that kitties will let you know what’s working and what isn’t. I wasn’t going to take up the space to say this earlier, but it seems to be appropriate now. The first evening after Serena had her first dose of the cataract remedy, she RAN the length of the room, FLUNG herself on me and KISSED my lips, something she had never, ever done before in her entire life!!! (I suppose she finks peeplol breff am stinkee!) She had gradually limited all her physical activities prior to that so slowly that I hadn’t noticed it, but she no longer ran, hopped onto the furniture, nor located tidbits I set out for her except by smell. All this was so gradual I didn’t notice it myself. In fact, it was only when somebody pointed the cataracts out to me and then held her just right (she’s not very cooperative) so that I could look at her eyes from the side, that I could see the opacities in her corneas for the first time! News to me! But they are now GONE and no further treatment has been necessary!

    Homeopathy does sometimes work like that, and sometimes even that fast. Within limits, what the body can do, it can undo.

    I don’t wish to offend by tying up this venue with what may be perceived as too much of “one person’s opinion,” so if anybody wishes to talk with me further, you may ask cweenmj for my address. (nuff sed 4 naow)

  6. Angel is diabetic, and we’re having pretty decent results with her being on an all-wet-food diet plus insulin shots, and we check her blood glucose levels periodically to make sure she’s getting the correct dosage of insulin.
    Different cats, of course, have different tolerances, but Angel is actually better about the diet change and the twice-daily injections (the syringes we use are extremely fine ones, which may help) and even the periodic days of doing 3 to 4 blood tests 4 hours apart to get a curve( and make sure she’s staying stable) than she is about being brushed. Of course, she gets treats after each injection or test, which helps. It also helps when I stay calm and practical about it – we learned fast, if I’m having an off day with high anxiety, don’t even try to get glucose readings, it just upsets her.
    All in all, there’s an adjustment period on both sides, but there’s no inherent reason why a diabetic cat shouldn’t be able to have a perfectly good quality of life. Diabetes obviously doesn’t have a cure, but it can be treated and controlled quite successfully.

  7. I love jd’s last paragraph: “And that is the main advice I can offer. Just like humans, cats respond best when treatment is combined with listening and tender loving care.” Prysma’s advice to stay calm and practical is also excellent. Before giving Smudge any injections or tests, hubcat and I always took a deep breath and said “we’re doing this out of love.”

    Benni, you expressed concern about Piering’s quality of life. I worried about that with Smudge, but once we got his BG levels within normal range he was fine.

  8. My cat Buddy was diagnosed with diabetes in the late 90’s when he was already a senior gentleman. He was very patient with me as I learned to give him his insulin twice a day and back then I took him to the vet to have his blood glucose readings done. I always started by petting him before I gave him his insulin until he had his deep rumbling purr going and telling him that I loved him. Giving a cat insulin is very easy. Buddy knew that what I was doing was helping him and I could tell he felt better with the insulin injections.

    I remember watching Buddy’s behavior closely. If his eating, drinking or litterbox habits changed dramatically or if he wasn’t being active like his normal routine or the day he staggered around the room like a drunken sailor and vomitted, I knew he needed to go to the vet right away to have his blood glucose checked. There are ways to tell with cats if their blood glucose is too high or too low by observing their behavior or the cat may let the owner know by displaying a change in their behavior that they are not feeling well. Having a good relationship with your cat and your vet is helpful in regulating a cat’s diabetes.

    I would not worry about a cat’s quality of life if it has been diagnosed with diabetes. As with humans, diabetes is not typically a death sentence and it can be managed well with proper care. I am wishing for Piering’s diabetes to stabilize so that he can feel better with his treatments.

  9. Ohai everyone. Thank you all so so much for the really helpful advice, we appreciate it!

    Piering is definitely doing better, but there are still a few small things that throw little spanners in the works…

    Since he’s an office cat, we now have to separate him from the others with feeding (he’s also been put on a special diet) and he has to go home with my boss over weekends to keep the injections & monitoring constant. These seem to throw him a bit, which is understandable but still a bit stressful to everyone, especially Piering.

    Again, thank you everyone! Will keep you posted some more on how this plays out.


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