Working in the animal field we all have a tendency to bring home all the “special” animals who need extra attention, whether it be medical or behavioural in order to give them a second chance at life. My foster boy Buddy is one of those special cases.
Our wonderful staff at Coxwell Animal Clinic took in Buddy and his brother after he was relinquished to our clinic due to inappropriate urination and the fact that he was getting “old”. After an examination, diagnostic blood and urine tests we found out that he was actually diabetic, which more than likely was the cause of his urinating habits. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels cause an increase in drinking and therefore more urine output. For some, the diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming and seem unmanageable. However, it is easier to manage than you may think.
Welcome to the “diabetic club” as I like to say to our clients whose pets get the same scary diagnosis. Buddy is my third diabetic cat, and it seems like an excellent fit for our family. Since having to say goodbye to our last foster diabetic kitty, we had room in our home and hearts to love a new fur baby in need. He’s the sweetest thing, and the extra management to his care doesn’t phase me in the slightest.
Buddy is insulin dependent and requires a special high protein diet which helps regulate his sugar levels…so much so that he has been able to go off insulin on occasion. The unconditional love and affection he so eagerly gives our family far outweighs his need to medicate and monitor his blood glucose levels. I am able to do this with a pharmacy bought Glucometer that allows me to check his blood glucose or do a day curve at home, which helps keep down veterinary visits as he prefers not to leave his kingdom at home to go to the clinic. I am so very lucky to have Mr. Buddy in our lives and treasure every day we have with him helping to live out his days like a king.
There are few things to take into consideration when caring for a cat with feline diabetes. You will need supplies: syringes, test strips for your glucometer, insulin, and so on. A diabetic cat needs to be fed regularly — even if you’re going away for just an overnight trip, you need to make arrangements for your cat to be fed and monitored appropriately. For most people, that means hiring a cat sitter. Make sure that sitter is comfortable with managing diabetes in cats and knows how to home test and administer insulin as well.
Like diabetic humans, cats with feline diabetes need to have their blood glucose tested regularly. You can do this at home with a standard glucometer and testing strips that you can buy in a drugstore. Record your cat’s blood glucose level, along with the date and time, after each test. The small vein running around the edge of the ear is the easiest location to get a blood sample for the test. Your veterinary team can tell you how often you should test your cat as well as provide you with a demonstration to ensure you are confident and comfortable.
If your diabetic cat needs insulin, you will need to administer it by injection, underneath the skin. The good news is that cats have a lot of loose skin between and around their shoulders, and this is a great location for giving injections.
So, if your kitty has been diagnosed with diabetes …take a deep breath and relax; we’re here to help you. Cat diabetes is a treatable, manageable condition. You can maintain your sanity and your cat’s health, all on a reasonable budget. Our Veterinarians and staff are always here to help and guide you in understanding how to care for your pet.
It can be overwhelming but take it from my personal experience of having cared for 3 diabetic fur babies, it is quite manageable and definitely worth the time and effort in trade for the unconditional love and affection these little souls have to offer.
Sending much love from Buddy and our family xoxo
Written by: Rosey Webster, Client Care Representative