Diabetes in Cats

November is diabetes awareness month so I thought I'd write a blog about diabetes in cats. Like humans, cats can manage having diabetes and live a normal life.

Diabetic Cat

I knew cats could have diabetes, but I only experienced it from last year when a new customer contacted me about her diabetic cat. I said that I hadn’t experienced it personally so offered two free meetings so I could make sure I knew how to give the insulin. The owner talked me through it and watched me on both occasions.

I’m very careful about mixing the insulin gently, and then checking several times that I have the correct amount.

With giving the injection, I pick him up and we go into the kitchen. I hold him still facing away from the door. (The one time I did it the other way, he took his chance to do a runner towards the living room.) I hold him still and then inject into the side of his neck. He has really thick fur so I have to separate his fur to find his skin.

The process of injecting has gotten easier overtime as he knows me and I know how he will react. Sometimes when he knows it is time, he runs away and hides under a seat. When I pick him up to carry him through, he starts to purr, and then sometimes he purrs until I’ve finished giving his injection. A treat is always ready for afterwards.

An important part is making sure he eats enough food first. Sometimes he is slow eating; plus he can be fussy with his food. As with all cats, there are several tricks to help him eat but it can be a worry.

Before each set of visits, I check that there haven’t been any changes. Also the owner lets me know when he has health checks. It’s always nice to hear how he is getting on. In all honesty, I think I have been lucky meeting this cat. He is a big softy and is talkative - he nearly always meows hello when I go in. He purrs with the slightest bit of happiness and on a good purr, he will dribble. He always lets me know what he wants to do, whether play or have a cuddle. If he wants a lap, he will sit and meow near the sofa.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am very squeamish and have a needle phobia. So originally, this was quite a worrying prospect for me. Now, I don’t get worried about it and concentrate on getting it done quickly and comfortably. Although I’m still scared of needles if they come near me.

What are the Signs of Diabetes in Cats?

Well, the signs are the same as they are in humans:

Increased drinking

Increased urination

Increased tiredness

Increased hunger

For more information see The Blue Cross.

If you are concerned about your cat's health in anyway, the first stop should be your vets. They will check the animal over and will be able to do further investigation if necessary.