About a week and a half ago, I noticed that Barnes (one of our two older cats) was thinner than he used to be--so much so that I felt his bones when I gave him the sort of back scratching that he loves so much.

Both he and his brother (Noble) are about 10 years old and have nearly always been on the heavy site. And, of course, don't get to a vet regularly because they utterly detest cat trips.

Barnes and Noble

Last Thursday we realized that it wasn't getting any better and took him over to the vet (Kirkwood Animal Hospital and Dr. Ueno) to see what was going on. Some on-line reading led me to believe that it was likely a case of Hyperthyroidism, which I'd heard of and thought was somewhat common in aging cats.

However, the doctor called back on Friday morning to tell me that Barnes was diabetic. :-( Not only did that mean another trip to the vet and a 6-8 hour stay for glucose testing, it also likely meant insulin shots for the rest of his hopefully long life.

It wasn't long before I found the FelineDiabetes.com web site and began reading about what this was likely to mean: dietary changes, closer monitoring, daily shots, and so on.

To make a long story short, Barnes is doing better now. He and the other three cats are adjusting to eating a low-carb cat food (Purina DM). I have an appointment for his brother Noble to get checked out next week. If he's headed down the same path, a distinct possibility given the role that genetics can play, we'd like to catch it ASAP.

The food is more expensive and the insulin shots aren't nearly as bad as I expected. But I really wish this hadn't happened. Diabetes puts him at risk for other complications down the road--just like in humans.

What you need to know...

If you're a cat owner, here are a few suggestions from our experience:

  1. Feed your cats a good diet--onc they were designed to eat. That means avoiding the cheap foods and excessive snacking.
  2. Help them get lots of exercise. Use cat toys, catnip, a laser pointer, whatever works for them.
  3. Keep your cats indoors--they'll live much longer lives.
  4. Get you cats to the vet yearly. Eventually they'll get used to it. And even if they don't, it's for their own good.

Oh, I just dug up some of the pictures I took of Barnes and Noble back in 1999 when I first adopted them. There were about 3-6 months old at the time.

Just to lighten things up a bit, if you haven't already seen it, check out An Engineer's Guide to Cats.

There's probably a lot more I could say about this but will save it for another time. I'm sure we have much to learn yet. Now I'm off to get an injection ready.

Posted by jzawodn at August 03, 2008 08:23 AM

Reader Comments
# Dom said:

"Keep your cats indoors--they'll live much longer lives."

That's really bad advice. You may as well say "keep your children in a cage".

on August 3, 2008 09:25 AM
# Darren said:

Sorry to hear about your feline mishaps. I, too, was going to raise the question of keeping your cats indoors. I'm sure they will live longer, but what about their quality of life. Surely an outdoor life is a richer one?

on August 3, 2008 10:30 AM
# Joe Zawodny said:

You may recall that my cat, Vader, had the Hyperthyroidism and that we opted to do the RadioCat treatment. That was followed by a couple of years of daily fluid IV after which he died. At that time I vowed that unloved cats and kittens are free just about everywhere you look and would not do anything heroic like that again. Since then, we've picked up new cats and one of them, Squirmy, has developed a growth in his throat. The short version of the story is that the vet tried to remove it without authorization, could not get it all, and charged us for all this anyway. If they could have gotten a hold of me I would have just put him down right then and there. I've managed to stay out of the decision loop and he has had the growth removed one more time (you really can't kill your daughter's cat at Christmas time). The fix seems to work for 9 months or so and he is quite happy after he stops being all hissy-pissy with his brothers upon return from the vet. We have decided that there will be no more operations though.

I guess my point is that just because you can, it does not follow that you should. Our pets receive better care than most humans do in several parts of the world. I guess the vets can't make enough money off of them though even if they were allowed to treat them.

I know it is a tough choice either way and wish you all the best in dealing with this.

on August 3, 2008 10:33 AM
# Nathan Schrenk said:

When my thirteen-year-old cat developed diabetes a number of years ago, I was worried about the twice-a-day insulin injections. It turned out to not be a problem at all once we had figured out the correct dosage for him, with our vet's help, of course.

My wife and I controlled the cat's food intake much more carefully after he became insulin-dependent and we just injected the insulin into his scruff while he was busy eating. Those insulin needles are tiny, and once he was used to us grabbing his scruff while he was eating I don't think he even felt the injections. The cost of the insulin and needles wasn't too high -- maybe $50/mo, and each shot took maybe 1 minute of our time. I wouldn't call it "heroic".

Our cat lived more than 3 happy years after he became insulin dependent, and ultimately died of pancreatic cancer.

on August 3, 2008 10:55 AM
# Jeff said:

My favorite cat, Alex, was diabetic. Some tips from our experience: 1) Do home glucose testing. Alex didn't mind at all and it sure beat going to the vet. The vet will still need to do curves to choose the right insulin regime. 2) Use wet (canned) prescription food. Canned food has less carbohydrate in it, the cats can use the extra moisture, and it tends to be a more precise dose, which is how to think of food for a diabetic. We couldn't get Alex regulated until we switched to canned.

Alex lived a good many years after his diagnosis - to the ripe old age of 15. The extra care was indeed a switch from his younger days but he actually enjoyed the attention of daily testing and shots and was a happy and healthy guy.

Good luck to you and Barnes.

on August 3, 2008 11:38 AM
# Ken Kennedy said:

Thanks for the update, Jeremy. I've been following Barnes' progress this week on FF; I'm glad you found the issue, and I hope he lives happily and healthily for many more years.

on August 3, 2008 12:07 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Dom:

What makes you say that? It's completely opposite of all the advice I've heard from vets and others who work with cats daily.

on August 3, 2008 12:33 PM
# Alex Howells said:

Jeremy: I'm a country bumpkin and we've had cats since I was a very young age, giving them the choice to go outside or stay indoors imparts freedom and cats are *much* more individual creatures than dogs who'll follow you around. Letting them go outside to stalk birds, hunt field mice and climb trees to sunbath on thick boughs makes their lives much more fulfilled than being cooped up in a big farmhouse.

Whilst your situation may be different and there may not be many field mice around, there is a world of excitement and variety outside for your doubtless highly intelligent feline. Keeping him inside would be like me saying sternly, "Only MS-SQL for you. That MySQL stuff is for 'outside' developers and database administrators". :P

I don't claim to know better than a vet. I don't work with cats daily, we've just always owned them and I doubt you'll find many country vets saying to keep them indoors or do something a 'lil crazy like declaw them.

on August 3, 2008 04:33 PM
# Michael Clark said:

If you live in a non-rural area, cats should be kept indoors. Otherwise they'll probably end up in an unfortunate meeting with a motor vehicle.

And some people's kids should be kept in cages. :)

on August 3, 2008 05:33 PM
# Christian said:

I feel for you. We have two rescue cats who are FIV+. They are required to be indoor only no matter how much they whine at the screen door. We monitor them for illness and infections and thankfully the vet is just down the road. It's not easy and we know we won't have them on this earth as long as we would like, but they are worth every day we can spend with them.

Kudos to you for stepping up and may Barnes have many more years.

on August 3, 2008 06:14 PM
# Ask Bjrn Hansen said:

[ Keeping your cats indoor ]
Dom said: "That's really bad advice. You may as well say "keep your children in a cage"."

Hah - you must not live in a place with roads or coyotes.

I'm surprised noone mentioned raw food. Jeremy's cats are probably too old to risk that, but homemade food at least ...

- ask

on August 3, 2008 10:48 PM
# Chris Rikli said:

Jeremy, I'm pretty sure Dom doesn't know what he was talking about; I grew up with outdoor cats, none of whom lived very long (4-5 years, max).

On the upside, I did develop emotional toughness. I found one kitten headless. Another drowned and froze solid in lake ice. My dad backed over another one. Someone shot yet another innocent pet.

My list of horrific outdoor kitty deaths is almost endless. :)

on August 4, 2008 06:46 AM
# Seth said:

Our older male cat, Desmond (11), was diagnosed with diabetes over 4 years ago and get shots twice daily and diabetic food.

He's still quite healthy and active despite a scare like yours where we nearly waited too long to take him in to be diagnosed.

on August 4, 2008 08:03 AM
# kaxxina said:

I just found out my 11-year-old cat is diabetic. My vet gave me a prescription for Glipizide to give her... Does anyone have any experience with this medicine?

on August 4, 2008 11:57 AM
# Amit Patel said:

I know that outdoor cats, on average, live far shorter lives than indoor cats. But my cat loves being outdoors so much that we decided that we'd rather have him live a rich but short life outdoors than a long life indoors. I don't think this decision is the right thing for everyone. There's a tradeoff that everyone has to make, and we looked at our cat's behavior and mood to decide. He's been exercising a lot more and no longer overweight. We also have fewer mice in the yard now ;) It does seem that older cats can get all sorts of things like leukemia and diabetes, and I worry about what will happen to him as he ages, so he goes to the vet several times a year for checkups.

on August 4, 2008 05:06 PM
# Bill Kramer said:

Hey Jeremy, This is Bill from way back in the good old St. Pat's days...been following your blog for some time now and thought I'd add my 2 cents on the diet options.

We have a cat and a dog and I've moved both of them over to a better diet after doing some extensive research on food ingredients. For years I fed my dogs Nutro products, and back then it was a decent food, that is before it was bought out last year by Mars and is now going the way Eukanuba did years ago. I started researching for low-carb no grain foods for both our pets and decided on Innova EVO as the food of choice for both.

Our cat (Ozzie, after Chris Osgood #30, Red Wings) is eating this as his dry food in his diet. We had been feeding Science Diet and Nutro Max Cat before. We also supplement this with Avoderm Select Cuts canned food (which looks alot like OUR food). Both of these have excellent ingredients.

Our dog (1 yr old St. Bernard, Buckeye after what else? OSU!) is on Innova EVO dry and supplementing with EVO canned. He was previously on Nutro Ultra until earlier this year. I have been creating a 50/50 mix of Innova EVO dry and Innova Large Breed Puppy since he turned one to lower the protein content down a bit but still be able to feed him a no grain diet. Once he turns 2 he will be strictly EVO dry.

You do not want any corn or corn / wheat gluten in the food, especially in the top four ingredients listed. Anything that is sold in grocery stores unfortunately is not a healthy food. Even the pet stores like Petco / Petsmart / Pet Supplies Plus mostly carry unhealth pet foods...although there are a couple decent brands they carry you just have to source them out.

Be careful with pet food recommendations from your vet. Most vets push Science Diet and some Purina...neither are the best choices when you compare them side by side to other brands readily available. I heard from one vet that the reason most push Science Diet is because Science Diet donates heavily to the veterinary programs in the universities and that they are marketed heavily to the vets to carry. IMO the better people to talk to about food and diets is reputable breeders as they typically are trying to produce the best out of their stock.

Innova is made by Natura Pet Food...they have several different lines depending on what you and your pet's needs are. California Natural is another excellent line of theirs and regardless of which line you choose, none contain corn or wheat products. Both of these can cause allergies to animals and as you know corn is not processed so it's just a filler in the lesser quality foods.

Other brands to look for are:
Avoderm
Canidae
Newman's Own
Natural Balance
Blue Buffalo (Petsmart)

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul believe it or not is another excellent brand.

I found a local feed store that was able to order me in the exact foods I wanted so I just order in bulk every other month. With a St. Bernard I do go through a bit more food than with just a couple cats, lol...

I hope all is going well with the move over to craigslist. I was suprised to read you jumped ship but can understand the excitement and prospects of a new opportunity when it falls in your lap. My fiance and I were out in San Fran last fall for the Intel Developer's Conference and really fell in love with the area...so much so that we are having a cliff wedding and getting married in the San Pedro area next valentine's day! She keeps telling me we should up and relocate to somewhere in CA...My brother lives in the Fresno area and they seem to be pretty happy out there.

Anyway's good luck with the cats...I about fell over when I saw the plastic bag pictures, ours was doing the EXACT same thing last nite with a Kroger's bag!

on August 5, 2008 01:51 PM
# Thomas said:

kaxxina,

I have been taking glipizide for years and am healthy, if not happy. Not sure about it's use in animals, but is a standard treatment for mild type-2 diabetes in humans.

On the subject of cats, my boy cat was an indoor/outdoor cat, and recently died at the age of 12 at the hands of a neighbor's dog. The dog was on a leash but got away from its owner. So sad. I didn't find out until a day later, after being up all night hunting for him with a flashlight, leaving messages with the local animal control, checking the streets for evidence, etc. A terrible way to lose a loved pet but I would do it again because he loved being out so much. He was a huge hunter and loved the chase.

on August 8, 2008 12:05 PM
# Bob Walsh said:

1. Feline diabetes is tricky but manageable. Just as humans do, you need to do blood sugar test just about daily. The ear is easiest.
2. Be forewarned, between the change in diet and the insulin shots, you run the risk of too-little sugar (diabetes coma).
3. We've had extremely good success combining conventional vet care with acupuncture/Chinese herbal treatment by a vet who is licensed in both in Sacramento, CA. Case in point, Sake is 21 (sic!), in excellent health despite being diagosed with both chronic renal failure and hyperthyroidism over a decade ago. I'm not sure where you reside, but email me and I'll see if I can get you a local referral.

on August 9, 2008 03:22 PM
# Robert B said:

Cats living indoors have an active, healthy lifestyle if you are a responsible cat owner. Cats going outside become a nuisance and a pain to other neighbors and people who don't want a "pet" bothering them.

In fact, most communities now have a no-tolerance policy for free roving cats.

Responsible cat owners train their cats to leash up, they enjoy it, and you can spend time with your cat and they get some sunshine.

My cat would come over when I jingled the leash and stand *still* as I attached it to her.

Responsibility. It is yours.

-- rob

on August 11, 2008 08:11 AM
# Megan said:

One of our cats---a stray that adopted us a couple years ago---was diagnosed about a month ago with diabetes. We've increased his insulin from one unit twice a day to four twice a day (the vet says the max for a cat his size, 12 pounds, is 8 units per day), and he's not getting any better. We've switched him and our other two cats (since they all eat out of each other's bowls) to diabetic cat food (Science Diet w/d dry and Purina D/M wet a few times a week), but he still is so dehydrated. He has a huge water cooler thing available to him all the time, but still, whenever we're home he wants to only drink out of the sink. We try to leave it running for him as much as possible, but we really can't afford a $100 water bill every month. He fills up an entire litter box every day by himself, too.

I don't know what we're going to do. We took him back to the vet yesterday for yet another glucose curve, and the vet told us he doesn't think he's going to respond to insulin and there's no point in us coming back every couple of weeks. In one month we've spent more than $1,000 on food, insulin, needles, tests and cat litter).

He doesn't act like he's in pain at all, just really thirsty. And, of course, he hates getting his shots. But I feel like it's not time to put him down yet. I just don't know what to do. :(

on August 20, 2008 10:40 AM
# Karen said:

Geez Megan - your story could be our story - we have a cat who is about 7 years old and we found out it was diabetic about 6 weeks and ago and our story is exactly the same as yours. We have tried two different insulins - different doses, food, etc. and she does not appear to be getting any better. She, too, is thirsty all the time, is ravenous and pees like crazy. We do not know what to do either. She does not appear to be in any discomfort but the cost is getting our of hand and my husband is getting tired of cleaning and refilling the litter box! Anyone have any ideas on what to do??

on August 30, 2008 06:00 PM
# sconnie said:

For Karen and Megan. Ditch the dry food it is too high in carbohydrates and dehydrating your cats which is why they are so thirsty and may even have caused the diabetes in the first place. Give your cats a low carb diet of wet or raw food cats are obligate carnivores they HAVE to eat meat and are not built for high carb cereal based foods. Chck out YourDiabeticCat.com
Best Wishes to you and your cats

on September 6, 2008 08:50 PM
# catrita said:

My 16-year-old diabetic cat has been on insulin for maybe 4 years, but we've had numerous incidents of shocky behavior that required vet interventions. All that we can deal with.

About 3 weeks ago we had to rush him to the vet after one of these incidents (he'd been throwing up his food and we didn't realize it) and now he has started peeing anywhere near his catbox, but only sometimes in it. We are spending so much time cleaning up pee. We've tried canine weewee pads, but sometimes he uses them and sometimes not. The vet tests were all normal after his glucose leveled out.

Does anyone have this problem and know what to do?

on September 12, 2008 02:50 AM
# catrita said:

I should have mentioned, we've tried changing the litter (Yesterday's News from TidyCatsScoop; ow we have one box with each.)

on September 12, 2008 03:08 AM
# Linda said:

Why is my 15 year old diabetic cat lying next to her water bowl with her head hanging in it? She just started do it a few days ago. I check her glucose twice a day to determine how much unsulin she needs, and I feed her grain-free Wellness canned food, and Evo, etc.

on September 13, 2008 07:11 AM
# Marlene Schwartz said:

My 9-yr-old cat, Toby, was just diagnosed with diabetes and is at the hospital for a couple of days til they get him stabilized and figure out the correct medication and dosage for him. My original reason for taking him in was excessive drinking, along with lots of "pee clumps" in his litter box.

I wanted to add a few more facts about letting a cat go outdoors. They are prone to lots of diseases and parasites due to the birds, mice, and insects they will eat outside. They will almost certainly get fleas every summer. Fleas are annoying when they bite, but some cats are allergic to flea bites. Also, fleas can give a cat tapeworms or ringworms. Outdoor cats can get into fights with other cats and also dogs, and they may be caught and mistreated or even killed by cat haters and mischievous boys. One of my cats got worms in his eyes (the larval stage of some flying insect). I keep my 2 boys inside, and they don't even try to get out when the door is open.

Indoor cats can watch other wildlife through a window or door. They can play, climb, and chase toys. You can grow kitty grass for them, and give them catnip for a little stimulation.

I would never let a cat outdoors.

on October 29, 2008 12:47 PM
# Megan said:

@Sconnie: We can't give him wet food all the time because we have two other cats. It's just too expensive to feed them only wet food, and also our vet told us that dry food is better for them. It keeps them from gaining too much weight, and wet food is bad for their teeth (they don't have to chew as hard so their jaw muscles and teeth break down eventually).

on December 30, 2008 10:50 AM
# Paula said:

My 6yr old cat was diagnosed w/diabetes two weeks ago. He's up to 4 units of insulin, twice a day, and is putting on a little weight (he was never overweight but was noticably getting thinner). The injections are no problem, but I don't see where anyone has mentioned what it may do to THEIR life. I'm single, live alone, and the cat is generally afraid of people unless he's known them for YEARS, so house sitters are out. All of a sudden my usual overnights, travel plans, etc. are cut off! Boarding him at the vet (for $29 a night!) is way too expensive (and w/vet visits, new food, supplies I'm already out $800.00!!).It also freaks the poor kitty out totally. I'm seriously thinking about euthanasia and feel sick to my stomach about it - I've had Max since he was born. Also, he's sort-of going through some personality changes and the other cats (his brother and his mother) don't treat him as well as they once did. I feel as if I'm in a no win situation. Comments would be much appreciated!

on February 5, 2009 06:17 PM
# Chris said:

Paula - I'm in a similar situation, but just starting. My cat was "formally" diagnosed yesterday. I've had her 11+ years and live an active life style with lots of weekend trips, etc. Does anyone have a diabetic cat and manage this? I love her, but won't give up my life to take care of her. I feel horribly guilty about it.

Any advice is appreciated! Help!!!

on March 20, 2009 11:29 AM
# Kathy said:

Our kitty Patchie was diagnosed with diabetes last November and he is only 11 yrs old. It was very expensive at first but it has seemed to level out. He is on Vetsulin insulin (a pork insulin) 2 times a day @ 5 units each. He still has high blood glucose so we bought an in home monitoring set so we would not have to run him in the vet each week. It has already paid for itelf. His blood sugar has been in the area of 400 for a few months now and the vet wants him 250 or below. He eats canned WD--was on canned DM and did not like it at all. The vet also had him on dry DM but I took him off of it because it contains too many carbs and corn. It is all in regulating the diet and the insulin and you just have to be really patient and give it some time. We have been at it for 6 months now and are not losing hope that he will one day be regulated. We take overnight trips but take him with us b/c he has to have his injections 2 timea a day and we don't have anyone that can do that for us. You just have to adjust your lifestyle if your pet means anything to you. I am here to see him thru this b/c this is the responsibility I took on as a pet owner. I am going to ck into some other canned foods online to see if it is something he can have also.

on May 28, 2009 06:20 PM
# mel said:

my cat was diagnosed with diabetes in may 2006. after a few months of the traditional treatment, she just seemed to get sicker & sicker. then, i happened across a tight regulation insulin protocol pioneered by dr. elizabeth hodgkins. i began the protocol, which consists of a low carb wet diet and a sliding scale where you dose based on the cat's blood sugar level, and in only 5 weeks she had her last shot of insulin. nearly 3 years later and she is still insulin-free. check out the protocol and support forum at www.diabeticcatcare.commy cat was diagnosed with diabetes in may 2006. after a few months of the traditional treatment, she just seemed to get sicker & sicker. then, i happened across a tight regulation insulin protocol pioneered by dr. elizabeth hodgkins. i began the protocol, which consists of a low carb wet diet and a sliding scale where you dose based on the cat's blood sugar level, and in only 5 weeks she had her last shot of insulin. nearly 3 years later and she is still insulin-free. check out the protocol and support forum at www.diabeticcatcare.com

on May 30, 2009 05:01 PM
# Becky said:

My 8 year old cat, Smokie, was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Unfortunately with our job situations, we cannot afford to give Smokie the care that he needs. I have changed up his food and he now only eats canned food (an all organic brand I get at PetSmart) and he still does not seem to be improving. We are very torn as to what to do. I have had him for 4 years and he is a very loving cat but I don't feel right that I can't give him the treatment he deserves. As long as it seems he is not in pain, we are going to try and stick to the change in diet and see how it works. He has stopped throwing up all the time and his diarrhea has stopped as well. The only thing I am afraid of is him starving. I feed him the reccommended 1 oz per pound of body weight but he is always begging for food. He wakes us up every morning crying because he is hungry. Is anyone else not going the insulin route and if so do you have any suggestions?

on June 10, 2009 11:32 AM
# mcd said:

Type your comment here.
Our 11 year old cat was diagnosed with diabetes in October 2008. He is one of 3 (all litter mates) indoor cats. He was boarder line, so the vet advised we try the oral medication route. He has a new wet and dry food, and takes his medicine twice daily. We take him back to the vet for all day blood testing once a month and for at least 3 months, his blood sugar has been really good. He still drinks a lot, though slightly less than before ( after watching him, we also determined that he likes to play in the water more than he actually drinks). He is a long and lean cat to begin with, but he has lost weight since his diagnosis. he feels bony. then we noticed wobbly back legs, little more weight loss, and general sluggishness, which was then attributed to a low potassium level on the last round of blood tests. We were to try potassium tablets for a week to see if there is any improvement. It has been 4 days, and he is still not himself. he was a cat who seemed to always want to be around us, but lately he will just pick a spot on the floor or jump onto a kitchen chair and just stay there. he doesn't seem to have the sparkle in his eyes. We just got over a bad case of fleas in all 3 of our indoor cats, which made all of them pretty miserable for a while. I don't understand how he can be hungry all of the time, drink more water than the other cats, but have a good blood sugar count. Is this a medication side effect? Has anyone else had similar problems?

on June 16, 2009 08:07 PM
# confused said:

Hello,

I'm curious to hear from people who decided the diabetes was too much -- for them and their cats.

My 13-year-old tabby was diagnosed in March and is only getting slightly better. I travel a lot and finding a catsitter who will also give insulin shots twice a day is almost impossible. I will likely have to put him in a cat kennel for two weeks, which I suspect will be traumatizing.

Since there is a chance of remission, I'm reluctant to make any decisions about euthanasia.

How long should I give this thing? I adore my cat, but honestly the expense and the change to my lifestyle is a lot.
On the other hand, he hardly seems sick and I think I would feel extremely guilty putting him down.

I am utterly confused and sad. Does anyone have any advice?

on July 6, 2009 08:49 PM
# Nat said:

My 9 year old cat was just diagnosed with diabetes. She is my second cat to be diabetic. With the first cat I spent tons of money on cat sitters - I'm single and go out of town for work and leisure on the weekends.

This time around, I'm going to post a flyer at my vet (and vets around town) to see if any other diabetic cat owners in my area would like to trade cat sitting each other's cats. For instance if I go out of town for a week, they watch my cat, and I owe them for when they want to go out of town.

It's free and you know that the person knows how to take care of a diabetic kitty! It's worth a shot.

As for putting your cats down, please don't! There are many organizations who take diabetic cats and give them to people who have the time and energy to care for them.

on July 11, 2009 06:25 PM
# Been there.. said:

Having a diabetic cat is a great responsibility. Our baby, well not a baby in the true sense (9 years old) was diagnosed with diabetes in August 2008. It was devastating as he is our life. We did not know what was in store for us, but never in my mind did I think anything other than I will do my best to give him all the love and care that I can. Of course your life will change, as you have to be there at 4am and at 4pm to give him his shots. It wreaks havoc if you miss amy of the shots. For me, my cat is not just a cat, he is a "human being". We have a very strong connection since we adopted him. For me, I had no doubt that I would do everything I could, because I adopted him at a time in my life when I was on the verge of no return, and he gave me that support and hope. He never asked to be sick and it may even be something I did - not the right food, etc. Euthanasia may be something we will all face at one time, but until that time I will do ALL I can to make his life worth living. He relies on me for his well-being and I promised him the day that I adopted him that I would just that - love him and look after him. Don't get me wrong - this illness is a rollercoaster of emotions - we have managed to regulate him and he is having a good quality life - but I feel for people who have not had it this easy. All I can say is persevere as there will be times wheh things look hopeless - but let me tell you CATS are awesome they are STRONG and so easy to love!!! Good luck to you who are taking this journey! if you think you cannot give him all he needs , then there are tough decisions you have to make...

on July 13, 2009 02:15 AM
# Linda said:

There are so many diabetic cats today it is like an epidemic. It all started with dry foods. Please read Kymethy Schultz book on raw food. Cats have incisors so they are supposed to tear raw food like mice or liver. Do lions bake dried crumbles in the bush or catch tuna? Do they cook there food. NO. This dry diet and too much sugar from grain or corn fillers and beets just fills up a cat but no nutrition or natural foods so they become ill. Most good pet store will carry wet organic and some raw meats. I use fruits and vegies canned food or blend lettuce and zucchini squash in the blender with a little H20. A few drops a day is good for them. I am a vegetarian so I thought a vegie cat would be good but no it isn't. We have no incisors so we are supposed to be primarily grain, fruit & vegie eaters. I found a powder for diabetic cats from wellness support network USA. I also found Vit C kelp and liquid B12 will help them. I gave my diabetic cat shots for 3 month and she was sicker and never the same. I am working the natural approach so we shall see. So far so good. Hope this helps.

on August 11, 2009 09:24 PM
# diabetes jokes, jokes about diabetes, diabetes humor, nurse jokes said:

nice review. very informative, thanks for sharing this to us and i hope you can post also about the diabetes humors. thanks and more power.

on September 28, 2009 10:30 PM
# Dimoz said:

To protect themselves from predators, animals naturally hide their pain. Your pet may be suffering even though he isn’t showing obvious signs. Advancements in veterinary knowledge have decoded subtle telltale signs of creature distress. Observing your pet’s behavior is vital to managing his or her pain. How well do you know your pet? Use these five clues from the American Creature Hospital Association (AAHA) to help you know your pet’s body language.

on December 16, 2009 10:07 AM
# said:

My 14 yr old male cat "Jade" has been diagnosed with diabetes, I still need to talk to the vet about it, but for him he has lost the muscle in his back legs, which I don't think takig insulin will fix. Reading all of these comments makes me think that I will definitely not afford to do all of the things required, but I will feel so guilty if I choose to euthanize him. Does anyone think diet change alone would help him?

on January 5, 2010 06:23 AM
# Heather said:

The Purina DM formula (and most formulas able for purchase at places like Target and Walmart) are HORRIBLE for pets! They have ingredients such as chicken by-products instead of actual chicken and most of the things in the food are fillers like corn and potatoes. I buy Taste of the Wild for my cats and it has almost as high of a protein amount as Purina DM and instead of costing fifty dollars, it only costs 25 for the same size bag. It's much better.

on January 19, 2010 07:27 PM
# Claire said:

Diabetes CAN be managed, check out diabeticcatcare.com for lots of advice on how to heal a diabetic cat. My 15 year old was diagnosed in October 2009 and after 6 weeks following the protocol he is in remission.
Look into Methylcobalamin B-12 ( Xobaline ) which can completely reverse neuropathy and weakness in back legs

on February 1, 2010 05:55 AM
# LINDAJEAN said:

TIP FOR THE DAY.....
DONT GIVE UP ON YOUR LOVED CAT WITH DIABETES, YOU WOULDNT
OR COULDNT IF IT WERE A CHILD!!!!

FOR THE CATS THAT ARE STILL URINATING ALOT AND THE LITTER
BOX IS TOO SMALL AND FLOODED, I HAVE THE SOLUTION.

GO TO TRACTOR SUPPLY AND BUY THE 50GAL RUBBER OVAL FEEDED
FOR LIVESTOCK. USE AN ENTIRE BAG OF LITTER AND YOU WILL BT
THRILLED AS I AM. NO PEE ON THE FLOOR, NO TIPPING, AND NOT
MUCH LITTER ON THE FLOOR CAUSE ITS DEEP..

HANG IN EVERYONE AND LOVE YOUR PET AS THEY LOVE YOU!!
WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY..

on March 11, 2010 09:00 AM
# Jody said:

My cat was diagnosed 2 months ago with diabetes. We give him insulin shots two times a day and have been feeding him special prescription cat food. He doesn't seem to be getting any better. He has been urinating all over the house for months now. He doesn't want to use his litter box anymore, even when we change it every day. He seems to much prefer all of our area rugs. His urination is so frequent that every time I turn around I'm soaking my socks in a wet spot on the carpet. I am CONSTANTLY cleaning the carpets (I have spent a small fortune on cleaners, new rugs, steam vac, etc.). Both my husband and I work full time and we have an 8 month old, so we are extremely busy. It breaks my heart watching my son learn how to crawl on a rug that smells of urine and smelly cleaners. I cannot and will not have anyone over to my house anymore because it reeks of urine. I love my cat of 13 years that I pulled from the city streets when he was a stray kitten. But the longer this goes on, and the more tears I shed, the more I feel like I need to put him down. I feel horrible, but I don't know what to do anymore. Nothing seems to be working.

on May 8, 2010 11:43 AM
# Michelle said:

My 6 year old cat was diagnosed with diabetes in January of this year. We seemed to get him stable pretty quickly but then he had a hypoglycemic seizure in March which scared me half to death! We started home blood testing before each insulin injection after that and switched his food to a brand with high meat content and no cereals and he seems to be doing well.
Mine are indoor cats because my other cat has FIV and could infect other cats, especially as he is a fighter! As long as you provide them with plenty to play with and lots of attention they can still have an exciting life.

on June 1, 2010 01:53 PM
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