Diabetic Cats and Humans

Recently, there has been a situation that I learned of which made me think that many humans do not know what it means to take care of a diabetic cat like me.  I post stories of diabetic cats who Diabetic Cats in Need is helping.  By the way, you should vote for them so that they can win $1,500 in credit at the Helping Hands clinic in Richmond, Virginia. Diabetic Cats in Need Logo

I have said that caring for a diabetic cat requires some work and some resources.  And I want all of my fellow sugar cats to find homes.  But it has to be the right home.  Putting a diabetic cat in a home where the humans cannot properly care of them doesn’t do the cat or the humans any good.

So I wanted to let you know what it means to be the two legged caretaker of a diabetic cat.

First, you will need to commit to giving us insulin and testing our blood sugar.  The insulin will typically be given twice a day, 12 hours apart.  And blood sugar testing should be done at least twice a day.  You need to get a blood test before the shots in both the morning and evening.  It’s helpful if you get more tests, so that you know what is going on with our blood sugar during the day.  But getting a blood sugar reading before our injections is a minimum requirement.

Second, you will likely have to change our diet.  We won’t be able to eat the cheap dry food, as it’s full of fillers and carbohydrates.  At the very least, you will need to give us a grain free, high protein dry food.  And wet food is better.  This may mean you need to spend more money on our food..

Insulin for diabetic catsFinally, there’s the money issue.  At Costco, my human has to pay around $130 for the insulin he injects me with.  It will last for about three months.  Then there are the syringes, which run around $12 for 100 at American Diabetes Wholesale.  And you’ve got to pay for the meter and testing strips.  The meters aren’t that expensive, and the testing strips will run about $30 for 100 strips if you buy them in bulk.

And then there are the veterinarian visits.  If you need to go to a specialist, plan on spending $500.  That’s in addition to the normal vet visits that you should do on an annual basis.

All told, I would say that humans who adopt a diabetic cat need to budget $1,500 to $2,000 on top of what cats normally cost.  So instead of budgeting $500 to $1,000 for a cat, you need to be ready to spend $2,000 to $3,000.

If this is not a financial commitment you can undertake, then do not adopt a diabetic cat.  It does neither the cat nor the human any good.

But if you can afford to spend this, then diabetic cats like me make wonderful and loving pets who will make you very happy you brought them into your home.

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4 Replies to “Diabetic Cats and Humans”

  1. Can you use the testing device on a cat that you do on a human? I ,ve become diabetic and was checking out supplies at Target yesterday. I learned there are different gauge lancets. might make testing a little easier.

  2. Have you tried the tight regulation method to get off insulin? Vets who have info about that say it’s important to try, and it’s extremely important for newly diagnosed diabetic cats to try as the pancreas has the best chance of recovery then. Not very many vets know how to do it, or they recommend food that’s still too high in carbohydrates/calories so it doesn’t work. Some vets also don’t understand how being overweight affects feline diabetes and they don’t know how to do non prescription weight loss.

    One of the reasons my family agreed to accept a sick, rescued cat who was going to be put down, was because it sounded like he was diabetic and I knew that was normally “curable”. That turned out to be the case, so he has his health back and we don’t need to give him insulin, just monitor his glucose levels and weight weekly, which we do at home.

    I thank Dr. Pierson for her non-commercial website, Catinfo.org, (www.Catinfo.org) for giving my family info and links to info that has helped prevent and treat diabetes, obesity, and urinary tract diseases in our feline family members.

    1. My human is using many of the tight regulation protocols, but not all of them. Jacey and I like our crunchies and we need to have something that we can nibble on throughout the day when our human is away, so our human has not completely eliminated dry food like that protocol requires. But he has cut the amount of dry food that we get, and has switched to a grain free dry food. That seems to help.

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