Feline diabetes is one of the leading causes of death for cats. This article gives some help for cat owners who can’t afford the expensive costs of treating a diabetic cat.
Followers of my Instagram page know that my cat, Fat Boy, just passed away from feline diabetes. According to WebMD, diabetes in cats can lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, severe depressions, motor function issues, coma, and death.
Please note that I am not a veterinarian, and this is not medical advice.
Help for Diabetes in Cats
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Here is my Fat Boy, modeling his Black-Eyed Susan headband.
What About Hyperthyroidism in Cats?
Hyperthyroidism has similar symptoms, and a simple veterinary test will be able to tell the difference. Make sure you are dealing with the correct disease!
Testing Blood Sugar Levels
One of the most important aspects of getting feline diabetes under control is to regularly test your kitty’s blood sugar glucose levels. I recommend buying a kitty glucose monitor because it really saves money in the long haul. This one here is the cheapest monitor that I found, and it comes with all that you need to start.
We used to pay $25 a visit to the vet to have him test Fat Boy’s levels – and this was cheap in comparison to most vets!
You test kitty by poking a vein in the ear (right along the edge). However, Fat Boy was such a good cat that I could just poke the pads of his paws. He didn’t even flinch because the needles were so thin and little.
If you use the paw method, though, you will need to set it to the maximum “poke” (the largest amount to go into the paw.
Diabetic Cat Food
In my opinion, diabetic cat food was probably the number one cost for us, and that’s including vet visits, insulin, and the glucose monitor! At $50 a bag, that’s not exactly a price I can handle.
We learned that you needed to cut down on the grains and feed your cat protein-rich food.
We started off with feeding kitty just plain, boneless chicken breast meat. But he still had problems, even though it was all protein.
Since we had issues with keeping up with the cost of cat food, our vet recommended to us Fancy Feast wet food. We found out that the Fancy Feast flaked food (as opposed to gravy) was really good!
Make sure to feed your cat in regular cycles – meaning, don’t overfeed him. If he’s a big boy, like Fat Boy was, then you will need to be steadfast. This is for his health!
Last, but not least is the cost of insulin and the needles. For this, go to Walmart. Yes, Walmart! They sell generic insulin for $20, which will last kitty a while depending on how much you give your cat.
This is what Fat Boy thought about getting an insulin shot. (We don’t write about my kitties too often because, well, I am a dog and this is my web site.)
You no longer need a prescription to buy insulin.
Just make sure to use your insulin wisely. Start with the lowest dosage (according to the needles) and gradually increase the amount. Cats can be hypoglycemic, too, and die of shock for having not enough insulin!
Fat Boy went into shock a couple of times, usually when we changed his food. So be sure to be vigilant in watching your cat. Lethargy and peeing on himself are two big signs.
If you are faced with a situation like that, the answer is simple. Buy a bottle of maple syrup or Karo syrup. Then, use your fingers to massage the syrup into his gums. (He’ll be so lethargic that you shouldn’t have any issues.)
I hope that this article was helpful to everyone who has a cat with feline diabetes.
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