Diabetic Cat?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Have any of you ever had a diabetic cat? Captain Morgan was diagnosed about a month ago. He had started to drink out of the bathtub and even to go demand that we turn it on for him. I noticed he would spend a long time drinking, so I started timing him. He spent over 10 min at a time drinking, when we timed it shortly after it started!!

    Giving him his insulin isn't a problem. He doesn't even care about the shot. Not even a tiny flinch or muscle twitch most of the time.

    The big problem is his hunger. The package says to give him 1/2 cup a day. The vet says he needs to eat every 12 hours, which isn't a problem. We are now up to a full 3/4 cup per feeding, per the vet's instructions. About 8-10 hours after he eats, he is STARVING. My cat who hates people food is scavenging any crumb he can find off the kitchen floor. He will lead us to his food and just cry for more. Or yell in the middle of the night and lead you to his food bowl. It is really upsetting. I didn't adopt a cat to starve it. We tried mixing his old food back in, but he would just pick out the new food and leave the rest.

    If this latest food increase (from 1/2 c to 3/4 c per feeding) doesn't fix this, I am going to insist on a small meal and insulin dose midway through the day. Unless any of you have advice?

    His water intake has cut down drastically since he was put on insulin, but he still insists on drinking out of the faucet in the tub. He doesn't even drink for a full minute most of the time.

    FYI, if you take prescription medications, check the prices at all the pharmacies in your area. The cat takes the same insulin that people do. It is $25 at Walmart, $137 at our regular pharmacy and $258 at another pharmacy in our town!!! I stick with our reg pharmacy for our insurance covered medications because the price is the same and they are more reliable and convenient. But for the cat? I go to Walmart. They are also under $3 for his needles where the other pharmacies are $16 and $33 respectively!!
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  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    My first dog, a Yorkie named Max who I adored, came down with diabetes at age 9. We noticed water (pee) in the dining room near the plants (on our wood floor) and at first thought we'd over-watered the plants! The drinking too was huge.

    We did shots 2x per day for six months. He did not have an extreme hunger or thirst after that. Could it be kitty needs time to adjust to insulin or they need to regulate it?

    Sadly at six months he went blind. He was still happy. We had a very large unfenced yard so we built a fenced area off the garage for him (and our other dog) so we knew he could do his business and be safe. He never got used to doing his potty outside. We tried everything. He would come into our brand new house and potty and it got to be too much so we had to put him down. It was heartbreaking for us. It was my husband's decision because he saw me coming home from work steam cleaning carpets every day. It was too much.

    I have heard other people say that cats have done very well being diabetic on medications so good luck and I hope that kitty does better!
  3. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Susie, my mom has a diabetic cat. She’s managed to keep him stabilized with strict feeding and medication for more than three years now. Once you get the balance of food and insulin right the excess hunger and thirst issues should stabilize. Maintaining an animal with a chronic condition takes commitment, but it is doable! Best to you and your baby.
  4. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    How do you come to know a cat is diabetic? Just the extreme water intake?
    out 8 year old is a heavy drinker but I wouldn't say extreme. She is also fussy about her water. It has to be cold and moving. we bought her a fountain and I put a big chunk of ice in it 2x/day. She loves to drink out of the bathroom faucet and has figured out how to turn it on BUT she doesn't always turn it off...kids!
  5. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    They can do blood tests just like with people. Increased water intake can also indicate kidney disease, which can also be managed with medications and diet. I recommend a complete blood panel if it’s doable.

    Stellaluna had a fountain that she loved...
  6. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I am ROFLOL!! pick her up and take her to vet???? nope. I value my skin. She loves to lay next to me on the the couch BUT pick her up and put her in the cat carrier?? Not on her life :) She hasn't been out of this house since she came home after being spade. I am amazed that she actually likes the kitten.
  7. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Ha! We have one like this. Lily will sit on your lap and purr and then turn around and threaten to take your face off if you move the wrong way! ;) But I CAN get her into a carrier. I have to wrap her up right in a towel like a burrito with just her head sticking out, hold the carrier on its side between my knees, and drop her in and slam the door before she can get out of the towel. It’s a process and it took us a few tries to perfect it. She never gives me any trouble getting back in the carrier at the vet because she knows she’s going home. She did bite the vet last time, though.

    I took four cats to the vet at once last year and by the time I rounded them all up I had been clawed down the arm once and peed on twice. My vet knows when I show up I’ve been through the wars!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The vet has to do bloodwork to diagnose diabetes. We took Captain in because we noticed how long he was drinking each day. Plus he turned his litter box into concrete each day. It wasn't scoopable because there was so much pee in it. We didn't really notice how much he was eating because we just kept a bowl out each day with his food.

    Until his bloodwork is just right, we have to take him in for bloodwork every 3 weeks or so. The amount he eats is decided by the vet and he ONLY gets that to eat. My poor hubby feels deprived because he cannot give the cat treats. I have laid the law down about zero treats or people food because that is what is best for the cat. Hubby can just deal with the feelings of deprivation.

    Captain is just so hungry a couple of hours before we can feed him. It is really hard to see your cat truly feel hungry and not be able to fix it. He isn't able to eat the larger serving that the doctor prescribed just after Christmas. It is simply too much food to eat at one time. But he is so hungry before his next meal and that is our problem/dilemma.

    Yes, the shots are a PITA, but the cat doesn't fight. Or seem bothered. I explained to him what they were for, and that they would help him feel better, the first few times I gave them. He seems to accept that they help. Less time drinking means more time monopolizing my daughter's heating pad. That seems to be Captain's opinion. (He got into a snit yesterday when J wanted to use her own heating pad. She gave in and let the cat have it. I guess that means it is no longer hers, lol!)

    We have all become trained in giving the shots, and we work together amazingly well to "shoot the cat" as we call it. Youngest son started calling it that, and it became the term. So when one of us starts to wonder if the cat has been dealt with, someone will say that they "shot the cat". It made my mother look at us real hard when she heard it.

    As far as getting Captain to the vet, he doesn't seem bothered about going, but he hates being there. He growls and mutters complaints, but he doesn't scratch or bite. So far.

    I think we may have to add a 3rd feeding and shot to keep Captain comfortable. The doctor is resisting it, but agrees that he shouldn't feel hungry for a couple of hours each day.

    Anyway, thanks for all your good wishes. It is amazing to me how many diabetic animals we are finding.
  9. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I googled diabetic cats. WOW! who knew! 1 in 230 cats are diabetic!
    I have kept an eye on Lady. To me it just seems like she is a heavy drinker but there aren't excessive litter clumps. She isn't an excessive eater, she plays, she doesn't eat cat treats. She does love a little piece of turkey, but if I offer it and she isn't hungry she just walks away. She does seem to have arthritis in the right hip, after a nap she limps, favors that hip for a few minutes.
  10. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    How old is Lady? Kidney disease is very common in cats and can also cause increased water intake.
  11. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    She's 8. She has always been what I would call a heavy drinker. Maybe it just seems that way becasue she always drinks when I am in the bathroom, she likes cold water out of the tap. She isn't fat, or a heavy eater and the food bowl is always available. He won't eat treats or moist food. She loves to sit by me and have a little turkey breast at lunch time. She likes to play and has plenty of energy. I will keep an eye on her though, I think it is good to know the baseline of how much any of them drink or eat to notice is there is a remarked increase of decrease.