Things You Need to Know

Things that appear to be true for feline diabetes and some bits and bobs you might find useful when treating your diabetic cat.

  • Diabetes is NOT a death sentence!
  • Some cats are notoriously difficult to regulate. Some won’t regulate at all. Don’t be discouraged if it takes months for your cat to regulate. Be patient.
  • The blood sugar range for a non-diabetic cat is about 4 - 8. You’ll want to keep your diabetic below about 12 - 15 if possible. (In other words, as close to the non-diabetic range as possible without risking hypoglycaemia)
  • Cats seem to cope incredibly well with high blood sugar - more so than humans or dogs.
  • Cats break all the “rules” when it comes to diabetes. Don’t be surprised if your cat responds differently to any other cat you hear about.
  • Cats can spontaneously cure themselves of diabetes and have periods where no insulin is needed - this is called a "honeymoon" period. (A good reason to test your cat’s blood at home) Paris has had three “honeymoon” episodes of about six weeks each time, and looks like he’s starting another. I know of one cat who, after three years of diabetes has not had an insulin shot for six years.
  • When you’re surfing the web looking for information on diabetes, you’ll come across Americans talking about their cats having impossibly high blood sugar readings of 108, 270, 450, perhaps even higher. Americans (and American websites) measure blood glucose as milligrams per decilitre (mg/dl) whereas England, Canada and everywhere else in the world use millimoles per litre (mmol/l). Divide an American number by 18 to get a UK mmol/l figure.
  • For all their medical expertise, your average vet doesn’t get a lot of training on treating diabetes. Vets are not God, it’s OK to question what they tell you. Having said that, an approachable, knowledgeable vet is your best ally. Adrienne Randall, you are wonderful!
  • Special diabetic cat collars from Kitty Collars
  • If your cat wears a collar, get a disc made up to go on it stating your cat is diabetic, and put your vet’s phone number and yours on it. It might be useful to include the phrase "Don’t feed me" if you have a cat that takes advantage of the neighbours!
  • You can get some nice collars with safe, break away clasps from Kitty Collars - telephone (01983) 200-201 or visit the Kitty Collars website.

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