So your fur baby has been diagnosed with feline diabetes. My first piece of advice… do not freak out (in front of your kitty). If you must have a moment, go outside or somewhere away from your kitty – have a glass of wine, cry if you need to, or do whatever it is you do when you feel overwhelmed. Secondly, get the facts.
Fact 1: Feline diabetes is almost always type 2 – meaning that pancreas still works, just not as well. Remission is not only possible but likely with adequate testing and diet adjustment. The American Animal Hospital Association has a great and very informative PDF full of information on managing feline and canine diabetes: https://www.aaha.org/aaha-guidelines/diabetes-man...
Fact 2: Feline diabetes is chronic NOT TERMINAL! With proper blood sugar testing, insulin, and diet, feline diabetes is just as manageable as human type 2 diabetes (probably easier because humans need will power to avoid the soda, the candy bar, and the evil/heavenly pastry covered in sugar).
Fact 3: Testing is NOT going to traumatize your kitty. At first, you might feel traumatized but, those babies are pretty resilient. Testing from the very outside of the ear is nearly painless to the cat, and they get used to it. I can say first hand that I saw the most crabby cat ever jump right up on the table to get her “pokey” twice a day even with a pet sitter with no issues whatsoever. If that cat can do it, any cat can! Low carb treats are good to have on hand for encouragement.
Fact 4: Injections do not hurt. Seriously. A new sharp needle with a high gauge number over 30 is so hair thin that it is almost nothing. (I can guarantee this as I take regular injections myself with the same type of needles.)
Fact 5: After a short amount of time, home testing, insulin injections, and dietary management will be routine for you and your kitty.
Fact 6: You are not alone. If you need immediate help, a sounding board, or have questions, there is a very well educated Facebook group for feline diabetes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/207764985923899/.
In conclusion, everything is going to be okay! Feline diabetes is treatable and easily managed. You got this! Since you are here an reading about your diabetic furry friend, you are doing the right crucial first step into turning yourself into a super hero sugar mom or dad!
In the next set of posts, I will go over step-by-step testing, blood sugar monitoring – what the numbers mean, how to evaluate food and treats for the diabetic cat, and other practical matters.
Stay tuned, every Thursday is Caturday at PetTest and I'll have something new each week!