Tag Archives: Feline Diabetes

Caring For Diabetic Cats |The American Animal Hospital Association Has New Guidelines

The American Animal Hospital Association has new guidelines for caring for diabetic cats.

The American Animal Hospital Association has new guidelines for veterinarians caring for diabetic cats. Among their suggestions are some things the lay experts at Felinediabetes.com have been recommending for years: home testing and an all-wet-food diet for diabetic cats.

One in 230 cats has diabetes, according to Zoetis, the manufacturer of Revolution, Clavamox and other medications for animals. Like other experts, Zoetis says feline diabetes is often under diagnosed. A recent study reported by the Winn Feline Foundation found that the top risk factors for feline diabetes are obesity, an inactive strictly-indoors lifestyle, repeated steroid injections and an all- or mostly-dry food diet.

Caring For Diabetic Cats

In its guidelines, the AAHA says remission is a “reasonable goal” for diabetic cats. 

Among its suggestions for caring for diabetic cats:


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  • Use Lantus, Levemir or Prozinc insulin, and start with a very low dose. You can gradually work your way up to a therapeutic level.
  • Give the insulin every 12 hours. Although Lantus and Levemir are labeled as once-a-day insulins for humans, most cats do better with two doses a day.
  • Use “creative feeding tools,” like food puzzles, especially for obese cats. 
  • Diabetic cats should have high protein, low-carb diets. “Canned foods are preferred over dry foods,” the AAHA says. The guidelines discourage high-fiber foods. 
  • Do blood glucose curves at home to avoid high numbers caused by the stress of being in the hospital. 
  • Help With Caring For Diabetic Cats

    Caring for diabetic cats can be difficult and scary, at least at first. The Feline Diabetes Message Board is a wonderful source of information and support. The board also has a Facebook page.
    Next time you see your vet, you might want to print the AAHA’s guidelines on caring for diabetic cats and take them with you. It can be difficult for vets to stay up to speed on every illness they treat, and your vet might find the new guidelines very helpful.

    Feline Diabetes Risk Factors: Dry Cat Food & Cats Living Strictly Indoors

    Feline diabetes risk factors include dry food and living strictly indoors. according to a new study.

    Here’s a good reason for making sure your cats get some outdoor time. Among the feline diabetes risk factors: dry food and living strictly indoors. This news comes from a study by a Swedish pet insurance company and published by the Winn  Feline Foundation.

    Using a Web-based survey, the insurance company looked at 396 diabetic cats and 1670 control cats. Among the findings: The risk of feline diabetes increases for inactive and moderately active cats who live strictly indoors.

    All of the cats in the study were the same age.

    The cats least likely to develop diabetes: females, cats who are not overweight, cats who have access to outdoors and cats who free feed (but not dry food). Living with a dog helps, too!

    Top Feline Diabetes Risk Factors

    Although veterinarians have known about some of the feline diabetes risk factors reported in the study for a long time, the look at Swedish cats provided some new information, too.

    According to the study, overweight and obese cats are more prone to diabetes. We already knew that. But the connection between an all- or mostly-dry-food diet and diabetes even in cats with normal body condition had never been reported before.

    Other feline diabetes risk factors include…
    • A strictly indoor lifestyle
    • “Greedy eaters,” as opposed to nibblers. The Winn Feline Foundation says this is also a new finding, and it could be where free feeding to lessen the risk of diabetes comes in.
    •  A history of repeated steroid injections.
    In reporting on the study, Winn points out that humans and cats share some diabetes risk factors. An inactive lifestyle, being overweight and greedy eating are risk factors for people, too.

    Today’s Recommendation

    Can giving a cat access to outside help prevent feline diabetes? There are many good reasons for getting a cat outdoors, so maybe it can. If you decide to give it a try, the Kitty Holster is a safe, very secure harness.