The American Animal Hospital Association has new guidelines for veterinarians caring for cats with diabetes. 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.
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 Cats With Diabetes
In its guidelines, the AAHA says remission is a “reasonable goal” for diabetic cats. Among its suggestions for caring for cats with diabetes:
- 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