Caring For Cats With Diabetes
The American Animal Hospital Association Has New Guidelines

Category: Cat Healthcare, Feline Diabetes, Veterinary News
Reading Time: 2 minutes
An all-wet-food diet and home blood glucose testing are two of the American Animal Hospital Association’s new guidelines for caring for cats with diabetes.


The American Animal Hospital Association has new guidelines for caring for cats with diabetes

The American Animal Hospital Association now recommends an all-wet-food diet for diabetic cats.

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 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

Caring for cats with diabetes 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

If you have a diabetic cat, you might want to print the AAHA’s guidelines and take them with you next time you see your vet. 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. And in case you’re wondering, take a look at some of the risk factors for feline diabetes.


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