There are up to a quarter of a million cat guardians in the USA who monitor their cat’s blood glucose levels because their cat has type I or II diabetes. One in 400 American cats have diabetes. The cat fails to produce enough insulin resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. Obesity predisposes that cat to the condition. Burmese cats are predisposed to it. Males are twice as likely as females to get it. Males over 10-years-of-age and over 15 pounds in weight are the major risk group.
A vet will provide all the instruction and advice needed to manage type II diabetes, the most common form. This page is a taster and refers to monitoring glucose levels. There is more than one way of doing this. Purina make a cat litter which changes color if there is glucose in the urine. It is called: Purina Glucotest Feline Urinary Glucose Detection System.
Many owners of diabetic cats do home glucose monitoring using ear pricks (for blood) followed by testing using home glucose monitors designed for people. Many others use special test strips to check their cat’s urine glucose levels. Not all type II diabetic cats require insulin injections. One vet/author recommends “animal sourced insulin called PZI” (USA). She also recommends wet cat food as a dietary treatment for type II diabetes.
The videos below show how to monitor glucose in urine using test strips.
How to collect urine:
How to test for glucose:
How to administer an insulin injection:
Ketones are created in the diabetic cat because the cat cannot metabolise glucose. High levels leads to ‘ketoacidosis’. The symptoms are breath that smells like nail polish remover, labored, rapid breathing.
Some cats show high levels of glucose because of stress. Defective kidney function can also cause high glucose levels in urine and blood.
Theresa’s cat died of diabetes.