How to care for a diabetic cat?

Last month Momo got sick. He was very thirsty. He went through 2 – 3 bowls of water per day. On the morning of March 15, 2017, I saw Momo lying on the floor. I looked at his food bowl. It was untouched. But, the water bowl was emptied. I asked Momo, “aren’t you hungry?”

Momo didn’t respond by getting up. He just looked me in the eyes for a second. Momo never acted like this before, so I could tell that he was very sick.

I immediately bought him to see the veterinarian where they tested Momo’s blood sugar, urine, and more.

While Momo was undergoing the testing, I nervously waited in the room. Twelve years of memories surged through my mind, from the times we shared the small apartment in the city to my kids’ birthday celebration.

I only wished we could have more time for more happy memories.

Forty minutes passed and the doctor finally came back and said, “Momo has diabetes and his blood sugar is at 450.”  Wow, that was high! I couldn’t believe it.

Momo was only a 10 lb. cat. “Did we do something wrong? How can we fix it?” I couldn’t help to ask her lots of questions.

“That’s ok,” the vet said. She patiently explained to me that although Blue Buffalo was a quality cat food, dry cat food was high in carbohydrate. Plus, Burmese cats in general are more prone to develop diabetes.

“So from now on, don’t feed any more dry food to Momo. Wet food only!” she said.

The vet also showed me how to administer insulin shots, monitor blood glucose levels, and feed corn syrup when blood sugar drops low.

It has been over two weeks and Momo is recovering well. We couldn’t be happier to see Momo acting like himself again.


But, having a diabetic cat requires a firm commitment to schedule and diet. We give one unit of insulin shot to Momo every 12 hours – one shot in the morning and one in the evening. We also have to keep food portion relatively the same for each feeding. Transitioning from free feeding to strict feeding was not easy, especially there’s another cat in the house. To make things easier, we decided to put both cats on the same feeding schedule.

Weeks had gone by and I finally learn how to administer insulin shots with an ease. At first, I would pull up the skin on the back of the neck and administer the shot. But after a few times, Momo would walk away. He must have found the shots uncomfortable.

So, I’ve changed a few things to help Momo ease the discomfort. First, I put Momo on his favorite baby blue color mat. Momo plays on the mat, naps on the mat, stretch and scratch on the mat.

Second, I give him his favorite mouse toy. He would press the mouse down like he caught it. Then, I pat him while giving him the shot. This works the best because it puts Momo in a comfortable state.

Smartcatcher Mats How To Care For A Diabetic Cat Insulin For Cat

To monitor Momo’s blood glucose levels, the vet recommended AlphaTRAK 2, the in-home blood glucose monitoring system kit. We use this device to monitor Momo’s blood glucose levels every few days.

When the technician showed me how to use the AlphaTRAK in the clinic, the whole process looked easy. However, I didn’t find it easy at all when I tried to use the AlphaTRAK at home.

I keep having a hard time to locate the vein on Momo’s ear. Can you see it?

Find-vein-on-diabetic-cat-ear-Smartcatcher-Mats-AlphaTrack-cat diabetes

An extra pair of eyes and hands would be helpful. So, I asked my husband to help. He found that camping headlamp works the best to brighten up Momo’s ear. After he locates the vein, he would use the lancing device and the glucometer to measure Momo’s glucose levels.

I would pat Momo on the back to comfort him. I also record the results on the journal booklet that comes with the AlphaTRAK. Each week we speak with the vet about the results, and she determines whether or Momo needs an insulin adjustment.

Smartcatcher Mats and AlphaTrack blood glucose monitoring system kit

Having a diabetic cat at home definitely requires patience and time commitment. But, Momo is our family and we love him. We’ll do what we can to ensure that he’s healthy and happy. With the proper care, we hope Momo can achieve a diabetic remission.

Do you have a diabetic cat? What is the most challenging task for you? How did you help your cat get into remission? We would love to hear your experience 🙂

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