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Feline Diabetes

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
[Feline] Diabetes is sometimes diagnosed as the result of a routine blood test,and the luckiest cats are treated before symptoms show up. Most are diagnosed because the owner noticed one or more of the primary signs:

PU or PD (often written PU/PD):
PU=polyuria (frequent or excessive urination)
PD=polydipsia (frequent or excessive drinking)
Weight loss despite eating well
The diabetic is hungry, eats more, but loses weight anyway.

My kitty has these symptoms. She lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Feline leukemia has some of these symptoms, from what I understand, but I got her from a rescue that tests for FLV and FIV. She also seems to have lost her ability to control her bowel at times. I don't know if this is out of nervousness (I have family staying here right now) or???

I don't know if treatment is an option for me. I am moving across the state in the fall for college and I don't think she's going to make it. Treatment is awfully expensive on a college budget. My parents are unwilling to pay (she's my cat, so that's understandable). She is not young by any means. She acts like her normal self, aside from the increased drinking and pooping in odd spots - on my boyfriend! Eww...and on the bathroom floor upstairs. The litter box is downstairs and always has been.

Should I consider euthanasia now? Is she suffering? She doesn't seem to be in any pain. It's a tough decision considering my financial situation and that I will be moving, working, and going to school. I don't think it would be too conducive for regulating insulin, hmm?

Any comments would be appreciated.

BTW, someone from the Petfinder message board suggested that I post here (or at least reference this site).
post #2 of 5
Have you even taken her to a vet yet? Had any tests run on her? I would take her to a feline specialist in your area as soon as possible. How old is she? You are considering euthanizing her before even knowing what is wrong with her? In my world that wouldn't even be an option. You should take her in get her looked at, she may not have what you fear. However, if she is becoming ill requiring care that you cannot provide, then perhaps you should find an alternate home for her with someone who can provide her the right kind of care. Those homes are available you just need to look around and ask people.

If you are financially strapped IMOM can help you. They are stringent in their rules and they check people out thoroughly, but instead of thinking this cat is going to have to be euthanized you should at least find out what you are looking at first? Again in your initial post you do not say she has been to a vet. Just that you got her from a rescue. Missing the litter pan can be a result of so many different illnesses, not just at the two you are looking at right now.
post #3 of 5

As hissy says, I think step one would be to get your cat to a vet for a proper diagnosis. Then you can make an informed decision on what to do next. I really hope you aren't trying to decide what is wrong with your cat based on a few symptoms read on the internet.
post #4 of 5
Welcome Rachel! That would be me that referred you here.

post #5 of 5
The last 7 years of my life were spent caring for an elderly, diabetic kitty that I adored. And while it sounds like you may have noticed and caught the signs earlier on than I did, you will still need to confirm the diagnosis.

The ONLY way to do this is with a vet visit. They will (at the VERY least) need to run a blood sample to see if the glucose levels are extremely elevated (cats should have a blood glucose reading somewhere between 100 and 150 although the stress of going to the vet can play a VERY large part in elevating it). They will also want to get a urine sample to see if your cat is spilling sugar or the even more dangerous ketones. There is no getting out of this - in order to find out for certain if your cat is diabetic, you must take her in to the vet.

I completely understand your concern regarding the costs and while I am ~in no way~ trying to discourage you from seeking treatment, caring for a diabetic kitty isn't for everyone. You have to have an extremely high level of dedication. You will have to adjust your daily schedule to ensure that your kitty gets her insulin and food at certain times and then you will need to check in with her often to see to it that she KEEPS that food on board. There are no exceptions to this - your kitty's life may depend upon it. You won't be able to just take off for the weekend, leaving your cat in the care of a friend or neighbor. You won't be able to leave the house for more than a few short hours at a time. It can be very restrictive on a college student's lifestyle, not to mention budget.

Ask any vet and most all of them will tell you that the leading cause of death in diabetic cats is euthanasia. Most people do not (or cannot) choose to seek treatment once the diagnosis is made. Those of us who have made the decision to treat have done so because we 1) have the money to handle it appropriately and 2) don't have a rigid work/school schedule that prevents us from being at home to watch out for them in case of trouble.

If you DO choose to treat, Hissy mentioned IMOM which is a fantastic organization ... in fact, I used to be on the Board of IMOM. But it has been my experience with referrals to them that they are just as financially strapped as you are and most cases are turned away. It would be better to try and work out some sort of payment plan with your vet while you are trying to get approved. In other words, don't wait for approval from IMOM because the chances are good that you won't receive it.

Again, I truly do not mean to discourage you. I know you must love your cat very much and I feel certain that you only want to do what's best for her. But I am all about being forthcoming when it comes to this hideous disease in cats. It isn't easy to treat, it does what you least expect it to do, and cats are notoriously famous for not responding well to accepted treatments. The ONLY consistant thing about it is it's inconsistancy.

No matter how you decide to go, I only wish you the best of luck with this. It isn't an easy thing and I do sympathize with you.

Yours from the heart,

Gaye Flagg
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