The start of our journey with Feline Diabetes

Back in late 2000, I noticed that my cat Kitty was drinking an awful lot of water...Sometimes he would drink 4 bowls overnight! However, I was in denial, it's winter, it's dry...He was a big boy (25 pounds!) but one day I weighed him and he was 19 pounds. He lost 6 pounds and I knew this was trouble. Took him to the vets in early Jan 2001 where my worst fears were realized-Kitty was diabetic.

She started him on an insulin called Caninsulin (also known as Vetsulin in the US). We got to 2U twice a day and after a few glucose curves at the vet, he was declared regulated. Around this time, I discovered the Feline Diabetes Message Board (FDMB) where I discovered LOTS of people had diabetic cats! One thing they were doing is testing their cats glucose levels with a human glucometer, pricking their cats ears. I was not ready for that, getting used to giving shots was enough (although I would rather give 100 needles than 1 pill, they were not difficult at all!).

Fast forward to June 2001. Kitty would not eat. I couldn't give insulin without him eating, so one day, I got up the nerve and tested him and he was at 3.3 mmol/dL, which is a reading expected from non-diabetics! I took him to the vets and she agreed that Kitty was in remission. Whew, I thought...Dodged that bullet.

Fast forward to October 2005 and Kitty is drinking a lot. Got the glucometer out and it appears that he is diabetic again. This was confirmed by our vet. Little did I know the hell that this would become.....

Diabetes afflicts cats & dogs

According to the Wikipedia Entry on Diabetes in cats and dogs-

Diabetes mellitus strikes 1 in 400 cats and a similar number of dogs. Symptoms in dogs and cats are similar to those in humans. Generally, most dogs and about half of cats experience type-1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, rather than the type-2 that's now becoming common in obese humans. The condition is definitely treatable, and need not shorten the animal's life span or life quality. In cats, prompt effective treatment can even lead to diabetic remission, in which the cat no longer needs injected insulin. Untreated, the condition leads to blindness in dogs, increasingly weak legs in cats, and eventually malnutrition, ketoacidosis and/or dehydration, and death.

According to research at Cornell University-

Diabetes mellitus-also known as "sugar" diabetes-is a complex but common disease in which a cat's body either doesn't produce or doesn't properly use insulin. During digestion, the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that are consumed in the diet are broken down into smaller components that can be utilized by cells in the body. One component is glucose, a fuel that provides the energy needed to sustain life.

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, is responsible for regulating the flow of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. When insulin is deficient or ineffective, the cat's body starts breaking down fat and protein stores to use as alternative energy sources. As a result, the cat eats more yet loses weight. Additionally, the cat develops high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, which is eliminated in the urine. In turn, sugar in the urine leads to excessive urination and thirst. Cat owners often notice these four classical signs of diabetes mellitus: ravenous appetite, weight loss, increased urination, and increased water consumption.

Welcome to Sugar Cats!

Hi, and welcome to my Sugar Cats blog.

For years I have had a cat with diabetes. Throught the Internet I discovered there were many others like myself, looking for information and support for dealing with feline diabetes.

I discovered there are treatments for cats with diabetes or sugar kitties as we call them. There are various types of insulin for cats with diabetes.

I hope you find my blog helpful.