The Diabetic Cat

This is a personal record of a cat with diabetes. For clinical detail of diabetes see

stud catCustard is a 13 old Cream Burmese boy and was a successful stud cat, until at the age of 9, he was neutered and retired to become a happy house cat.

He had been in good health until late February 2005 when on the Friday he looked just a bit off colour. He had not picked by by Monday and over the weekend had lost weight, so off he went to the vets. Examination resulted in no specific diagnosis, no temperature etc. ; was put on a short course of antibiotics and an appointment was made for that Thursday.

By Wednesday morning he had deteriorated to such an extent that he appeared to be dying, not eating, not drinking, just sitting in a stooped posture and looking very ill.

He was rushed into the vets who admitted him and put him on to a drip as he was very dehydrated and started blood tests. By 12:00 the vet had phoned to say he knew what was wrong. Diabetes had been diagnosed. What did we want do do?

There was no question, as long as he would have a good quality of life we would deal with the insulin injections.

The next day the news was not good. Custard was in ketoacidossis crisis. This means that the body cells where burning themselves instead of the sugar in the blood steam. This stage is often fatal in most species (including humans). Prognosis could not be guaranteed. Where we still happy to carry on the treatment as it could be up to 3 weeks in the hospital to stabilize the condition – and there was still no guarantee that he would recover.

Again these was no question about it – we had to continue treatment and give him every chance.

I visited him every day in the hospital and both of us at the weekend.

Every day saw an improvement in him even though he now had a most peculiar “poodle” type hair cut where he had been shaved for the drip, blood tests etc. He was on 2 hourly blood tests, 24 hours a day. these reduced to 4 hourly. Custard was dealing well with hospitalization and was a very popular resident, all the staff knew him and fussed him when ever they could.

At last on the eighth day I had a phone call at work, – could I be at the hospital at 10:30 to see the vet? Yes, Custard was well enough to come home.

I was able to leave work to collect him, but before I could take him home I had to be taught how to give him his insulin injections and what to do if he went hypoglycaemic.

I had two emotions when I took him home. Pleased to get my boy bake but worried about how I would cope with the feeding and the injection regime of twice daily at 7:00 at each end of the day, after he had eaten. Feeding was initially a concern as all our cats are “grazers” and we have food available all the time. have you ever tried to tell a cat to eat at a specific time? The vet agreed to leave him as a grazer as long as he ate something before his injection. Custard has always liked Primula Cream Cheese (perhaps we should ask them for sponcership) and when this is offered it is eaten with glee.

Custard has put his weight back on and his fur has largley grown back and he is back to his old self.

We would like to thank Ian Thomas and all the staff at pool house Vetenary Hospital, Lichfield. My flexible friend Visa all of whom helped us to bring our beautiful boy back home. Also George Browning for her moral support during this time.