What can I do about my diabetic cat that is gaining weight?

Cats

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Our question this week was:

I have a cat that is 13-years old that is diabetic and she is on 7-8 units of vetsulin 2x a day. She just keeps getting heavier. I do not over feed this cat. She get 1/2 a small can of prescription DM 2x a day. Can the insulin be making her get heavier and heavier? Also what can I do to get her weight down?

Cheryl Bartley

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Sorry to hear about your cat. You wrote that your 13½ year old cat is a diabetic and gaining weight. That is a difficult situation. I'd recommend that you discuss it with your vet as managing the diabetes, insulin need and weight are important to do carefully and under supervision.

In general, weight loss for cats is similar to us. The only way we can loose weight is to either exercise more or eat less. I'd recommend that you talk to your vet about deceasing the amount of food she is eating (by only a small amount) and increasing her exercise. You can buy some new toys and encourage play.

Maintaining and ideal weight is very important to cats with diabetes. A normal weight can really help minimize insulin needs and diabetic complications.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are Diabetes in Cats and Obesity in Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra



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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.