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

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


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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