Best Insulin for Cats and How to Choose One

best insulin for cats

Glucose levels in the blood can be controlled with insulin for cats. It treats diabetes and other metabolic disorders. While a few feline diabetic cats can be managed with insulin therapy, the majority will require a healthy diet. Cat owners with pets with diabetes mellitus must consider diet.

Insulin comes in many forms. Many products have been developed for human use but can also be used on animals, while others have been developed specifically for use on animals. Pancreatic cells from cats and dogs produce natural insulin with slightly different structures than those from humans. Pets may not respond as well to insulin types designed for humans, which match the natural insulin of humans. Diabetes symptoms should be reduced or eliminated safely with any insulin treatment.

This article discusses feline diabetes, cat insulin injection, and the importance of glycaemic control. It also lists the most preferred options on the market!

If your cat has low blood sugar levels, keep reading!

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Source: Daily Paws

Feline Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone that plays an essential role in diabetes. It is possible to develop diabetes in cats if they do not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin they do make properly. An adequate supply of insulin is essential to the proper operation of the body’s engine.

The body requires fuel to function correctly. Fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are the fuel that cats need to survive. The body must break down this fuel into smaller parts to use it. Among these components is a fuel component. Body engines stall without glucose.

Glucose, which enters each cell, powers the body’s engine. Insulin plays a crucial role in this process. By controlling glucose flow, insulin ensures that the body’s cells receive blood glucose when it is needed.

Lack of insulin or ineffective insulin use can cause glucose not to enter the cells, resulting in high blood glucose levels. Diabetes is the name given to this condition.

Tips for Feeding, Insulin Shots, and Glucose Checks

It is not the end of the world if you find out your cat has diabetes. If you’re committed to your kitty’s care and it regulates glucose well, a diabetic cat can live reasonably everyday life. Moreover, your cat may have a relatively average life expectancy!

You can stop your diabetic cat’s symptoms for a while with the proper feeding and care, although there is no complete cure. Feeding, insulin shots, and glucose checks for diabetic cats are easy with these four tips. 

For diabetic cats, prescription foods are available

Cats with diabetes are usually best fed diabetic prescription foods. What’s the reason? The protein content of these foods is usually higher than that of regular cat foods. Among the brands offering diabetic cat, foods are Royal Canin and Purina.

Some people are concerned about the cost of prescription cat foods, and we understand entirely. Ultimately, however, you may save more money by helping your cat live as long as possible. Choosing one of these foods will give you these benefits:

  • Glucose regulation is easier for your cat
  • The blood glucose level of your cat does not need to be rechecked as often
  • There are fewer vet visits for you to pay for. Lower veterinary expenses offset prescription food costs.

Be sure to feed your diabetic cat before an insulin injection.

If you leave your cat’s food out, he will usually graze on it. If you want to give an insulin shot to your cat, ensure he eats before you do so. It is not a good idea to drop your cat’s glucose level too low. In other words, you should give insulin injections to your cat twice a day.

Before giving their cats an insulin shot, many of our cat families feed them canned food. Afterward, they simply leave the dry food on the ground. If your cat hasn’t eaten anything, do not give him an injection. Also, if your cat hasn’t eaten for more than a day, contact your veterinarian right away.

Your cat could easily consume the food if it has a healthy appetite. During these times, eat two equal portions of food a day before insulin injections. For your cat to maintain an optimal weight, a veterinarian can help you calculate the amount to feed.

Consider what you’ll feed your diabetic cat if you have another cat at home.

If you have a diabetic cat, you don’t want your non-diabetic cat eating his food. Food can be placed strategically around your home, cats can be fed in separate rooms, and you can also use high-tech solutions like collars that trigger the bowl lids to open. Veterinary advice for a cat family is best sought from your veterinarian since every situation with multiple cats is different.

Maintain a consistent insulin shot schedule and regularly check your cat’s glucose levels as directed by your veterinarian

A treatment plan is the first step toward making your diabetic cat feel better. There are several things you may want to consider:

  • Diet changes
  • Increase the activity level of your cat
  • Injecting insulin, or
  • Some combination of the above

Once your cat has been treated at home for one to two weeks, you will bring it to a veterinarian, such as ours, to have his glucose levels checked. In other words, your cat is getting the right amount of insulin to move glucose from its bloodstream to its cells for energy. Keeping your glucose level between 80 and 120 is essential. Usually, diabetic cats will need to be seen 3 to 5 times (every couple of weeks) before their glucose levels are at their optimal level. Depending on your home care habits and the type of cat you have, it varies.

Diets Under Strict Control Are a Possible Alternative

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Source: Especially Cats

Keeping blood glucose levels under control in cats with diabetes can be achieved with a strictly controlled diet. It is most likely to be effective if your cat does not have severe diabetes, and feeding exceptional food alone may not be enough.

Foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates are recommended for cats with diabetes. If you feed your cat with commercial food, canned cat food is preferred instead of kibble or dry food.

You can also treat your cat with one of the oral hypoglycemic medications in combination with a high-protein, low-carb diet. There is the possibility that this may be more effective than diets or medications alone.

Considering Other Factors in Diabetic Cat Treatment

If blood glucose levels are controlled effectively, remission from diabetes can be achieved in cats, especially if the disease is caught early. Therefore, an aggressive treatment that starts as soon as possible is recommended.

Insulin injections are often more effective than other medications at controlling blood sugar levels (glycemic control). Several cats can achieve remission with insulin injections combined with high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets. As a result, insulin injections may be required only for a short time before they are no longer required.

The oral hypoglycemic agents and feeding your cat a special diet are both less effective at controlling your cat’s blood sugar levels in practice. As such, insulin may remain the preferred treatment even if alternative treatments are available.

Buying Insulin at the Vet vs Online

Many pet owners are unaware that their veterinarian is not the only source for their pet’s medication. People, therefore, spend a lot of money on insulin when it isn’t necessary. Medication from a veterinarian or clinic is typically marked up by 100-160%. Sometimes, most clinics charge costly dispensing fees. Buying medications online is much more affordable. 

In addition to buying medicines in bulk, Internet retailers have fewer administrative expenses, which allows them to keep prices low. You may have to pay higher shipping costs if you order insulin online, as it will need special packaging and overnight delivery to stay cold. It will probably still be cheaper to buy insulin online than to buy it from your veterinarian, however.

Generic Insulin vs Brand Name Insulin

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Source: PDSA

Generic drugs are commonly thought to be less effective than brand names. But as a matter of fact, generic medications contain the same active ingredients as their brand-name counterparts and provide the same medicinal effects. Only the manufacturer of the generic product is responsible for the reduced price since the company does not bear the development and marketing costs. Generics are usually cheaper than brand-name products.

Best Insulin for Cats

Even though there isn’t the ‘best’ insulin for every cat, there are some that are better than others. Glargine (Lantus®, made by Sanofi Aventis) is recommended as a first-line option by many veterinary internal medicine specialists. Cats usually respond well to Lantus®, a recombinant human insulin. A combination of glargine and a diet with less than 7% carbohydrates will likely induce remission, eliminating the need for insulin in the cat

The typical dose of Lantus® is one or two units twice daily (BID). The drug can be used once a day in some cats. Unlike twice-daily injections, once-daily administration is less likely to induce remission and won’t control blood sugar very tightly. However, it is an option for families or cats who cannot do twice-daily injections. 

According to the product information, glargine should be replaced every 28 days for human use, but the insulin should keep refrigerated for at least three months if kept refrigerated. Although Lantus® is relatively expensive, its high efficacy and possibility of inducing remission make it a valuable treatment option for cats. One vial generally lasts a long time since such a small amount is administered.

Cats may also benefit from the following insulin types:

  • Insulin containing NPH (neutral protamine Hagedorn) (Humulin N® [Eli Lilly] or Novolin N® [Novo Nordisk]. In cats, NPH is used as a substitute for human insulin. When finances are limited, it is a reasonable option if a remission is not likely to occur with glargine.
  • PZI (protamine zinc insulin). Pig/beef insulin, PZI VET®, was manufactured by IDEXX for cat use, but they withdrew it from the market. While several compounding pharmacies still manufacture it, veterinary endocrinologists do not recommend its use because they cannot guarantee its efficacy with different formulas. Cats are treated explicitly with ProZinc®, a recombinant human PZI insulin manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim. There is generally no risk or side effect associated with ProZinc® in cats.
  • Vetsulin® (United States)/ Caninsulin®. The same product is marketed under different names by Intervet/Schering-Plough, Vetsulin®, and Caninsulin®. Dogs and cats with diabetes can benefit from these treats, which contain pork insulin. Due to the difficulty of obtaining Vetsulin® and Caninsulin®, many veterinarians have stopped using them. Caninsulin® may be still available in Australia and Europe.
  • Detemir (Levemir®, by Novo Nordisk). It works similarly to glargine. According to preliminary studies, you can use it once daily on some cats.

It might be nerve-wracking at first to administer injections to your cat, but you’ll get into a routine soon enough. This procedure involves the use of tiny needles and syringes, so injections are not painful.

Every day, you must give insulin injections at the same time regardless of the insulin type used. A typical dose of insulin should be given twice a day—close to every 12 hours. It is generally recommended that cats be fed twice daily right before insulin injections, according to most veterinarians. A cat can become hypoglycemic if insulin is administered first, followed by refusing to eat.

There is a high incidence of transient diabetes in cats. Cats’ pancreatic cells can be regenerated by diet and insulin injections after a period of treatment. It most commonly occurs within the first month or two of starting treatment, but it can also occur years after diagnosis. There is a strong correlation between Lantus® and remission, but hypoglycemia can happen with any insulin, so it is essential to watch out for hypoglycemia symptoms (sleepiness, lethargy, weakness, seizures). You should contact your veterinarian promptly if you suspect that your cat is hypoglycemic. If you have a glucometer, you can check his blood sugar at home or administer oral corn syrup or honey to him.

It is important to remember that every cat is unique. Cats that don’t respond well to a particular insulin brand may need an alternative. As well as determining whether a concurrent illness causes insulin resistance veterinarian may also check you for dental disease or urinary tract infections.

Conclusion

That’s it! You should improve insulin levels to prevent diabetes, which is a growing problem in cats. The hormone insulin helps cats regulate their blood sugar levels by injecting it into their bloodstream. Insulin is essential for cats’ health, just like it is for humans. 

If your cat has diabetes, speak with your veterinarian about how to treat it. When it comes to this issue, they know best!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cat diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that is caused by a lack of insulin that the body produces. It happens when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin or when the body doesn’t use it properly. When cats are diagnosed with diabetes, they often have to be given insulin shots and monitored closely.

What are the symptoms of cat diabetes?

The first symptom of diabetes in cats is weight loss. This can be because the cat has stopped eating or because it has lost its appetite due to an illness or injury. Other symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, and increased thirst for something that does not have sugar in it.

Diabetes in cats can cause seizures and coma, as well as blindness and kidney failure. Owners of diabetic cats need to keep them on a regular schedule for insulin injections so that high blood sugar levels are controlled effectively.

How do you prevent cat diabetes?

Cats are prone to developing diabetes, which is a metabolic disorder that affects all types of animals, including humans. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels over time and can lead to serious health problems like heart disease and kidney failure.

If your cat has already developed diabetes, here are some ways you can prevent further complications:

  • Feed them low-sugar food like canned food or dry food instead of wet or raw food
  • Limit their daily intake of calories
  • Make sure they get enough exercise
  • Keep them on a regular feeding schedule
  • Monitor their food intake and sugar levels regularly.

What are the benefits of insulin for cats?

Insulin is an essential hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in humans and cats. It helps reduce the risk of diabetes in cats, but it also has other benefits for them as well. Cats that have been given insulin injections can live longer and be healthier than their counterparts with no insulin treatment.

How often should a cat be given an injection of insulin?

The answer is that it depends on the cat and its age. Some cats need insulin injections once a day, while others need it twice a day. The best thing to do is to consult your vet about the best schedule for your cat would be.

What is the difference between short-acting and long-acting insulin for cats?

Short-acting insulin is a rapid-acting insulin that is given to cats to control blood sugar levels. It works by increasing the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.

Long-acting insulin is slow-acting insulin that is given to cats to control blood sugar levels. It works by decreasing the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.

Many factors can affect how long an injection lasts, such as the type of insulin and its dose, how much food your cat eats and whether they have eaten recently their weight, and their age.

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