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C2010-46

Dear Christopher Cat

My 10-year-old cat, Simon, was recently diagnosed with diabetes. As a nurse who counsels human diabetics, I’m accustomed to teaching patients how to monitor their blood sugar and manage their diets. My veterinarian says not to worry about this with my cat. Don’t cats also need intensive diabetic management?

Christopher Responds

Two of my feline brothers have diabetes, and they feel best when their blood sugar is well controlled -– which requires attentive management.

Detailed guidelines for managing diabetes, developed this year by the American Animal Hospital Association, are available by clicking here.

The guidelines recommend home monitoring of blood sugar, which many of Mom’s clients accomplish easily, though they’re not medical professionals.

You can take a drop of blood from Simon’s ear flap or the large paw pad, the metacarpal/metatarsal pad. Click here to identify the proper pad, and here for instructions and a video.

Use the AlphaTrak veterinary glucose monitor, which requires a very tiny drop of blood and gives accurate results. You can buy the monitor from your veterinarian or online.

The guidelines also recommend a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, which Simon will undoubtedly find tasty.

Visit this Web site's cat index as well as cat diabetes chat rooms for more information and resources.

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