My cat has diabetes

Nathaniel Christopher 9 Comments

Over the last few weeks my cat Khan has exhibited some unusual behaviour. He’s been drinking tons of water and going to the litter box all the time. Normally I change his water dish every two days but recently it’s been every two hours. In addition to this he’s been losing weight.

I was worried so I took him to the vet today and she confirmed what my friend Kathy suggested: Khan has diabetes. My friend Tamara has a diabetic cat and she says this news is a lot harder on people than it is on cats. And I can totally believe that.

I took him to North Burnaby Pet Hospital. The staff were extremely helpful, kind, informative and just all around good with the kitty. As an added bonus the staff are allowed to bring their pets to work so when I came in the office I was first greeted by a big dog with a penchant for shuffling through the papers on her owner’s desk. “She’s doing your paperwork!” I exclaimed.

Khan at the vet
Khan being inspected by Dr. Anne Irwin at the North Burnaby Pet Hospital.

Khan saw Dr. Anne Irwin. I didn’t keep track of the time but I’m sure she spent well over an hour with Khan – doing his blood test, urine tests, and sticking a thermometer up his butt. She also explained feline diabetes to me and told me what I need to do to keep him healthy.

I have to make some major changes starting now. Firstly, I have to switch him on to some special low-carbohydrate cat food. No more grocery store stuff. I also have to measure the food. Secondly, I have to inject him with insulin twice a day.

This wasn’t cheap. The vet bill (which included his new food) was $370.08 and all the supplies and insulin cost 168.97. Eep!

There is a chance, however, that I won’t have to buy insulin forever. In some cases a cat’s diabetes can go into remission after a while with proper diet and insulin. But until that time Khan has all the medication and food he needs to be a happy, healthy cat for many years to come!

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada who has blogged here for 20 years. I like to share my thoughts and feelings on my own online space. From 1998 until 2017 I worked as a journalist and I hope to use this website as an archive for all of my stories.


  1. Hey Nathaniel! I have never dealt with a diabetic kitty but I have dealt with an immune-suppressed cat with opportunistic infections. Continuous care is always required and always encouraged with praise and treats! Lots of licks!

  2. Tamara! Thanks so much for the nice comments! I started the insulin last night and noticed a dramatic, almost instant, improvement in his appetite and mood. Also, he’s stopped drinking so much water. It’s been like night and day.

    I can’t imagine someone putting their kitty down just ’cause they have diabetes… Who the hell advocates for that?! My vet told me that Khan can live a happy, healthy, and lengthy life with just the smallest bit of extra care. As for the needles, Khan doesn’t even notice. He’s braver than most of us humans, eh?


  3. Khan is lucky to have you, and that you noticed he wasn’t feeling so hot.

    There are people who think it’s “cruel” to not put down diabetic cats, but they don’t realize the cats don’t even feel the needle in the back of the neck, much less mind! Fuzzy sits in the kitchen ahead of time, waiting for his needle because he gets some treats at the same time.

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