Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body cannot properly produce or respond to the hormone insulin. This results in elevated levels of the sugar glucose.  Sugar glucose is the main source of energy for the body.  The most common form of diabetes is the Type II form of the disease.

Which cats get diabetes?

Although diabetes can develop in a cat regardless of age, breed or gender, the most typical patient is older, overweight and neutered male cats.

What are the signs of diabetes?

Cats will become increasingly thirsty and hungry, and a small number of cats lose much of their appetite. There is often an increase in the amount and frequency or urine the cat produces. Other signs maybe lethargy and a dull and oily coat with dandruff. The cat may sleep more. Muscle loss over the cat’s hind legs and back is not uncommon. Some cats will suffer from diabetic neuropathy and walk flat-footed. This is caused by prolonged high blood glucose on the nerves.

Since most diabetic cats seem fine at first, their owner may not realize the cat is diabetic. Without treatment, the cat can fall seriously ill and develop a condition called ketoacidosis, which is a condition where levels of acid are abnormally increased in the blood due to “ketone bodies.” It mostly affects older cats and more females than males. It’s important to be aware of the signs of diabetes so the cat can be diagnosed and get early treatment.

How is diabetes treated?  

Severely ill cats must be hospitalized for a few days to stabilize them and may need intravenous fluids to rehydrate them and to stabilize blood glucose levels. Once the cat is eating regularly then the vet can determine the cat’s insulin requirements. If however, a diabetic cat is stable they may not require hospitalization and can be treated at home. Usually, that means insulin injections twice a day using special insulin syringes. This may sound scary to some cat owners, but your veterinarian can show you how to administer the injection, and depending on the type of insulin, how often you’d need to inject your cat.

Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that once you’ve given an injection or two, you should feel comfortable administering them.


Most cat owners I know are familiar with this term, but I thought it was important to inform you, my valued readers, about what toxoplasmosis is and how if may affect you or your cat.

Toxoplasmosis is caused by a microscopic parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. It can only be seen under a microscope, unlike many other parasites. Cats are the ideal host for this parasite to complete its life cycle.

There are 3 main ways the parasite is transmitted to people and animals:

  • Ingestion of food or water contaminated with the parasite’s eggs
  • Eating raw or undercooked meat that is infected
  • Infection of a fetus during pregnancy

Only domestic and wild cats shed the infective form of the parasite in their feces. Unfortunately, they’re difficult to destroy, being resistant to disinfectants, drying and freezing.

Infected cats shed the eggs (oocysts) in their feces within a few days to a few weeks after being infected, but the oocysts are only shed for one to three weeks after the initial exposure. By the time the cats have signs of illness, most are no longer shedding oocysts. Kittens 6-14 weeks old shed the heaviest. While kittens infected before birth can suffer serious health issues, the majority of animals and people infected do not become ill. This disease can cause harm to a developing fetus. But if there is a concurrent illness, stress or a compromised immune system does play a role.


Some types of cancer are associated with FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Infected cats have over a 600% increase in their risk of developing lymphoma. Some ways to reduce cancer risks are avoiding strong sunlight, which can contribute to squamous cell carcinoma. Early spaying will reduce the risk of mammary cancer and eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer.

Signs of cancer may include poor appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and depression. Your veterinarian will do a thorough physical exam and diagnostic testing to determine the cause of your cat ‘s illness.

Here’s a list of signs to watch out for. If you see any of these signs, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

Signs to watch for:

  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Persistent stiffness or lameness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

On a personal note – having had a cat with cancer, I know how very difficult it can be to decide what the right course of action is. My feeling is if your vet believes that there’s a good chance for recovery without causing undue suffering, great! When my vet told me that if the chemotherapy needle got displaced it could result in having to amputate her limb, and her chances were not very good regardless, I decided that I did not want her to suffer.

I’ve been in vet’s offices where I’ve heard very sick animals screaming in pain. Their well-meaning owners just couldn’t let go, and I understand how they feel and am not being judgmental.  However, I do believe the best thing we as pet owners can do is give our pets a happy life filled with love, and a merciful end when called for.


Here are a few cat toys that are easy to make.  I hope you like them!

Take a piece of cloth and cut it into 8-10 strips about 1” by 6” long.  Tie the strips in the center with another strip of cloth so it resembles a spider.  You can tie a strong string to the center and tie the other end to a stick about 12” long or just give the toy to your kitty to play with or use as a pillow.

Take cardboard tubes from paper towels or bathroom tissue.  You will need 6 tubes about 4 inches long.  Secure them 3 tubes across and 2 tubes down with tape.  Make sure they are well secured.  Cut a square of cardboard slightly larger than the assembled tubes and tape to the cardboard to seal up one end of the tubes.  Put a few of your cat’s favorite treats in each tube and lay it on its side.  You cat will love playing with the tubes to get their treats!!



1 cup oat flour (take regular oats and grind in a blender or food processor)

5 oz. can low salt tuna in water, drained

1 egg

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsps. Dried catnip

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor. Shape into ½ inch biscuits. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Store in a closed container in the refrigerator.


1 pound ground turkey, beef or chicken

3.75 oz. can no salt added sardines in water

2 egg yolks

1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes (if not available at your grocer, they are at health food stores)

1 tbsp. catnip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put sardines in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add remaining ingredients until well mixed and smooth. (Note—you can use a food processor for this step.) Using a pastry bag or a gallon-size ziplock bag with a small hole cut in the corner, filled with the mixture and squeeze out small “treat size” portions onto your cookie sheets.  Bake for 20 minutes.  The treats are done when cooked through and no juice is bubbling around the edges.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (Keeps for 2 weeks or you can freeze some for 3-5 months.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if your oven tends to be hotter, you can lower the temperature to 325)

You’ll need:

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups high-quality salmon

1 large egg

Stir until well combined and the mixture becomes dough-like. Flour your work surface and mold dough into a ball.  Roll out evenly with a rolling pin. Cut out shapes with a tiny cookie cutter (if not available, use a bottle cap and then cut the pieces in half if too large.)  Place on the ungreased baking sheet (I always line mine with parchment paper.) Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown (ovens vary, so check in about 15 minutes.)


Take one box big enough for a cat to fit in. Close one end and cut the flaps off on the other end.  Take an old T-shirt and pull it over the box with the neck centered over the open end. Use duct tape or safety pins to adhere the sleeves to the box.  You can tie the sleeves together or use duct tape.  Your kitty will love it!


Take a 2-liter soda bottle and cut a small square on the center of the bottle, big enough for cat treats to come out.  Repeat on the other side.  Fill with your cat’s favorite treats.  This will be very entertaining for your cat as it rolls around the bottle to get the treats to come out.

Here’s information on kitten vaccinations, schedule, risks and more


  • Discomfort where the kitty got poked
  • Mild fever
  • Low appetite and activity
  • If the vaccine was given in the nose, your kitty may start sneezing four to seven days afterward
  • Swelling under the skin where your kitty got the vaccine. It should go away after a few weeks but consult your vet.