Flawless tips for giving shots to a non-cooperative cat?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by TiffanyRossi, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. TiffanyRossi

    TiffanyRossi New Member

    Dec 31, 2017
    So Ziggy has been gaining weight and being more active. Last week he took away his feeding tube by himself, we took care of it and the hole already closed. He got tested for ketones at the vet and the result was finally zero (less than a month after ketoacidosis).

    On Friday night he scared the hell out of us, I gave him his food bowl and he didn't wake up, I even put some food on his nose and nothing, we called him and he kept asleep. I was desperately thinking of all hypo symptons and emergency treatments, my wife was running to the fridge to get him some sugar, I was mentally making plans for food + sugar + vet trip, trying to remember everything that I read. This all lasted a couple of seconds. Suddenly he jumped awake and started eating lol We observed him for a few hours and he was completely fine, he was just on a very heavy sleep lol That happened on the same day I had myself a hypo episode (I'm not diabetic but I've been experiencing hypoglicemia sometimes), you can only imagine how the day was for my wife lol

    Saturday morning my eyesight was kinda bad and he was a bit stressed, so I gave him a furshot. I was about to give him half a dose, but I remembered all the threads in here saying high for a long while is better than low for a bit, so I just kept him away from dry food the whole day (since he needs to gain weight, the vet didn't forbid any kind of food yet) until his PM dose.

    Yesterday we finally bought a glucometer so we don't go blind on this journey. The vet said we don't need it, but I get very desperate if I can't know how his levels are (specially after the weekend episodes).

    But now I have a problem. Ziggy was being very cooperative with his care, but the better he gets, the less he lets us manage him. I have to give him his AM shots by myself, so I wanna know if you have really good tips on how to manage insulin shots on cats who run away from you lol Today I had to give it on his neck (he got it shaved for the tube), because the time I spend looking for skin and spreading his fur is enough for him to run away. I got it right, but he walked away when I was finishing it and the needle hurt him a bit. I already use pretty small needles.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  2. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Here are some of my thoughts:

    Most diabetic cats will gain weight once their BG is better regulated. We recommend feeding low carb wet food - as much as the cat wants - in several small meals a day. Almost every type of dry food is too high in carbs for a diabetic cat.

    Testing BG at home is the thing we recommend most strongly to keep your kitty safe. Without testing you have no idea if an insulin dose is safe. The good dose for Ziggy will change over time in response to many factors: what he eats, any other health issues going on, his activity level, healing of his pancreas, etc.

    It's great that he's feeling better! Have you tried training him to get his shots in the same location all the time? Do you give him a treat so he learns that shots are followed up by something positive? There are freeze dried all meat or fish treats that work well for this. Some people cook a plain chicken breast with no seasoning and cut it into small pieces to use as treats. You can freeze most of it and take out a day's supply at a time.

    Many people inject in the loose skin at the scruff of the neck. You can also use the lose skin areas along his sides. Maybe you could practice taking him to the injection spot and gently grasp his skin in different areas so you can learn where the good areas are on Ziggy and he gets used to the feeling of having his skin pulled.

    I notice that you're using Lantus. I highly recommend that you post on the Lantus forum for help. It's a large group and has many very experienced people to give advice. They would say some of the same things I've told you here. There's a very good set of guidelines for using Lantus that they can help you with. Ziggy's already had an episode of DKA so it would be very helpful to you to learn more about Lantus and how to use it best. :)
  3. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    Here's a good vid on behavioural training to encourage a kitty to accept injections:

    Also, you might find something helpful in this forum sticky:

    Testing and injection tips

    Kris & Teasel likes this.
  4. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2017
    I think that you learning how to efficiently give a shot will help. If it is taking you a long time, that gives him more time to get concerned and want to exit the situation. You may have to shave a couple of spots on him, if you are struggling to identify a spot to give the shot.

    Occasionally (thankfully, not too often), Mia decides she just does not want to be given a shot. At those times, the normal routine does not work. Sometimes, if I give her a few minutes, she will be okay, but more often, I have to approach it differently than normal so she will not be so aware of what is about to happen. Though it goes against the recommendations to always take them to the same location to do it, I find that when she is being like that, I have to do it somewhere unexpected so that she does not realize it is happening.
  5. mmpayne1125

    mmpayne1125 New Member

    Jan 5, 2018
    I think I am going to have to try this approach with my Ivana.
  6. TiffanyRossi

    TiffanyRossi New Member

    Dec 31, 2017
    Thank you all very much for all the tips!

    At this first moment, while he recovers, we decided to follow everything the vet says. Since he stopped eating before going to the hospital, spent a whole week like that, than was put a feeding tube, then was relearning to eat again, our priority was to make him eat, no matter what. I'm removing the dry food from his diet as he is now finally eating lots of his wet food, but I still like leaving a quarter-cup overnight so he can have food available on the 12h between dinner and breakfast. Diabetic/low carb food is pretty expensive in Brazil and there's only one brand, so we're still deciding if we can afford it. I don't feel comfortable leaving him with no food while we're sleeping.

    We had an appointment yesterday and the vet taught us how to home test! She also asked for tests every other day, about two hours after his lunch meal, and put it in a spreadsheet. They don't wanna stress him more than needed, his levels are pretty stable right now, he never hit more than 290, this after food and with stress from the vet office, so they believe there's no need to poke him all the time. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet lol

    I always feed him right after his shots, since we weren't testing him the vet told us the feeding time wasn't important, and we thought that was enough for him to understand it as compensation, but not anymore lol We know the proper way to do it, but he just won't help us. Today I tried doing it while he was eating, and it was much better. I'm definetely going to take a look at the Lantus board. We know we are not doing everything how it should be done, but he's still recovering. We are trying to find balance between vet's orders and information we find in here.

    This is amazing! I'm trying this tonight at his PM shot, and this week I'm going to give pills every night to a friend's cat (my friend is new at cats, the cat hates her and she can't handle her at all, so she asked for help), so I'm doing the same with her. My hopes are good that this will work. Also the cat's name on the video is also Ziggy, so I felt like she was talking to me lol
    Kris & Teasel and Critter Mom like this.
  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    Glad you found the above video helpful. :)

    Here's another helpful vid on good pilling technique:

    Maybe it might help your friend (eventually!).


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