I hate this. I have fostered and re-homed over 200 cats and kittens in the last 16 years before I moved to the middle of the country and lost all connections to cat community. I started in high school volunteering at the Humane Society and then worked with rescue groups and people from local community. I've done everything from help birth kittens to giving IV fluids while they recover from surgeries, if a vet tech could show me, I did it. So I've had "experience" with feline diabetes but not really. I took the samples, recorded the findings, reported back, fed separately on a schedule, and given insulin. That was the extent of it. I also had the best vet to go to during all of this and the supplies were either paid for or donated by others, it was just my time and apartment. Of all those cats and kittens I've kept 4 with issues that kept them from being adopted, mostly attitude. They get along great so they've stayed with me. To have four cats in Southern California meant living in some pretty shady areas while in college. I did it to keep them, they're mine, issues and all. They're older and lazier now. Cookie is 13, Athena is 12, Boots is 11, and George is 9. Boots is the reason I'm here. He had a sneezing fit a few weeks ago, took him to the vet. Upper Respiratory, and everything else was great... fine. shot of antibiotic and pred. Three days in he was scratching everyone, he is a lazy teddy bear who loves head noogies... so we stopped pred. The vet said that it would cause him to drink more and urinate more but that it would stop within a few days of stopping. It didn't. She wanted a $980 blood test. Husband was laid off for 4 months and just got started working again and I had to quit my job due to my daughter's special needs constantly landing her in the hospital. so that was not happening. We got a second opinion, tested urine, glucose found. Blood test $190, much better, run it. Nothing else going on other than his numbers show that "he's playing with the idea of being diabetic"... ran the fructo test off the blood they took earlier to save costs (she is my new vet for that alone) and it was 520 so it wasn't the pred that threw him into this state... and then showed me his teeth. **This is totally on me, they go to the vet regularly but obviously their (now) previous vet wasn't paying attention so neither was I** One side has horrific gingivitis, he's going to need that tooth pulled. She won't touch that until we figure this part of his health out but now it's solid that he's on an all wet diet. Found a deal on chewy.com to get Royal Canine food. He's going to need 5 of those tiny cans a day. FIVE!!!! it's sold in pack of 24 for over a buck a piece. The questions I have for this forum are: The new vet understands the financial issues but is insistent on getting the AlphaTrax monitor when we get to that point. She'll let me test at home since I've had experience with it before. I'm trying to treat this as effectively and efficiently as possible. In searching the boards I've seen others using different monitors. What is the most universal monitor? One that can take less costly strips? the alpha trax is proprietary and way more money than my mother spends on HER strips. What is this raw/natural diet I'm hearing about? Interested since Boots loves to hang out in kitchen searching for droppings with the dogs from the highchair... he's more dog than cat sometimes.