need help with my uncatchable diabetec cat

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by splinkynip, Jan 3, 2010.

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  1. splinkynip

    splinkynip New Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Hi all,

    I need advice for my 11-year-old cat Nipsey. He was diagnosed with diabetes a few weeks ago, and I am having trouble giving him his insulin.

    The problem is that Nipsey is not the friendliest cat. Essentially he has been running away from me for 11 years. Just to get him to the vet is an effort as I have to chase him around until he finally goes into the bathroom and I can close the door behind him.

    He lives in the open basement with his brother Splinky. The vet suggested I changed his diet, so he has been eating mostly Fancy Feast for the last few weeks. He seems to like that the most of all the brands recommended. Unfortunately, when I brought him back to the vet his condition got worse (I think it is the bolod sugar level? Went from about 470 to 550). So the doctor recommended that I start insulin injections. Gave him one in the office last weekend, and I have only been able to give him one shot since.

    At first we tried moving him upstairs to live in our bathroom so we can help him easier. He was absolutely miserable and depressed so we brought him back downstairs. I put together a 5'-5'-4' kennel, which isn't helping. The idea was to put the cats' food in there and after he eats a little, close the door, so I could get in and give him his shot. Since being able to finally do it once, he doesn't fall for it anymore and is too smart for us. If we hide on the steps, this won't help either. He hears and sees every movement and now won't even go into the kennel until he is sure no one is around, which is usually about two minutes after we leave the basement (as seen from videotaping).

    Any suggestions? He's a good boy, just wish he understood that he needs the medication or else his condition will get worse
  2. maryjoandsmokie

    maryjoandsmokie Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    There's gotta be some way you can catch Nipsey! She's just gotta
    get that Insulin.
    Maybe with very special treats?
    Hopefully someone with experience can help you.
  3. Jean and Charcoal

    Jean and Charcoal Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi there, and welcome. Hopefully others will be along to give some ideas to you, but I remember when I started out about four years ago, with my Charcoal, he was what I called semi-feral. Sounds similar to what you are dealing with. But, Charcoal became so lethargic and ill because his numbers were over 600, that I was able to get him into the bathroom, and I have a window that I put a soft towel on, and positioned him on that. I gave the insulin shots in his side, halfway down from his back, and right in the flank/stomach area on his right side, as that is how I got him to stay still. He did not like it, but after a few days, he started feeling a little better, and I think he realized that I was only trying to help him. I even had to have a vet come to my house, and he (the cat, not the vet..hehe) flew behind the sofa, and we had to dig him out. So, I know how hard this can be at first.
    Are you giving his shot by yourself, or do you have someone helping you? Where are you trying to give the shot to him? I never was able to get it into the scruff of Charcoal, that is why I chose the side. As Maryjo said, maybe a special treat, or some tiny bit of chicken or tuna to entice him?

    I hope you can get him to receive regular shots, as with numbers that high, he truly sounds like the insulin is needed. What kind are you using? And what size needles do you use?

    Good luck! Please keep checking back for other replies.
    Jean and Charcoal (GA)
  4. Sweetgrass & the Furries

    Sweetgrass & the Furries Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome. My goodness, that is a worrying dilemna.
    I have posted this elsewhere to try and bring some voices of experience with challenging cats to you.

    A couple of things.....
    There is something called confetti litter - little pieces of paper that you sprinkle in the litterbox that change colour depending on how much sugar is being spilled in the urine.
    If your kitty is so difficult to catch, it is also possible that there is a stress reaction causing the blood glucose levels to rise at the vet.
    To get a good idea of what is happening, starting with this might allow you to see what the levels look like generally.
    here is a thread about glucose confetti...,725554,725779

    I am also wondering if the vet did an inhouse blood test to confirm diagnosis? Are these levels he gave you fructosmine or blood glucose? Do you know?
    What were the symptoms you were seeing that brought you to the vet to begin with?

    What type of insulin are you supposed to be giving and how much a day?

    I haven't any personal experience with a fractious kitty, but others have and they have ways of dealing.
    Hang in there okay.
    Meanwhile have you had a chance to read through some of the faqs about feline diabetes?

    There is also a pill form of insulin called glipizide, although not usually recommended, in your case this might be an alternative to not giving any insulin at all.

    You have found a good place full of people who want to help....((hugs))
  5. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Seems to me Cindy and Mousie were like this in the beginning. I pm'd her so she'll get an email alert.
  6. gingerand((calliope))(GA)

    gingerand((calliope))(GA) Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi there!

    I didn't think I could shoot Calliope either, but for some reason, shooting wasn't a problem. I would put the food down and shoot while she ate. Have you tried to do it at mealtime? I think you're situation is more difficult than mine.

    IF you can catch Nipsey, perhaps you could wrap him in a towel or blanket burrito style to give the injections. I have to do that with Calliope to hometest her. I spray some catnip on the blanket,now. I give treats, as well. Calliope is madly in love with Halo Liv a Little chicken treats. I order them online from whoever has the cheapest price at the time.

    Speaking of catnip, maybe spraying it in a certain place will cause Nipsey to come there, so you can get to him. Worth a try.

    I'd be interested to know whether your vet did a frustosamine test on Nipsey, as well. Calliope doesn't like the vet's office one bit and it's pretty difficult to go there. She's in remission, now, but that blood sugar rises every time we go, from the stress. The fruct test would exclude the stress factor, as I understand it.

    Roni used to have chase Moonie around quite a bit and then, suddenly things changed for the better. I believe Moonie likes to go to a catnapper for her tests and Roni gives her treats. I think she cooks plain unseasoned chicken and gives that to Moonie. Won Moonie over with those. That's another suggestion to try.

    I hope some of this helps!
  7. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    hi there and welcome.

    not sure if i'm gonna be much help as i am of the mindset of tough love i think. when my Mousie was diagnosed, i had never touched her. yes, when her dr at the time told me what i had to do i had no doubt i was gonna do it. how though was the question, since i had never touched her.

    ultimately i told myself her life depended on it and i was gonna do it whether it killed me or not. sooooooooooo, come shot time i shut off all the rooms i could and pushed the couches up against the walls and all that good stuff, eliminating any hiding spot i thought a cat would go for. and we ran. we ran for 30 to 45 minutes morning and night. it was a battle of wills between the two of us and i usually won. eventually she would tire out on me and get herself into a corner wherein i could scruff her and carry her to the couch to be shot. and this was before i learned about hometesting!

    we also had to give her a pill for that first several weeks and that was actually the worst part of it all. that took me And my fiance. we would wrap her in a towel and he would hold on for dear life and i would put that sucker in her mouth.....sometimes several times. the little weasel would fling it back at me time and time again but we didn't give up.

    don't get me wrong. that was a very frustrating time. sometimes i wanted to kill her and sometimes i wanted to kill my fiance but i didn't and we all got thru it.

    i would say within 2 months of diagnosis, she started coming willingly for her shot and by then her glucose test because i had learned about hometesting by then and we tackled that too. she even let my fiance start doing it this last year. and get this, and you are the first to be told of this wonderful news, she is actually sleeping on me this last week. 3 different nights in the last week, she has climbed up on me while i've been laying on the couch and she has actually curled up on my tummy and laid with me for nearly an hour each night....AND i've been able to pet her while she is doing it!

    sooooooooooo, keep trying, be a bit more aggressive in your attempts i would say, work on finding a treat to use as a reward perhaps, don't give up and if you have to be tough for a few weeks, you have to be. kitty will learn that what you are doing makes him feel better and hopefully will become more trusting of you. when you feel like quitting, come here, get it off your chest, take a break, and then try again.
  8. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I haven't had the added problem of an uncatchable diabetic, but I did have (and to some extent still have) an uncatchable cat.

    Eli was a foster kitty who spent the first six months of his life being medicated for URI and Calci (a cold and a virus that produces blisters in the mouth) after about three months of medicine he had enough, and ran when ever he saw me. Those few months of re-inforced behavior caused him to continue to run when ever he saw us standing. He wouldn't eat unless we left the room. Catching him to get him to the vet was - like Cindy - a battle of wills.

    Finally I decided to give him rescue remedy. It is a natural product that helps calm. For Eli it helped break that need to run when ever he saw us. I gave it to him for a few months then stopped. Now we are able to walk right up and pat him.

    As for your situation, RR will help keep him calm while you are trying to get him. Once you get him, make sure you make it a positive experience afterwards with some love and lots and lots of yummy treats. Even if it is dry food or some high carb cat treat, you want to reinforce that this is a positive thing. You can transition over to lower carb treats once he starts accepting this.

    Your attitude also has a LOT to do with how successful you will be. If you go into the catch phase with the *oh geeze, this is going to be a pain and he's never going to cooperate* then it will be more difficult then if you think *this will be quick, it needs to be done, it is for the cat's best interest and will make him feel better* Explain to your kitty that his health and happiness is very important and you need to make him a little unhappy for a moment to keep him healthy. Talking it will help keep you in the right mind set. Your kitty might not understand your words, but he will understand your emotions. (I am not convinced my cats don't know the words food and snuggles among others)

    be strong, and remember there are times you do need to make your kitty a little unhappy to keep him happy.

    Connie - owner of 8 cats and foster home for kittens from a local shelter for years.
  9. splinkynip

    splinkynip New Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Thanks all for the replies and advise.... just tried posing a follow-up but not sure what happened to it.

    Anyway, update... tonight I rearranged a bunch of bins and stacked them, so I was able to block off a quarter of the basement. Then I was able to put the food in the far back corner and when he was in that part of the basement, I blocked it off with a gate. He was not happy, but after a few minutes of leaving him alone I saw that he ate, so I was able to get him in the cage and gave him his shot.

    Hopefully this will continue to work, but I am pretty sure that he will outsmart me on this too. Right now I am doing a very little amount, using a 10cc syringe and going up to the very first line. If I can get him to take his shot every night at first, that would be ideal, then I will try for mornings too.

    Interesting about the fructosmine level.... I think the mid 500 was his blood glucose level, but I will ask the vet about it when I go back probably this weekend. I am hoping that the stress reaction is causing hisi level to rise, and that the fructosmine level will be much lower.

    I also will look more into that rescue remedy... if I could get him calm that would be wondeful too.

    Thanks again and I will keep you informed.
  10. judy and squamee(GA)

    judy and squamee(GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Good job! You may have a very smart cat, but I think he has an even smarter mommy bean! Thanks for keeping us posted.
  11. JL and Chip

    JL and Chip Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Please tell me that's a typo and that you're using an insulin syringe, not a 10cc syringe...

    ETA: 3/10cc, perhaps? I've never seen a 10cc syringe (3cc, 6cc, 12cc, yes, but not 10), but that doesn't mean they don't exist...
  12. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I was wondering this too...although we *have* come across vets that dilute insulin and give out these huge syringes.
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