Six weeks ago my 12 year old cat started acting sick, lethargic for a few days, wouldn't let us hold him. Then one day he camped out right next to his water bowl all day and the next morning we woke up to a little bloody...something... on his blanket and took him to the vet. They wanted $1200 to keep him and run tests. But it turned out they didn't even bother to look at his anal area and he didn't have an internal problem like they told me (she said his organs were rotting and that was the source of the blood "in his feces" ) after we got him home I examined him myself (he has long hair so it wasn't obvious prior) and saw that really it was an abscess near his rectum that had ruptured. The stuff they did do ended up wiping out all my savings anyway and when they said he needed insulin I had literally $0 left in my account so it wasn't an option. Even though he had been gradually losing weight prior to that... a year or maybe two ...prior to all this he was overweight, and his litter-mate was very thin, so I was worried the other guy was sick. They ran all the tests back then, said our now sick cat had only ever so slightly elevated blood sugar, that it could be just from the stress of the visit since he's a very nervous guy and to keep an eye on it. So I went home all those months ago determined to finally get them off dry and onto wet food only. We have very low income and work many hours and so between lack of time and lack of money, and the diarrhea involved with changing foods and the refusal to eat at all if we withheld dry food etc, made it more difficult than we anticipated and unfortunately I was never able to make the switch. The best we did was get them to eat a few ounces of wet food once a day but unfortunately were still leaving the dry food out all day for them. But after all the initial attempts back then to withhold the dry food... the skinny guy gained a lot of weight and the overweight guy lost a lot of weight. I still don't understand how that happened but...the weight loss continued, gradually but he got way too skinny and I knew he was probably diabetic but we couldn't afford a vet visit so I just kept trying to get him to eat more and make sure he had plenty of fresh water available all the time. I should have started researching more then, but it was so overwhelming and I already believed there was nothing at all I could do to help him without being able to afford vet visits. So, six weeks ago when he had the infection, during the initial visit they gave him fluids and antibiotics under the skin. When we got home he was like a new boy. He was like his old self. He wasn't lethargic, he let us hold him, and he wasn't eating or drinking as much as he had been. That continued for weeks. In fact he's still fine..except he is drastically underweight. I hadn't realized until it stopped then but up til that point he had been peeing a lot more and the pee smelled a lot worse than it should. Since his visit his pee has been totally normal again just like his brother. I think because the weight loss and the increase in thirst/peeing was so gradual I didn't realize how bad it had gotten. But then 6 weeks ago when he had so much improvement from just fluids/antibiotics I got hope that just eliminating the dry food would really help him. I don't know what to do for him at this point without insulin. The vet gave us a prescription then for Glipizide? But my spouse had seen something online about that having bad side effects and we haven't had a chance to research it further yet. My biggest concern at the moment is how do you help an underweight diabetic cat gain weight without insulin? We have been giving him only Fancy Feast, the kinds listed as 0 or few carbs on the catinfo site, twice a day, every 12 hours because the vet said he should only eat twice a day. We do give a little bit of the occasional tuna fish or plain chicken or sardines only as an additional snack never in place of or before their regular wet food. When we were first home from the vet with what I thought at the time (and still am not sure) was an anal gland rupture... I had read that pumpkin helps with that...and that it *might* be good for diabetics because of the way it releases its carbs or something. So I had been giving him a teaspoon of that after he totally filled up on his wet food and wasn't going to fill up on pumpkin. I only did it a few days really because I was kind of nervous about it and wasn't sure if it was totally safe for his diabetes. But now I'm starting to wonder if it was helping. We have been making sure to get him to exercise which we had been too busy to do for far too long because I read that exercise is the best thing to help fix insulin resistance but we've had a stressful few weeks with a lot of stuff going on so the last few days haven't been able to get him to exercise much at all but at the same time I'm wondering how to get him to exercise safely if he's so underweight can he afford to be burning extra calories? Again, I can't afford insulin but am hoping there is some way to help him gain a little weight until I can either save up for insulin or research that other drug or something...six weeks ago his blood sugar was 500 at one visit and then 480 a few days later. I am going to look into getting a thing to test him at home. Thanks in advance for any advice. Summary: How do you help an underweight diabetic cat gain weight if they're not on insulin?