Help... Suspect cat may be diabetic but she is very young? And having trouble using her litter box

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Jasonls86, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. Jasonls86

    Jasonls86 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2021
    We adopted a 1 year old cat about a year ago so she is 2 years old now. We notice is drinks a LOT of water. Like begs for it every time she hears me pour a glass for myself even if she has a full bowl. She's been urinating outside her box and we can't figure out why... We've tried everything. Cleaning the litter twice a day. New boxes. More boxes. Different litter. Pheromones. Still pees on the mat right next to it. And she doesn't even bend down she just pees straight back standing up. Initially this was limited to peeing on the mats next to the boxes but it has now grown to the area outside the litter room... Not sure if it's because there is some litter being tracked out onto the floor?

    She also eats quite a bit and is relatively low energy compared to our other cat. Sleeps a lot. Doesn't run around too much. All these signs make me suspect diabetes...

    My questions are, is it possible for a very young cat to be diabetic?
    How much does it typically cost for a vet to diagnose diabetes?
    Why is she peeing outside her box so much, would diabetic treatment fix it in itself?

    Really hoping to get some advice here... We know she won't have much of a future if we can't figure it out. I feel like we at least owe it to her to get her diagnosed if it is diabetes. But we can't have her peeing everywhere. I just don't understand the peeing next to the boxes on the mat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  2. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    We have seen younger diabetics, though it is not common. There are lots of reasons a cat could be peeing outside the box - doesn't like the litter, litter not cleaned enough, other cats in the house scaring her away, urinary tract infection, litter box itself is old and smelly. Or maybe an injury so it hurts her to bend down. Sounds like a vet visit to limit any medical issues is in order. Typically that would mean blood work and urinalysis to start, and vet consult fee. Cost depends on where you live. Most of us here have learned to test our own cats blood sugar, and that is one thing you can do yourself to see if diabetes is an issue.

    Have you tried Dr. Elsey's litter attract product? Tall sided boxes so pee still lands inside the box if she's not bend down. Get some puppy pee pads and put them around the boxes, makes it much easier to clean up.

    A well regulated cat would definitely have better litter box habits than an unregulated one.
     
  3. Jasonls86

    Jasonls86 New Member

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    Jan 26, 2021
    Yes we have tried Dr elseys litter attract... Still no luck. And yes we have puppy pads around the boxes but now she's starting to pee on the doorway outside the litter room...

    We can test her blood sugar level ourselves to see if she's diabetic?

    We will take her in to see if it's a medical problem. Just was trying to get an idea of what kind of bill to expect for something like diabetic testing. In the US Chicago area.
     
  4. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    This file has info on home testing blood sugars: Hometesting Links and Tips Check out the videos first.

    I suspect the vet would want to test for more than diabetes, in case there is another issue. Hence the need for a complete blood panel and urinalysis. They will usually do testing of the urine for sugar as well. Which you can do with ketodiastix. You put the stick in the urine stream.

    Vets can usually help with behaviour issues related to peeing, it's a common enough concern.
     
  5. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Yes, most of us use a human blood glucose meter like the Relion Prime from WalMart ($9). Strips are $17.88/100 and a box of lancets is a few bucks (depending on the brand). You do want to get 25-28 gauge lancets because they are better for new ears. The lancets that come along with kits are usually 31-33 gauge and are too tiny.

    There are lots of video's on YouTube on "how to test a cat's blood glucose".

    Testing at home will also give you more accurate results. The stress of being at the vet can cause the blood glucose to go up significantly.

    A non-diabetic cat's blood glucose on a human meter should be between 40-120.

    If the home testing indicates diabetes is a possibility, you'll need to have a complete blood panel done to see how all her organs are working as well as what her BG is and discuss starting insulin. Some are much better than others. Lantus, Basaglar, Levemir and ProZinc are the most effective insulin's for cats, but a lot of vets are still using Vetsulin which is a much better insulin for dogs and is no longer really recommended for cats. A blood panel is usually in the area of $150...sometimes more, especially in big cities. You should be able to call and ask how much a complete blood panel is.

    All that being said, it's also possible your kitty has a urinary tract infection, with or without diabetes. It is common for diabetics to have UTI's due to the sugar in their urine being an excellent medium for bacteria to grow. To find out about a UTI, she'd need to see a vet for a urinalysis and if bacteria is seen, you should get a cystocentesis (where they use a very thin needle to get a sterile sample of urine directly from the bladder) which they can send off for a culture and sensitivity. A C&S is the only way to know for 100% sure which bacteria is causing the infection and which antibiotic is most effective against it. Once the cysto is done, they can start her on a broad spectrum antibiotic until the results of the C&S are in.

    You might want to check into a Banfield Wellness Plan. Depending on the plan you choose, they can actually be good deals because they include check-ups, vaccinations, fecals, diagnostic testing, dentals, urine testing and discounts on other services.
     
  6. JL and Chip

    JL and Chip Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Sometimes peeing outside the box is a call for help.

    I encourage you to schedule a vet visit to help sort it out. I can think of a number of things that could cause these symptoms, so the best thing you can do is have a vet do an exam, blood work and whatever other diagnostics necessary to rule things in/out and get a diagnosis.

    There are of course many questions: how is your cats appetite? Is it losing weight? What is the condition of the fur coat? Any constipation or diarrhea? Is the cat altered? When was the last fecal sample? Has it been dewormed? Is it indoor only? Has it ever had fleas? Do you use monthly flea/tick treatment? Any exposure to toxins? What is the cat’s primary diet? How much does the cat drink in a day? How often? How often does the cat pee and how much at a time? Is the urine yellowish or mostly clear (concentration)? How long have the symptoms been going on? Etc etc etc

    A good vet will take a thorough history and consider all of those answers, plus more. Sorry to say, but I don’t think you can realistically do an at-home diagnosis. The good news, though, is that many problems are treatable or curable and not necessarily difficult or expensive to manage.

    Even though it’s somewhat rare, whenever I see a young cat with diabetic symptoms and other, more common, causes have been ruled out, there’s always the possibility of diabetes insipidus (different than the diabetes mellitus we typically see around here).

    Please let us know what you find out.
     
  7. Jasonls86

    Jasonls86 New Member

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    Jan 26, 2021
    Thanks for all the advice guys. This has been an ongoing issue for several months now but it's slowly been getting more frequent and worse.

    So I have an appointment with a vet to do a urinalysis and blood work next week. Hopefully we get some answers...
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  8. Jasonls86

    Jasonls86 New Member

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    Jan 26, 2021
    So we had a urinalysis done and measured her water drinking levels. Turns out it's all in the normal range with no signs of diabetes in the urinalysis. Didn't do a blood test vet didn't think it warranted it since we monitored the water drinking afterwards and it seemed normal.

    Instead she prescribed anti anxiety medication (fluoxetine). Thinking about her behavior she does show signs of high anxiety and never seems fully relaxed between always having to know where our other cat is and noises coming from the apartment hallway. Unfortunately it's in human sized pills so we have to cut them into quarters and sneak them into treats but we've been managing. Vet said it could take a month before we see any changes but so far it's only been two weeks and we've noticed some big improvements. She's only really had one accident recently. I've also been trying to do positive behavior reinforment. Every 4-5 hours I will put her in the litter box and give her treats when she does pee in it which also seems to be helping.

    Don't want to jinx anything but it seems like things are getting better. Hope it continues. Thanks for everyone's help here!

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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
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  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I have a cat with anxiety. I have three multicast feliway plug-ins going and it makes a big difference. I can always tell when one runs out!
     
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  10. Jasonls86

    Jasonls86 New Member

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    Jan 26, 2021
    I might try these. We had the pheromone collars for a while and I didn't think it made a big difference but maybe it did and I just didn't notice...
     
  11. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    The collars did nothing for my anxious one. I actually just bought more about 15 min ago.

    Comfort Zone MultiCat Calming Diffuser Kit, Cat Pheromone 3 Diffusers and 6 Refills-48ml, New Formula https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002DHR10/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_EQKEGC9AJ6Q8MWKAW3YW
     
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  12. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    That could be a sign of nervous behavior. Does the other cat attack or bother her?
     
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