Holly’s behaviour

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Sarahbeth, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2020
    Hi all,

    our cat Holly was diagnosed in October and her numbers have come down a lot.

    however, her behaviour is quite violent when it comes to food. Because she was peeing on the floor, she now stays in our kitchen-diner (with her bed next to radiator and litter tray).
    Our problem is that she keeps stealing food, and this is having a massive effect on her sugar when she steals bread (obviously). We’ve bought child locks for the doors and we don’t know how, but she’s worked out how to break them, and she just paws at the doors until the doors are ruined. We put the food into our conservatory and she’s opened the door and got in there last night and eaten 10 sachets (5x as much as she should have with her shot).
    She’s been really violent, and I can’t get her glucose reading in the mornings because she’s just so angry (!). I was wondering if anybody has any advice on the food thing- I know it might still be because her glucose is not under control yet but I am at my wits end... and I thought her numbers were looking better.

    Any ideas on what we could do to help with this obsession with food? It’s not a new thing- she’s been like this since we got her from the rescue 4 years ago but it’s just got more aggressive in the past 6 months (since her diabetes symptoms started).

    We don’t keep bread in the cupboard anymore (!) and have stopped storing any food in the cupboard she has worked out how to get into. My husband had stopped telling her off and just cleans up because we read on a cat behaviour group this was what to do.

    Any suggestions much appreciated!

    sarah
     
  2. THH & Snowcrash (GA)

    THH & Snowcrash (GA) Member

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    Aug 28, 2020
    It looks like her bg is still pretty high. Hyperglycemia can cause extreme hunger in cats, so it's probably contributing here. I don't have any experience with Caninsulin/Vetsulin, so I can't offer any dosing advice... but it looks like she's been on her current dose for a while, maybe time for an increase? Hopefully others experienced with Caninsulin will reply soon, don't increase without hearing from them!

    What's her current diet? And are you able to use a timed feeder for her? Knowing she has reliable food sources may help calm her down. Food insecurity issues in cats can be hard to work through, but if you can help her feel like she's not going to run out of food, that may help. Small frequent meals longterm may be the routine she needs...

    There's also a supplement called Zylkene which could help her and shouldn't effect her bg (every cat is different of course, but I've used it on diabetic cats while at the rescue with no noticeable bg effects). Zylkene can help cats feel more secure and nurtured; it's made to imitate the enzyme in a mother cat's milk that calms kittens down.
     
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  3. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    Thanks so much!

    she has 2 sachets of UK Sheba which is recommended for her body weight, twice a day.

    She has food at 8am with her shot and 8pm with her shot (vet told us we should feed and shoot like this). I also give her a handful of chicken breast cat treats at lunchtime in a puzzle feeder.
    We used to feed her at lunch time too, but vet said she should only be fed twice a day with the insulin (which is what I have read is advised too).

    She’s much calmer this week than she was, but it’s just really difficult at the moment!

    I think I’ll speak to the vet and see what they say about another increase.
    Thanks so much for your reply!

    safah
     
  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Cats that are not regulated need more than a regular cat. This is because their bodies can not properly utilize the nutrients and so they are literally starving even though they are eating.

    First I think she needs more insulin. I'd go to 3 units but please get a morning and evening preshot. If you are home at all during the day get a mid cycle reading and then a before bed reading. On weekends or days off get a day reading.
    How much does she weigh? Is it a good weight or is she over/under weight? How many calories are in each packet of food. Most of us feed several smaller meals a day. I feed in the morning, mid day, dinnertime, and just before bed, there's always food to graze on. Just no food 2 hours prior to the preshot test. Your cat is hungry.
     
  5. THH & Snowcrash (GA)

    THH & Snowcrash (GA) Member

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    Aug 28, 2020
    If she's losing weight on her current diet, she needs more food. Once her diabetes becomes controlled, she won't need as much food.
     
  6. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    I know that she is hungry, it’s upsetting for me to see her like this.

    it’s very difficult because I am still new to this and have been following advice online (on here) and advice of my vet (including not to give smaller meals with the caninsulin).

    My vet weighed her and said her weight loss was okay- because she was very overweight before- she went from 5.7kg to 5.5, and has stayed the same in the last couple of weeks.

    She has 120 calories in the morning and 120 calories in evening and she weighs 5.5kg. Recommended amount of food on box is exactly that (and her weight in lbs is 12.1 x 20 = 242 calories a day) and I top it up with extra treats or cooked meat at lunch time (around 60 calories of only protein).

    how much extra food should an unregulated cat get?

    she doesn’t do anything and we struggle to get her to play, she doesn’t like catnip anymore (I know this is probably because her bg is still high). She’s purring a lot more though.

    Thank you from a very upset Sarah
     
  7. THH & Snowcrash (GA)

    THH & Snowcrash (GA) Member

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    Aug 28, 2020
    :bighug: Everyone here knows how hard it is. As for how much food she should be eating, that's different for every cat... my personal experience is that most new diabetic cats need around 10 ounces of canned food a day, sometimes more depending on their size, etc. Every cat is different and has different metabolic needs, but diabetic cats need A LOT of food until their blood glucose levels stabilize.
     
  8. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    Thanks, I’m crying all the time about her!

    she has 340g of sachet wet food a day which is 12oz plus the extra meat or treats at lunch time

    I’ve emailed vet about increase to 3 units from tonight and will see what they say- also having more glucose strips delivered tomorrow (Amazon lost my order and send me something different so I haven’t been able to test today)- I know I’m a terrible cat mum!

    vet was very adamant about not feeding her at lunch time but if it’s going to help I can feed her more- I could give her around 1.5 extra ounces (43grams) at lunch time which would be around 30calories.

    Thanks so much
    Sarah
     
  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Try giving her an extra half can/pouch mid day and another 1/2 before bed. She clearly is telling you she needs it. She’s lucky to have such a caring owner. You’re doing great, and you’re not alone! She will be just fine and you will figure out what she needs. The two meal a day thing is kind of old school. Esp with the insulin she’s on it’s good to have a bit in the afternoon to balance out the drop. Just no food two hours before the shot.
     
  10. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Stealing human food was what got two of our cats diagnosed but they were just nipping at things on our dinner plates. How violent is she? Just annoyed or scratching and biting etc. Is there anything new in the home; babies, cats and dogs, new roommates or visitors? Our cats generally like things just as they are but they've all dealt well with new cats and even large dogs. The alpha male here will steal food from the other cats but only because he thinks they have more or something better. It never gets violent.
    Before you start getting tests for obscure medical things have her nails and teeth looked at. Ingrown nails and a dental abscess can be quite painful.
     
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  11. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    Thanks! Will do!
     
  12. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    H
    Hi! Thanks!

    One new thing is that we’ve had to keep her in the kitchen because she was peeing everywhere, which has stopped this week.

    I’ve got 2 feliway plugged in where she is and I think that has made a positive change, but when it comes to food and being tested first thing she is just really scratchy and bites and will squeal as if it hurts (but she doesn’t do this at night). She will also inhale her food so we bought a new bowl to slow her down. I have given up on BG readings first thing but will try again to get a morning bg reading but I feel so awful in the mornings at the moment I’m struggling to not be sick anyway!

    We had a lovely night of snuggling last night but I am hoping that feeding her half a sachet at lunch and half a sachet before bed will sort her out a bit, I feel so awful but I’m just trying to do the right thing for her!

    thank you so much for your replies

    sarah
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2020
    Reason for edit: removed content as request by author
  13. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    One good news!!!!!! ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2020
  14. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    Going to need plenty of feliway for poor holly over the next year. Her sister Berry is totally fine but I’m really worried about how holly will react- I guess we didn’t expect to have a newly diabetic cat when we found out we were expecting! I’m sure it’ll all work out!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2020
    Reason for edit: removed content as you requested
  15. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Will she be more receptive of the test of you do it WHILE she's eating?
     
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  16. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    I will give it a go! Thanks! I don’t understand why in the evening she’s fine (will jump on my lap!) but in morning she hates me!!
     
  17. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    17B2F9D9-A922-4986-B3D2-2986C603F2F3.jpeg
    So happy for you. When we found out our son was on the way we had just taken on a stray who was a bit.... High strung. My inlaws had her for a couple months, but told us either we had to take her or put her back outside because she had taken to stalking and ATTACKING my Father in law. The second week we had her I got in between her and our old cat Zimmy and she clamped into my hand which blew up like a balloon and sent me to the hospital.

    I told her she had six months to get her act together. I was really worried how she would be when the baby came. It took a lot of patience and several feliway diffusers. Lol. Even now we have three going all the time and we can tell when one runs out. We'll turns out she loved my son and 8 years later still does.
     

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  18. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    You might not want to hear this but testing is very important. You have other things to think about right now so I'm not going to nag you.
    I don't know anything about babies except how to make them laugh and that they poop.
    boohoo_08.jpg
     
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  19. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    Ah! That’s soooo cute! What lovely pics! Makes me feel a bit better... just hope she manages ok. Trying to give lots of love at the moment!
     
  20. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020

    Yes I know- thanks, I will try to be more on it in the mornings. I have been so sick it has just been difficult- excuses excuses I know.

    haha thank you! It’s still early days so might not work out but I really hope it does!
     
  21. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Oh stop showing off Janet. Now this is one cute baby.
    dickson_baby002.JPG
     
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  22. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Super cute. :)
     
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  23. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Sarah,

    It might be helpful to keep a note of when Holly is hungriest. If it's between +8 and +12 then that would point to the hyperglycaemia driving the hunger. Looking at her spreadsheet she seems to have a fairly typical response to her Caninsulin, i.e. the dose seems to have pretty much petered out by +8.

    See this post for tips on assessing/managing a kitty's weight:

    https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB...management-help-for-reid.240062/#post-2700312

    If they haven't already done so, it might be an idea to ask the vets to check Holly's thyroid levels, as the speeding up of the metabolism caused by hyperthyroidism can also make a cat really hungry. (HyperT is more common in older cats, but still might be worth a check if only to rule it out.)

    When it comes to insisting that a cat only be fed twice a day prior to insulin administration, as Janet says above that is very old school and is driven by the use of products like Caninsulin which do not have adequate duration of effect in cats. Caninsulin also hits quite hard and fast early in the cycle. For these two reasons vets typically insist that the cat only be fed twice a day prior to receiving their insulin, the reasoning being that the cat will have enough food 'on board' ready for the insulin to hit, and also so that any postprandial rise in BG will be managed better while the insulin is working at peak strength. Here's an illustration of an 'ideal' response to Caninsulin in cats which sets this in context:


    [​IMG]

    As you can already see from Holly's data, her response to this insulin appears to be quite typical.

    When Saoirse was put on Caninsulin the vets also insisted that she must not get any food other than the two pre-insulin meals each day. After only a couple of days on their schedule Saoirse started throwing up liquid after about 3-3½ hours and yowling from the discomfort. This was due to her stomach being empty and had not been an issue prior to the change in feeding schedule dictated by the vets. I rang the vets about this and was horrified to be told that Saoirse had "had it her own way for long enough" and that she would "just have to get used to it." There was no way on God's green earth that my cat was going to get used to being in pain purely on a vet's say-so. I changed her schedule to give one large feed before each insulin dose and then a snack every three hours to keep something in her stomach. It solved the vomiting problem straight away. At her next appointment, I informed them about how I was feeding Saoirse and that it was not up for debate. (This went down like a lead balloon. Tough.) I also moved to a different practice a few weeks later. The main vet at our new practice, who happened to have a diabetic cat himself, had no problem whatsoever with Saoirse's feeding schedule.

    There's textbook, and then there are the needs of the individual cat. We have to be advocates for the latter. If your girl is hungry, she's hungry. (((Holly))) As mentioned above, the key thing is to make sure that she has a substantial feed 30 minutes prior to getting her insulin, but if she needs more then perhaps try giving her smaller snacks later in the cycle, preferably before +8.

    High numbers typically make a cat feel a bit lethargic, but it's also worth noting that not all insulins agree with all cats. Some cats on Caninsulin can get quite lethargic mid-cycle but then brighten up round about the +9-10 mark when the dose is wearing off. If you were to notice a similar pattern in Holly then it would be worth recording your observations and presenting them to the vet, with a view to asking for a switch to a different insulin. (In the UK, the second insulin that must be tried after Caninsulin is Prozinc as they're the only products currently licensed for use in cats. Prozinc is a better insulin for cats as it typically has a gentler action and longer duration than Caninsulin. It is only after the cat has been tried on both of these that the vet can legally prescribe Lantus or Levemir under drug cascade rules.) Also, because Prozinc typically has a longer duration, it further supports the feeding of mini meals mid-cycle.

    One possible reason for the inappropriate elimination might be diabetic neuropathy. While cats with more severe neuropathy can be seen to walk on their hocks, it can also affect bladder control. It might be worth asking your vet about giving B12 methylcobalamin and folate supplements. You can find info on where to source suitable diabetic-friendly products in the following thread:

    https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB...-vit-b12-and-other-need-to-know-stuff.137376/

    Hang in there, Sarah. Things will get better. :bighug:


    Mogs
    .
     
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  24. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Maybe she's just not a morning pusscat. ;)

    :D


    Mogs
    .
     
  25. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Adorable
     
  26. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    thank you mogs, I’m sorry I haven’t replied. The info is really useful and I have copied it to keep a record of it.

    Thank you all for your advice and guidance

    for info holly is much better in her behaviour since I started giving her snacks and her sugar has actually come down!

    Sarah x
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020
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  27. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Hey folks, I am making a few changes to posts as Sarah has requested.

    Sarah - my black and white girl was also on a serious food mission all the time. We too started on Caninsulin. I ended up keeping food in the microwave. :rolleyes: Had to guard the kitchen when I was cooking. Getting Neko's numbers better, and on a longer lasting insulin really helped. In her case, it turned out she had a benign tumour on the pituitary sending out excess growth hormone, so she was acting like growing teenagers do!
     
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  28. Sarahbeth

    Sarahbeth New Member

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    Nov 7, 2020
    Thank you so much for this Wendy!

    she has just pinched another pouch but it was time for her evening snack so we will just skip that! She took advantage of the garage window being open because the tumble dryer was on- didn’t think she could jump that high so I suppose it shows her back legs are doing alright...

    Thank you all for your support.

    Hope you all have a lovely Christmas!
    Sarah
     
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