How to Administer Insulin to a Cat

Cats can become diabetic just like their human owners. It is important to learn how to give injections to your pet after it has been diagnosed with diabetes. There are no oral medications available at this time to treat feline diabetes. Your veterinarian will demonstrate the correct method of injection, but it can be difficult to remember the first few times. This article will give you an overview of how to administer insulin to a cat.

Steps

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    Take the insulin out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm up for 2 minutes.
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    Roll the bottle 2 or 3 times so the contents are uniformly mixed, do not shake.
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    Insert a clean needle of the syringe into the top of the bottle.
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    Draw up more insulin than necessary into the syringe by pulling back the plunger.
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    Flick the side of the syringe 4 or 5 times to allow air bubbles to float to the top of the syringe.
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    Push air bubbles and excess insulin back into the bottle until you have reached the correct amount of units prescribed by your veterinarian.
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    Pet or groom your cat a few times to ease anxiety.
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    Grasp the cat's skin with your thumb and index finger and pinch firmly.
    • Places to administer the injection include the area by your cat's shoulders, its flank or the side of its stomach.
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    Insert the needle into the skin with the needle parallel to the spine and a finger poised at the plunger.
    • This will deter pain that can be caused by the syringe moving when you shift your finger into position.
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    Depress the plunger in one quick movement.
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    Cap and throw away the needle properly.
    • Place used needles in a specialty "sharps" container or dedicated metal or thick plastic container.
    • Check with your vet or local officials to follow laws and ordinances. They can also tell you about safe disposal programs in your community.
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    Reward your cat with food or treats.

Tips

  • Ensure you have the correct syringes for your cat's type of insulin. There are several types. Contact your vet if you have any questions or concerns about syringes.
  • You should always give insulin at the same times each day. Insulin must be given with food immediately before or after the injection.
  • Alternate sides to avoid scarring at one injection site.

Warnings

  • Watch for signs of a potentially life-threatening condition called hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that can occur if your cat doesn't eat after a shot or an incorrect dose was given.
  • Take your cat to your veterinarian or emergency vet if the symptoms of hypoglycemia do not improve in a few minutes or your cat exhibits other unexplained behavior.
  • Administer honey or feline corn syrup onto your cat's gums if you notice weakness, staggering, "glazed-over eyes," seizures or unconsciousness.

Things You'll Need

  • Insulin
  • Syringe
  • Food
  • Honey or feline corn syrup (if needed)

Article Info

Categories: Feline Health