Update, Nov. 30, 2013: Oh, purry happy days! Denny found his forever home today with a wonderful lady who wanted a gentle older kitty — and Denny was the perfect fit for her! Congratulations, Denny, and may you have a wonderful time in your new home. Purrr, purrrr, purrrrrrrr!
Hi everybody, Bella here. Mama told me that June is Adopt-A-Cat Month, and then she told me that my friends in the diabetic kitty room at HART of Maine are having trouble finding forever homes. Well, I’m not having any of that! I promised them that they’d find their forever homes someday, and I’m going to help them by introducing them to you.
My first diabetic friend is Denny. Say hi, Denny!
Denny: Hi, Bella. Thanks for choosing me as your first Sugar Kitty Wednesday feature. I’m honored.
Bella: Well, of course! I wanted to start with you because you’re a black cat like me. I hope Angus isn’t jealous.
Denny: Oh, he’s fine, don’t worry. Nothing bothers him much.
Bella: Okay, I feel better now. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Denny: Well, um, where to start … I guess with the basics. I’m neutered, of course, and I’m about 12 years old. Your Mama and the other shelter volunteers say I’m very playful and I act about half my age. I do love my feather toy!
Bella: I know this is going to be a hard question, Denny, but how did you find yourself in the shelter?
Denny: I had a really nice human whom I loved very much — but on December 8, 2011, she stopped moving forever … *sniffle* … and I had to go to the shelter. I’ve lived here ever since.
Bella: I’m sorry, Denny. Here, let me give you a cheek rub and a kiss.
Denny: Thank you, Bella. You always were a sweet cat, even if you were a little hyper.
Bella: So, Denny, I guess people might be intimidated by the fact that you’re diabetic, so why don’t you tell them about how the shelter people care for you.
Denny: It’s easy! I haven’t had to take any insulin for a long time, so if you adopt me you’re not going to have to give me shots every day! You should check my blood glucose periodically, but the people at HART can show you how to do that.
Bella: Do you have to eat any special food?
Denny: Well, I do have to eat low-carb, grain-free canned cat food. They won’t let me have any dry food because it makes my blood sugar level go up. But it’s not any kind of ultra-super-premium super-expensive canned cat food — it’s just plain old Fancy Feast classic pate. (I can’t eat any food that has gravy in it because gravy has a lot of carbs.)
Bella: That’s great news, Denny! I’m off the juice, too! I haven’t had to have any insulin since about a week after Mama brought me home. *purrrrrrr*
Denny: Good girl, Bella. You just keep on doing what you’re doing. Um, I should say there’s just one more little thing: I seem to have developed a case of hyperthyroidism, and I have to take a pill for that every day.
Bella: Oh, yuck!
Denny: It’s not so bad, really: the folks at HART crush up my pill, put the pill powder in a syringe and mix it with water. Then they can just squirt it in and I swallow it up like a good boy. Your mama’s given me my medicine a couple of times, and she can tell you how well I behave.
Bella: Oh, she has — and I’m very proud of you! Are there any things you especially love?
Denny: Oh, I love getting brushed, getting special attention and loving petties (oh, how that makes me purr!) and playing with my feather toy.
Bella: What about dogs, kids and other cats?
Denny: I’m good with dogs and older human children — but please keep the toddlers away! I’m used to living with other cats; after all, I’ve lived in the shelter for more than a year now!
Bella: Thanks, Denny. I hope we can help you find that loving forever home!
Denny really is a wonderful cat, everybody! If you want to visit him, go to HART of Maine’s shelter in Cumberland, Maine. You can even fill out an adoption application (download it here) and e-mail it to the adoption team.
If you’re interested in adopting a diabetic cat from HART, they’ve got lots and lots of perks for you: You’ll get $100 worth of Fancy Feast cat food, a year’s supply of insulin (if the kitty you adopt is insulin-dependent), a free blood glucose monitor and testing supplies, and free boarding for your diabetic kitty at HART if you need to go out of town. Oh, and a free class on how to do glucose tests and give insulin shots. Get in touch with one of HART’s adoption counselors for more information — call 207-829-4116 or e-mail email@example.com.
Great interview Bella!!
Denny – it is great to meet you and we know someone it out there looking to take you home. :)
Purrrrrr … thank you for the compliment. *preen, preen, preen*
You did a GREAT job with your first interview, Bella, and Denny sounds like a great guy! I hope humans learn that diabetic kitties don’t have to be high maintenance – in fact, Denny sounds WAY easy to care for, and easy-going too.
I have two kitties, one of whom needs steroid pills and is thus at risk for diabetes. This actually really helped put my mind at ease, and I’ll definitely remember it when I’m looking at getting a new cat. Thanks, Bella, and I hope Denny finds his forever home soon!
Thank you! It means so much to me that I might have been able to help you (and maybe others) see that it’s really not that hard to take care of a diabetic kitty. Purrrrr!
Denny’s a really good guy, Sparkle. And I hope he finds a forever home someday. He was in foster care for a while and the person who was fostering him wanted to adopt him … but unfortunately, he and the foster human’s other cats didn’t get along. :-(
You did a fantabulous job on your first interview, Bella! I sure hope Denny gets adopted soon!
My tortie Tara is a sugar kitty, too. It really isn’t as scary as some people might think.
Purrrrrrr — thank you, Melissa!
My 11 yr old “Buddy”, a maine coon mix, was diagnosed Monday with diabetes. I hope he can be diet controlled—-he’s NOT happy without his crunch, but it’s what he’ll have from now on.
Becky, you can also give him whole life freeze dried treats. They are just freeze dried meats. No additives or fillers or anything. My babies only like the chicken ones, tho. Just a thought to give him a little crunch without a bunch of unhealthy crap. Hope things go well for you both.
I like crunchy shrimp treats, too. Purrrr!
Buddy can certainly have a wonderful life, even if he never does get all the way “off the juice,” as they say in the diabetic kitty world. Thank you for doing the right thing (even if he doesn’t like it right now) to help him get and stay healthy.
p.s. A cat who doesn’t like gooshy food? What is this?!? :-)
This is a very special subject to me. I have a beautiful boy that is 15 now. We think he is a Maine Coon and Siamese mix. He was diagnosed 6 years ago. I got online and found an amazing group with very special people- yourdiabeticcat.com. It took a lot of work but he was off insulin within 8 months. He has not had insulin in over 5 years. Now he is just as easy to care for as before. He just eats canned food only and we check his blood sugar once or twice a month. Anyone with a diabetic cat please do not give up. They are so worth the effort. I hope you find your furever home soon, Denny. Congratulations to you, Bella, for helping out an amazing little boy!
Thanks, JD. And thank you for being such a wonderful caretaker for your super-sweet kitty.
This topic is also of significance to me. I am owned by 2 cats that are siblings. My Roo was just recently diagnosed with diabetes. They are 11 now, and it freaked me out seeing her lose half her weight in only a months time. She’s now 10 1/2 lbs. But the vet said she’s at a perfect weight. She gets a shot twice a day and does okay with me giving it to her. Though I must admit, it freaks me out a lil giving it to her. When I went away on vacation, my mom took over giving her the shots and it freaks her out also. They only eat kibble food, no wet stuff. My vet also says to keep her on the same food. Would changing her diet help get her off insulin shots? I sure wish it would. It’d be a lot easier on us since we hate needles.
Sandra, it is possible to get your babies off insulin. Go to felinediabetes.com. I followed their protocol and my baby has not had to have an insulin shot for over 5 years. We have moved cross country 2 times in those 5 years and even the stress from the moves didn’t push him back into needing insulin. Food is one of the main deciding factors in being diet controlled. If a diabetic human eats chips and candy all day they need more insulin. (obviously) it’s the same for cats. Dry food is junk food. They must have low carb canned food. The website I mentioned above has a link to binkys food list. This lists most of the canned and dry foods available and their carb content. I had many vets try to tell me prescription dry diabetic food is fine. It’s not. Even the prescription canned diabetic food has more carbs than other store bought foods. Please look up the website and research for yourself. You won’t be sorry and neither will your babies!
I totally agree! The prescription diabetes food is like “McDonalds” for cats! Loaded with carbs and guarantees a chronically ill pancreas :(
Felinediabetes.com is Mama’s favorite site for all things kitty-diabetes-related. I recommend it highly!
Please be very careful to watch dietary changes in an insulin dependent cat! You could have a hypoglycemic incident (causing seizures) if you are not monitoring sugar at home, change to a low carb diet and maintain the same insulin dosage. Please be careful! For the sake of your cat! Dr Lisa Pierson has a wonderful website talking about feline diabeties and dietary needs at: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=felinediabetes
I have two loving & beautiful babies that fill my life with joy & peace. I feed them dry food and basically keep the bowl out 24/7. I’ve been told to feed once a day, but they only eat little bits at a time so I’m afraid if I take the food away that they will not get enough to eat.
So I have two questions; 1.) Am I hurting my babies by keeping food available all day? Just FYI, I feed them Friskies seafood dry. They also get crunchy treats once a day.
2.) Should I feed the low carb food to my babies now so we can avoid diabetes? I’m not sure if cats are prone to diabetes or if it’s simply a matter of diet.
Any help anyone could give me will be greatly appreciated. I love my babies & I want them to be super healthy so that I can love them for lots & lots of years.
Hi Amy. I hope you got a chance to read our column where we answered your question. Purrs!