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Published: Mar 20, 2012

The diagnosis of diabetes in cats can be stressful for the pet owner, but those who closely monitor the disease over time can help ensure that their companion lives a healthy and long life.

When the cat is initially diagnosed, you'll likely be headed to veterinary hospitals on a regular basis in order to get bloodwork done. This will tell the veterinarian the average glucose levels in the cat. However, most animals get stressed when they have blood taken or go to the hospital, which can elevate their glucose samples and result in false readings, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. This is why the owner will also need to do their own testing at home.

Performing a urinalysis is a good way to test glucose levels, and there are a variety of products that can do this. Using non-absorbing plastic pellets will ensure that urine remains in the litter box for the owner to test. There are also strips that can be hidden inside the litter box that will change color based on the results. Once the cat has begun diabetes treatment, this should be performed on a weekly basis.  Blood sugar monitoring at home has also become a routine procedure and your veterinarian can discuss the technique with you.

As cats continue to live with feline diabetes, owners can regularly take their pet in to test for serum fructosamine concentrations. These tests are accurate for detecting blood sugar trends over the past weeks, but won't detect the most recent changes, so they are best used for long-term approximations of your cat's response to treatments.

Diabetes is a condition that can be successfully managed in cats with appropriate diet, medication and monitoring at home by you and regular rechecks with your veterinarian.