Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Cat With Diabetes

Buster appreciates a good nap and
he does it so well!
Let me introduce you to Buster, the sweetest cat ever.

We adopted Buster and his sister Cleo from CL (cat lady) when they were just kittens. CL had rescued their abandoned mother (who was about to have a litter), giving her a warm home with her very own closet to wait for the new arrivals.

Our initial plan was to get an older cat, assuming they were more difficult to place, but CL was very attached to all her long time residents so Buster and Cleo were to come to us.

From the day they arrived at their new home, these two characters took over. Cleo was bossy, stood her ground, and absolutely didn’t like strangers (but she loved us). Buster, on the other hand, ran to greet everyone who came to the door, slept on our laps, and always let his sister win.

Cleo was a good model to sketch.  She sure could hold a pose!
We had never had kittens in the house before so this was new experience. They loved to swing from the curtains, chase each other from room to room, and both ended up in the toilet not realizing the seat was up (the seat hasn’t be up in our house now for 14 years). Whatever they did was fine with us. They were babies after all and they made us laugh.

Feline Diabetes

Cleo passed away a few years ago, which was heartbreaking, and not long after we found out that Buster had diabetes. The signs – drinking way too much water and urinating too often. He was sluggish, and every so often vomited bile.

Feline diabetes is tricky, but can be controlled. Buster has been having two insulin shots a day for several years now. His diabetes actually went into remission for quite a while (this happens only in cats I’m told).

Caring for Buster

Giving Buster an insulin shot was terrifying in the beginning.  We were so afraid of hurting him, and I'm sure we made him nervous.  But now, we have it down to an easy routine.  I hold Buster in my arms, and my husband gives him his shot in a fatty spot on his side towards his stomach. Buster is always calm about it. He doesn’t run away when it’s “shot time”… a matter of fact, there have been occasions when he comes to us if we’re running late!

Along with the insulin, every so often we take blood sugar tests (especially if we see any change in his habits). It’s done the same way as with a person using the same instrument, and the sample is taken from his ear. Again, he doesn’t mind this at all. We make sure he gets lots of pats and hugs and he sits quietly while we take the reading.

Feline diabetes is quite common, and can be very stressful on the owners (as well as the cats). The best place I’ve found for information (aside from the vet), is the following site:

Feline Diabetes

You’ll find a wealth of information from home monitoring and how to give insulin injections to diet and exercise. The disease is treatable and your cat can live a long time with proper care.

Our pets become such an important part of our lives, that we do our best to keep them healthy and happy.  And, if Buster is happy, we're happy!


  1. What a sweet and touching post. I absolutely love the drawing of Cleo and wish Buster a long and happy life with his 'parents' who obviously love him alot. He sounds adorable.

  2. Buster is adorable. He's so gentle and puts up with us giving him his shot twice a day. Maybe he knows we're taking care of him!