Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week: Diabetic Cats

This is post #9 in the series. You can read post #10 at A Tonk's, Tale...

Once again, I welcome Kathryn Bloomer, volunteer at Wayside Waifs. She spoke with Jason, a diabetic kitty who went from a very sick kitty to thriving and enjoying life.

Jason the Argonaut here. I'm one of those shelter cat success stories that you sometimes hear about. I came to Wayside Waifs as an elderly stray in September of 2010. I was very thin, very loving, but unfortunately I turned out to be diabetic. I had won the hearts of everyone who met me, and they were going to try to treat the diabetes, but bad turned to worse when my frequent upper respiratory infections became systemic. Not a good prognosis for a shelter kitty.

Jason on his first night home with his foster mom, October 2010. Photo by Sarah Dieterle.
I was pretty sick by then, but one of the vet clinic staff decided to foster me, to give me a good end of life experience. My life expectancy at that point was a couple of weeks. But, enterprising woman that she is, Sarah my foster mom decided to treat the diabetes and the systemic infection while she had me. First she tried several antibiotics to find one that worked for me. And, just like for human diabetes, my new mom learned how to give me insulin shots, how to test my blood sugar to make sure I was okay for the insulin shot, and how to track how the insulin was affecting my blood sugar. I even got to go on a diabetic friendly low-carb diet. You can't go wrong with high protein for a cat!

And guess what. After about a month of insulin and antibiotics, I was doing a lot better. My URI symptoms resolved and my blood sugar began to reach more normal levels. Finally, I didn't even need the insulin any longer. I was officially an in-remission diabetic.

Jason in May 2011. Photo by Sarah Dieterle.
And here I am, a year later, still a kitty to be reckoned with. My foster mom officially adopted me last December. I was a calendar kitty for our 2011 calendar, and you can see from my photo how good I look now. Although I'm in remission, I still am, and always will be a diabetic, and there is always the possibility that I might go back on insulin at some point. But I just wanted to let you know that you CAN deal with us diabetic kitties. I may be old and sometimes bratty, but I'm a dearly loved miracle kitty. Thank you so much to my foster mom Sarah. Like her, maybe you, too, will someday make a difference in the life of a less adoptable shelter cat.

Thanks Kathryn and Jason! And special thanks to Jason's mom Sarah for making such a difference in the life of a shelter cat! Just because a cat has special health needs, it doesn't mean they should be overlooked at the shelter.


  1. OMC, it's like a miracle how much better he looks, thank heavens for the mummy!!

  2. What a great ooman you have sweetie. You were so fortunate that she fostered you, got you back to good health, and has now adopted you. This is a real success story.

  3. We had a diabetic fur baby who passed away more than 10 years ago now, and I miss her every single day. I have never seen a cat (or a human) who was more happy to greet each day. And she spread her happiness to everyone else.

    The vet told us she would probably not live more than six months after her diabetes was diagnosed---but she lived six more YEARS. And when she finally did pass, at the age of 18, it was because of cancer--not diabetes.

    I was afraid at first that I would not be able to handle the blood testing and insulin injections, but after just a couple of days, it was a breeze for both me and my fur baby. In fact, if I was even just a little bit late with her shot, she would come to find me and remind me it was time. The needles are so fine nowadays that she hardly ever even felt the shot, and she always got a treat afterward for being such a good girl.

    Please don't let the fact that a cat is diabetic stop you from adopting. The extra five or ten minutes a day you spend on treating your baby's diabetes will seem like absolultely nothing compared to the 24/7 love and joy they bring to you.