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Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2239
Experience:  DVM
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Diabetic and the treatment is costly. Looking for canned

Customer Question

Diabetic and the treatment is costly. Looking for canned foods, and insulin, etc. that is less expensive.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sorry the cat has that. The Expert will know what to do. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Bugsy is 9. Just started Him on injections and feeding Purina DM, which he doesn't love.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Bugsy?
Customer: Indoor only cat.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I thought this was supposed to be chat?
Expert:  Scott Perry replied 5 months ago.

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Bugsy has been diagnosed with diabetes and you are interested in less expensive treatment options. Is that correct?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Expert:  Scott Perry replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. I am typing my response now. Please bear with me a few more minutes.

Expert:  Scott Perry replied 5 months ago.

The essential treatment to diabetes is the insulin treatment. In cats, as with many medications, there are a selected few treatments that are effective. The benefit with choosing a more expensive insulin (i.e. Glargine) is that cats can have a remission of their diabetes where treatment with insulin is no longer necessary. This works approximately 90% of the time with Glargine (i.e. "Lantus") and can be observed within 3-6 months after starting treatment. However, it is one of the more expensive therapies, but hopefully the expense pays off over time with not having to use insulin for an extended time. The only other insulin approved for cats is called PZI - it is more affordable than Glargine.

A more affordable insulin type that is not technically approved for diabetes in cats, but can still be used off label is either Novolin or Humulin. Novolin is a Wal-Mart insulin used for people. The reason it is not approved for cats is because we have a difficult time regulating diabetes with this insulin. However, it is a cheaper option.

Regarding the food, you want one with a carbohydrate content that it is <20% (this is on a metabolized energy content, but you would just want to look at the number). Some pet food companies do not put this on the label, which is frustrating, and you have to call the company and ask. A dry food is better, but all over-the-counter options will have carbohydrate content above the recommendation. Some are just worse than others. Fancy Feast, for example, will be above 50%. Some cats are able to go into remission with brands like EVO, which is more expensive than Fancy Feast, but less than the prescription diet. If Bugsy enjoys people food then you might be successful with a balanced raw diet that you lightly cook, like Nature's Variety organic, raw frozen diets.

Expert:  Scott Perry replied 5 months ago.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am here to help. If you have no other questions, I would appreciate very much a positive review. You may leave 1-5 stars. Your review helps connect Experts with other customers, so your input is highly appreciated. Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Are you telling me that Glargine essentially "cures" diabetes in cats? How much does it cost? And you are agreeing with my vet that I cannot cook for my cat, but there is frozen food that I can cook? That's confusing. Most of what you've told me I've found in my own research, but I guess the final answer is that it isn't cheap and there's not much I can do to lower the cost. Guess I go do some more research and check out EVO.
Expert:  Scott Perry replied 5 months ago.

I am saying that Glargine can "cure" a diabetic cat. Occasionally a cat needs to be put back on an insulin at a later date, but this can last for months to years. You actually can cook for your cat. Outside of the Nature's Variety recommendation, you can also cook an entire meal from scratch. However, I would only recommend using a site with a veterinary nutritionist to prevent deficiencies in nutrition. The only place I am aware is using They will generate a recipe for you for free, but they recommend that you purchase a supplement to make up for any nutritional deficiencies in the diet. This can be tailored to Bugsy's diabetic needs. I am not sure if this would be a cheaper option, but it might be comparable. I believe the costs to be about $0.90 per feeding with the supplement plus the cost of the food. The EVO dry food will likely be cheaper.

Expert:  Scott Perry replied 5 months ago.

Do you have any other questions I can answer?