My cat is normally on insulin. What happens if he doesn't get his medicine for a week?

  • i have a cat that is taking insulin once a day 1 unit I am going away for a week my neice has been trying to give him a shot but runs away if she can't catch to give him a shot is he going to be ok till I get back going away for a week

  • Hello, this is Dr Linda, a small animal vet with 10 years of clinical experience.


    I'm sorry this question could not be answered more quickly but hope to be able to advise.


    When we do not give a cat insulin, their sugar levels will go very high, and their diabetes will no longer be controlled.


    This can mean the return of diabetic symptoms including:


    • Excess thirst and urination
    • Excess hunger
    • Weight loss


    There is also a higher chance of urinary tract infections occuring. 


    The cat will remain relatively okay but their quality of life will be diminshed.


    If the diabetes is left untreated for too long, there is a risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, whereby there are too many acids in the blood. The high ketone levels can lead to worrying signs including:


    • A reduced appetite
    • Vomiting 
    • Lethargy


    This would be a true emergency requiring an immediate vet visit.

    How long it would take for this to occue without insuling is hard to predict and depends on the patient.


    Please remember that online medical advise is not a substitute for an in person vet visit.

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