Diabetes in Cats

Blood Glucose

Tracking Blood Glucose at Home

A stable cat with diabetes should have blood glucose in the range of 120–300 mg/dL for most of a 24-hour period.

A handheld glucometer is one way to monitor these levels. Handheld glucometers are not crucial, but are easy to use and may be worth the investment. Ask your veterinarian which model best suits you and your cat's needs.

Collecting and Testing a Blood Sample

Blood can usually be collected more easily from the earflap (pinna) of your cat. If your cat is not tolerant of this collection site, consult with your veterinarian on alternate sites. Some cats may prefer sampling from the paw pad. A glucometer or glucose test strips are needed to test the blood. Check instructions from your glucometer or test strips, or consult your veterinarian.

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Step 1

Make sure that your cat's ear is warm. If not, hold it between your hands for about 1 minute. This makes collecting a drop of blood easier.

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Step 2

Quickly prick a clean, hairless part of the ear with a sterile lancet or hypodermic needle.

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Step 3

A small drop of blood will appear. Collect the drop onto the glucose test strip as per instructions provided.

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Step 4

Gently but firmly press some clean cotton or gauze onto your pet's ear until it stops bleeding.

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Step 5

Read the test strip or insert the sample into the glucometer as instructed. Compare the reading to the normal level in cats.

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Step 6

Keep a record of the readings to share with your veterinarian.

Testing Using a Glucometer

First, insert test strip into meter, then obtain a small blood drop from the animal. Touch the test strip to the blood drop per instructions. Read the instructions provided with your glucometer before use.

Testing With Blood Glucose Test

Blood glucose strips are used to measure blood glucose concentration. A drop of blood is placed on the pad at the end of the strip and left for a specified amount of time. Then the pad is wiped and the color is checked against the chart on the container. Read the instructions provided with the test strips before use.

Tracking Results

Recording your cat's results is important to properly manage care. Keep track using the Pet Diabetes Tracker app or the online Blood Glucose Curve Tool.

Tracking Tools & Resources

  1. Pet Diabetes Tracker app
    Review and keep important information to manage care.
  2. Blood Glucose Curve Tool
    Easily record blood glucose readings to generate a blood glucose curve.
  3. Helpful Downloads
    Additional resources to understand and manage cat diabetes.

Talk to Your Vet Today

Find a veterinarian to learn more about pet diabetes, and how cats and dogs can lead a happy, healthy life with proper management.

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