Grey cat sitting next to open notebook. Grey cat sitting next to open notebook.

Diabetes in Cats

Monitoring 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.

Hand touching cat's ear icon.

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.

Hand pricking cat's ear with needle icon.

Step 2

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

Hand collecting drop of blood from cat's ear for test strip icon.

Step 3

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

Hand pressing gauze against cat's ear icon.

Step 4

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

Hand examining glucometer for test results icon.

Step 5

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

Test results icon.

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

Woman using diabetes tracker app on her phone.

Recording your pet’s results is important to properly manage care. Keep track using the Pet Diabetes Tracker app or download a copy of the 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 canine diabetes.

Further Reading

Golden retriever and cat laying next to each other. Golden retriever and cat laying next to each other.

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.


VETSULIN® and VETPEN® are for use in animals only. Dogs and cats known to have an allergy to pork or pork products should not be treated with VETSULIN®. VETSULIN® is contraindicated during periods of hypoglycemia. Animals with severe ketoacidosis, anorexia, lethargy, and/or vomiting should be stabilized with short-acting insulin and appropriate supportive therapy before use. As with all insulin products, careful patient monitoring for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is essential. Overdosage can result in profound hypoglycemia and death. Progestogen and glucocorticoid use should be avoided. The safety and effectiveness of VETSULIN® in puppies, kittens, breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs and cats has not been evaluated. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes. In case of contact, immediately flush eyes with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Accidental injection may cause clinical hypoglycemia. In case of accidental injection, seek medical attention immediately. Exposure to the product may induce a local or systemic allergic reaction in sensitized individuals. For complete safety information, refer to the product label.