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It’s the little things… like when a boarding diabetic cat finally starts to eat!
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Image by Kerri Lee Smith
27/52 By some unspoken rule, the "special needs" boarding cats – for instance geriatric or diabetic cats – have become my responsibility (under the doctors’ supervision) on the shifts I work. Many cats don’t eat for a day or two when they first come to board because they are too nervous. I feel bad they are so nervous but I know they’ll be OK. However, diabetic cats MUST eat. As you may be able to tell from this picture, Magic spent his first 24 hours under his towel – NOT eating. I tried every variety of prescription diabetic food we have – wet and dry, pate and "savory selects" in gravy and nothing. I tried tasty junk food and nothing again. I tried slipping his food under his towel with him and still nothing. We were getting to the point where we were going to have to test his blood glucose level to determine if, or how much, insulin to give him. I was just about to walk out the door at the end of my shift and have him be someone else’s responsibility when I saw him peek outside his towel and eat some of his Purina DM Savory Selects wet food for about 45 seconds and something huge inside me lightened up. I was so thrilled to see him eating that I, of course, didn’t want to open his cage door to get a better picture of him. Any cat who eats while boarding is a happy, little thing.

By the way, if you ever have to board your cat and the vet asks for your permission to give an appetite stimulant if needed – please say yes. For those who feel reluctant to give their cats medication, know that the appetite stimulants used are very safe and the risk of the medication is so much less than the risk to your cat of not eating – especially if it is overweight or diabetic. Often one dose is enough to get a cat to eat and that first meal is all it takes to jump-start their appetite and no further doses are needed.

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