Looking for a diabetes monitor that's strong enough for a human, but gentle enough for a cat
April 22, 2011 6:58 AM   Subscribe

I need to find a blood glucose meter I can use to track my cat's blood sugar.

My 15 year old cat was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year, and I have been told I need to monitor her blood sugar.

I tried to use a meter I bought from Target, but it requires way too much blood. It's already hard enough to get kitty to sit down, let alone get a pint of blood out of her.

So, I ask you if you could recommend a blood glucose meter that uses the least amount of blood possible. Bonus points if it's easy on the wallet.

posted by reenum to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Freestyle Lite monitors are excellent for cats as they require the least amount of blood on the test strip. I used one on my diabetic cat and it worked like gangbusters.

The strips can get pricey, but you can probably find deals at Amazon and 1-800 Pet Meds.
posted by gsh at 7:11 AM on April 22, 2011

Yep, Freestyle Lite or the pet version (by the same company, Abbott) called AlphaTRAK take the smallest drop. I use the latter for accuracy reasons, despite the crazy strip prices (available cheaper at Amazon than through your vet).

I have heard that Walmart's Relion brand also takes the same small amount of blood (0.3) that the Abbott machines do, so that is likely a cheaper option for strips.

Keep in mind when using a human meter, there will be some variance, though in most cases probably not enough to worry about. Many pet owners use human meters just fine.

Feel free to MeMail if you have any questions on testing your cat. It gets easier, don't worry!
posted by dayintoday at 7:18 AM on April 22, 2011

My cat died, and I have one, along with a ton of unopened needles, and a few strips, if you want them. Memail me if you want me to mail them to you, along with the instruction book. (If you don't, you might want to try on your local Freecycle, which is where I got all these things.
posted by RedEmma at 8:43 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

By one, I mean the Freestyle Freedom Lite meter.
posted by RedEmma at 8:43 AM on April 22, 2011

I've been managing my two 15-year-old diabetic cats (same Mom, different litters) for about 5 years without testing their blood sugar. Neither of them would tolerate me testing them. I try to be punctual about their injections, and make sure their wet food doesn't contain wheat gluten.
posted by luckynerd at 11:54 AM on April 22, 2011

FYI, once my cat was diagnosed with diabetes (she's 18 now - diagnosed at 16), the doc suggested a low carb/high protein food (Evo as one source) and once Miss Lucie got on that, insulin wasn't needed at all.

Just an option for you to try and monitor the blood sugar. Vet took her off insulin probably within 6 months or so of switching the food. She's feeling MUCH better. Both cats (and one old doggie) eat Evo and it's helped a lot. (Dog even lost some poundage!)
posted by Mysticalchick at 5:14 PM on April 22, 2011

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