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Cost of Cat Diabetes: How Much Does Cat Insulin Cost? (2023 Price Guide)

cat insulin injection

If your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes, you’re probably wondering how much cat insulin costs. The good news is that there are a variety of treatment options available, and the cost of insulin for cats has come down significantly in recent years. In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of cat insulin and some of the factors that can affect the price. We’ll also provide some tips on how to save money on cat insulin costs.

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Before We Begin

This is a cost guide only, aimed at helping you make the best decision for your cat. The costs discussed in this article are based on averages and may not reflect the specific cost of insulin for your cat. Always consult with your veterinarian to get an accurate estimate of the treatment costs for your individual pet.

The Importance of Insulin for Cats

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body to use sugar (glucose) for energy. Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body can’t produce enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it produces. This can lead to high blood sugar levels and a variety of health problems.

While there is no cure for diabetes, it is a treatable condition. Insulin therapy is the most common treatment for diabetes in cats. Insulin can help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve your cat’s overall health. Without insulin, diabetes can be a very serious condition.

Veterinarian at vet clinic giving injection to cat
Image Credit By: Tom Wang, Shutterstock

Types of Cat Insulin

There are two main types of cat insulin:
  • NPH insulin (neutral protamine Hagedorn): This is a long-acting insulin that is typically given once or twice daily. It takes about 6-8 hours to reach its peak effect.
  • Regular insulin: This is a short-acting insulin that is typically given 3-4 times daily. It reaches its peak effect in about 2 hours.

Your veterinarian will work with you to choose the type of insulin that is best for your cat.

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How Much Does Cat Insulin Cost?

The cost of cat insulin can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of insulin, the brand, and where you purchase it. In general, you can expect to pay between $30 and $100 for a 10-mL vial of insulin.

NPH insulin is typically less expensive than regular insulin, but it may not be as effective in some cats. Your veterinarian can help you to determine which type of insulin is best for your cat. It costs about $30 to $60 for a vial of NPH insulin.

Regular insulin is typically more expensive than NPH insulin, but it may be more effective in some cats. A vial of regular insulin costs about $40 to $80.

The brand of insulin can also affect the cost. Generic insulins are typically less expensive than brand-name insulins.

Cat Diabetes: Additional Costs to Anticipate Besides Insulin

persian cat checked by vet.
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Additional costs to anticipate when your cat has diabetes, including:
  • Blood sugar testing supplies: $25 to $50 per month
  • Vet visits: $50 to $100 per visit
  • Prescription diet: $40 to $80 per month

Complications of Diabetes in Cats

If diabetes is not properly controlled, it can lead to complications:
  • Cataracts: $1,500 to $3,000 per eye
  • Blindness: $5,000 to $7,000
  • Kidney disease: $2,000 to $4,000
  • Liver disease: $2,000 to $5,000
  • Pancreatitis: $3,000 to $5,000
  • Intensive care: $1,000 to $5,000
  • Surgery: $2,000 to $4,000

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Can You Maintain Your Cat’s Quality of Life Without Insulin?

owner with her cat at home
Image Credit By: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Yes, you can maintain your cat’s quality of life without insulin, but it will require a lot of dedication and hard work. A strict diet and exercise regimen must be followed to keep blood sugar levels under control. You’ll also need to test your cat’s blood sugar regularly. It’s so much precise work over such a long span of time, and it’s so important to your pet’s health, that most vets wouldn’t recommend it.

Tips for Saving Money on the Cost of Cat Diabetes Treatment

A few ways you can save money on the cost of cat diabetes treatment:
  • Shop around for the best prices on insulin and other diabetes supplies.
  • Ask your veterinarian about generic brands of insulin.
  • Buy insulin in larger quantities to get a discount.
  • Work with your veterinarian to develop a care plan that doesn’t require as many vet visits.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Diabetes and Insulin?

pet insurance coverage
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Pet insurance typically covers the cost of cat diabetes and insulin, but coverage can vary depending on the policy. It’s important to read the fine print of your policy to understand what is and isn’t covered. Some policies may have a limit on how much they will reimburse you per year for diabetes treatment.

To get the most out of your pet insurance policy, be sure to:
  • Keep all receipts for diabetes supplies and vet visits.
  • Submit claims in a timely manner.
  • Keep up with your policy’s renewal date.
  • Look for bundle discounts.
  • Talk to customer service about benefits you might not be using.

Cat Diabetes FAQs

Q: How much does it cost to treat cat diabetes?

A: The cost of treating cat diabetes can vary depending on the type of insulin your cat needs, the brand of insulin, the quantity you purchase, and where you live. In general, you can expect to spend $30 to $80 per month on insulin, $25 to $50 per month on blood sugar testing supplies, and $50 to $100 per vet visit.

Q: How do cats get diabetes?

A: The exact cause of feline diabetes is unknown, but it is believed to be linked to obesity, infection, and certain medications.

Q: Can cat diabetes be cured?

A: No, there is no cure for cat diabetes. However, with proper treatment, most cats can live a long and healthy life.

Q: What are the symptoms of cat diabetes?

A: The symptoms of cat diabetes can include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, weakness, and lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, contact your veterinarian.

Q: How is cat diabetes diagnosed?

A: Cat diabetes is typically diagnosed through a combination of a physical examination, blood tests, and urine tests.

Q: What are the symptoms of diabetes in cats?

A: Symptoms of diabetes in cats can include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, weakness and lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, contact your veterinarian.

Q: Does diabetes in cats always have signs?

A: Diabetes in cats can have signs that are not always apparent. If your cat is urinating more frequently or appears to be drinking more water than usual, these could be early signs of diabetes. This is why regularly yearly physicals are so important.

Q: What are the long-term effects of diabetes in cats?

A: Over time, diabetes can cause serious health problems in cats, including kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage.

Q: How is cat diabetes treated?

A: Cat diabetes is treated with insulin injections, a prescription diet, and regular vet visits.

Q: Can cat diabetes be prevented?

A: There is no sure way to prevent cat diabetes but maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding infection can help reduce the risk.

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Conclusion

Diabetes in cats can be a serious and costly disease, but with proper treatment most cats can live long and healthy lives. Shop around for the best prices on insulin and other diabetes supplies, ask your veterinarian about generic brands of insulin, buy insulin in larger quantities to get a discount, work with your veterinarian to develop a care plan that doesn’t require as many vet visits – these are just some of the ways you can save money on the cost of cat diabetes treatment. And don’t forget to take advantage of your pet insurance policy by keeping up with all receipts and submitting claims in a timely manner. It takes a little work, but you can do it! Your cat will thank you!


Featured Image Credit: Dina da, Shutterstock

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