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How to give your cat an insulin injection

Initially, giving your cat an insulin injection may seem overwhelming, but over time the process will become just another part of your and your cat’s day.

We will walk you through each step of the administration process.

Unless otherwise directed by your vet, feed your cat before giving insulin. You need: insulin and a special, fine insulin syringe with needle attached. It is very important to make sure you’re giving the correct amount of insulin with the correct syringe (there are 40 IU/ml types of insulin with corresponding syringes, and 100 IU/ml ones). Insulin needles are very small and very sharp, so your cat will barely feel the injection.

Take your cat’s insulin out of the refrigerator (make sure you always store the bottle upright).

Gently roll the insulin bottle between your hands several times and then point it up and down several times to gently mix the insulin. Do not shake. To prepare the syringe, first remove the cap, then draw up air into the syringe to the number of units your cat will receive, then inject the air through the rubber stopper into the insulin bottle. This helps keep the pressure in the bottle stable over time. Before the insulin is withdrawn, turn the bottle upside down, making sure the tip of the needle is covered by liquid, ensuring that once you start pulling back on the plunger, you’re drawing up liquid, not just air.

Draw up the prescribed amount of insulin.

Give your cat some tender loving care first. It may help to have two people – one person to inject the insulin and one to hold your cat. Many cats tolerate injections well, especially in the area between the shoulder blades.

Lift the skin between the shoulder blades, pinching a fold of skin into a tent. You can use your finger to locate the hollow area in which to inject.

Gently insert the needle into the centre of the fold. For safety, and to keep from losing any of your cat’s insulin dose, do not place your finger on the plunger until the needle is in the skin. Gently push the plunger all the way down until the full insulin dose has been given. Remove the needle from the skin. Run your hand over the injection site to feel for moisture, this could mean the insulin wasn’t correctly injected under the skin. Call your vet if this occurs.



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