So you just found out that your cat has diabetes and the vet told you that your cat needs regular insulin shots? Do not worry, giving insulin to your cat is pretty straightforward, but the first step to fixing your cat’s diabetic health is knowing where to inject the insulin from. Are you aware of the most common cat insulin injection sites?
If not, fear not, because in this article, we will go through the best insulin injection sites for your cat as well as other tips that will ensure a smooth experience for both you and your cat.
Injecting insulin in your cat
If you are new to the topic of diabetic cat health, and are unsure of why the vet prescribed insulin for your diabetic cat, then let us educate you a bit.
When your cat has diabetes, its pancreas stops producing insulin. Insulin is a chemical that is required to break down the glucose from the blood into energy, so it can be transported around the cat’s body for function.
Now because your diabetic cat’s body can’t make its own insulin anymore, it has to be externally injected so it can perform its function in the body.
The process of insulin injection can be hurtful to your cat, so you need to make sure that you choose a proper injection site.
If you randomly try to inject the needle from any area of the cat’s skin, then the fluid can leak out of the body and cause further internal complications in your cat.
So how do you go about choosing a proper insulin injection site for your cat?
Choosing the right sites to inject insulin in your cat
There are more than one sites that you can use to inject insulin into your cat.
You can keep switching the sites to let the other sites heal first, but usually the insulin needle is pretty thin, so not much healing is required before the next shot.
But before you actually get to injecting the insulin, you need to make sure you have the prerequisites covered, which we will in detail under the next heading.
Based on the instructions you have given you, keep the instruments and insulin prepared for injection.
This means to get a sterilized needle of the right size, the insulin bottle from the fridge and wear gloves to keep the process as hygienic as possible.
If your cat is scared of needles and sharp objects, you may want to get someone to hold your cat at the time of injection so no disruption is caused.
Please ensure beforehand that you have the correct amount of insulin and the syringe recommended by your vet.
You want insulin injection to be as painless as possible for your cat, because if it pains once, your cat may get scared and resent the experience for years to come.
Find the best site
The best site to inject insulin is usually an area with lots of tissue. Not only is there a less chance of the insulin leaking out, but the cat probably won’t feel the shot either.
Some of the good sites to inject insulin are:
- Around the shoulder area
- Near its 4 legs, where there is a thick layer of tissue
- At approximately half of its back in either of the legs
- Between the ear and shoulder blade area
You need to inject the insulin in a gentle way so that it goes directly through the tissue and under the skin.
The best method to get the needle in the skin is to pinch it and swiftly put the needle inside the tissue.
Now that you have figured out the injection sites, it’s time to actually inject the insulin through the skin.
Roll the bottle containing insulin and then use the injection to draw the right dosage of insulin from the bottle.
Make sure it’s the right dosage! A more or less dosage can put your cat’s life in danger.
What to do if the injection causes allergies?
Coming back to injecting through the skin, most cats do not have any allergic reactions and generally take the insulin shots pretty well, but in case you notice any allergies then take your cat to the vet.
However, cats can also be allergic to insulin as well, so you will have to look into what is causing the allergy.
Some allergies that could occur are:
There could be some kind of internal infection but that could be the case of using an unhygienic needle to inject the insulin.
Whatever the case is, please do not wait until the symptoms worsen. Instead, book an appointment with your vet and get your cat checked immediately.
What should you do if insulin leaks out of the injection site
This may not seem like a big deal, but often when fluids are injected into the cat’s body, they tend to leak.
The same is the case with insulin. This usually happens because the skin tissue is too thick and the insulin is not injected with a lot of pressure.
It can get dangerous because if you insert the right dose of insulin, and half of it leaks out, then the effects on the cat’s body can be detrimental.
So what can you do to stop the insulin leaking?
Stop the cat from moving
Firstly, keep your cat as still as possible. The more it moves, the more the chances of the hole getting bigger and insulin leaking.
Get someone to hold the cat in its position while you do this, or simply lay it down in your lap and hold it.
Massage the area
Another thing you can do is, after removing the injection, gently massage the skin for a few minutes until you don’t feel any wetness.
You can also simply hold the skin for a few minutes, It works similarly.
Switch injection site
If one hole becomes too big so that leakage occurs every time you inject insulin, then it is time to switch up the injection sites.
There are in total 4 or 5 sites (mentioned above) that are feasible to inject insulin through. You can switch up among these holes every few days, and this way each hole will also get time to heal.
Some cats can give you a tough time while injecting insulin through the injection sites.
This is because their skin is really hard and does not let the injection through with ease. Even when it finally does, after the insulin leaks out of the hole.
In this case, there is not much you can do. You can try using a smaller needle and if that doesn’t work, then you should consult a vet.
Before you proceed to inject the insulin through your chosen site, there are a few things you can do to ensure the process goes smoothly.
First things first, you need to make your cat as calm as possible when you are giving it the shot for the first time.
Keeping it in your lap and gently rocking or petting it is a good way. If your cat gets scared, then it can tighten its skin, making it more difficult for you to inject.
If you have a bulkier cat, then you can even inject near the abdomen area, it most likely will not hurt.
Keep consistent with the dosage, but switch up the injection sites whenever you see fit.
You should also be ready to take your cat to the veterinarian in case you see any serious side effects on any of the injection sites.
In conclusion, if you are not aware of the cat insulin injection sites, then this article will be helpful for you.
However, before you settle with an injection site, you should take a look at the prerequisites stated in this article. This will help you and your cat prepare adequately before injecting the insulin.
There are a couple of injection sites that work well, near the shoulder blades, on the back, and near the legs.
These work well, but sometimes the insulin leaks so you have to take certain precautions to make sure the dosage is kept constant.
If you notice any irregularity in your cat’s skin or body, do not hesitate to contact your vet. It could save your cat’s life.
Lastly, if you are confused about insulin then you can read our guide about diabetic cat without insulin.