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What’s the Cost of Cat Insulin in 2023? Updated Price Guide

Our feline friends can develop diabetes, and like us, they might have a need for insulin. If your cat has been diagnosed with this disease, you’re likely wondering how much you’ll be paying for cat insulin. The good news is that the price of insulin for cats has gone down in recent years, and there are ways you can save money on this medicine. In general, insulin for cats can cost between $30–$100 a month.

We’ve gathered the most recent pricing for cat insulin, plus all the other information you need to know about this medication. Keep reading to find out more!

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The Importance of Insulin

If your cat has developed diabetes, it might not be controllable via diet, making insulin vital. Insulin is a hormone in the body that enables the conversion of sugar into energy. Diabetes makes it so this hormone is either unable to be used by the body properly or results in the body not making enough insulin to achieve what’s needed. The result is high levels of blood sugar and a host of health issues.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for diabetes, but it can be treated with synthetic insulin. Using insulin means your cat’s blood sugar levels can be regulated, which will improve the state of your pet’s health.

There are four main types of insulin used in cats:

  • Vetsulin
  • PZI
  • Lantus
  • Humulin
Veterinarian at vet clinic giving injection to cat
Image Credit: Tom Wang, Shutterstock

How Much Does Insulin Cost?

How much insulin costs will vary, depending upon which brand you use. Whether or not you go with a generic medicine will affect the cost as well. Generic medicines work equally as well as name brands; they have the same ingredients and do the same thing, but they simply cost less. How much insulin your cat requires each month will also affect your costs.

Generally, most felines will need $50–$60 of insulin every 30–40 days, but those with a less severe form of diabetes will only need roughly $20–$30 of insulin in that same period. But depending on which brand you go with, you can expect to be paying $30–$100 each month for insulin.

Those prices are mostly for insulin that is injected with syringes, but injection pens have become more popular recently. These pens make injecting insulin easier and cost approximately $150 for the pen, with refills being about $50 for a box of 100.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Insulin isn’t the only thing you’ll be purchasing to manage your cat’s diabetes, though. You’ll need supplies to routinely test your feline’s blood sugar level; these will cost $25–$50. Then there are vet visits, so your vet can check your kitty over routinely. Depending on your vet and your geographical location, these can cost $50–$100 a visit.

You’ll also likely need to change your cat’s diet, possibly with a prescription diet. Prescription foods can be pricier than regular old cat food, so you’re looking at $40–$80 each month for this.

Other additional costs to consider are the ones associated with complications arising from your feline’s diabetes. For example, cataracts aren’t uncommon in cats with diabetes, and cataract surgery can cost up to $3,500. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to kidney disease ($2,000––$4,000), pancreatitis ($3,000–$5,000), and liver disease ($2,000–$5,000). Many of these complications will be less likely to occur by following your vet’s instructions on providing your pet with insulin and making lifestyle changes, though.

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Image Credit: Elpisterra, Shutterstock

How to Save on the Cost of Diabetes Care

There are absolutely ways you can save on the costs associated with treating your cat’s diabetes.

A few of these recommendations are:
  • Using generic medicine instead of name brand.
  • Purchasing insulin online, as it may be cheaper there than at your veterinarian’s office.
  • Purchasing insulin in bulk; doing this may enable you to get a discount.
  • Shopping around and checking prices before committing to purchasing anything.
  • Seeing if your pharmacy has a benefits plan.
  • Asking your vet for a care plan that requires fewer vet visits.
  • Investing in a good pet insurance plan.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Insulin?

Purchasing an excellent pet insurance plan for your feline can save you a bundle in the long run when it comes to caring for diabetes. Most plans will cover diabetes care in some form, but whether insulin is covered will vary by company and plan. Insulin coverage may only come in the form of an add-on of some kind, while the regular plan covers vet visits and prescription diets. And some plans may put a cap on how much is allowed for diabetes coverage each year.

The biggest issue you’ll run into with pet insurance and diabetes is if your cat has been diagnosed with the disease before an insurance plan is purchased. If that’s the case, diabetes will be considered pre-existing and won’t be covered by insurance.

pet insurance coverage
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3 cat face dividerFAQs About Feline Diabetes

There are several frequently asked questions cat parents have about feline diabetes. Here are a few common ones.

How is this disease diagnosed?

If you’ve seen signs in your feline that you think are associated with diabetes, your vet will do a physical exam, test your cat’s urine, and do bloodwork to make a diagnosis.

cat blood test
Image Credit: PRESSLAB, Shutterstock

Why do cats develop diabetes?

A: The why isn’t clear, but it’s theorized diabetes develops in felines due to obesity, certain medications, age, and lack of exercise.

Is there a cure for feline diabetes?

Unfortunately, there is not. Feline diabetes can be treated and managed but not cured.

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Image Credit: victoriyasmail, Shutterstock

Can feline diabetes be prevented?

There’s no way to prevent feline diabetes that is 100% effective, but helping your pet maintain a healthy weight via diet and exercise can help immensely in lowering the risk of diabetes.

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Conclusion

Feline diabetes is expensive, with insulin alone costing $30–$100 a month. Then there are associated costs for items such as blood sugar monitoring equipment, vet visits, and treatment of any complications that arise from diabetes. However, you can save money on treatment with the tips mentioned above and by having a good insurance plan for your cat.

Just don’t skimp on the insulin if your kitty needs it, as it’s an important part of treatment and will help your pet have a longer and healthier life!

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Featured Image Credit: Yaya Photos, Shutterstock

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