Diabetes in Cats, and Testosterone


Q: Two of my medical patients have taken the liberty of successfully using their own testosterone injectables on their cats to reverse diabetes. I thought you might want to pass this information along. — E.L., via cyberspace

A: No, thank you. Instead, I’ll pass along this information: “Don’t do it!” implores feline veterinarian Dr. Susan Little, of Ottawa, Ontario Canada, editor and author of “The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management” (Elsevier/Saunders Publishing, Philadelphia, PA, 2011; $180). Little wonders if you, as a medical doctor, are endorsing a treatment which should be the purview of a veterinary professional.”There are a plethora of potential adverse responses of using hormones,” she notes. “And what you suggest has never been tested on cats.”

“Typically, diabetes in cats is type-2, which is often related to body condition, being overweight or obese,” adds Little. She notes that there are two insulin products approved for felines, Vetsulin and ProZinc, the latter specific to cats.

“I’m unsure why you would ever want to use testosterone on these cats,” says Little, a past president of the Winn Feline Foundation, a non-profit that funds cat health research and incoming president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners. “There’s no science to support efficacy or safety in cats. The most important rule for any medical professional is, “first, do no harm.”