Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

What Is the Cost of Cat Diabetes? (2023 Insulin & Medical Prices)

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

cat getting a vaccine shot

When we get sweet little kittens or adopt a kitty in need of a fur-ever home, it’s hard to anticipate what the future holds. Health can change suddenly due to genetics, environment, or lifestyle.If your cat has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or you think it might be possible, you want a ballpark of costs. After all, insulin and other care come along with this illness, so it’s best to know how it will financially impact you. Insulin alone comes from $30 to $150 per month and additional costs can be anywhere from $160 – $380 a month.

The Importance of Diabetes Care for Cats

Diabetes is an incurable disease. So, once your cat is diagnosed with this ailment, it requires immediate treatment. Cats can live with diabetes for several years, permitting it’s properly medicated and handled.

Once your cat is properly evaluated, your vet will devise a strict care plan. Even though managed diabetes can allow your pet to live an entire lifespan, treatment is essential.

If diabetes is untreated, it can lead to various systematic issues like weakness, malnutrition, ketoacidosis, and even death. So if you suspect your cat might have diabetes, getting them the proper testing is a must.

person petting a sick cat
Image Credit: Alexander Andrews, Unsplash

How Much Do Insulin and Other Medications Cost?

If your cat has diabetes, insulin will soon become a commonplace item in the home. Insulin costs vary depending on where you purchase the medication, name brand, dosage, and what (if any) insurance your cat has.

On average, insulin ranges from $30 to $150 per month.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Diabetes is a disease that requires careful monitoring and appropriate treatment. Your veterinarian will need to do routine checkups and testing to make sure that your cat’s diabetes is under control and properly medicated.

Initially, it can cause an influx of spending until you can reduce the vet visits and get the diabetes under control at home. Soon, with enough experience and education, you’ll be able to navigate this particular health issue a little bit better, so your vet visits might taper off unless it’s otherwise necessary.

You can decrease costs by buying generic medicine brands when filling prescriptions. Your vet might also offer certain pointers on saving money when you have a cat with this condition.

Here’s a general estimate of costs to anticipate, but exact costs can vary depending on where you live and what your vet recommends:

  • Vet Visits: $80-$200
  • Diabetes Medication: $30-$80
  • Prescription Diet: $50-$100

The exact cost can be hard to determine without knowing the individual case, but these are some categories you can anticipate.

sick grey cat
Image Credit: Anna Nikonorova, Shutterstock

How Often Should I Expect to Buy Insulin for My Cat?

Your vet will prescribe your different cat doses, depending on your cat’s individual needs. So, it will greatly depend on the case itself, but you can expect to reup on insulin monthly.

In addition to insulin, your cat might require other specifics we mentioned previously for diabetes care, such as the prescription diet. These should also be recurring expenses and calculated into your total cost.

How Often to Administer Insulin

A cat’s body breaks down insulin quickly. They typically require two doses—one in the morning and one in the evening. Your vet will give you the exact dosage amount you should give your cat alongside a schedule.

You must adhere to a strict schedule, as missing an insulin injection can have some severe health consequences for your pet.

vet giving a pill to a sick cat
Image Credit: Irina 1 Nikolaenko, Shutterstock

Does Pet Insurance Cover Diabetes?

If you have no current active insurance policy for your cat, your cat’s diabetes diagnosis isn’t covered should you activate a policy now. Your insurance premium should be fully active before your vet makes this determination to receive coverage.

If you have had pet insurance before learning this information, most companies cover issues like diabetes. Once you meet your deductible, you will receive between 50% to 100% of your vet bills back in your pocket depending on your insurance policy.

Exact coverage depends on the insurance company you select and the policy you choose. It’s important to prepare for anything. Common issues like diabetes should be among the coverage points you view before committing to a policy.

If you did not opt for coverage that includes diabetes, you will have to pay out of pocket for all associated costs. Unfortunately, the financial burden can be pretty heavy for some families.

Sometimes cats are rehomed and placed in a rescue facility if owners cannot care for their special needs.


Diabetes in cats is manageable with the right vet care, and early diagnosis is crucial for treatment. Even though it might seem like a pretty big step, with the right medical guidance and proper budgeting, most can maintain care for cats with diabetes just fine.

Diabetes can be a relatively expensive issue, so it is sometimes an issue for pet owners. If you find you’re having trouble affording your cat’s vet care, you can always speak with your veterinarian or other professional about money-saving options.

Featured Image Credit: Vovantarakan, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database