Diabetic cat europe

General Continental European Information

 Each country in Europe has its specific information – above all for food.

There are though some general information items that apply to most continental European countries.

That information, concerning meters, syringes, some general European-wide low carb food choices, insulin and supplements is detailed below.



Most major brands of glucometers are available in in most European countries.  They are available in pharmacies, and perhaps, depending whre you live, on-line for a better price.  most pharmacies tend to only stock one brand. Some models:

• Accu-Check:  Performa or  Performa Nano
• Ascensia (formerly Bayer):  Contour Next One – note a free meter is offered on their page – see note below on how to request.
• Glucofix:  Glucofix Premium in France, GlucoMen LX Plus in some other countries
–  Large screen and also will test for blood ketones (using separate strips)
–  Uses the smallest blood sample on the market (0.3ml)
• OneTouch:  Verio

To note: The Freestyle Lite, while widely available, has shown to give falsely lower than real numbers in mid-high range BGs for some cats. For this reason, it is recommended that you choose another Brand.

 Depending on your country, checking out prices on internet may be good – in many countries the price is fixed though, due to national health systems.  You may nonetheless find perhaps good prices on EBay at times.  You will probably only be able to buy off your local country EBay – due to  restrictions on the shipping of certain medical supplies and medications across border, they block the entire health category of sites outside of your own market.

You may also be able to request a free meter from some companies if you contact their customer service and simply say that you would like to try their meter (do NOT mention that you want to use it on a cat – they will tell you that their meters are only for humans). The companies make their money by selling the test strips, so are often happy to send the meter for free.

 Amazon may also be a source of cheaper meters for you.


The only brand of 0.3ml U100 syringes to come with half unit markings in Europe is BD Micro + Demi  (the + Demi is the half unit markings). The half unit markings are necessary to allow you to dose small increments of insulin accurately.

They are not available in all countries, however.  Northern and Eastern European countries may not have them.  Depending on your country’s laws regarding importing syringes, you may be able to purchase off UK internet sites.


Important: If your cat is on high carb wet or dry food, please see the article Detoxing your Cat from High Carb Food under Starting TR in the Knowledge Centre for information on how to transition your cat to 100% low carb wet food safely.

The appropriate food available will depend on your country.  Below are listed some on-line sources of appropriate foods that may help you.

As is the norm in Europe, figures are based on Nutritional/As Fed Analysis.

Please see the information in the articles Calculating Carbs – Carb Calculator under Starting TR, and Choosing the right low carb canned food under Food & Felines in the Knowledge Centre for more information on selecting the best food for your cat.

AVAILABLE ONLINE (Zooplus – see note below)

• Pouches – Exotic: Buffalo, Kangaroo or Ostrich………………..3,7%
• Pouches – Classic: Poultry & Veal, Turkey & Lamb or Beef & Turkey Hearts…………………………………………………………………5,8%
• Senior Trays: Beef, Poultry or Lamb……………………………..7,1%
• Adult Trays: Poultry & Veal, With Turkey Hearts, Multi-Meat Cocktail, Turkey & Rabbit or With Chicken Liver…….5,8%

• 400g Tins: Poulet, Boeuf, Saumon, Crevettes.……………….5.5%
• Tetrapaks: Bouchées in Jelly…………………………….….…..7.1%
• Tetrapaks: Bouchées en Sauce…………………………………7.1%


Integra Protect Diabete
• Available from zooplus (0.9% phos.)…………………………..7,2%

Specific FXW
• Available from VetoMalin Specific FXW (0.74% phos.)………..…………..……..7.4%
• Does contain psyllium and some rice

TREATS: Zooplus (see note below)
Thrive freeze dried treats
Cosma freeze dried treats (less expensive) : Regular or XL, do NOT buy THAI (which contain rice)


Zooplus is an excellent source for food, treats, scratching posts, litter boxes, litter, etc.

The zooplus.de site is significantly less expensive than most individual european country sites. You do not need to speak German to use it: it is set up identically to all zooplus sites so it is very easy to find your way around, if it can be helpful to have your country site in your own language open at the same time to check back and forth quickly.

The site has recently changed its delivery policy and for a number of countries there is now a fixed delivery charge, no matter how large your order is.  Delivery is free to certain others over a certain amount.   Nonetheless, as the prices are lower – in some cases MUCH lower, even if you do have to pay the delivery charge it may still be the least expensive option for you, especially if you are placing a reasonably big order with them.

It is certainly more than worthwhile checking both your country zooplus site and the .de site and checking the total cost before deciding which is best for you!

Note also that zooplus.de does have a 2% discount with a purchase of 100€ or more (recently lowered from 3% – the 3% remains on certain sites, such as on zooplus.fr). You will need to see if the discount exists and how much it is on your country site. It is usually called something like a “group” discount – and you may need to hunt for it a little bit, they seem to have decided to stop promoting it,  and it can be difficult to find!  A message to their client services asking about it may be necessary.

The code for the German site is SAMMELBESTELLER


Please see Insulins, Starting Scales & Dosing Criteria under Starting TR in the Knowledge Centre for full information on the different insulins.

The only vet insulin that has been available historically in Europe is Caninsulin. In many countries in Europe Caninsulin does need to be tried first before there is the possibility of moving to another insulin. ProZinc is now just arriving in Europe in 2016 – to see if vets start suggesting it over Caninsulin, which they are familar with!  No doubt it will probably become a case of trying the two “vet” insulins before many vets will be willing to allow the use of another.


Caninsulin is a U40 vet insulin, used on both dogs and cats.

Caninsulin is available in vials or increasingly in a pen form. The lowest dose on the pen is 0.50u. It is strongly recommended that you use 3/10cc-0.3ml syringes with half unit markings to dose, even if you have the pens in order to be able to dose small increments. The top of the cartridge is clearly visible when you remove the cap – you simply stick the needle of the syringe into the stopper.

Please note that a conversion is necessary to dose U40 insulin with U100 syringes. See Converting U40 insulin to U100 syringes under Useful Tools & Tips in the Knowledge Centre for more information on the conversion.

ProZinc (just becoming available in at least some European markets in 2016)

ProZinc, like Caninsulin is a U40 vet insulin; however unlike Caninsulin it is specifically made for use on cats.  It was created in the US to replace the previously available manufactured PZI bovine insulines.  Those insulines became difficult to manufacture as sources of beef pancreas dried up over the Mad Cow disease.

ProZinc is available in vials only to date.  It is strongly recommended that you use 3/10cc-0.3ml syringes with half unit markings to allow you to dose accurately and consistently, given the difficulty in finding U40 syringes with half unit markings (they will appear on the market from time to time…. to then disappear).

Please note that a conversion is necessary to dose U40 insulin with U100 syringes. See Converting U40 insulin to U100 syringes under Useful Tools & Tips in the Knowledge Centre for more information on the conversion.

Hypurin Bovine Protamine Zinc

Hypurin Bovine PZI, made in the UK, is the only manufactured Bovine PZI available in the world today. As it is a bovine insulin, it is only one amino acid away from a cat’s own insulin.

Hypurin Bovine PZI is a U100 insulin available in vial form only.

You can order and import Hypurin into Europe from Masters Global. The contact is Julie Emms. She is very experienced in handling overseas shipments and is very helpful (she also is, incidentally, a cat lover!). Her email address is: julie.emms@mastersglobal.com

Hypurin is available in 100ml vials, and Masters Global do require that the original prescription be mailed to them. They will prepare the order with a faxed or scanned copy to speed things up, but will not mail it out before receiving the original prescription. The insulin is overnighted in a cold pack, and must be delivered to your vet (EU regulations do not allow delivery directly to you). It is sent in a large Styrofoam pack, and the insulin is kept very well protected during the trip.

Make sure that your vet has checked “renewable” at the bottom of the prescription: the prescription will be kept on file for a year so you can order refills without having to go back through your vet each time.

Make sure also that the prescription is for Bovine Protamine Zinc: Hypurin does exist in several other forms.

It is worthwhile ordering several vials at a time:

1. It is always good to have at least one back-up vial in case you drop and break yours (especially in the case of an insulin that you cannot replace at the local pharmacy!), or if for some reason it becomes damaged.
2. The shipping cost is the same for one or several vials (check with Julie as to the current costs and number of vials you can include in one shipment). Hypurin is very stable as it is manufactured, and can be stored in the fridge and used for a long time (members have even used it well after its official expiration date).

Lantus (Glargine) & Levemir (Detemir)

Both Lantus and Levemir are available for human use in Europe and can be prescribed by your vet and purchased in any pharmacy. Depending on what country you are in these insulins will be more or less well known to your vet. In many countries, they are becoming much more well known as good insulins to use with Feline Diabetes.

Lantus is available in vial, cartridge (5 cartridges/box) or pen form. The cartridges are more cost effective as there is less chance of the cartridges losing potency before you have finished one vs. the usual 10ml vial.

Levemir comes in pen form only. It is possible (and necessary) to use a syringe with these – they only dose in full units (1u, 2u, 3u).

While more expensive than Canisulin, due to national health systems in Europe, both Levemir and Lantus remain reasonably priced, and are sold for far under what people in the US are paying today.


Iherb.com is a very good source for supplements: the prices are good and above all the shipping prices to Europe are excellent.  Shipping does take about 10 days – 2 weeks usually (and may take longer), so do plan ahead and don’t let yourself run out of an important supplement for your cat.

Many supplements do contain fillers that are not appropriate for diabetic cats, such as rice powder or hidden sugars. Please check the ingredients carefully before purchasing (they can change!), and post in Introductions & Questions if you would like some help in choosing the best supplement.

Appetite Stimulants:
• Periactin ( Cyproheptidine): Usually available in most pharmacies, if certain contries may require a prespcription.

B50 Complex:
• B50 Complex:   NOW B50 Complex – iherb

Cancer aid/support:
• IP6 Gold:  IP6 Gold – iherb
• Curcumin (and excellent anti-inflamatory): Jarrows Curcumin – iherb
• CQ10 (also good for heart issues:  Doctor’s Best Ubiquitol – iherb

Digestive Issues:
• PepsidAC has unfortunately been taken off the market in almost all if not all European markets. Famotidine (the molecule in PepsidAC/generic) may be available, but only in 20mg tablets and usually only by prescription. The tablets are small, and it is virtually impossible to cut them into 1/8s to give the correct dose of 2.5mg/BID. If your cat is suffering badly from acid/burning you can give half a tablet of the 20mg Famotidine for 1-2 weeks maximum if your vet will give you a script.
• Slippery Elm Bark: Now Slippery Elm – iherb

Immune System Boosters:
• Agaricus Blazeii: Doctor’s Best Agaricus – iherb
• Mushroom Optimizer (7 Mushroom blend):  Jarrows Mushroom –  iHerb

Neuropathy: Methyl Cobalamin B12
• Zobaline (Methyl B12 for FD cats): Lifelink
–  Note: Shipping to Europe is very expensive

Omega 3:
• Krill Oil:  NOW Krill Oil – iherb

Pancreatitis Supplements:
• L Carnitine (must be pure L Carnitine, not acytel or D variety ): NOW  L-Carnitine from iherb
• Milk Thistle Powder: Jarrows MT  –  iHerb
• SamE – Denemarin Tablets: Vet UK

• Taurine:  My Protein Company


Last updated March16


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