Diabetes in Cats

diabetes in cats

Just like humans diabetes in cats can be a chronic condition. In cats it afflicts one out of four hundred. This particular type of condition is called Diabetes Mellitus, which affects the metabolism of glucose. It is divided into two types known as types I and II. Type I involves a decrease production of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin is very important for the utilization of glucose. Insulin brings glucose into the cells to be broken down into energy. Without insulin there will be an increase level of glucose in the blood. Type II is uncommon in cats. It involves the inability of the body’s cells to uptake and utilize glucose, it is also known as insulin intolerance. Humans with type II diabetes become intolerant to insulin, not letting insulin do its job. There is a third type called Transient Diabetes that is seen in cats as the ailment comes and goes.

This disease affects mostly middle-aged and older felines. It occurs more commonly in male cats. The risk factors include obesity, diet, genetics and damage to the pancreas. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, urination, weight loss, skin and hair changes, and liver and kidney diseases. The cat becomes lethargic, with a weakness of the hind legs. Urination outside the litter box might occur and be one of the first signs of the illness.

After diagnosis is determined through the analysis of urine and blood glucose levels, treatment begins. In a majority of cases a regimen of insulin injections begins. Sometimes pills may be given. It is also important to note that just like humans a high protein diet to decrease the amount of carbohydrates in the diet can also be recommended. Diabetic cats usually go on a prescription diet. For these cats it’s important to feed them at regular times throughout the day so glucose levels in the blood remain constant. It is also important that the cats get regular exercise. If insulin dose, dietary intake, and exercise fluctuate greatly, glucose balance in the cat may be altered. Even though there is no cure for diabetes prompt and appropriate treatment can ensure that cats with diabetes can live a normal and healthy life.

For more information there is a great website on feline diabetes at: Feline Diabetes

This website is very comprehensive and is there to help you with everything you need to know about diabetes in cats.

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