Diabetes in cats left untreated this condition can threaten your cat's quality of life, and longevity. Our Kinston vets will share some signs you should watch out for, as well as treatments available for cats with diabetes.
Diabetes in Cats
Diabetes mellitus is a condition that cats can develop when blood sugar, or glucose, cannot be effectively utilized and regulated by the body.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas and controls the flow of glucose to the body's cells in order to provide energy. If your cat's insulin levels are too low, glucose will not be processed correctly. When this happens, the cat's body begins breaking down fat and protein cells to use for energy, while the unused glucose gradually builds up in the cat's bloodstream.
Type I and Type II Diabetes in Cats
- Type I (Insulin-Dependent) - Type I Diabetes occurs when the cat's body is unable to produce or release enough insulin into the body.
- Type II (Non-Insulin Dependent) - Type II Diabetes is common in overweight cats over 8 years of age, and those cats which eat a high-carbohydrate diet. A cat with Type II diabetes produces enough insulin, but the tissues or organs do not respond appropriately to insulin and have become insulin-resistant.
Cat Diabetes Symptoms
Untreated diabetes in cats can lead to a number of health complications and symptoms, such as:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased appetite
- Lethargy or weakness
- Unhealthy coat and skin
- Walking flat on the backs of their hind legs
If your cat is showing symptoms of diabetes it is important to seek veterinary care. There is no cure for diabetes in cats, however, the condition can often be managed through treatment.
Diabetes left untreated can lead to a variety of debilitating, expensive, and potentially fatal conditions for your cat.
Treatment for Diabetes in Cats
The first step in the process is an official diagnosis from vet. Your vet will then prescribe daily management of the condition with insulin injections, which your vet can train you to give at home. Your cat's diet may need to changes to ensure that they’re getting the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. In more severe cases, your vet may recommend a special prescription food to help manage your cat's diabetes.
If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, regular visits to the vet for blood sugar tests will be essential. Ask your vet if testing your cat’s glucose at home is an option. You it may be helpful to keep a diary of your cat's appetite and litter to spot problems early.