With more and more Americans being diagnosed with symptoms of diabetes today, felines are also suffering from this chronic health condition which is all the more reason to try to keep your cat at a healthy weight. Feline diabetes is more common in older, overweight cats. This happens when there is not enough insulin in your cat’s body (made in their pancreas), to balance out the sugar or glucose in their diet. Unlike dogs who develop an insulin dependent type of diabetes similar to Type 1 diabetes in humans, cats are different in that they actually develop a form of Type 2 diabetes in people.
If your cat is not producing enough insulin, he will become diabetic. And if too much glucose builds up in his body due to the lack of insulin, the disease can become dangerous and even life threatening.
There are important signs and symptoms you should look for:
1. If your cat is overweight, and you observe him drinking or eating a lot more than he usually does, and particularly if he is eating more and still losing weight, this is a common sign of the onset of diabetes and should be discussed with your veterinarian.
2. If you observe your cat accidentally urinating before he can make it to the litter box and he is urinating unusually more frequently, this is another sign you should discuss with your veterinarian. Increased urination is one of the common clinical signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats, says Christopher Byers, DVM, a board-certified veterinary specialist at Mid West Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Omaha, NE. When this happens, the body undergoes a process called osmotic diuresis, causing copious and more frequent urination.?They have a tendency to drink more water to compensate for the fluids lost through urination.
If you observe these symptoms, it is recommended to make an appointment to see your veterinarian, who can run a laboratory test to check how much sugar is in his blood or urine and make a diagnosis.
According to the Cornell Feline Health Center, about 50 to 75 percent of cats with diabetes need to receive insulin injections, and some may also be prescribed pills to help regulate their glucose levels. You will need to work with your vet to change and watch your feline’s diet.
- Feeding smaller portions of foods specially designed to help your cat’s body handle sugar.
- Monitoring his food and water intake, waste output and weight will be important in making sure his diabetes is properly treated.
Of course, some trial and error might be necessary in finding the best treatment for your cat, but your vet will be able to best advise you.
Although there is no cure for diabetes, some cats, even after just a few months, can stop needing insulin. This is most common in overweight cats that lose their extra weight, the cat’s pancreas can once again supply the amount of insulin his body needs.
Diabetes is a challenging disease to deal with, and it’s best prevented by keeping your cat at a healthy weight. However, with good monitoring and care a cat with diabetes can live a long, happy life.
Article Courtesy of 50 PLUS REPORT Editorial Team