Feline Diabetes

Sugar diabetes, also known as Diabetes Mellitus is a common disease in cats. Diabetes occurs when a cat’s body doesn’t produce or doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, regulates the absorption of glucose, a simple sugar.

When a cat isn’t producing enough insulin, the cat’s body starts using its fat stores for food, which causes the cat to lose weight, even though it is eating the same or more food. This also causes the cat to develop a high amount of sugar in its bloodstream, which is eliminated in urine. This is one of the classic symptoms of diabetes, excessive urine and increased thirst. These four symptoms are usually what leads someone to take their cat to the veterinarian for testing.

There are two types of diabetes, insulin dependent, which is usually treated with daily insulin injections and non-insulin dependent, which is usually regulated with diet. Diabetes most often occurs in older, overweight cats.

Diabetes is diagnosed based on the clinical signs described above as well as a blood test. Once it has been determined that you cat has diabetes, your veterinarian will immediately begin to treat your cat’s condition. If left untreated, your cat can develop ketoacidosis, which can lead to death.

The treatment for your cat’s diabetes depends on the severity of the disease and how easily his blood sugar can be controlled. Some cats with milder diabetes are treated with diet and oral medications, others require insulin injections.

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4 thoughts on “Feline Diabetes

  1. Donna says:

    My 10-12 yr old cat (not sure) was diagnosed with diabetes this June– unfortunately I was moving/going through a divorce & had to postpone a decision as to what to do with him. 1) What is the average cost of treating diabetes… and can a vet prescribe the pills 1st to see how he does with those before moving to shots? (that is what my previous vet suggested) He has lost a lot of weight & drinks & eats a lot but does not complain or seem to be in any distress…. 2) Is it too late to seek help for him now? Did I have caused him irreversible damage by waiting?

  2. Lissa says:

    Donna,

    Our staff veterinarian says: Only a blood test can tell if there is irreversible damage. A vet can prescribe any medication, but it sounds as if the cat needs insulin. Cost depends on many factors, no two cases are alike.

    ‘Lissa

  3. I HAVE TWO DOGS BOTH IN GOOD HEALTH, MY FRIEND JULIE HAD A DOG WITH DIABETES, I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF ANIMAL HAVENIG DIABETES BEFORE. JULIE MADE A WEB SITE TO HELP OTHER OWNERS WHO HAS A DOG OR CAT WITH DIABETES. YOU CAN CONTACT JULIE TO ASK HOW SHE COPED IN THE BEGINNING. YOU CAN ALSO SEND PICTURES OF YOU PET THAT CAN BE PUBLISHED ON HER WEB SITE.
    TAKE A LOOK

    http://www.diabetesinpets.com

  4. susan says:

    Riley was diagnosed with diabetes less than two weeks ago. I knew he was sick by the change in his breath. It reminded me of getting a silver filling from the dentist when I was a kid. When he went from being a fat cat to a lean cat in what seemed to be overnight, I took him to Dr. Forman. Although I felt overwhelmed at first, giving insullin shots to Riley been a non-event. I grab the scruff of his neck and give him a shot and then a rub and a scratch. He comes for the shot ( I think its the scratch he is looking for) when I call. He likes the 80% protein 20% carb cat food and my other two cats seem to know it’s for Riley and keep to their food. (mostly!) The only thing left to deal with is being home every 12 hours to give him his shot. With sales calls and travel I might have to consider boarding. Cages for animals…..arrggg, I wish there was another way.

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