Diabetes in Cats
Diabetes mellitus is the inability to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels. Left untreated, it can lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, severe depression, problems with motor function, coma and even death.
The signs of diabetes in cats?
The main symptoms are increased thirst and increased urination. We do see it in cats with appropriate body weight, however it’s more common in obese cats. Some cats with diabetes have a ravenous appetite because their bodies cannot use the fuel supplied in their diet.
Treatment is insulin therapy. Diet is certainly a component of treatment also.
Older and overweight cats are most likely to develop diabetes. Males tend to get diabetes more than females do and the Burmese breed seems to be more susceptible. However, any breed or type of cat can get the disease, so don't rule out diabetes just because you have a young, female, mixed-breed cat.
As with people who have diabetes, the symptoms can be varied. In addition to excessive thirst and decreased activity, signs may include:
- Weight loss.
- A noticeably skinnier pet.
- Change in litterbox habits.
- If you noticed your kitty urinating in inappropriate places
- If your cat is defecating outside the box or not covering bowel movements like usual, that can also indicate poor health.
- Appetite swings.
- Unsteadiness or ‘odd’ walking.
- Diabetes can affect the nervous system and cause changes in how your cat moves. Called diabetic neuropathy, this can sometimes manifest in your cat walking flat footed—almost like he or she was about to sit down.
- Your cat's formerly glossy coat and bright eyes may get dull
It's important to see your vet at the first indication of a problem—you'll reduce the permanent damage that diabetes can do to the body by diagnosing it as soon as possible.
If you have questions about the signs of diabetes and whether your cat may be affected, please contact us as soon as possible.