Feline Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

There are a number of “human” diseases that can manifest themselves in cats and dogs as well. Among these diseases is diabetes, a disease that causes too much sugar to be present in the bloodstream, wreaking havoc throughout the body if not properly controlled.

What Causes Feline Diabetes?

The elderly and obese feline populations have higher odds of developing diabetes, though there are young and normal weight felines that develop it as well. Just like in humans, there are a number of reasons felines may be diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes creates improper insulin production (Type II) or no insulin production at all (Type I). This causes for this can include genetics, the side effects of certain medications, or pancreatic disease. While the cause may not be known for all cats suffering from diabetes, the symptoms exhibited in those with the disease are fairly universal among the feline population.

What Symptoms Indicate Diabetes?

While diabetes can be dangerous for your feline if left undiagnosed and untreated, the symptoms of diabetes in your cat are fairly easy to detect.

One of the most common symptoms to watch for is an increase in water consumption. If your cat seems to be hovering around their water dish more than usual, this can be a sign of diabetes. Other common symptoms include urination in unusual spots, change in appetite and/or weight loss, lethargy, and sweet-smelling breath. Cats can be good at hiding their pain or discomfort, so it’s important to keep tabs on their usual habits so you can more easily detect changes. If your cat exhibits even one of the symptoms listed above, a veterinarian appointment is highly recommended.

What to Do if You Suspect Your Cat Has Diabetes

The first step, of course, is proper examination, diagnosis, and treatment by your feline’s veterinarian.

Under the care of a vet, diabetes in cats is fairly easy to control. Some cats do well on a modified diet, while others may need some extra help with shots of insulin throughout the day. Disease management will include checking blood sugars periodically, especially after meal times, modification of meal plans until the right one is found, and regular vet visits to monitor the progression of the disease.

Feline diabetes is not a death sentence. With the proper monitoring and veterinarian and at-home treatment, your cat can live a long, healthy, and happy life. If you suspect feline diabetes, or to learn more about the condition, contact a professional veterinarian, like those at Earlysville Animal Hospital.