Our vets often see diabetes in cats across Oak Grove, which can threaten their health and lifespan if untreated. Pet owners should watch for symptoms and seek prompt treatment. Effective treatments are available to manage the condition and improve their cat's quality of life.
Diabetes mellitus is a condition that affects cats when their bodies cannot use and control blood sugar or glucose properly. Normally, the pancreas produces insulin which helps transport glucose to the body's cells for energy. However, glucose cannot enter the cells when a cat's insulin levels are too low. Consequently, the cat's body resorts to breaking down fat and protein for energy, while the excess glucose accumulates in the bloodstream.
Type I and Type II Diabetes in Cats
- Type I (Insulin-Dependent) - While rare in cats, 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 most common in overweight male cats over 8 years of age, and cats with 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
When a cat has diabetes, their body breaks down protein and fat instead of using glucose for energy. This means that they will likely lose weight even if they have a good appetite. It's important to treat cat diabetes to avoid serious health complications and symptoms, such as:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased appetite
- Lethargy or weakness
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Walking flat on backs of their hind legs
- Unhealthy coat and skin
Cats with untreated diabetes may develop severe, costly, and even life-threatening complications. It is crucial to seek veterinary attention if your cat displays symptoms of diabetes. While there is no cure for feline diabetes, proper treatment can often control the condition.
Treatment Options for Diabetes in Cats
The first step to managing your cat's diabetes is getting an official vet diagnosis. Once diagnosed, your vet will prescribe insulin injections which they may train you to give at home. You may also need to adjust your cat's diet to ensure they get the right protein, carbohydrate, and fiber balance. For severe cases, a special prescription food may be recommended.
Regular visits to the vet for blood sugar tests will be necessary for your diabetic cat, or you can ask your vet if testing your cat's glucose at home is an option. Keeping a diary of your cat's appetite and litter use can help identify any changes early and allow you to seek treatment promptly.