Diabetes is a relatively common condition in cats. It usually affects older or obese cats, although any cat can be affected. Feline diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be effectively managed over time so your cat can lead a normal life.
Diabetes in cats affects males more often than females. Veterinarians don’t know the exact reason felines develop the condition. However, there are certain conditions that can increase the risk. They include chronic pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and obesity. Cats taking certain medications may also develop the disease.
There are two different types of feline diabetes. They include insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent. Cats who are insulin-dependent will require injections, but non-insulin-dependent cats may not require immediate injections although they may develop the need to over time.
Diabetes in felines is diagnosed based on a physical examination. Your veterinarian will also need to perform laboratory tests. These tests will show an increased level of sugar in the urine and blood.
Feline diabetes causes various symptoms. They include increased urination, increased thirst, and weight loss. It’s also common for cats to develop a poor coat of hair. Other common signs include increased or decreased appetite, lethargy, and depression.
Diabetes in cats will shorten the lifespan if left untreated. Insulin injections are the most common treatments. There are different types of insulin and different cats may respond to different types. Some cats can effectively be treated via use of oral medications.
There is no cure for feline diabetes. However, cats with the disease can live a normal and healthy life for many years. Cats may even lose the need to receive insulin injections over time. If obesity is the underlying cause, losing weight will help dramatically.