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Tips for Diabetic Cat Care

As diabetes is such a common health condition, most people know at least a few things about it. However, many are surprised that their pets can become afflicted with the disease. Many cats go undiagnosed for long periods of time because their owners aren’t aware of the common diabetic cat care symptoms.

Diabetic Cat

The most common signs are weight loss, poor haircoat, and increased urination and drinking. It is also quite common for cats suffering from diabetes to have difficulty when it comes to urinating. If the urinary tract becomes infected, there may also be blood present in the urine.

These symptoms certainly aren’t specific to diabetes. However, they do suggest that you should take your cat to the veterinarian to see exactly what’s going on. Felines that have already been diagnosed will need to be provided with special diabetic cat care.

Since cats with diabetes won’t be able to use insulin properly, you will need to provide yours with an insulin shot on a daily basis. The thought of using a needle on your cat every day can be a bit intimidating at first. With your vet’s help though, both you and your pet will get used to the routine.

When caring for a diabetic cat, it is important to maintain a proper weight. Doing so will make the condition slightly easier to manage, especially since it’s so difficult already. Helping your cat lose weight will help his body make use of insulin that it produces. A special diet suggested by your veterinarian will help.

It should go without saying that cats with diabetes will need to be fed a proper diet, whether they’re overweight or not. Dry foods typically have an excessive amount of carbohydrates which aren’t particularly good for feline diabetics. Your vet may suggest that you switch to a more suitable brand of cat food.

The specific time that you provide food is also important when it comes to diabetic cat care. Cats need to eat in conjunction with their insulin injections. If not, then their blood sugar may get too low.

Diabetes that isn’t managed properly can wreak havoc on your cat’s body. Therefore, it is vital that you pay close attention when caring for diabetic cats. Watch how much water and food he is eating. Take notice of any changes in weight. Also, monitor the litter box to see if there are any changes in urine or stool output.

Testing blood sugar levels is another important facet of diabetic cat care. This can be done with ease at home if you purchase a suitable monitor and test strips. If you don’t test it at home, then you will need to take your cat to the veterinarian on a regular basis.

Diabetes is a serious health condition for cats. However, it doesn’t have to lower your cat’s quality of life as long as you manage the disease properly. Stay in constant contact with your veterinarian if you need to.

Feline Obesity – Don’t Let Your Pet Become a Fat Cat

With feline obesity numbers on the rise, it seems more and more owners are content with having a fat cat. If your cat is overweight, you need to do something to help him shed the pounds as quickly as possible. Being overweight increases the risk of several health conditions.

Feline Obesity

Hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver disease, is a serious problem that overweight cats can develop. This condition, which can easily be fatal, is one of the most common problems that cats can have with their liver.

I’m sure that you’ve heard of diabetes mellitus too, the same condition that affects a good percentage of humans. Diabetes also occurs in cats, especially overweight cats. If you have a diabetic cat, then you will likely need to give him insulin shots on a daily basis.

You may be wondering why feline obesity can become a problem for your cat. The reason behind its development is very simple. If your cat intakes more energy than he expends, then the excess will be stored as fat. Cats can easily have a problem with obesity as they get older. Their metabolic rate will typically slow down and they will also become less active.

However, the most common reason why obesity in cats occurs is because of inappropriate feeding habits. You may give your cat too many treats or supplements. If you do this and don’t ensure that your feline gets enough exercise, obesity may develop.

Even if you are feeding your cat like you’re supposed to be, you have to take into account their outdoor activity. Cats are excellent hunters, and more than capable of catching their own food. Your cat may be eating more than you think, so it may be wise to keep him indoors more often if you notice him gaining a little extra weight.

The most important thing to do to manage feline obesity is to change your cat’s diet. Determine exactly how many calories your cat needs to intake on a daily basis, and make sure that food that you buy is high-quality. You will probably need to consult with your veterinarian in order to make sure your pet’s caloric needs are being met properly.

It’s usually not best to feed your cat one or two large meals. Instead, feed him smaller meals over the course of the day. Of course, you will also need to reduce the amount of treats or snacks that you give in order to reduce problems with obesity in cats.

Diet is just one factor when it comes to cat obesity. Your feline will also need to get enough physical activity on a daily basis. The more exercise he gets, the more calories he burns. Cats that get proper exercise also won’t have an excessive appetite, and their metabolic rate will also increase, helping to keep obesity in felines at bay.

Feline Endocrine Alopecia

There are many reasons why cats can experience problems with hair loss. A relatively rare reason for this to occur is because of feline endocrine alopecia. Vets don’t exactly know why this rare skin condition occurs.

Feline Endocrine Alopecia

Whenever it does develop though, your cat’s hair will start thinning. Various areas of the body will be affected by hair loss. You may notice that these areas appear to be the same on both sides of the body. Two areas that are most often affected include the rear legs and abdominal region.



Certain other medical conditions can mimic the signs caused by feline endocrine alopecia. To see if your cat is really suffering from this condition, the vet will have to rule out other possible causes of the hair loss first. Parasites and conditions like ringworm can cause similar signs.

In order to make a diagnosis of endocrine alopecia in cats, vets typically look at a sample of hairs under a microscope. Doing so can help determine at what stage of their growth the hair were broken. Skin scrapings around the affected area can also help determine what’s causing hair loss in your cat. Fungal infections like ringworm can easily cause signs.

A blood sample may also be in order if your vet suspects feline endocrine alopecia to be the problem. The sample won’t be tested in the office though. A laboratory will need to inspect it to see how the endocrine system is functioning as far as hormones go.

As mentioned earlier, vets don’t know why cat endocrine alopecia develops. Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, or thyroid hormone are some of the leading suspects though. Cats with the condition may need to start a regimen of hormone therapy to deal with it.

Cats that are eating foods that they’re allergic to may experience spontaneous hair loss. Therefore, you may need to start your cat on a food trial to see if it helps relieve the signs. You may need to start feeding your cat a different type of food.

Sometimes, feline endocrine alopecia is treated with medications that are designed to grow the hair back. This isn’t always the preferred method of treatment in cats though. These medications can lead to serious side effects in some felines. They can be toxic to the liver over time and also cause cardiac problems.

Cats may even develop other conditions like diabetes mellitus after taking these medications. Some even experience changes in their behavior.

Feline Pancreatitis

Feline pancreatitis is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is tasked with production of digestive enzymes and hormones to regulate blood sugar. The condition can be either acute or chronic. Acute cases occur suddenly and unexpectedly, while chronic progresses over time.

Feline Pancreatitis

Causes

There are many different causes of pancreatitis in cats. Some of the most common include injuries, poor diet, and various infections. Cats can also have an adverse reaction to various medications or anesthesia and develop the condition. Diseases that affect the small intestine or bile duct can also cause cat pancreatitis. Other offending infections include toxoplasmosis and feline calicivirus.



Signs

The most common signs of feline pancreatitis include loss of appetite, dehydration, and lethargy. If the disease is allowed to progress, your cat may start to lose weight or have trouble moving around. Severe cases that are left untreated can also be fatal.

Diagnosis

Pancreatitis in cats can be difficult to diagnose correctly since cats can produce various symptoms. An ultrasound and x-ray can help determine if there is any abnormality in the pancreas. The vet will also need to perform a physical exam, medical history, and a blood test to check for pancreatic enzyme levels.

Treatment

Once diagnosed, feline pancreatitis is treated via supportive care. Cats can easily experience imbalanced electrolytes and dehydration. Therefore, your cat may need to be given fluids intravenously or subcutaneously. If secondary infections occur, they will need to be treated with antibiotics.

Prognosis

The prognosis of pancreatitis in cats is generally good if the case is only mild. However, sometimes the condition recurs more severely after an apparent successful treatment. Also, cats suffering from other conditions have a worse prognosis. Other conditions that can cause problems include diabetes mellitus or diseases that affect the small intestine or liver.

Feline Diabetes

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.

Feline Diabetes

Causes

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.



Types

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.

Diagnosis

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.

Signs

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.

Treatment

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.

Prognosis

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.

Feline Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition characterized by increased levels of thyroid hormones. This affects various body systems such as the gastrointestinal tract and heart. Feline hyperthyroidism usually affects middle-aged to older cats.

Feline Hyperthyroidism

Cause

Hyperthyroidism in cats causes increased circulation of thyroid hormones. This normally occurs because the gland has been affected by cancerous cells. Older cats normally develop this condition.



Signs

Feline hyperthyroidism can affect various systems in the body. Therefore, signs vary widely. Some of the most common include increase appetite, increase activity levels, weight loss, and increased thirst and urination.

The disease also can affect the gastrointestinal tract. This leads to diarrhea and vomiting. If the heart is affected, felines experience increased heart rate, arrhythmias, and heart failure.

Diagnosis

Various other diseases can mimic the signs of feline hyperthyroidism. Some of these other health problems include diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. A blood panel and thyroid test will help determine if hyperthyroidism is the cause.

Treatment

There are various ways to treat feline hyperthyroidism. You can give your cat a daily pill to keep the condition under control. Removal of the thyroid gland is also an option. However, this treatment method won’t be successful if thyroid tissue is left in other areas of the body.

The last method to treat hyperthyroidism in cats is irradiated iodine. This is the most successful course of treatment since all thyroid tissue is removed in the body. However, it is the most expensive.

Feline Kidney Disease

Although it can affect younger cats, feline kidney disease is normally a problem with older cats. This condition can occur suddenly known as acute, or develop over time and be classified as chronic. Since the kidneys are responsible for eliminating toxins from the body, damage to them is very serious.

Feline Kidney Disease

Causes

There are many different things that can cause kidney disease in cats. Your cat’s kidney function will naturally decrease with age. Also, felines that don’t have enough potassium in their diet are at risk.

There are also different types of drugs that can lead to feline kidney disease. They include blood pressure medication, anti-parasitic drugs, anesthetics, and antibiotics. Chemicals such as pesticides and antifreeze can also cause the condition.

Symptoms

Your cat’s kidneys have a large reserve capacity. This means that symptoms won’t be noticeable until up to 75% of the organ is damaged. Common signs include increased urination and drinking. Your cat will also lose the ability to concentrate his urine.

As feline kidney disease progresses, toxins will start to build up in the body. This leads to oral ulcers, depression, loss of appetite, and vomiting. You may also notice that your cat’s breath has a foul odor. In the later stages of the disease, seizures may develop.

Diagnosis

There are other diseases that cause symptoms similar to those of kidney disease in cats. Two of the most common include hyperthyroidism and diabetes. In order to diagnose this condition, your veterinarian will need to perform urine and blood tests.

A urinalysis will show the inability to concentrate urine. An x-ray may also show that the kidneys are irregular or shrunken. The veterinarian may also perform an ultrasound or palpate the kidneys.

Treatment

As the kidneys become damaged, uremic toxins will buildup instead of being secreted. Therefore, your cat will need a special diet and plenty of fluids. Cats are normally given fluids intravenously on a regular basis over time.

Since certain medications can cause feline kidney disease, they will need to be stopped. Cats with this condition will need a low protein diet. They can also develop anemia and require blood transfusions.