Diabetes occurs when a cat has inadequate insulin to maintain its blood glucose at an acceptable level.
This can be due to insulin resistance or inadequate insulin production. Most commonly, in cats. It is due to insulin resistance related to obesity from being fed a diet high in carbohydrates. Some breeds are also more susceptible to diabetes such as the Burmese and males seem to be more affected than females.
While diabetes seems to be more common in older felines, younger ones can still be affected.
Signs that you may notice at home which could indicate your cat may have diabetes include:
- Drinking more
- Urinating more
- Weight gain or sudden loss
- Increased appetite
- Hind limb weakness
- Smelly breath
When at the vet, diabetes is usually diagnosed based on a combination of patient history, and blood and urine tests.
Diabetes is treated with once or twice daily insulin injections. In a newly diagnosed diabetic patient there may need to be many vet visits and adjustments in insulin dose initially, until a stable therapeutic dose is reached.
There are glucose monitors, much the same as used in human medicine that can be attached to your cat for convenient and fuss free glucose measurements at home.
In conjunction with insulin, diet plays a large part in managing diabetes in your cat. It is possible for cats to go into diabetic remission (i.e it suddenly resolves), especially in the first 6-12 months of being diagnosed, so careful monitoring of blood glucose levels and food and water intake is vital during this time.