Did you know that cats can develop diabetes mellitus, just like people? The prevalence of diabetes in both cats and people is on the rise and is associated with being overweight and having an inactive lifestyle. Feline diabetes is also more common in middle-aged and older cats, neutered male cats, and cats with a history of pancreatic disease, and the use of certain medications. The most common signs of diabetes in cats are:
|Increased thirst||Increased appetite|
|Weight loss (despite a good appetite)||Increased urination|
|Lethargy||Dull, dry hair coat|
Your veterinarian will evaluate your cat for diabetes by asking you questions about your cat’s habits, performing a thorough physical examination, and by using blood and urine tests. Other feline diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, have similar clinical signs so that the correct diagnosis is important for successful treatment. Diabetes is typically diagnosed when the levels of glucose (‘sugar’) are excessive in both blood and urine.
Diabetes is managed with a combination of insulin and dietary therapy. The good news is that significant advances in our knowledge of how to manage feline diabetes have occurred in recent years, so that most diabetic cats have a good quality of life. Some will even lose their dependence on insulin therapy with time.
If you suspect your cat may have signs of diabetes, or even if your cat has not had a wellness examination in more than one year, you should contact your veterinarian. For more information on feline diabetes, see our Cat Hospitals website, as well as: