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Cat Diabetes Treatment

Our Englewood vets are seeing increasing numbers of cats suffering from the symptoms of diabetes, but with early detection, proper management, and a dedicated partnership with your veterinarian, this serious condition can be effectively controlled. Read on to learn more.

Cat Diabetes

In cats, diabetes mellitus is a condition where blood sugar, or glucose, cannot be effectively utilized and regulated by the body. Insulin which is produced by the pancreas, controls the flow of glucose (blood sugar) to the body's cells in order to provide energy. If your cat's insulin levels are too low, glucose doesn't reach the cells as it should. When this happens, the cat's body begins breaking down fat and protein cells to use for energy, while unused glucose builds up in the cat's bloodstream.

Type I or Type II Diabetes in Cats

  • Type I (Insulin-Dependent) - The cat's body can no longer produce or release enough insulin into the body. This form of diabetes is relatively rare in cats.
  • Type II (Non-Insulin Dependent) - With this form of diabetes, the cat's body produces enough insulin, but the tissues or organs do not respond appropriately to insulin and have become insulin-resistant. This type of diabetes is common in overweight male cats over 8 years old, and those that eat a high-carbohydrate diet.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats

Because a diabetic cat’s body breaks down protein and fat instead of using glucose, cats with a healthy appetite, or even those with a ravenous appetite, will lose weight. Untreated diabetes in cats can lead to other health complications and symptoms, such as:

  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Increased thirst
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Unhealthy coat and skin
  • Walking flat on backs of their hind legs (from nerve damage)

If left untreated diabetes can lead to a variety of debilitating, expensive, and potentially fatal conditions. If your cat is showing symptoms of diabetes it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. While there is no cure for diabetes in cats, treatment is available. 

Diagnosing Diabetes in Cats

Diagnosing feline diabetes is typically straightforward and involves a thorough examination by your veterinarian, including blood and urine tests to measure your cat's glucose levels. If diabetes is confirmed your veterinarian will work with you to create an effective treatment plan to help manage your kitty's condition.

Cat Diabetes Treatment

If your feline friend is diagnosed with diabetes the primary goal of their treatment will be to regulate their blood sugar levels in order to manage their condition effectively. This typically involves a combination of insulin injections, dietary modifications, regular exercise, and close monitoring of your cat's response to treatment. Working closely with your veterinarian is essential to establish a tailored treatment plan for your furry friend.

When it comes to making dietary changes to treat your cat's diabetes it will be necessary to find just the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Many veterinarians prescribe a special prescription food as a way to manage diabetes in cats while meeting all of their complex nutritional needs.

Following a diagnosis of diabetes your cat will need to attend regular visits to their veterinarian for blood sugar testing and monitoring of symptoms. Depending on your cat's needs you may be able to test your kitty's glucose levels at home. Ask your vet if testing your cat’s glucose at home is an option.

Some veterinarians also request that pet parents keep a diary of their cat's appetite and litter use. This helps cat owners to spot changes quickly so that they can consult their veterinarian right away, before symptoms become more severe.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Our Englewood specialist vets provide advanced diagnostics and care for pets. Contact our Internal Medicine team at VRCC today to learn more about our services.

New Patients Welcome

VRCC Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Englewood is always accepting new patients! Our board-certified specialists and emergency veterinarians are passionate about restoring good health to Denver Metro area pets.

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