Diabetes in Cats

Our Mooresville vets are seeing more and more cases of diabetes in cats. Left untreated this condition can threaten your cat's quality of life, and longevity. Here are some signs pet parents should watch for, and treatments available for cats with diabetes.

Cat Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a condition which cat's can develop when blood sugar, or glucose, cannot be effectively utilized and regulated by the body.

Insulin is produced in the pancreas and controls the flow of glucose to the body's cells in order to provide energy. If your cat's insulin levels are too low, glucose is unable 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 the unused glucose gradually builds up in the cat's bloodstream.

Type I and Type II Diabetes in Cats

  • Type I (Insulin-Dependent) - While rare in cats, Type I Diabetes occurs when the cat's body is unable to produce or release enough insulin into the body.
  • Type II (Non-Insulin Dependent) - Type II Diabetes is most common in overweight male cats over 8 years of age, and those cats which eat a high-carbohydrate diet. A cat with Type II diabetes produces enough insulin, but the tissues or organs do not respond appropriately to insulin and have become insulin-resistant. 

Cat Diabetes Symptoms

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

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

Diabetes in cats that is left untreated 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. There is no cure for diabetes in cats, however the condition can often be managed through treatment. 

Treatment Options for Diabetes in Cats

An official diagnosis from your cat's vet is the first step in the process. Your vet will then prescribe daily management of the condition with insulin injections, (which your vet may train you to give at home). You may also need to make changes to your cat's diet to ensure that they’re getting the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. In more severe cases, your vet may recommend a special prescription food to help manage your cat's diabetes.

If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, regular visits to the vet for blood sugar tests will be essential, or if you prefer, ask your vet if testing your cat’s glucose at home is an option. You may also find it helpful to keep a diary of your cat's appetite and litter use so that any changes are spotted early and checked out.

If your cat is showing signs of diabetes, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our vets. 

Diabetes in cats. Our Mooresville Vet explains the signs to watch for and available treatments

Looking for a vet in Mooresville?

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.


Contact Us

Related Articles View All

Holistic Dog Food & Integrative Medicine

Our Mooresville vets understand that many pet parents who include integrative veterinary services into their dog's health care are also interested in serving their pooch a holistic diet. Today we share a little about holistic dog foods, and what integrative veterinary medicine involves.

Dogs and Skin Cancer

When it comes to caring for our dogs, skin cancer is something that every pet-parent should be on the lookout for. Below, our Mooresville vets share the signs and symptoms of some of the most common skin cancers in dogs.

Cancer in Dogs - Signs & Symptoms

Our Mooresville vets understand that discovering an unexplained lump on your dog is bound to be alarming. While not all lumps and bumps are cancer related, dogs do commonly develop a number of different cancers that pet owners should be aware of.

Common Serious Dog Illnesses

When dogs don't feel well it can be difficult for even the most attentive owner to know just how serious the situation is. Today our Mooresville vets explain the signs and symptoms of five common dog illnesses that can be serious.

Looking for a vet in Mooresville?

We'd love to welcome you and your pet into our veterinary family! Contact Lake Norman Animal Hospital today.

Get Started

(704) 664-7387