Diabetes occurs in approximately 0.2 to 1 percent of the general feline population.1 It can develop at any age, but it’s more common in middle-aged to older birman cats for sale and it tends to occur more often in overweight cats. Unfortunately, according to veterinarians, obesity-related diabetes is on the rise in our feline friends. The Banfield Pet Hospital’s 2016 State of Pet Health Report, which found that cat diabetes rose over 18 percent between 2006 and 2015.2
While there is no known cure for diabetes mellitus in felines, the good news is cats with the condition can live reasonably normal lives if the disease is diagnosed early and they receive daily treatment to control the disease. This article, will discuss cat diabetes, outlining the symptoms associated with it and the treatment given.
Understanding Cat Diabetes
As with humans, cats can suffer from both Type 1 and Type II diabetes, but the latter is by far the more common form of the disease. Male cats are more prone to diabetes than females. The illness develops when the body can no longer produce or use insulin properly. This makes the cells in a cat’s body unable to absorb glucose, thus starving the animal of energy.
Cats with chronic pancreatitis and hormonal disorders such as hyperthyroidism and Cushing’s disease are also at risk for diabetes. For pet owners who want to gauge whether their cat is overweight and possibly in danger of developing diabetes, there’s a simple way to do so. Run your hands over your pet’s chest. You should be able to feel their ribs but not see them. Next, look down at your pet while standing directly above them. Your pet should have what resembles a waist that pulls in slightly in front of their hips.
If left undetected or untreated, feline diabetes can cause other health issues. Ketoacidosis is the most harmful of the possible complications resulting from diabetes. This happens when the breakdown of fat and protein cells becomes so burdensome that your cat’s body is starving even though it’s eating normally. Signs of ketoacidosis include appetite loss, weakness or lethargy, abnormal breathing, dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you don’t seek immediate veterinary care to get your cat fluids and insulin, the situation could lead to death.
Cat Diabetes Symptoms
The most common symptom associated with cat diabetes is increased urination. This symptom may not be obvious to some owners, as it can be hard to detect an increase in urination in homes that have multiple cats using the same litter box. In some cases, a cat might begin relieving itself outside of their litter box due to a need to urinate frequently.