Can Cats Get Diabetes?
Can cats get diabetes? The answer to this does surprise many, as the simple fact is, cats can get diabetes.
In fact, Animal Planet estimates one out of 1,200 cats will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime.
However, just like diabetes in humans, if your cat does get diabetes it can be controlled. In this article we will look at why a cat might get diabetes, the symptoms of the condition and how to treat it.
Why do cats get diabetes?
The reasons cats get diabetes is closely connected to why the condition occurs in humans. Diabetes affects the hormone insulin within the body, (in both cats and us). Insulin is how the body moves sugar (glucose) from the blood stream into the cells.
Diabetes in cats is actually closer to type 2 diabetes in humans. The cat is able to make insulin, however the body becomes less sensitive to the hormone.
The result is a build up of sugar in the bloodstream, as the cat’s nervous system has difficulty in moving the glucose from the blood into the cells of the body.
Why the condition arises in the first place is actually unknown. Too much sugar in the diet can impact the way a cat is able to break down glucose, however scientists have yet to agree on the actual specific causes.
In general, an over weight cat, or an aging cat is more likely to have diabetes.
Also, if your cat has a disease such as chronic pancreatitis and hyperthyroidism, they are more susceptible to getting disease. The medication corticosteroid has also linked to the increased risk of diabetes in felines
Diabetes in Cats – The Symptoms
If your cat has diabetes you may notice symptoms such as increased urination and thirst. This is because the urine contains the excess levels of glucose that are not being absorbed into the body, and needs to be passed out of the system.
Your cat may also be more lethargic than normal.
If you spot such signs you should take your cat to the vet for diagnosis. There the vet will carry out cat diabetes testing. This involves a complete blood count, a serum biochemistry profile and a urinalysis.
If your cat has diabetes and it goes unnoticed, it can lead to life-threatening complications over time.
Cat Diabetes – How it is treated
Cats that have diabetes will need continuous care and monitoring from their owners. Just as a human with diabetes needs to do, the insulin level of the blood has to be controlled.
After diagnosis your vet will advise you on the way the disease can be treated. It usually involves a lifestyle change and alteration of diet.
If the vet thinks that the onset of diabetes has been exacerbated by the use of drugs, alternative medication may be required.
Because obesity is often linked to diabetes, weight reduction with an emphasis on a healthier diet, can help resolve the issue.
If such remedial actions do not prove successful, the vet may suggest treatment via the application of insulin.
In some cases this will involve oral hypoglycemic medication. However, more often than not, cat diabetes needs to be treated with insulin injections.
Your vet will assist in the beginning of such treatment so as to help ascertain the correct dosage. After that, you will need to give your cat the injections one or two times a day. It is simple to administer these shots without pain to your pet.
Can Cats Get Diabetes – Bottom Line
Yes cats can get diabetes, but just like humans we are able to control the symptoms so your pet has a happy and healthy lifestyle.
If your cat is overweight, bare in the mind the need to address the issue so that the onset of diabetes does not take place. And if you spot the signs of feline diabetes, take your cat to the vet as soon as you can.