Animals like humans, are capable of developing diabetes in their lifetime. There are many and various cat diabetes symptoms that are similar to humans that cat owners should watch out for. A cat that develops diabetes is still capable of living a long, happy life although you as the owner will need to give it extra attention and love to ensure this.
If left untreated cat diabetes symptoms can develop into very serious problems for your cat including severe depression, coma and ultimately death. The good news is that you have come to the right place to treat cat diabetes symptoms.
When a cat develops diabetes it is left with an inability to produce enough insulin to convert glucose or blood sugar levels into energy for its muscles and tissues to absorb. It is estimated that up to 2% of cats will develop diabetes however this statistic is likely very under diagnosed which means that this statistic could be as high as 4 or 5% of cats with diabetes.
Why do cats develop diabetes?
This is unknown as it is for dogs and humans. There are many factors that play a part. Feeding a cat dry food maybe a factor as dry food has a high carbohydrate content. Cats are natural carnivores so their diet would naturally be very high in protein. Cats that are obese are at biggest risk of getting diabetes, also inactive cats maybe at higher risk. The exact reasons for cats getting diabetes however, is a mystery.
Cat diabetes symptoms
Like people and dogs the symptoms of a cat with diabetes can be very similar. It is important to note that obese cats are at a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes. If you see any or all of these symptoms in your cat you should seek veterinary advice ASAP. The main symptoms to watch out for are –
- Dramatically increased thirst and urination
- Increased appetite.
- A big loss of weight
- Bad breath
- Poor coat condition
Taking your cat to the vet
It is important to note that a single blood test for your cat may not be enough to confirm the presence of diabetes. Your cat may become stressed and may show signs of elevated blood sugar levels. This stress can see your cat display what is known as transient hyperglcemia. Several blood tests may be required over time to confirm diabetes in your cat. Your vet will prescribe the best course of action when it comes to this.
How do I treat a cat with diabetes?
Proper diet and exercise will be one for of treatment for your cat. In some cases a cat with diabetes can be managed via its diet alone. You will also need to play extra attention to your cats behaviours over time. A diet high in protein will be ideal for your cat. Dry foods that are high in carbohydrates will most likely need to be out of your cats diet. Managing your cats weight will also be something that will also be required.
Your cat may need oral medication or medication such as insulin
You may have to give your cat and insulin shot once or twice a day. You usually inject a cat with insulin at the scruff of the neck at the same times every day. It sounds complicated but it is not really. Your vet should show you how to administer the insulin in the best fashion.
Managing your cat with insulin can lead to over injecting your cat which can be dangerous as this leads to low blood sugar levels that can kill your cat. You should ideally feed your cat small frequent meals to manage this complication. A cat will display low blood sugar levels when it
- Shows sign of weakness, lethargy
- Is wobbly on its feet
- Goes into a coma
If left untreated it can lead to death. If your cat shows any or all of these symptoms offer it some food immediately. Ideally dry food that has a high content of carbs. Anything sweet or sugary eg sweetened milk is ideal as it acts very fast.
What is a cat with diabetes life expectancy?
Diabetes is a serious illness for your cat. It can lead to a host of complications if the illness is not managed properly. However with proper attention, care and love there is no reason to anticipate anything other than a healthy, happy long life for your diabetic cat. This can mean a life expectancy well into its teenage years.
How much will my cats insulin cost?
It is anticipated that people will need to spend somewhere in the vicinity of $20 to $30 per month on insulin and syringes to manage your cats diabetes.
It is important to monitor your cat’s overall behaviour. If you see any signs of cat diabetes symptoms listed above then you should seek advice from your local vet immediately. Managing your diabetic cats condition will be essential if you want to see it live a normal, healthy life.
Please get in touch with me if you have a cat or know someone who owns a cat with diabetes.