If You Recently Learned Your Cat Has Diabetes Take Heart
A diabetic cat can have a fairly normal life, particularly if:
- Your cat regulates glucose well and
- Youre committed to your kittys care
And yes, your cat may be able to live a fairly normal life expectancy!
While there isnt a complete cure for a diabetic cat, it IS possible for your cat to stop showing diabetic symptoms for a while with the right feeding and care.
Here are 4 diabetic cat tips to help you do your best with feeding, insulin shots and glucose checks.
Can A 7 Year Old Cat Be Diabetic
Cats under 7 years of age rarely get diabetes. Overweight cats are more prone to become diabetic than cats of healthy weight males are slightly more likely to become diabetic than females. Each cats diabetes is an specific condition your veterinarian will provide individualized treatment for your pet based on his symptoms.
Should I Feed My Kitten Treats
Now and then, you may be tempted to give in to your kittens sweet expressions and feed it its favorite treats. While we are not against treats, we would suggest that treats should not make up more than 10% of your kittens calorie intake for the day. We know that kittens need to be given treats to encourage and build good habits and behaviors.
This is perfectly alright, and you should be doing this as long as it remains under the 10% threshold. Giving too many treats instead of proper cat food is akin to feeding junk food to your young kitten. This is why limit the treats and focus more on nutrition-rich foods!
The Lifespan Of Individuals With Prediabetes:
Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not enough to be classified as diabetes. Generally, people with this condition have blood glucose levels in the following range
- Fasting: between 100mg/dl and 126mg/dl
- After meals: between 140 and 200mg/dl
It can progress to type 2 diabetes unless the blood sugar levels are controlled. It is a common misunderstanding that prediabetes is not a health risk unless it progresses to type 2. Any amount of increased blood sugar is harmful to the body, putting the affected people at an increased risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney problems.
A study performed at a Health Center in Detroit showed that 36% of the prediabetes patients had coronary heart disease with diabetes patients showing 42% which is much higher than the normal people . Hence prediabetes should well be considered as a stage 1 diabetes. Once the prediabetes status of the patient progresses to type 2 diabetes, it is subjected to the same lifespan risks associated with type 2.
People are usually unaware of the condition. Hence, the first critical step in prediabetes management should be to increase awareness of the condition, to prevent its advancement to type 2 diabetes.
Once Your Cats Glucose Is At A Regulated Level Your Cats Check
For example, they may start to go to 3 months and then to 6 months.
If your cats glucose gets out of whack, youll go back to a visit every few weeks until its back on track.
As we mentioned above, a prescription diabetic cat food can make it easier to regulate your cats glucose than a regular cat food, which may reduce your vet visits.
Ultimately, though, it depends on your cat.
Some regulate quickly.
Put your mind at ease
If you want to make sure your diabetic cat is getting the right care and you live in the Castle Rock area, call us at 303-688-3757 or:
Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.
This article is intended to provide general guidance on diabetic cat tips, including feeding schedules, insulin shots and glucose checks. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian.
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Blood Testing As A Means Of Monitoring
There are two tests that are used to monitor the level of regulation of diabetic cats:
Ideally, blood glucose determinations should be made just before insulin is given and at the peak time . If both tests are not feasible, the same testing time should be used consistently. Although this test is typically performed at the hospital, rare cases exist in which the owner is able to get blood from the cat and perform the test at home. Cats that are unduly stressed by riding in the automobile or being at the veterinary hospital can be tested using the serum fructosamine test. This gives an average blood glucose reading for the last two weeks. It is also being used routinely by some veterinarians.
Blood testing should be performed any time the home monitoring methods reveal abnormalities. It should also be performed every 3-4 months on a routine basis.
Insulin Injections For Cats With Diabetes Are Actually Not Complicated
Injections are not that difficult to give, even when cat, Mr. Mug, is acting like Mr. Angrypants.
Stick the furry face in some food and pop in the tiny amount of insulin, and its over. Pilling a cat is probably much more difficult on a daily basis than giving an injection.
Your vet and staff should give you all the help you need when learning how to give insulin to your cat.
Theres lots of debate about which insulin works best in cats. Each vet has their favorite, and if your cat doesnt do well, they will switch to a different option. Be prepared for some trial and error.
For information about the cost of insulin for cats, see Part 2 of this article below.
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Made A Treatment Mistake
If you make a treatment mistake or something unexpected happens , dont panic. Contact your vet for advice. Treating a diabetic cat requires teamwork between you and your veterinary practice they will always be on the end of the phone to give you advice, support and arrange regular check-ups for your cat.
If you leave your cats diabetes untreated, it will cause suffering, severe illness and eventually be fatal.
What Is The Long Term Prognosis For Cats With Diabetes
Provided cats with diabetes are given regular insulin injections, as directed by a vet, and stick to a recommended diet combined with exercise to keep weight down, they will often lead long and happy lives. But sadly, not every cat responds well to treatment and there are many complicating factors.
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Feline Diabetes: Symptoms Treatments Prevention And Diet Tips
Thomas Graves and WebMD team up to provide feline diabetes information and tips for treatment or prevention.
An alarming number ofcatsare developingdiabetesmellitus, which is the inability to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar, or glucose, levels.Left untreated, it can lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting ,dehydration, severe depression, problems with motor function, coma, and even death. To find out why so many cats are being diagnosed with diabetes, and what owners can do, WebMD talked to Thomas Graves, a former feline practitioner who is associate professor and section head of small animal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Graves research focus is on diabetes and geriatric medicine.
Q: How common is feline diabetes?
A: The true incidence isnt known, but its estimated at 0.5% to 2% of the feline population. But its also probably under diagnosed.
Q: What are the signs of diabetes in cats?
A: The main symptoms are increased thirst and increased urination. And while we do see it in cats with appropriate body weight, its more common in obese cats. Some cats with diabetes have a ravenous appetite because their bodies cannot use the fuel supplied in their diet.
Q: Whats the treatment for a cat with feline diabetes?
Q: Will I have to test my cats blood every day and give them shots?
Q: If caught early enough, can my cat be cured of diabetes?
Q: Should I only feed them dry food or just wet food or both?
What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes In Cats
The symptoms of feline diabetes can start gradually and get worse over time. Signs may also be subtle and hard to notice since sick cats tend to mask or hide their symptoms when they dont feel well. Initial signs of feline diabetes can include the following symptoms:
- Increased appetite
- Urinating in areas outside the litter box
- Unkempt fur
As the disease progresses, cats can get very skinny and show signs of weakness in their back legs. Eventually, ketoacidosis can occur, which requires immediate medical attention.
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Treatment For Diabetic Cats
The goal of treatment is to have a cat that is free of diabetic symptoms with a blood glucose level that is near the normal range.
To achieve this, the course of treatment will have to be individualized to your cat. Diet change and weight loss may be prescribed in addition to insulin therapy.
If your cat has developed the complication of diabetic ketoacidosis, they will be hospitalized and given IV insulin as well as IV fluids until they are eating and their blood sugar and electrolytes stabilize. Then they will be switched to subcutaneous insulin and sent home.
Infections can interfere with proper glucose regulation, so if your cat has any infections, those will need to be treated first. Urinary tract infections are common in diabetic cats, and your veterinarian may recommend regular screening to prevent complications.
Cat Diabetes: Causes Signs Diagnosis Treatment
When a cat is diabetic, it means he has too much circulating glucose in his bloodstream because his body is unable to make insulin or his cells do not respond to insulin . Type 2 diabetes is the most common form in cats.
Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to be taken up by cells from the bloodstream and allows it to be stored in various forms. When there is not enough insulin or the body does not respond to insulin, too much glucose remains in the bloodstream. When glucose is at normal levels in the bloodstream, the kidneys are able to reabsorb it so glucose is not found in the urine. In a diabetic animal, the kidneys are not able to reabsorb all the extra glucose and the glucose is spilled into the urine. The glucose in the urine pulls more fluid with it, so the cat produces more urine, which results in fluid loss and creates thirst in the cat.
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How Long Can Your Body Survive Without Insulin
Naturally, people whose lives depend on taking insulin get very nervous at the thought of not having access to it. We cant help but wonder: in the worst-case scenario, just how long would we be able to hang on without it?
Conventional wisdom says the answer is roughly 3-4 days. But is that really true?
We set out to do some fact-checking.
What Are The Main Symptoms Of Feline Diabetes
- Increased urination caused by the glucose drawing water with it into the urine
- Excessive thirst caused by the body trying to keep up with the excess fluid loss
- Increased hunger because the body thinks its starving
- Weight loss because the sugars in the diet cant be used by the body if there is not enough insulin, and so they are lost in the urine. This means the cat effectively isnt getting enough calories and so the body starts to break down the fat reserves.
Other symptoms may include :
- Enlargement of the liver
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Diet And Feeding Schedule
The ideal diet for a diabetic cat is one that is low in sugar and high in fiber. Semi-moist diets are typically high in sugar. You will recognize them because they have the consistency of hamburger meat and are packaged in sealed foil packets. These should be avoided. High-fiber diets are specially formulated for certain medical conditions they are one of the prescription diets sold by veterinarians. These diets slow the movement of food through the stomach and intestines. The sugar in these foods is relatively low in quantity and is absorbed over a much longer period of time. This means that the blood sugar surge that follows eating is much less.
If your cat will not eat one of the prescribed high fiber diets, fiber can be added to regular cat food. Psyllium is the preferred type. It is available as a powder that can be mixed with canned food or as a chewable tablet. Because of the importance of consistency, it is better for your cat to eat the same quantity of a less desirable food every day than to eat a preferred food on an inconsistent basis.
Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesnt produce enough insulin to function properly, or the bodys cells dont react to insulin. This means glucose stays in the blood and isnt used as fuel for energy.
Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and tends to be diagnosed in older people. Due to increased obesity, type 2 diabetes is now being seen in young people and all ages. Its far more common than type 1 diabetes.
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What Causes Insulin Resistance In Cats
In dogs, the most common causes of insulin resistance are hyperadrenocorticism, bacterial infections, hypothyroidism, and diestrus. In cats, the most common causes are acromegaly hyperadrenocorticism renal, hepatic, or cardiac insufficiency bacterial infections hyperthyroidism and use of diabetogenic drugs.
What Are The Things I Need To Know About Handling Insulin
Insulin is sold in sterile, air-tight bottles. It should be refrigerated at all times. Persistent warm temperatures and direct sunlight will inactivate it.
The active insulin crystals settle out of suspension in a few hours. When you are ready to us it, all or most of the crystals will be stuck to the bottom of the bottle. The label instructs you to roll it gently in your hands. However, gentle rolling may not be adequate to properly put the insulin crystals back into suspension with the liquid. If that happens, consistent dosing of insulin is very unlikely. You may draw up the correct volume of insulin in the syringe, but the amount of active insulin crystals will probably not be correct. This means that your cat will not get the proper dose and is one of the common causes of regulation difficulties.
Extremely vigorous shaking can damage the insulin crystals, but shaking also makes foam in the bottle. When you draw the foam into your syringe, you will have difficulty getting the correct amount of insulin. Therefore, reasonable shaking is needed to properly resuspend the insulin crystals, but shaking too vigorously can create foaming problems. Be sure that you sha
ke the bottle until all of the white material is off of the bottom of the bottle and is well mixed with the liquid.
Strictly Controlled Diet As Possible Alternative
A strictly-controlled diet can be useful in controlling blood glucose levels in cats with diabetes. Feeding your cat special food by itself may or may not be completely effective, and it is most likely to work for cats who do not have severe diabetes.
The most commonly recommended food for a cat with diabetes is a diet containing high levels of protein and low levels of carbohydrates. If you are feeding your cat commercial food, canned cat foods are preferred .
A high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet can be combined with one of the oral hypoglycemic medications to further help regulate your cat’s blood glucose levels. It is possible that this may be more effective than using diet or medication alone.
How To Keep A Cat In Diabetic Remission
This article was co-authored by Lauren Baker, DVM, PhD. Dr. Baker is a Veterinarian and PhD candidate in Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Baker received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin in 2016, and went on to pursue a PhD through her work in the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 18,328 times.
If your cat suffers from feline diabetes, it is still possible for your kitty to return to an insulin-free life with the proper treatment. After your cat receives a diabetes diagnosis from your veterinarian, you must start treating the condition immediately. With the right insulin doses and a healthy diet, your cat may enter diabetic remission. To keep your cat in remission, you should help your cat stay healthy and fit through proper diet and exercise. You also need to always be wary of returning symptoms of feline diabetes.
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When Do People With Type 2 Diabetes Start Insulin
After 10 to 20 years, many people with type 2 diabetes will begin insulin therapy, although every persons journey with type 2 diabetes is different. This happens when lifestyle changes and medications arent keeping your glucose levels in your target range. It is important that you start treatment as early as possible to avoid persistent hyperglycemia , which can lead to long-term health complications affecting your heart, kidneys, eyes, and other organs.
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