Making Your Cat Comfortable
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.
What Is Diabetic Remission
Diabetic remission occurs when a cat maintains a normal glucose level for more than four weeks without insulin injections or oral glucose regulating medications.
The primary goal of treating diabetes is to regulate blood glucose quickly and reach a point where the cat no longer needs insulin therapy. Diabetic remission occurs when a cat maintains a normal glucose level for more than four weeks without insulin injections or oral glucose regulating medications.
Not all cats go into remission, but those that do may stay that way for months or years. One estimate states that 17 to 67% of cats experience remission after insulin therapy. Other estimates predict remission is possible in 90% of cats.
The key factors in achieving remission are quick institution of insulin therapy post-diagnosis and strict adherence to a low carbohydrate diet. Frequent monitoring with appropriate adjustments of insulin dosage increases the odds of remission.
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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.
How Do You Feed Young Cats
Feeding young cats does not have to be complicated. A lot of people think that they will have to give young cats food with their own hands. That is not exactly true. According to experts, the best way to feed a kitten cats food is by allowing them to feed freely.
This is because young kittens need to be fed often due to their high need for nutrition. This is why, during these early days, they are more likely to do so with ease if you fill up their food dish and let them eat freely.
In addition to this, this method also prevents your kittens from getting digestion-related problems that may occur due to overeating at one fixed mealtime. However, if you see that your kitten is getting obese or overweight, then switch to giving fixed portions at specified times since you do not want your young feline to become obese.
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How Often Are Insulin Injections Administered
Most diabetic cats will need daily insulin injections. Generally, this will be administered twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart and after a meal. The insulin is commonly injected into the scruff of your cats neck to make its application painless.
Are you worried that you might do insulin injections incorrectly? Not to worry as the vet will teach you how to carry it out. Just make sure to pay close attention. Although it can be challenging on the first try, you will get a hang of it as time goes.
Monitoring your cats blood sugar is also a must. The vet can do this, but so can you if you are willing to invest in a glucose testing kit. The glucose curve is the ideal tool to use.
Your Diabetic Cat May Live For Many Years With Proper Treatment
Many diabetic cats come in to the vet and their human and the cat dont think theyre that sick.
The cat is eating well but thinks the water bowl has turned into the best open bar in the world.
The pet parent decides to take the cat to the vet when theres urine floating on top of 20 pounds of soaked cat litter. In other words, the cat is severely polyuric/polydipsic .
If the cat is still happy, eating, and his glucose hasnt gotten too high or the diabetes hasnt been going on for a long time, this cat is what we call a happy diabetic.
These cats will usually respond to treatment quickly, and youve caught the disease before lots of secondary problems set in .
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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!
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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What Happens If A Diabetic Cat Has Low Blood Sugar
Another complication can arise from treatment of diabetes hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can occur when too much insulin is given, resulting in weakness, listlessness and lack of coordination, and in some cases it can cause convulsions and even coma. If your diabetic kitty displays signs of low blood sugar, try to get her to eat something.
Why Does A Cat Become Diabetic
The Food Quality. While a minority of the cats may develop diabetes due to genetic reasons or other underlying health problems that can further lead to diabetes, most cats become diabetic because of the commercial cat food thats based on corn and gluten as their main sources of protein for the cats meals.
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Preventing Diabetes In Cats
While there are some factors that cause diabetes that cannot be prevented , there are many steps you can take to prevent diabetes in your cats. They include the following:
If you currently have a diabetic cat, dont be alarmed. Diabetes can absolutely be managed and your cat can still lead a long and happy life. The following are some tips on how to manage your cats diabetes at home and in coordination with your veterinarian.
Health Implications Of Feline Diabetes
Because diabetes causes the body’s cells to process energy from fat and protein instead of glucose, cats with diabetes will typically lose weight in spite of displaying a healthy appetite. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to a number of health complications, the most dangerous of which is a condition known as ketoacidosis. This occurs when the breakdown of fat and protein cells becomes so great that your cat’s body is effectively starving even though she’s eating regularly. Signs of this condition include appetite loss, weakness or lethargy, abnormal breathing, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea, and without immediate intensive care to provide fluids and insulin, it could be fatal.
Other diabetes-related health complications may include liver disease, bacterial infection, unhealthy skin and coat, and neuropathy, which can cause loss of strength and mobility in the hind legs. Another complication can arise from treatment of diabetes hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can occur when too much insulin is given, resulting in weakness, listlessness and lack of coordination, and in some cases it can cause convulsions and even coma. If your diabetic kitty displays signs of low blood sugar, try to get her to eat something. If she won’t or can’t eat, Cornell recommends rubbing syrup on her gums and calling your veterinarian right away.
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What Causes Feline Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, which is rare in cats, involves an inappropriate immune response to the pancreatic beta cells that initiate insulin release.
Type 2 diabetes, also called idiopathic hyperglycemia, has a range of root causes. These include obesity, a high-carbohydrate diet, inactivity, and genetic factors. Male cats, indoor cats, and those middle- to older-aged cats are also at increased risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes is more common among some populations of Burmese and Siamese cats around the world.
Of these causes, diet and obesity are the easiest to control and the most related to treatment.
Diabetes is an endocrine condition and deeply connected to diet. Though we dont know how much of an impact diet has on your cats chances of developing diabetes, several things are clear.
Cats are obligate carnivores with a metabolism optimized for meat, meat, and more meat. Every aspect of their physiology, from saliva to pupils to claws to intestines and stomach acid, is characteristic of an animal-eating machine. As an animal optimized for this type of high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, cats are capable of metabolizing carbohydrates but, compared with omnivores, are less efficient at it.
Metabolically, cats are similar to people with diabetes. Even healthy cats exhibit some insulin resistance, and the gluconeogenic pathway, which produces glucose from non-carbohydrate substances like lactate, is always open, allowing glucose to flood the bloodstream unhindered.
Signs Your Cat Has Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic, and potentially debilitating, condition in cats. The disorder is most prevalent among obese cats, male cats over eight years old, and those on a diet high in carbohydrates.
Cases of feline diabetes are on the rise, and given the severity of the condition, it is important to take early measures to prevent or manage the health of your diabetic cat.
Typically, diabetes mellitus is a disorder that results when the cells develop a resistance to insulin, a hormone that aids the entry of glucose into the cells. This causes a build-up of the glucose levels in the bloodstream.
Diabetic cats mostly suffer from Type II diabetes, where the body cells can no longer adequately respond to insulin, leading to elevated levels of glucose.
A complete diagnosis always requires a visit to the vet, but a closer look at your cat at home can tell you if theres a problem. Bring your cat to Dr. Minta Keyes for a check-up if you notice any of these signs:
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Sometimes Diabetes In Cats Is Reversible It Goes Away
With proper diet and the correct insulin therapy, a significant number of cats can go into remission or have their diabetes reversed.
We dont completely understand this, but we are getting better treatment results with low-carb/high-protein diets and early insulin intervention.
Diabetes is more common in male cats, and the statistics show that males have a slightly better chance of reversing their diabetes.
Anywhere from 3090% of cats will return to normal with early diagnosis and treatment.
Signs Of Diabetes In Cats
One of the most common diseases in cats is diabetes. Those most at risk are overweight house pets, particularly males. According to Diabetic Cat Care, it can take weeks or even months for symptoms to show up and possibly longer for a owner to notice. Meanwhile, their cats health is deteriorating. Diabetic Cat Care gives the following as symptoms to watch for as signs that your cat may have diabetes.
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When To Contact Your Vet
Contact your vet if your cat is showing any of the symptoms listed above or you are worried they might have diabetes. The sooner your cat is diagnosed, the better their chance of recovery.
You know your cat best. If they dont have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned its always best to contact your vet.
Think Of It As A Bonding Experience With Your Cat
Caring for a diabetic cat is both a challenge and something to be proud of.
Tons of information is available, and someone with a diabetic cat should become as knowledgeable as possible.
If your friends hear the news and tell you horror stories about other diabetic cats, or think youre crazy to give injections to Mr. Mug, heres our advice: Stay calm. Smile serenely. And move on.
You wont know how this is going to go until you try. Remember, more and more diabetic cats are getting early treatment and going into remission.
If your cat is not a diabetic yet, get on the healthy bandwagon:
- Keep them at a normal weight
- Feed them a good-quality canned food.
- Theres also a place for you raw-food and home-cooking fans out there. It just takes more work.
Obesity in cats, just like in Americans, is a huge problem.
Feeding Meow Mix is like tearing into a big bag of Doritos. They both stain your fingers, too theres something not right about that.
So stay healthy. Eat right. And do the same for Mr. Mug.
Healthy diets, proper weight management, diabetic monitoring and treatment of concurrent conditions are all imperative to a successful outcome for a diabetic cat.
Getting your cat on the right track early can save you a lot of money and add years to their life.
Next, lets talk about the cost of insulin for cats. Keep reading!
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Why Diabetic Cats Need Extra Care When Youre Away
Sick pets require additional mental and physical care than your average pet.
Our best buddies are sentient, feeling beings they thrive on routine and the security of familiar surroundings and family members.
So keep your diabetic cats routine as stable as possible while youre away. Besides their medical conditions, these pets may have anxiety disorders. Any changes in routine can cause them dangerous stress.
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.
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Is Diabetes In Cats Expensive To Treat
Theres just no getting around it, Cohn says. The costs of treating feline diabetes are not insignificant.
Four types of insulin are commonly used to treat cats with diabetes mellitus, she says. Two are veterinary formulations, and two are from human medicine. The insulin thats preferred by most veterinarians is one thats made for humans, and the price has shot up over the last decade, Cohn says. The good news is that one bottle of insulin can last multiple months when treating a cat. Its meant to be used for a month and is marked that way for use in people, but it will stay good with appropriate handling and storage for much longer.
The costs associated with diabetes treatment go beyond insulin. Repeat veterinary appointments, blood glucose monitoring, special foods, and syringes should be factored in.