Diabetes in Cats - Everything You Need to Know
If your cat has diabetes, it is a cause for concern, but it does not prevent you from living a normal life with your pet. The disease can be successfully fought with appropriate treatment. Diabetes does not have to make a big difference to your pet's quality of life. If your cat shows signs of diabetes, make an appointment with your vet.
With a little care and attention from you, your cat will quickly be back on its feet. Before you know it, your pet will be mischievous again, attracting the attention of guests and running away from trouble - just like he used to be!
As with humans, diabetes occurs in cats in several different types. If your cat gets sick with any of them, your veterinarian will tell you which type, how it manifests itself and how to deal with it. Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent) diabetes is the most common in cats.
What is non-insulin dependent diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where it is difficult to use sugar as an energy source. This disease changes the way a cat's muscles use energy. Untreated, it can lead to weight changes and further diseases.
Typically, a cat's digestive system breaks the food they eat into simpler components. One of these ingredients is sugar (called glucose). When a cat's body releases glucose from its food, it is absorbed. Glucose enters the cat's bloodstream from the digestive system and is transported throughout the body. It goes to various organs, including.in. to the heart and other muscles. Cats use it as a source of energy for climbing and playing.
But before a cat's body can use the glucose, it will need insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas. If for some reason your cat's pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or if your cat's body is unable to use the insulin, glucose does not enter the cells of individual organs from the blood.
When this happens, glucose remains in the blood. This excess sugar in a cat's blood is called diabetes. If your cat has diabetes, its organs are not getting enough glucose to use for energy. Instead, the organs get their energy from fat and proteins. Because of this, the cat loses weight, and therefore may also experience loss of muscle mass.
Like humans, some cats are more prone to type 2 diabetes than others. This is especially true of older or obese cats. However, don't worry - there are many things you can do to help your cat - if you know what to look for and notice the symptoms of diabetes early enough.
Diabetes mellitus in a cat - symptoms
The symptoms of diabetes in a cat are sometimes difficult to spot. Cats don't like to show what they feel. However, the owner's trained eye can notice what is happening before symptoms become a serious problem. The most common symptoms of diabetes to look out for are:
Increased intensity of urination,
Weight loss, despite the fact that the cat eats as much as always,
The condition and appearance of the coat deteriorates and the cat does not look as healthy as it used to be.
If your cat is diabetic, her urine will contain more sugar than usual. This can lead to recurring urinary tract infections. If your cat has them frequently, your veterinarian may check it for diabetes.
Some of these symptoms may also indicate other cat diseases, so always consult your veterinarian about them. It's best to be sure!
Treatment of diabetes mellitus in cats
When your cat runs outdoors or stretches out in the sun, it doesn't care about the insulin levels in its blood. That's why you have to take care of it.
If your cat is suspected to have type 2 diabetes, your veterinarian will first perform a blood and urine test. Thanks to this, it will determine the level of glucose in your pet's blood. The cat will probably be admitted to the clinic for a day for testing - you will pick it up when it's all over.
If your cat's glucose levels are elevated, your veterinarian will try to stabilize it. This is usually done by controlling the diet (type of food and portion size), administering insulin, or both. It is possible that your cat will also need insulin at home. Your veterinarian can also advise you on diet and when to feed your cat, as well as recommend a special food for your diabetic cat.
Your cat will need to be checked regularly so that the veterinarian can assess the progress of the treatment. Once you - together with your veterinarian - determine what conditions will keep your cat in balance and everything is under control, all you need to do is consistently follow the established rules and make regular check-ups to keep your pet in perfect condition.
While treating diabetes in cats takes time and dedication, it is usually successful in the long run, and that is, with stabilization. Most importantly, this treatment will allow your cat to continue to live a happy life with you, just like before.