Unfortunately more and more cats are being diagnosed with feline diabetes. Diabetes in cats occurs when a cat’s body looses its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. The blood sugar is largely regulated by insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Depending on how much the insulin production has been decreased the diabetic cat may show few signs of this feline illness.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats
There are specific signs or symptoms cats may exhibit when they have feline diabetes, but unfortunately these symptoms can occur in other cat health problems as well. Because of this the suspected diabetic cat will need to have lab tests to confirm if she has feline diabetes and to help determine what type of she may need.
Some common signs of diabetes in cats include:
- Increased or excessive thirst
- Frequent urination and/or urinating outside the litter box
- Change in appetite
- Weight loss
- Lethargy, weakness, depression
- Weak back legs
The true cause of diabetes in cats can be difficult to pinpoint for each individual cat. For some it’s genetic, but the more common risk factors are obesity and an unhealthy diet. So by feeding your cat a healthy feline diet and watching her weight you may be able to help lessen the chance of having a diabetic cat. Also make sure your cat gets regular exercise; feline fitness is important part of your cat’s health.
Feline Diabetes Treatment
Feline diabetes is a complicated disease that can present slightly different in every cat. Regular testing is vital when establishing the right treatment plan for your feline friend.
Feline diabetes treatment will likely include some level of insulin support. Part of the treatment should also include a healthy feline diabetes diet to help regulate the disease. Most importantly it’s essential to work with your veterinarian to come up with the right treatment plan for your cat.
Feline Diabetes Diet
The goal with a healthy feline diabetes diet is to supply necessary nutrients, maintain a healthy body weight, and sustain proper blood glucose levels. Part of this involves monitoring the quantity of food and number of times the cat is fed per day.
If your cat is overweight be sure to talk to your vet about a weight loss plan. Cats need to loose weight slowly; if weight is lost too rapidly it can cause other cat health problems. Suddenly making significant changes to the amount of food and the way you feed your cat can cause stress in some cats, so it is best to work with your vet on a sensible weight loss plan.
A healthy feline diabetes diet should be high in quality protein and low in carbohydrates. A good quality canned food is generally best, one that is high in protein with little or no grain. Dry cat foods tend to have a much higher concentration of carbohydrates so they’re generally not as good for diabetic cats.
If you want to give your diabetic cat an occasional treat, freeze dried treats are probably best. They are basically freeze dried meats so they are high in protein, low in carbohydrates and they don’t have a lot of unnecessary garbage in them.
Part of following a feline diabetic diet includes feeding your diabetic cat at least 2, or preferably 3 times a day. It’s better to reduce the food intake at one time and spread it out over more frequent feedings to help keep blood sugar levels more stable. Work with your vet to find a good routine for you and your cat then stick to that routine.
Diabetes in cats is an illness that will need to be managed throughout your companion’s life, but if managed properly it doesn’t have to reduce the quality of life. Many diabetic cats live long, healthy lives with proper care from their loving guardians._____________________________________