Signs and Symptoms of Cat Diabetes

Did you know that diabetes also affects cats? They are prone to either type I or type II diabetes, but, as with humans, the disease can be managed and treated with proper care.

According to WebMD, about one in 400 cats will develop diabetes and about 70 percent need insulin injections. Within the type II category, some cats can also suffer from transient diabetes, which means the cat requires insulin for only a certain amount of time before its body gets back to normal and it can do well solely on an altered diet.

To catch diabetes in your cat at an early stage, look out for the following signs and symptoms.

Changes in Eating Patterns

The most obvious sign you might detect in your cat comes from changes in its eating habits. When you feed your cat, look out for the following:

  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Significant increase in water consumed
  • Loss of weight

Urinary Issues

You can also find clues where you might not expect them – your cat's litter box. Changes in how your cat urinates can be key symptoms of diabetes. Pay attention to whether your cat shows any of the following:

  • Higher frequency of urination
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Tendency to pee outside of litter box more than usual
  • Pee that smells sweet
  • A positive urine glucose test (take a re-test to ensure this)

Overall Appearance and Attitude

Your cat can shed and seem lazier on certain days or seasons, but if you notice these changes at an unusual time, you may want to pay closer attention. Pay special attention to the following symptoms:

  • Negative changes in coat
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Overall weakness, especially in legs

Preventing Diabetes

The steps to preventing diabetes in cats are simple: make sure your cat exercises, eats proper amounts and maintains an overall healthy weight. If you suspect your cat is suffering from diabetes, take it to your veterinarian for a proper examination.

Sources: WebMD, International Cat Care and ASPCA

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