How is diabetes characterized in cats?
Diabetes is a silent killer that is affecting humans and animals, especially cats alike. The disease affects nearly 0.5% to 2% of the feline population. The condition in cats is characterized the inability of the cat’s pancreas to produce insulin for breaking down glucose in the blood to provide energy. In the absence of sufficient insulin, the body breaks down fats, carbohydrates and proteins to compensate for the lack of energy in the form of glucose. As a result, it loses weight and develops high sugar levels in the blood.
What are the symptoms of diabetes mellitus in cats?
Diabetes mellitus in cats is classified into two types: non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Cat owners identify the typical signs of diabetes in the following forms:
- Insatiable appetite
- Weight loss
- Increased urination
- Increased consumption of water
- Walking flat on the hind legs
- Lack of interest in or ability to jump
- Lethargy and vomiting
How to diagnose diabetes in cats?
Diabetes mellitus in cats is diagnosed on the basis of the initial symptoms, results of physical examination and laboratory tests, and the presence of abnormal sugar levels in the bloodstream and urine. The presence of ketones, which are waste products of fatty acids in the bloodstream and urine of cats, also show signs of diabetes in cats. Ketoacidosis, a condition characterized by the presence of ketones require immediate medical attention.
How to treat diabetes in cats?
Different cats respond differently to diabetes treatment. Some cats can be administered oral medications; others need insulin injections. Irrespective of this difference in treatment reactions, diabetic cats react best to consistent medications and proper diet. Some options for treating diabetic cats are as follows:
Diabetic cats need insulin injections to be administered twice daily at home. The best part of insulin injections is they are painless, and the dose can be altered based on the specific needs of different cats. A consultation with a veterinarian helps in determining the correct dose to be administered.
- Oral medications
Oral hypoglycemic medications help in regulating the sugar level in the blood. Although side effects of these medications are uncommon, a veterinarian’s expert advice is needed to keep them at bay.
A high-fiber, high-complex carbohydrate diet works best in some diabetic cats, but some respond even to high-fiber and low-carbohydrate diets. A balanced diet prevents obesity by keeping the cat’s weight in check.
How to prevent diabetes in cats?
The following are a few tips to prevent the onset of diabetes in cats:
- Maintaining an ideal body conditions
- Feeding a balanced diet
- Providing playtime to cats
- Regular medical examinations