As a devoted cat owner with over two decades of experience, I’ve seen my fair share of feline health issues, and cat diabetes is a topic close to my heart. This post is all about the signs of cat diabetes. You can also learn about the symptoms, causes and treatment by reading on.
While I’m not a veterinarian, I’ve learned a thing or two about it over the years, thanks to my furry companions and a keen interest in their well-being. In this article, we’re diving into the crucial subject of cat diabetes, with a particular focus on the warning signs you should be on the lookout for. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s set the stage.
Over the years, there’s been a concerning increase in the number of cats dealing with Diabetes Mellitus, a chronic and often debilitating condition. The blame isn’t solely on our feline friends; it’s a consequence of our changing lifestyles and the choices we make for our pets.
Although cats of about eight years of age and older have been known to be the most affected by this medical condition.
“Obese cats are up to four times more likely to develop diabetes than ideal weight cats, so the most important thing a cat owner can do to decrease their risk of developing diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight and encourage physical activity through daily play.” –Cornell University
One major contributor to this surge in diabetes cases is the shift towards feeding cats more carbohydrate-rich commercial foods.
Cats nowadays are fed more of carbohydrate rich commercial foods by their owners.
While we may think we’re doing right by our feline pals, these high-carb diets can wreak havoc on their metabolic systems. In cats with diabetes, their body cells start resisting insulin – that essential hormone responsible for ushering glucose into their cells.
This insulin resistance leads to a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream, a condition known as “hyperglycemia.”
What Role Does Insulin Play in Cat Diabetes?
According to the Drake Center Veterinary Care, insulin plays an important role and understanding it’s relationship to cat diabetes is key to managing your feline’s good health.
“Without an adequate amount of insulin, glucose is unable to get into the cells. It accumulates in the blood, setting in motion a series of events which can ultimately prove fatal.When insulin is deficient, the cells become starved for a source of energy. In response to this, the body starts breaking down stores of fat and protein to use as alternative energy sources. This causes the cat to eat more, but ultimately results in weight loss.The body tries to eliminate the excess glucose by excreting it in the urine. However, glucose attracts water, so the urine glucose that is excreted also contains large quantities of the body’s fluids. This causes the cat to produce a large amount of urine. To avoid dehydration, the cat drinks more and more water.” –The Drake Center Veterinary Care
Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s talk about insulin in the context of cat diabetes. Insulin plays a pivotal role in helping your cat’s body utilize glucose for energy. When this process goes awry due to diabetes, it can lead to a host of health problems for your beloved pet.
One of the main reasons for this rise in cases is the shift towards feeding cats more carbohydrate-rich commercial foods. When a cat develops Diabetes Mellitus, their body cells begin to resist insulin, which is responsible for aiding the entry of glucose into the cells. This resistance causes glucose levels in the bloodstream to build up, leading to a condition known as “hyperglycemia.”
In this article, I will be discussing the role of insulin in cat diabetes, as well as the warning signs that you should be aware of. By understanding the symptoms and taking appropriate action, you can help your feline companion manage this serious endocrine disease and maintain their quality of life.
Signs of Cat Diabetes: More About Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and plays a crucial role in regulating blood glucose levels in cats. In feline diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin, which means that the cells do not respond to the hormone as they should. This leads to high blood glucose levels, which can cause a range of health problems if left unchecked.
Without insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells, which causes it to accumulate in the blood. This can lead to weight loss, as the body starts to break down fat and protein for energy. The excess glucose is also excreted in the urine, which can cause the cat to produce a large amount of urine and drink more water to avoid dehydration.
When your cat has diabetes, the pancreas isn’t on vacation; it’s still producing insulin. But here’s the twist – too many carbs in the diet can make your kitty’s body say, “Nah, we’re good on insulin.” This attitude problem is what we call insulin resistance. It’s like those insulin receptors on each cell are sticking their ears in and ignoring insulin’s calls.
So, what’s the result of this feline rebellion? Your cat becomes a hungry little monster, chomping down on everything in sight, yet somehow losing weight. It’s like a cruel joke – they eat more, but their cells are on a hunger strike. Those poor cells aren’t getting the energy they need, and the pounds keep dropping off. It’s a frustrating situation for both you and your furry friend, but understanding what’s going on is the first step toward helping them.
Management of feline diabetes involves controlling blood glucose levels through diet, medication, and insulin injections. A low-carbohydrate diet can help to regulate blood glucose levels, as can oral medications and insulin therapy. Home monitoring of blood glucose levels is also important to ensure that the cat’s glycemic control is maintained.
It is also possible for diabetic cats to go into remission, where their blood glucose levels return to normal without the need for insulin injections. This can be achieved through a combination of diet, medication, and monitoring, and can be more likely in cats that are diagnosed early and have good glycemic control.
In summary, insulin plays a crucial role in regulating blood glucose levels in cats, and insulin resistance can lead to feline diabetes. Management of this condition involves controlling blood glucose levels through diet, medication, and insulin injections, and home monitoring is important for maintaining glycemic control.
How Can You Tell if a Cat has Diabetes?
As a cat owner, it is important to know the warning signs of diabetes in cats. Here are the top five symptoms to look out for:
1. Excessive Cat Urination
If your cat is urinating more frequently than usual, it could be a sign of diabetes. This is because their kidneys are trying to clear out excessive glucose from the body, which can only be done through constant urination. The more they urinate, the more they will thirst and the more they will consume water, creating a cycle.
2. Excessive Water Consumption
If your cat is suddenly drinking more water than usual, it could be a sign of Type II diabetes. Diabetic cats tend to drink more because their body loses a lot of liquid due to frequent urination. They only drink to quench their thirst and fill the void excessive urination leaves within them.
3. Appetite Swings and Weight Gain
If your cat has suddenly increased its food intake over an extended period of time or has added a few pounds, it may be a sign that she has developed diabetes. Cats in their early stages of diabetes tend to eat more not because they want to, but because their hypothalamus keeps creating false feelings of hunger within them. And when a cat consumes more, weight gain is inevitable.
4. Changes In Weight
Changes in your cat’s weight and gait may indicate diabetes. Diabetes in a cat can result in peripheral neuropathy, a medical condition where its hind legs become weak. Cats in their early stages of diabetes will display signs related to peripheral neuropathy, such as walking in a drunken-like state, walking on their hocks, and having difficulties climbing or jumping.
5. Decreased Activity
If your cat is showing signs of weakness or loss of interest in activities that once excited her, it may be that she has developed diabetes. Another warning sign to look out for is excessive sleeping. A young cat shouldn’t spend a great deal of her time sleeping. If she does, she may be suffering from diabetes or other serious medical issues.
To wrap it up, if you spot any of these red flags in your kitty, don’t waste time pondering – make a beeline for the vet’s office. Prompt action is key. Once your cat gets the diagnosis, fear not, there are medications and treatments in the kitty toolkit to help them manage this condition. Your feline companion is worth every effort, so let’s get them the care they deserve! 🐾