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Diabetes in Felines - Type 1 and Type 2
By: Alfred and TC Kitty
Feline diabetes mellitus can strike a kitten or cat at any
age but it is seen more frequently in cats that are older or
overweight, and more often in male cats. Diabetes is
associated with insufficient production of insulin or the
inability of the body to process insulin efficiently. The
same is true in cats as in other animals and humans.
Feline diabetes, like human diabetes, has been broken up
into two types: Type 1, which is an insufficient supply of
insulin and Type 2, which is an inefficiency and inability
to process insulin correctly when it enters the system.
There is also a form of secondary diabetes that is caused by
disease or drugs, that make the cat's body unable to produce
insulin or creates an inability to properly handle insulin
in the body. Some drugs that are suspected of being the link
to this particular problem are Ovoban and corticosteroids.
The diseases that may bring on secondary diabetes are
pancreatic conditions or hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of Feline Diabetes:
- Excessive urination and thirst
- Weight loss due to improper handling of glucose in the cat's body.
- Poor coat and skin condition
- Abnormal breathing
- & Dehydration
How Feline Diabetes is diagnosed:
Cats that have the above listed symptoms can have their
blood sugar levels and sugar levels in their urine tested.
The reason why both of these tests at your veterinary office
are needed to confirm diabetes in a feline is that under
stress a cat may have temporary elevated sugar levels in its
How Feline Diabetes is treated:
The most effective and best way to treat feline diabetes is
to control the weight and diet of the cat. Choose a diet
that is high in complete carbohydrates and fiber. This will
help control the insulin output and sugar input as well as
effectively promoting weight loss in your cat should it be
Your veterinarian will have recommendations on how best to
go about putting your cat on a diet, and what foods your cat
should eat. Never put a cat on a diet unless your
veterinarian recommends that you do so. That way if your cat
has any other physical or mental problems they are taken
into account and the best course of action for your cat can
be appropriately plotted out.
Sometimes a new food from Purina is recommended. This
particular food is called Purina (DM). Dr. Mike Richards
says it is made "to conform to some of the more recent
information on cats and their abilities (or inabilities) to
utilize complex carbohydrates. Cats are different than dogs
and have less ability to utilize carbohydrates, making the
usual dietary recommendations for dogs, of increasing
complex carbohydrates and fiber, less ideal for cats."
Your veterinarian may recommend also that you feed your cat
several small meals instead of one or two big ones
throughout the day. This regulates the blood glucose levels
and prevents the extreme highs and lows of blood sugar in
the blood stream.
Please see "Diabetes in Felines - Part 2"