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Tips on looking after a cat with Diabetes

It is never easy hearing the news that your cat is suffering from diabetes. Many of us understand that it is a life-long condition that requires careful monitoring, and you may be worried that your pet will suffer complications as a result.

However, the good news is that it can be managed effectively with the right diet and medication – under the watchful eye of your vet of course.

Feline diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce insulin, a hormone that converts sugar (glucose) into energy. As it develops over time, the condition can be difficult to spot but extreme thirst is a common sign so it is worth noting if your kitty is heading to the water bowl more often than usual.
Other symptoms include weight loss, tiredness and changes in appetite, but in extreme cases it can lead to ketoacidosis. This occurs when the body breaks down the fat reserves, resulting in a build-up of acid, which can cause severe dehydration and weakness.

If you suspect diabetes, it is important to speak to your vet straight away because treatment is more effective if it is caught early. Diagnosis is relatively simple and involves taking a urine sample to find out how much sugar they have in their blood.

Luckily, if it is caught early enough, feline diabetes is easy to manage and many cats enjoy a better quality of life once the symptoms have been alleviated. You should always try to book regular check-ups with the vet to ensure the condition is not getting worse.

As you would expect, diabetic cats need a special diet so again, speak to your vet about what this should be. Sometimes, you need to reduce the amount of carbohydrate (sugar) in their diet or cut portion sizes to ensure they can maintain a healthy weight.

The prospect of giving your cat daily insulin injections might seem a little scary, but as the experts at Cat’s Protection say, your vet will be able to guide you through the process until your feel confident.

It is worth mentioning that there are steps you can take to avoid your kitty developing the condition in the first place. Obesity is one of the most common causes of diabetes so even if they are not displaying any symptoms, it is important to control portion sizes, limit treats and make sure they have regular exercise. The PFMA has a handy cat sizeometer, if you need to check. 

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17 November 2016

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