Diabetes in Cats: Symptoms

More and more cats are developing diabetes mellitus. Cat owners need to act on this alarming fact by learning more about this chronic disease.

What is Diabetes in Cats?

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder. The endocrine system features glands that produce and discharge hormones which regulate many bodily functions.

Insulin is one of these hormones. Like the human body, a cat’s body needs insulin to properly regulate blood sugar levels and to respond correctly to normal insulin levels.

Diabetes can lead to high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) which can cause various health problems if left untreated.


Has your cat ever shown excessive thirst or urination?

Types of Diabetes in Cats

There are two types of diabetes mellitus in cats.

Type 1: Very rare in cats (but common in dogs). Essentially a decrease in the production of insulin leads to high glucose concentrations.

Type 2: The most common form of diabetes in cats. Essentially the body is unable to respond to insulin correctly, resulting in high glucose levels.

Quick FAQs and Answers About Diabetes in Cats

Is one sex more at risk?                                    
Yes, male cats tend to be more prone to this condition.

Risk factorsfor diabetes in cats?                       
Age, obesity and physical inactivity.

Are certain breeds predisposed to it?                
Yes, Burmese cats.

Is diabetes in cats common?                             
Cases are increasing and is thought to be linked with increasing levels of obesity.

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus in Cats

  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased urination

Other Possible Symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Poor coat
  • Weakness
  • Enlarged liver
  • Bladder infections
  • Collapse

Keep in mind that some or a combination of these symptoms can also be signs of other conditions and diseases. Either way, it’s important to bring them to your veterinarian’s attention.

So, if you’ve noticed any of these signs – even just one or two – contact your veterinarian immediately to discuss your response.

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