Diabetes Isn’t Just for People Anymore
Diabetes is an issue for pets as well as humans. Did you know that about every 1 in 400 cats in the US is diagnosed with diabetes? Most cats diagnosed are over the age of 7, and males are more than twice as likely females to become diabetic. Being overweight greatly increases the chances of a cat developing the disease.
The symptoms in cats are similar to humans: excessive thirst and urination, good appetite and weight loss. Some cats may have nerve impacts from the disease that can cause an irregular gait.
Blood and urine tests can determine if your cat is diabetic. Once your cat has been diagnosed, it may take some time to determine the appropriate level of insulin necessary to get the disease under control. Insulin injections are given twice daily, and regular monitoring is required to ensure blood sugar levels remain under control.
As with humans, diet plays a large role in keeping diabetes in check. For cats, a high-protein, low-carb diet has been shown to work very well. Your veterinarian can advise on the right foods to feed your cat.
Cats can live a normal, happy life after a diagnosis of diabetes. They don’t go blind from cataracts or develop circulatory problems like humans. So, if you believe your cat may be suffering from diabetes, check him out with your vet and let the treatment begin.
Cat Fancy magazine, January 2011 was used as a reference for this article