Keeping good watch over your cat’s health is something every responsible cat owner should do, especially if you take your cat out regularly. What are the symptoms of diabetes in cats you ask? The signs and symptoms of diabetes in cats are very similar to the signs and symptoms that we get. There are many preventive measures that you can take to help make sure your cat doesn’t get diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Believe it or not, there is actually a substantial amount of cats around the world that are developing diabetes. Diabetes is when your body is unable to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is also referred to as glucose. If diabetes is left untreated, it can cause many issues within the body. These include: vomiting, weight loss, dehydration, loss in appetite, depression, blurred vision, depression, decreased motor function, and in rare cases death. Luckily there are many signs and symptoms you can look out for so you can treat it before it gets out of control.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats?
There are many signs and symptoms to watch for. Increased thirst and urination is one of the early symptoms that you can spot in your cat. Take a look at how often you are refilling his water bowl. Don’t forget to check his litter box as well. Have you been having to scoop it more often due to urination? Diabetes is also seen more commonly in obese cats than average sized cats. Your cat may also exhibit increased hunger due to their body not being able to use glucose properly.
Treatments for Diabetes
One of the main things you can do to help tackle your cat’s diabetes is his diet. It is widely known that you will need to watch your cat’s carbohydrate intake if they have diabetes. It will be best to put your cat on a low carb diet. Low carb cat food like this one from amazon would be a good choice due to it being grain free. Changing your cat’s diet is one of the easiest things you can do to help combat this disease.
The next treatment you can do for your cat is insulin therapy. There are oral medications that you can use on your cat, but they usually have much more side effects and are only used when you cannot give your cat straight insulin. Insulin therapy is done in conjunction with your vet. They will be able to tell you the doses of insulin as well as the frequency that it will need to be administered. It is not recommended to do insulin therapy on your own because it is a little different in cats than humans.
Do I Have to Check My Cat’s Blood?
The blood tests are normally done at the vet. You are able to do them at home as well if you feel comfortable. Some people are scared or afraid to administer or check blood glucose levels. If you have a loved one that is a diabetic and you have given them insulin or checked their blood glucose levels, then it won’t be much different on your cat. There are special glucose meters you can purchase specifically for your cat.
How Can I Prevent My Cat From Getting Diabetes?
Once your cat has diabetes it is very hard to cure. The most you can do is try to keep it under control. The best thing you can do to help your cat from getting diabetes is keeping their diet on track. Refrain from feeding your cat table food and especially fast food. Feeding your cat fast food or table food can cause excessive weight gain due to the excess amount of calories that are usually found in these types of food.
Putting your cat on a higher protein cat food will help in the long run with weight control. There is no for sure way to make sure your cat does not get diabetes. Some breeds of cats are just more prone to getting it than others. Genetics also play a large factor on if your cat will acquire diabetes.
What Health Issues Are Associated With Diabetes?
Diabetes causes the body to be more susceptible to infections and injuries because high blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system as well as decrease blood flow to the extremities. Bladder infection is one of the main issues you will run into with your cat. The best thing to do is to give your cat a cranberry based urinary supplement to help fight infection of the bladder. Your cat will also be very prone to foot infections due to the decreased blood flow throughout his extremities. If diabetes is left untreated, your cat may also go blind. This is called glaucoma. This is when the eyes become foggy which causes vision to decrease. This decrease in vision will eventually lead to blindness. Your cat’s ability to heal and fight off infections is also greatly impacted from elevated blood sugar levels.
How Long Will My Cat Live With Diabetes?
Unfortunately it’s not possible to know how long your cat will live with diabetes. Diabetes can indeed shorten your cat’s lifespan. This is partly due to the increased amount of infections your ca may encounter. If your cat’s diabetes is poorly controlled, his health can get critical very fast. If you help control the diabetes, then your cat may live to be just as old as a cat without diabetes. This requires a daily and lifelong commitment if you want to properly manage your cat’s diabetes.
Tips For Helping Your Cat With Diabetes
Always have a bowl of water nearby and full. You will want to make sure your cat stays hydrated at all times to help prevent injuries and infections. Switch your cat’s food over to a grain free blend to help reduce carbohydrate intake. Monitor your cats blood sugar level weekly with your own glucose monitor at home instead of waiting to go to the vet. This will help you keep on top of your cats diabetes. If you plan on taking your cat on trips and adventures be sure to always keep an eye on them to make sure they stay away from any potential dangers from outside life.