Symptoms Of Diabetes In Cats And Treatments That Can Help
Cats are fun pets because of their independent nature and quirky behavior. However, your cat's personality can often make it difficult to know when a medical condition such as diabetes is developing. Cats aren't usually complainers, so you have to stay alert to changes in behavior as a signal that something is wrong. Here's a look at some symptoms of feline diabetes and how your veterinarian might treat it.
Symptoms Of Diabetes In Cats
Overweight cats are at a higher risk for diabetes, and once the condition is bad enough your pet might start to lose weight even if their diet remains the same. Weight loss can signal a number of problems in your cat, so you should have your veterinarian examine your cat if this happens. When your cat has diabetes, you may notice increased thirst, drinking much more water than usual, and using the litter box more.
Just like humans, cats can develop nerve damage and problems in their extremities due to diabetes. Another sign your cat might have diabetes is when the back legs seem weak or when your cat develops a different gait due to leg problems.
Treatments For Feline Diabetes
The goal of diabetes treatments in cats is to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. Insulin is usually needed to do this. Your cat may need to have insulin injected once or twice daily. Your veterinarian will teach you how to do this so you can do it at home yourself. This has to be done every day, so if you go on vacation, you'll need to leave your pet with a responsible sitter or take your cat to the vet for boarding.
You might also need to check your cat's blood sugar at home daily. This is done using the same glucose strips and monitors that people use. If you can check your cat's blood sugar at home, it may reduce the need for frequent vet visits. Your cat will still need to see the vet often, but you might need to go more often if blood sugars are only checked by the vet.
Since obesity and inactivity contribute to diabetes, making changes to your cat's lifestyle can help manage the disease. It might be possible to control your cat's diabetes through diet alone, and your vet will recommend the right diet for your cat. It could be a low-carbohydrate diet, which means you might need to stop feeding dry cat food. Increasing exercise by playing more with your cat might also help to control diabetes and assist with weight loss.
While it might seem complicated, managing diabetes in your cat shouldn't be too difficult once you gain experience giving injections and checking blood sugars. It's a small price to pay for keeping your cat healthy and enjoying many years of fun and companionship with your pet.