Diabetes Mellitus in Cats
Just like in humans, diabetes in cats is serious, but manageable. Your cat can develop diabetes if he has the following conditions:
- Genetic predisposition (diabetes is more prevalent in males)
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal abnormalities
If you cat appears weak or thirsty, frequently urinates, has rapid weight loss, is depressed, or has abdominal pain, he could be diabetic.
This condition is usually caused by damage to the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing the proper amount of insulin to control sugar levels. If your cat's pancreas is damaged, long-term and potentially life-threatening symptoms could occur and must be managed.
While there is no cure for diabetes mellitus, veterinarians recognize it can be controlled with insulin, exercise and proper nutrition. Fiber is key in managing the disease because moderate to high-levels of fiber lower insulin requirements and blood glucose levels. Fiber also makes the body more responsive to insulin.
It's also important to be consistent in the food you give your cat. The nutritional profile of many commercial foods may vary from batch to batch, which can complicate the disease. Feeding a veterinarian-recommended food that has a consistent nutrient profile will help keep your cat's metabolism level stable so he can remain healthy.
For an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian.