Clinic Dedicated To Cat Diabetes


Two new research clinics recently opened that are researching cat diabetes at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in Hertfordshire. By nature cats used to have to hunt to feed themselves.

Not every hunt was successful and this ensured that cats remained lean and fit. However nowadays cats are given a plate of food two or three times a day and left to couch….could this have anything to do with the cat diabetes epidemic??

We think this is an underlying cause of most cases of cat diabetes however Acromegaly is said to be another cause. The clinics are headed up by  Dr. Stijn Niessen.

“A major research focus at the RVC is treatment of a disease called “acromegaly,” which is responsible for some cases of feline diabetes. Acromegaly in cats is caused by a tumour in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain.

The pituitary tumour secretes excess growth hormone, which leads to diabetes mellitus that is usually very difficult to control. Until recently, there were few management options to control acromegaly in cats, and no effective cure.

Feline diabetes cure

Over the last few years, the RVC Acromegalic Cat Clinic has investigated management options to improve the lives of acromegalic cats and is now one of the few clinics in the world where feline acromegaly is being cured by the use of ground-breaking surgery to remove the pituitary tumour in affected cats. In most cases, this surgery (called “hypophysectomy” surgery) has led to cure of both the underlying acromegaly and the cat’s diabetes.

The start of Pet Diabetes Month began with a milestone to celebrate when Wilf, the tenth cat to undergo this pioneering treatment, was discharged from the hospital last week (pictured with his owner Teresa Grant and Dr Stijn Niessen) and has already been able to stop insulin therapy.

Diabetic remission

Most diabetic cats do not have an underlying disease, like acromegaly, causing their diabetes. It is becoming increasing recognised that these “uncomplicated diabetics” can enter a state of diabetic remission and no longer need insulin treatment. Achieving remission is therefore becoming the ideal goal when managing most feline diabetics.

Evidence suggests that early and effective blood glucose control increases the chance of remission in diabetic cats. However, it is currently unclear which treatment protocols offer the best blood glucose control and remission rates.”

Interesting research but I am forced to ask the question how prevalent is ‘acromegaly’ in the wild where cats eat a natural diet and exercise?? Could the poor diet given to many domesticated cats that contain large amounts of carbohydrate and low protein be a cause??

The best way to treat and reverse run of the mill cat diabetes is to manage the disease with insulin while radically changing the cats diet and introducing an exercise regime. A clinic dedicated to cat diabetes can only be a good think but will they be teaching us to suck eggs?

1 Response

  1. Madison says:

    My girlfriend’s cat (which is alsomt identical to that black cat in the video) is quite picky in regards to music. He won’t always run away if he doesn’t like it but he simply ignores it and keeps on with his business. However, if he likes the music, he will freeze and look around and then look for the source. He often creeps onto my legs when I’m with the laptop playing some music and he just stares at the screen!

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