What Is Feline Diabetes?


I sometimes get asked the question, what is feline diabetes? Well it is the same disease that effects humans, sometimes also called diabetes mellitus, and there are two types.

Type 1 is a condition where no insulin is produced. Insulin is required by cells to remove the glucose from the blood stream to use as fuel. If this does not happen then eventually glucose is excreted by the kidneys.

Type 1 diabetes is usually treated with insulin. I use the word ‘treated’ because it is a treatment for the condition and not a cure.

In type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced but does not effectively attach itself to all the glucose to remove it. This form of diabetes is generally treated by diet and exercise.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine give a great explanation for, what is feline diabetes? If you are doing your own research then this is a great introduction:-

“Diabetes mellitus-also known as “sugar” diabetes-is a complex but common disease in which a cat’s body either doesn’t produce or doesn’t properly use insulin.

During digestion, the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that are consumed in the diet are broken down into smaller components that can be utilized by cells in the body. One component is glucose, a fuel that provides the energy needed to sustain life.

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, is responsible for regulating the flow of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. When insulin is deficient or ineffective, the cat’s body starts breaking down fat and protein stores to use as alternative energy sources.

As a result, the cat eats more yet loses weight. Additionally, the cat develops high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, which is eliminated in the urine. In turn, sugar in the urine leads to excessive urination and thirst.

Cat owners often notice these four classical signs of diabetes mellitus: ravenous appetite, weight loss, increased urination, and increased water consumption.

Diabetes mellitus is generally divided into two different types in cats: insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)], and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM)].

Approximately one-half to three-quarters of diabetic cats have and thus require insulin injections as soon as the disease is diagnosed. The rest have NIDDM; however, most ultimately require insulin injections to control their disease.

While diabetes mellitus can affect any cat, it most often occurs in older, obese cats. Male cats are more commonly afflicted than females.

The exact cause of the disease in cats is not known, although obesity (the major predisposing condition), chronic pancreatitis, other hormonal diseases (e.g., hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and acromegaly), and certain medications (e.g., megestrol acetate and corticosteroids like prednisolone) have all been linked to the disease.

Burmese cats in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom are prone to developing to diabetes, but this doesn’t appear to be the case in North America.”

Cat With Feline Diabetes Receiving Its First Insulin Shot

It’s one thing knowing, what is feline diabetes? But completely another to know how to treat and cure. Some parts of the conventional medical establishment still believe that diabetes mellitus has no cure. I do not go along with that. I believe the cause is a western lifestyle. So for a cat this means artificial adulterated food and complete lack of exercise. so to cure diabetes you need to change diet and exercise. However if you are in the diabetic state then insulin treatment is usually necessary but you will find the dosage needs to drop as the healing process progresses.

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