Recently we have cared for a diabetic cat, visiting him twice a day to give his insulin injections. His name is Trinity and his photo runs alongside this blog.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease caused by the body's inability to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar.
After a cat eats, his digestive system breaks food into various components, including glucose. Glucose is carried into the cats cells by insulin. When a cat does not produce insulin or cannot utilize it normally, its blood sugar levels elevate. The result is hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can cause many complicated health problems for a cat.
It is important to understand, however, that diabetes is considered a manageable disorder—and many diabetic cats can lead happy, healthy lives. Some may even go into remission.
Types of Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes:
Type I is the most common and characterized by the cats inability to produce insulin
Type II is where the cats body does not process insulin correctly.
In both cases the cat does not properly digest sugar brought into the body by the food supply and their blood sugar levels rise.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Trinity's symptoms are marked in blue
Cats with diabetes will urinate excessively as the body tries to get rid of the sugar not being processed correctly. If you notice that your cat's litter box needs to be changed more frequently than usual, this could be a warning sign. Cats with the disease also may drink more water than usual in an attempt to quench their thirst and hunger. Also because the cat's body is unable to process the sugars in food, they may regurgitate their meal after eating.
Which Cats Are Prone to Diabetes?
The most important factors in the development of diabetes seem to be obesity, gender (male cats are more commonly afflicted than females) and age. Trinity is an older cat and also male.
How Is Diabetes Treated?
Every diabetic cat is an individual and will respond differently to therapy. Diabetes treatment is based on how severe the signs of disease are and whether there are any other health issues that could complicate therapy.
Your vet may also show you how to perform glucose tests at home. Other routine blood work may also be necessary.
What Should I Know About Treating My Diabetic Cat at Home?
As your veterinarian will explain, it’s important to always give your cat insulin at the same time every day and feed her regular meals in conjunction with her medication; this allows increased nutrients in the blood to coincide with peak insulin level. This will lessen the chance that her sugar levels will swing either too high or too low. You can work with your vet to create a feeding schedule around your pet’s medication time. It is also important to avoid feeding your diabetic cat treats that are high in glucose.
How Can Diabetes Be Prevented?
A proper diet and regular exercise can go a long way to avoid the development of feline diabetes. Aside from other negative effects, obesity is known to contribute to insulin resistance.
Our latest References
Susie took care of my two cats a couple of times during summer, and I am pretty happy to say that I have trusted her from the very beginning, not only for her professional ability to take care of them, but also for her understanding of my fears as "pet owner". She is also able to evaluate every situation and takes always the best decision for our friends. An example: two weeks ago we had an emergency and had to travel for the weekend, so I made a last minute call to Susie and she arranged her packed agenda in order to help me, because she knew that Kibu (the huge maine Coon) had a surgery the day before. Since she noticed that he was scratching the surgery wound, she decided to stay longer and left just one hour before we were back.
Our cats love her and we all feel her positive energy!
Lisa Di Blas, Kibu and Koa
Susie has been walking my dog Dido for just over a year now, and I am glad to write this reference for her. My dog Dido is a very big girl and she has a very strong mind, so trusting just anyone to walk her is not possible. Dido was abandoned as a young dog, and had problems getting adopted because of her size and "boisterous" nature, I have put a lot of work into her training and behavior, and still do. Susie's calm demeanor and obvious knowledge about dog behavior made the decision to have her walk Dido very easy. Susie is also constantly providing feedback on how Dido is doing, which is much appreciated, as it allows me to adjust my own work with my dog.
Susie has had a key to my apartment from day one, and that has actually come in very handy when I locked myself out of the apartment... Twice!
I would like to summarize my experience thus: Maximum confidence, Minimum fuss - just the way I (and Dido) like it.
Andreas Fjellner and Dido.