When people talk about diabetes, they usually aren’t thinking about cats. But, diabetes is not uncommon among cats, especially older felines. As medical treatment for pets improves, cats are living longer. However, this puts them at risk for more illnesses that afflict older cats. As felines age, they are more prone to obesity. This is because they become less active with age. In many cases, arthritis leads to listlessness, which makes cats heavier. All of these factors make diabetes more of a risk for your cat.
If you see any irregularity in your pet’s eating patterns or behavior, you should take the cat to a veterinarian immediately. If you are given the diagnosis of diabetes for your cat, the first thing you should do is to ask your veterinarian to recommend a type of food to give your cat. Chances are, if your cat suffers from diabetes, the regular food will not do.
You should also make sure to give your diabetic cat plenty of fluids. Diabetic cats tend to urinate more often as undigested sugars build up in their bloodstream. Just as with human diabetes, feline diabetes involves an underproduction of insulin, which processes sugars. Therefore, your cat’s diet should be rich in protein and light in carbohydrates. This means giving your cat more wet food. You should look for a type of wet food that is specifically designed for diabetic cats, which you may be able to find in a pet food store.
Dry food is rich in carbohydrates and helps your cat maintain dental health. However, you need to remember not to give too much to a diabetic cat, because carbohydrates are hard for him to digest. In this case, portion control is important. It is a good idea not to leave food out for your cat and simply let him or her graze all day, since overeating can lead to obesity and aggravate the problem of diabetes.
While diabetes occurs most often in cats that are obese, not all cats with diabetes are overweight. You should look at disruptions in your cats eating patterns or physical symptoms besides just weight gain. If your cat is diabetic, it is essential to give him or her only foods recommended by your veterinarian. Under no circumstances should you feed your cat food intended for humans, since the food may contain sugars, sodium and chemicals that are not good for your pet.
There has been progress in the treatment of feline diabetes, but there is still a long way to go. Your cat may go into remission for the illness for a period of time, but that doesn’t mean he or she is cured. A diabetic cat needs regular checkups and attention to its feeding habits. Try to regulate what your cat eats as much as possible, and make sure he or she drinks plenty of fluids. Cats can live a number of years with diabetes if cared for properly, and helping your cat eat the right foods and maintain the right weight will improve your feline’s chances of a long, healthy life.