5 Signs Your Cat Might Have Developed Diabetes

Feline diabetes is estimated to occur in around 0.5% to 2% of the feline population. This puts the condition in the unfortunate position of being common enough to be something to worry about but not common enough for owners to necessarily know all the signs.

The condition occurs when a cat's pancreatic cells lose their ability to respond to insulin, which is what helps the glucose get from blood stream into cells. It's a serious illness, but signs can be easy to ignore. In fact, insulin production may be only minorly impaired at first, making signs less severe.

In any case, a cat with feline diabetes is clearly not a healthy one, so make sure you can recognise these five common signs.

1. Drinking and Peeing More Frequently

When glucose cannot enter cells, the levels in the bloodstream become high, a condition referred to as hyperglycaemia. It then needs to be filtered out, but it takes water with it. For this reason, your cat may start drinking and urinating more frequently; watch how often they visit the litter box and how frequently you need to top up water bowls. In some cases, the cat will begin urinating outside the little box.

2. Increased Appetite with Weight Gain

Cats are usually pretty darn interested in their food, so it can be difficult to gauge just whether your cats appetite has increased. However, this will happen with feline diabetes since the cat will not be able to use the calories they are taking in. This means they will start having to break down body fat in order to compensate. If your cat seems more interested in food and is also losing weight, there's a strong likelihood of diabetes.

3. Poor Coat

You can think of your cat's coat as an indicator of its overall health, so any marked changes in its appearance should be considered a cause for concern. Diabetes is one of the conditions that can cause a deterioration in coat quality. Since your cat isn't getting the calories it needs, the body will not waste its energy maintaining glossy fur, so you might notice it becoming duller or dryer.

4. Changes in Mood

Cats can be furry little grumps when it suits them, but this is doubly true when they are suffering from diabetes. Cats who have developed the condition may seem less interested in being petted; they are also likely to appear lethargic and uninclined towards play.

5. Vomiting

When diabetes becomes more severe, ketones will build up in the blood due to the excessive consumption of body fat. When ketones are allowed to build up within the blood stream, you cat will feel nauseous and start vomiting.

Contact a vet for more information.