The warning signs of diabetes should be taken seriously, as diabetes is a complex condition that may lead to blindness if left untreated. Diabetes may manifest though a wide range of symptoms starting from increased urination and thirst to lethargy. Check with a qualified veterinarian if you notice one or several of these diabetes symptoms.
Excessive thirst is among the symptoms of diabetes. This is due to the fact that the cat cannot properly assimilate the glucose after meals and there will be a high level of glucose in the blood, so he will try to dilute the elevated concentration of glucose. Polydipsia is symptomatic for several other diseases including urinary tract infections or hyperthyroidism, so you should watch out for additional symptoms or get a clear diagnosis from your vet.
Excessive urination or polyuria is symptomatic of felines with diabetes and may be due to:
The increased level of glucose in the blood
The fact that the cat consumes an increased amount of liquids
You can monitor your cat and see if there are changes in the urination schedule. You can also watch the litter box and establish if your cat eliminates more urine. If tested, the urine will have an elevated level of glucose, as this cannot be stored in the cells of the body and is ultimately eliminated.
Weight loss in diabetic cats
A cat with diabetes will lose weight, despite the fact that he may have an increased appetite. This is due to the fact that the body doesn’t get the needed nutrients and starts using the glucose stored in the fat deposits and the muscles.
Diabetes and increased appetite
Increased appetite or polyphagia is due to the fact that the cat’s body will not assimilate glucose properly and will feel the need to provide more energy for survival. The lack of nutrients in the blood will send a signal to the cat’s brain and he will eat more. You may find your cat looking for food in addition to his meals.
Cat dry mouth
Dry mouth is among the symptoms of diabetes in cats, but it may be more difficult to detect. However, the cat may drink more water also due to the fact that he feels his mouth is dry.
Diabetes and a cat’s lack of energy
A cat with diabetes may be lethargic, as he doesn’t have enough energy. The lack of energy results from the fact that the body cannot assimilate the glucose. Glucose is formed from the food consumed by the cat. When the cat has an insulin deficiency, the glucose cannot enter the cells.
Diagnosing diabetes in cats
Diabetes can be diagnosed with a test of urine and some blood tests. Both the blood and the urine tests will reveal abnormal levels of glucose. The vet will examine the cat and establish if the symptoms are indicative of diabetes. Additional tests can be performed to establish if the condition has caused any damage in the cat’s body. In advanced stages, cataracts may occur.
Hope this info helps
Till next week
Dr Ruan Bester
Ask the Vet: Royal Veterinary Centre
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