Cat Owners

About Feline Diabetes

Feline diabetes is a condition in which a cat's body stops responding effectively to insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin.

Without appropriate insulin supplementation, your cat will develop an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, triggering the clinical signs of diabetes.

Signs of Diabetes in Cats

Increased thirst: High levels of glucose in the urine can cause dehydration, resulting in excessive thirst in your cat.

Increased urination: Excessive thirst and high levels of glucose in the urine may result in more frequent urination or an increase in urine volume.

Increased appetite: Imbalanced blood glucose and inability of glucose to enter cells to support normal metabolism can cause your cat to feel hungry more often.

Weight loss: A diabetic cat's body will break down stored fats and proteins to replace glucose as an energy source, resulting in weight loss despite increased appetite.

Diagnosing Feline Diabetes

If you suspect your cat may have diabetes, contact your veterinarian right away.

The veterinarian will take blood and urine samples and conduct the following tests:

Blood glucose test: Depending on your cat’s symptoms, a blood glucose level of 200-300 mg/dL may be a sign of diabetes.

Fructosamine test: Provides a long-term view of blood glucose over the previous 1-3 weeks. A fructosamine level over 400 μmol/L could suggest diabetes.

Urinalysis: Checks for glucose in your cat’s urine. If glucose is present, your cat may be diabetic.

In the United States, an estimated 500,000 cats are diagnosed with diabetes each year.1,2 While a diabetes diagnosis may seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember that it is manageable with the proper care. 

1 State of Pet Health 2016 Report. Banfield Pet Hospital.
https://www.banfield.com/Banfield/media/PDF/Downloads/soph/Banfield-State-of-Pet-Health-Report-2016.pdf.
Accessed December 6, 2018.

2 AVMA. U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.
https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx. Accessed December 6, 2018.