What You Need To Know About Diabetic Cats

What You Need To Know About Diabetic Cats

If you are the proud owner of a furry feline, your cat probably means the world to you. While these are pretty resilient creatures, you would still do everything in your power to ensure that your buddy stays healthy and happy at call costs. This is why it is imperative that you understand all the risks that are out there and how to properly combat them. You might even be surprised to learn that diabetes in cats is becoming just as common as it is in humans. With that being said, the two are very different and if your cat is diagnosed with this horrible disease, you need to know how to interpret the warning signs and administer proper treatments. Below, that is exactly what you are going to learn and much more.

Understanding What Diabetes Is

To properly care for your cat, you need to completely understand what diabetes is. Diabetes is basically a disorder in the body where blood sugar or glucose levels cannot be effectively utilized or regulated. While there are a couple of hormones in the body that are crucial when it comes to glucose metabolism, insulin is without a doubt the most important. Blood sugar and glucose is actually the substance that fuels the body, and it is broken down from the foods that your cat eats. However, insulin is actually the hormone that gets the glucose into the cells, so they can properly store and utilize them.

Despite having diabetes, it is entirely possible for the cat to live a completely normal and totally fulfilling life.

Understanding The Different Types Of Diabetes in Cats

Just like in humans, cats can be diagnosed with two different types of diabetes. The first is type I diabetes, which is a condition when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to sustain the body. The second type of diabetes is Type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is a condition where the cells in your cat’s body doesn’t respond to the insulin level well. While there is enough insulin in your cat’s body, the cells just don’t absorb and react to it in the manner that they should.

Whatever type your cat is diagnosed with, the end result will not be good, as this could lead to more serve complications and even death if not properly treated. While diabetes is an incurable disease, you can help your cat manage his or her levels and live a long happy life with this condition.

What Types Of Cats Are At Risk For Developing Diabetes?

As mentioned above diabetes is becoming more and more common in the feline family, especially Type II diabetes. In fact, nowadays type II diabetes is considered a fairly normal condition in most cats. While there are no known specifics as to what causes this disease, there are some factors that can put your cat at risk. For instance, males are more at risk of developing diabetes than females, neutered cats that are over 8 years old are more at risk, Burmese cats seem to be a species of cats that is more common to develop the disease, and any cat that sticks strictly to a high carbohydrate diet is more likely to develop the disease. In addition to this, overweight cats are also at a higher risk of developing diabetes as compared to skinner cats.

Learning To Interpret Early Warning Signs And Symptoms

To be 100% positive that your feline friend is suffering from diabetes, you will have to visit a vet and get a proper diagnosis, which will require urine and blood tests. However, there are some signs and symptoms that you can keep an eye on that might indicate that your cat is suffering from this horrible disease.  While these signs and symptoms might not be directly related to diabetes, they should not be ignored and could be a very good indication that your cat is suffering from diabetes.

  • Excessive Drinking – If you notice that your cat is drinking water excessively, it could be a good indication of diabetes. However, it could also mean that your cat has a kidney condition, liver disorder, or hormonal condition.
  • Frequent Urination – Pay extra special attention to the litter box and areas around the litter box. If you notice that there are more urine spots in the litter box, or your cat is unable to make it to the litter box, this could be another indication of diabetes.
  • Increased Appetite With Weight Loss – It is very common for most diabetic cats to have a ravenous appetite. In fact, if your cat is diabetic, you will probably notice him or her pestering you more and more for food. However, what you might not realize is that despite your cat’s appetite he or she will still lose weight. This can be a very serious condition that should not be overlooked.
  • Weird Walking Pattern – Although weird or impaired walking usually doesn’t develop until the later stages, it can be another indication of diabetes. In fact, vets refer to this condition as plantigrade stance, and it is the result of damaged nerves in the back legs. This condition is especially noticeable when you view you cat from the side.
  • No More Jumping – Keep a close eye on your cat’s activity level, and if you notice that he or she is not jumping around anymore, this could be yet another indication of diabetes. In fact, your cat will probably just tend to lie around more and more often.
  • Vomiting And Lack Of Appetite – Of course, any owner is going to be concerned when their cat is vomiting and not eating. However, you might be surprised to learn that this can also be an indication of diabetes. If it has gotten to this stage, then the diabetes is at a severe level and your cat’s life is in danger.

What Owners Need To Know About Treating Diabetes

It should be well known that all cats with diabetes might not have to be treated with insulin. In fact, with some simple dietary changes it is possible that you can learn to control your cat’s condition and provide him or her with a long and happy life. With that being said, the majority of cats diagnosed with the condition will require insulin. This is why it is imperative that you understand everything that you possible can about insulin for cats.

Understanding The Characteristics Of Insulin

There are a variety of different types of insulin that are available for your cat. Canadian Insulin can help you find the insulin that you need when you need it. Below, you will learn more about the most distinctive characteristics of insulin.

  • Source – Insulin for cats can be extracted from the pancreas of pigs, or cattle. In some cases, some insulin treatments might even be comprised of a combination of pig and cattle. In fact, insulin for cats is very similar to the same type of insulin that is used to treat human diabetes.
  • Duration – Insulin comes available in two different duration forms. You can administer long-acting insulin or short-acting insulin. It will really be up to your vet to determine which of these two is the best option for your cat.
  • Concentration – It should also be noted that insulin is available in a variety of different concentrations. For instance, insulin is available in 40, 100, or a 500 ml. It is important to note that when you are administering insulin, you have to make sure that you are using the correct needle. For example, if you are administering 40 ml of insulin to your cat, you have to use a U-40 syringe, otherwise the dosage would not measure out correctly. A U-100 syringe is required for 100 ml and a U-500 syringe is required for 500 ml.
  • Frequency Of Administration – Depending on the severity of the diabetes and the levels of blood glucose in your cat, you may be required to administer treatments at different intervals. However, most of the time short-acting insulin is usually given twice a day, while long-acting insulin can be given once a day. Everything really depends on your cat’s response to the insulin and the severity of the diabetes.

What Can Happen If Diabetes Is Not Treated

Diabetes is normally completely controllable and manageable if caught early enough. However, there are some cases when diabetes has gone undetected for far too long and other complications have developed. Below, you will learn about some of the complications that can arise if your cat’s diabetes is not properly treated.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis is when you cat’s body cannot convert glucose into energy it has to burn something to produce energy. The cat’s body usually ends up burning fat, which can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. The body can only burn so much fact before it starts to shut down and normal body function just can’t keep up anymore.

The Unique Types Of Insulin For Felines

The unfortunate truth is that almost every diabetic cat will need insulin therapy in order to survive. The cat’s diet will also be very important. Nevertheless, it will probably not survive without insulin. So, what insulin is available for felines? The answer is probably surprising. There are many different insulin products that work with cats. A lot of veterinary specialists recommend glargine. This type of insulin is sold as Lantus. It is manufactured by Sanofi Aventis. This recombinant human insulin works exceptionally well for felines.

When combined with the right diet, Lantus will greatly reduce the cat’s chance of experiencing remission. That means that the cat may no longer need to use insulin at some point. Unfortunately, Lantus can be a little expensive. The good news is that there are some alternatives. NPH or neutral protamine Hagedorn is another popular insulin for cats. PZI, Vetsulin and Detemir are other good choices. It is truly impossible for pet owners to know what will work best for their animals.

With that being said, you should first speak with a licensed vet. With their assistance you will easily be able to find out what will suit your furry friend the best.

May Be Rectified

Cats are pretty hardy and their bodies can repair over a period of time. Diabetes in felines is often transient. By treating the problem with the right insulin and a good diet, there is a possibility that you’ll be able to reverse the problem completely. There is a good chance that the feline’s pancreas cells will actually regain their ability to produce insulin at some point in the future. Usually, this happens within the first month or two of starting treatment. Sometimes, it can happen a few years after diagnosis.

Again, Lantus is the most recommended insulin for cats. It is believed that this insulin is most likely to restore full functionality to the cat’s pancreas cells. With this in mind, you should always go above and beyond to keep your feline on a strict routine. Make sure he or she gets their insulin as recommended by the vet. Also, be sure to keep them on the recommended diet to avoid future problems.

Every Cat Is Unique

Finally, you should realize that every cat in the world is different. Some cats will do exceptionally well on Lantus, whereas others might not. There is always a possibility that your cat will not do well on Lantus, despite it being the most popular and effective. With that being said, you really need to find out what is going to work best for your cat. In order to find out what is realistically going to work the best, you need to have the animal examined by a licensed vet. You should never attempt to choose an insulin on your own.

The vet will perform tests and experiments to find out what will help your cat. They will also provide you with instructions for administering the insulin to your cat. Be sure to utilize this information and stick to the instructions provided. This will ensure that your cat is able to live a fulfilling life, despite having diabetes.

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