Diabetes in Cats
This year’s National Pet Show at Birmingham’s NEC has partnered with PDSA Pet Insurance to help educate and raise awareness to all owners about pet welfare and the importance of your pet having a healthy lifestyle.
Diabetes is a growing problem in humans and the situation is just as serious when it comes to cats.
The PDSA who are sponsoring and appearing at this year’s National Pet Show say, that the widespread diet of fatty treats and scraps from the dinner table could well mean cats are at higher risk than ever of developing this potentially fatal condition.
There are steps owners can take to reduce the chance of the disease developing in their feline friend, and some cats that have the disease can even go into remission if they are able to lose weight.
PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan, said: “All the indicators tell us diabetes is set to become an even bigger problem in the future, as vets across the UK see more and more obese pets.”
“Feeding your cat a balanced, age-appropriate diet and weighing out their food to limit overfeeding are all important factors to help avoid putting on excess weight. Human foods can be very fattening, so it’s best to not let them indulge: feeding your cat three cubes of cheese is like us eating two double cheeseburgers! Cats, who are the correct weight and body condition score, are less likely to develop diabetes and other serious diseases.”
Prevention is far better than dealing with the disease but, with the right treatment, pets can continue to live a good quality life.
Olivia added: “Diabetes is a disease which affects the body’s ability to control sugar levels in the bloodstream and it’s more common in overweight cats.”
“Signs of diabetes include your cat drinking and weeing more often than usual due to the high levels of sugar in their blood; making your pet excessively thirsty and therefore needing to urinate more frequently. Although they are unwell, pets with diabetes can appear bright and alert in the early stages of the disease and often have an increased appetite, however they start losing weight, which is often the first sign something is wrong. As their health deteriorates they will become depressed, often go off their food and be sick, and therefore become dehydrated.”
If you suspect your cat may have diabetes it’s vital to get them urgently checked over by your vet, so the condition can be diagnosed and the appropriate treatment can begin. It usually helps to take a fresh urine sample along with you to your appointment for the vet to test.
Olivia concluded: “Left untreated, diabetes can be fatal. However, when diagnosed, a diabetic cat can be given a tailored treatment and management plan. Most pets will need insulin injections twice a day to control their diabetes. Owners will usually be taught how to give the injections at home, and their vet will advise on any changes needed in their cat’s diet and routine.
“Cats with diabetes do need higher levels of care; however modern treatments mean many continue with a good quality of life for years to come.”
For more advice caring for cats with diabetes go to www.pdsa.org.uk/cats or visit the PDSA Petsurance stand at The National Pet Show on 3 and 4 November 2018 at NEC Birmingham. You can pick up your tickets for the show at www.thenationalpetshow.com