Cats are among the most popular of human companion animals and in fact are even more popular than dogs in some countries. It’s easy to see why, cats are affectionate animals, who are quite easy to care for, and make excellent pets.
As a cat guardian, you are responsible for all aspects of the cat’s wellbeing. Cats are, in general, vibrant, healthy animals, but they are prone to certain diseases, such as feline diabetes.
Diabetes is more common in humans than it is in animals. However, the cause of the disease is the same. Sugar, or glucose, is found in the blood, and the level of blood sugar in the body is controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. When the pancreas doesn’t function properly, it fails to produce enough insulin, allowing blood sugar levels to get out of control, causing diabetes.
The symptoms of feline diabetes vary. The most noticeable symptoms are an increase in urination and a notable increase in the amount of water the animal drinks. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, weight loss, and poor coat condition. If you notice these symptoms it is important that you have your cat examined by a vet as soon as possible.
If the disease goes untreated then the consequences are dire. The cat will begin to display more serious symptoms like vomiting and become lethargic, eventually lapsing into a coma.
The good news is that feline diabetes can be treated. As with the disease in humans, certain lifestyle and dietary changes will be needed, but provided they are, your cat can live a long and normal life.
As with human diabetes sufferers, diet is very important in controlling the disease. Your cat will have to be fed at the same time every day. You will also have to give your cat insulin shots once or twice a day. Your vet will be able to advise you as to the dosage and frequency, and will also show you how to prepare the syringe and give the injection.
Regardless of whether the cat was allowed out in the past, you will have to keep her indoors in the future. This is very important because of the set frequency of meals and insulin shots. If the cat is outdoors and does not have these on time, she may go into shock and even into a coma.
Always feed your cat first before giving him insulin. Failure to do this may result in the cat going into hypoglycemic shock. This is very serious and often fatal. Provided you follow your vet’s directions you should be fine.
Over time your vet may reduce the amount and / or frequency of insulin injections, but if your cat has diabetes, she will have to stay on insulin the rest of her life.