In the last decades, there has been an alarming increase in the number of cats developing Diabetes Mellitus. The reason for this isn’t far-fetched though. Cats nowadays are fed more of carbohydrate rich commercial foods by their owners.
The disorder diabetes mellitus, is a chronic and debilitating condition in a cat that occurs when the body cells begin to resist insulin – the hormone responsible for aiding the entry of glucose into the cells. This resistance to insulin causes glucose levels in the bloodstream to build up – a condition known as “hyperglycemia.”
In diabetic cats, the pancreas still produces insulin. The problem is that the body of the cat is overly bombarded with carbohydrates due to excessive intake of junk food. At this point, the insulin receptors on each cell stops responding to insulin – in other words, they just choose to ignore the signal to take up glucose.
While dogs get Type l diabetes which is quiet similar to juvenile diabetes in humans, cats on the other hand mostly get Type ll diabetes a condition similar to what we refer to as “Adult Onset” or “Non-Insulin Dependent” diabetes in humans.
Although cats of about eight years of age and older have been known to be the most affected by this medical condition, recent studies and diagnosis have revealed that even juvenile cats can fall victim to this ailment. This is why it is important that you learn to identify the warning signs a diabetic cat displays.
Here are 5 warning signs to look out for:
1. Excessive Urination
This is one clear warning sign you are sure to pick up if you’re observant enough. The reason for a change in a diabetic cat’s urination pattern is due to the fact that their kidney tries to clear out excessive glucose from the body, and this can only be done through constant urination. The more she urinates is the more she thirsts and the more she consumes water is the more she urinates. The cycle continues.
2. Excessive Water Consumption
If you notice your beloved feline suddenly drinks more water than usual, then your cat may very well be suffering from a Type ll diabetes. Diabetic cats tend to drink more because their body loses a lot of liquid due to frequent urination. They only drink to quench their thirst and fill the void excessive urination leaves within them.
3. Appetite Swings and Weight Gain
Has your cat suddenly increased its food intake over an extended period of time or has she added a few pounds? If yes, this may be a sure sign that she’s developed diabetes. Cats in their early stages of diabetes tend to eat more not because they want to, but because their hypothalamus keeps creating false feelings of hunger within them. And when a cat consumes more, you’d agree with us that weight gain is inevitable.
4. Changes In Gait
As a cat owner, you should know just how your cat walks and goes about. This is crucial as changes in the way a cat walks may indicate it’s gone diabetic. Diabetes in a cat results into what is known as peripheral neuropathy – a medical condition where its hind legs become weak. Cats in their early stages of diabetes will
definitely display such signs related to peripheral neuropathy as walking in a drunken like state, walking on their hocks and having difficulties climbing or jumping.
5. Decreased Activity
If your cat known for its active and energetic nature suddenly show signs of weakness or loss of interest in activities that once excited her, then it may be that she’s gone diabetic. Another warning sign to look out for is excessive sleeping. A young cat shouldn’t spend a great deal of her time sleeping. If she does, she may be suffering from diabetes or other serious medical issues.
All of the signs mentioned above are pointers that a cat is diabetic, and if it turns out your kitty currently displays any of these warning signs, you should immediately take her to a vet for thorough check-up. And if it eventually turns out your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, no reason to fret about that. There are medications and treatments on ground to help your feline friend manage the ailment.