How to Determine if Your Cat/feline May Have Diabetes

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Cats are not invincible. The myth of 9 lives gives the impression that cats are impervious to injury or sickness. Cats like other house pets deal with a variety of health problems, from time to time, that if not treated can cause a significant deterioration in health or even result in death. 

When considering the health of your cat here is a startling bit of information. Typically, 70 percent of cats with diabetes will require insulin to some degree. Depending on the type of diabetes there are instances when a change in diet will be all that is needed. Be sure to seek a professional medical diagnosis and treatment options from your local veterinarian. Here are some issues related to cats and diabetes.

Issue # 1 – Know that middle age and older cats are more prone to have diabetes. Diabetes is also predominately found in older male felines.  If you are unsure of the age of your cat, have your veterinarian make that determination.

Issue # 2 Find out is your cat is a Burmese. Unfortunately, this purebred is four times as likely to have diabetes. If you cannot tell what breed you cat is you may need the assistance of your veterinarian or others cat owners who own a Burmese.

Issue # 3 – Watch for weight loss combined with an unusually voracious appetite.  Be sure to use accurate scales and record your findings.

Issue # 4 – Check for signs such as excessive thirst and overly frequent urination. Measure you portions of water to calculate the amount your cat is drinking.

Issue # 5 – Observe if your cat tends to walk down on its hocks instead of walking on its toes. Have someone who is not around your cat very often to help make this assessment. Since this change can be subtle and over time you may not have noticed this change.

If you suspect that your feline may have diabetes you may want to administer home-testing for blood glucose level using a glucometer under the instruction and supervision of your vet. A long term check known as fructosamine is now available for home use. Be sure all home tests are done under the supervision of your veterinarian and have testing periodically performed by your veterinarian as well. 

Tip – If you see even minor behavioral changes in your feline friend don’t wait to have your cat’s health evaluated by a veterinarian. The longer you wait will potentially cause more complications. Keep in mind that as health problems mount so will the monetary expense of caring for your pet. It is best to have your pet checked out on a regular basis.

Tip – Like humans and cats, dogs can acquire diabetes, too. 

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