Feline diabetes in most cats is transient in nature, which means it can usually be treated within a couple of years. For this to happen, it must be detected early, and treatment must be commenced before diabetes becomes severe. The various treatments for diabetes in cats may include medication for a short time, but lifestyle and dietary changes are also common. As always, discuss any treatments with your vet to decide the best route for your diabetic cat:
1. Diagnosing feline diabetes mellitus
When you observe any sign of feline diabetes, like increased thirst and urination, weakness, appetite change, weight loss, or frequent infections you need to take your cat to the vet to get it checked. The vet would use urine and blood tests to diagnose if your cat has diabetes. Finding sugar in the urine is not a sure sign of diabetes. Increased sugar levels in the blood are what helps to diagnose this disease. The vet may order a blood test to be repeated to confirm the diagnosis. Once confirmed, then treatment needs to start immediately to prevent serious complications.
2. Treating feline diabetes
There are different treatments that can be prescribed for your cat, depending on the type of diabetes and extent. It is important that you follow the instructions of the vet to treat your cat, and do not try to do it by yourself. The vet may advise frequent blood tests to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. Frequent checks ups will also be needed if your feline has diabetes. The checkups help the vet to know if the treatment is working. If it doesn’t work, then other methods may be needed. Some of the common ways of managing feline diabetes are:
- Insulin therapy
Depending on the blood sugar levels and the cat’s weight, the amount of insulin is decided. Insulin is mostly given by injections. The vet would train the owner on how to administer the injections. In most cats, sustained treatment will be effective, and insulin therapy can be stopped after some time. Periodic checkups and blood tests are needed to decide this.
- Oral medicine
Oral medicines in the form of tablets may need to be given by mixing with food. These tablets are prescribed if it is difficult to administer insulin therapy. However, oral medicines can have side effects.
Consuming excess sugar in the food can worsen the symptoms of diabetes. A low carbohydrate diet that is rich in protein will be prescribed by the vet. Care has to be taken to feed your cat at the same time daily, and to ensure the diet is followed. A balanced diet that avoids high carbs can help in reducing blood sugar levels. It can also improve immunity and overall health.
Like in humans, diabetes can be managed through proper exercise. Cats are generally very active, but if your cat is lethargic and obese, then you need to ensure it gets proper exercise. You can take the help of a vet to decide on an exercise regimen.
- Spaying the cat
Spaying female cats can help in preventing the production of progesterone that can interfere with the working of insulin.