Your cat will show just such symptoms, if you notice these you should take it to your vet as soon as possible for a check up. So what IS diabetes?
Briefly just this. The cells in our cat’s body just as in ours, require energy. This energy comes from glucose and we get that from the food we eat. This food gets broken down, some of which becomes glucose and enters the bloodstream and is used by the cells for energy.
Insulin – a hormone, lets this glucose move from the bloodstream and into the cells. Unfortunately in diabetes there is little or no insulin and without that the glucose cannot get from the bloodstream and into the body cells. The cells don’t get glucose and think they are starving just as we would and your cat does.
So what do both we and our cats do? We eat and eat to satisfy our hunger. The situation is made worse because the glucose we store in the fat and muscles of our bodies, normally for emergencies, gets released into the bloodstream to feed the cells. It becomes a vicious circle as more glucose enters the bloodstream but without insulin will not get into the cells. The glucose levels in the blood climb higher, with still no insulin it has nowhere to go.
The cells of course cannot get their sugar so even more fat and muscle are burned to feed them, so we and our cat have a huge appetite but also a weight loss
Why the excessive thirst? As explained, all that extra sugar in the blood has to go somewhere. Our and out cat’s kidneys are designed to prevent glucose been lost in urine. In diabetes there is so much sugar in the urine the kidneys become overwhelmed, so sugar is excreted in the urine. For this to be successful it has to be of the right consistency and in the form of liquid. The result? Large quantities of water are drunk and so of course equal amounts of urine are produced. It will seem as if your poor cat is drinking buckets of water but with no satisfaction.
So rule No 1 is if you see any of these symptoms in your pet take it to your vet. The disease can be treated with diet, exercise, insulin or some combination of these.
Is there anything you can do?
Don’t let your cat become a “couch potato”! Do not give your cat “treats”, most are groaning with calories. Remember the domestic cat came out of the savannahs of Africa and was and still is a natural hunter, its diet raw meat. Sadly the whole lifestyle of the cat is changing, many do not even have a garden, many are literally housebound. The result, as for us, is that they become overweight, eat far too much, become bored and lazy. They have no stimulation and their natural instinct to hunt is suppressed.
Our own two cats exercise outside constantly and hunt too. OK so we do have to clear up some grisly messes once in a while! Cats have a dual personality, a wild side that loves to hunt and roam and a domestic side to them where they just want our companionship. Sadly many owners are now too frightened to let their cats outside the house thinking it is too dangerous. Over all the years we have owned cats we have never lost one except to plain old age or disease (before we found out what went into commercial cat food and started making our own)
You can feed your diabetic cat yourself, we think it’s the best way and always use lean meats, low carbohydrate, NO SUGAR and add a few vegetables
One important thing to consider is to keep meals regular just as would happen to one of us with diabetes. There is hope so don’t despair!
Don’t forget, though, that cats have different nutritional needs to humans so it’s the diet principles ones follows not the actual diet.
Written by Frank Brown.
Frank and Anne have lived with, loved and bred cats since they were both kids. Recent revelations of the horrors of the 2007 – 2008 pet food recall led Frank and Anne to totally re-evaluate how they cared for their pets. They now source and prepare all their own cat food. The change in both their cats have been dramatic, their health, energy and sheer vitality changed so much.
Check out this site and find out how you can improve your cats life.