The incidence of diabetes mellitus, (which is the inability to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar, or glucose, levels) in cats is becoming alarming nowadays. When there is a high level of glucose in the blood due to lack of insulin, leakage of glucose through the kidneys starts to occur leaving some sugar content in the urine produced which should not be so in healthy cats. This leads to signs which are:
- Increase in urine production and frequent use of toilet
- Increase in water level intake by the affected cat for the lost fluid to be replaced.
- Cats suffer from weight loss despite ravenous appetite and increased eating frequency because the energy produced from the foods is not available for use to the body.
- Lethargic signs like showing No spirit of love, reduction in jumping ability, change in walking pace
- Poor coat condition which includes flaky skin, a dry coat with brittle hair that breaks easily, excessive molting, greasy residue and, an unpleasant smell.
- Diabetic neuropathy, i.e. (losing nerve function in their back legs and having weak hind legs). the most common sign of neuropathy is a cat walking flat on his back legs with his hocks on the ground.
Feline diabetes is a dreadful health state which requires careful and quick attention by the cat Parent to ensure that the cat is properly taken care of. it takes a bit of training to ensure that the pet parent knows how to manage the condition at home. This article gives some important tips on how cat’s diabetes can be well maintained.
Control cat’s diet and Food
Diet and feeding are one crucial issue that must be dealt with when dealing with diabetes in cats. Cats are carnivores which bodies react well on, low-carbohydrate, high-protein and, grain-free diet. One successful strategy is to put the affected cat on canned food which cats like allot and, so as to be sure that they have a good meal with a high-protein and low-carbohydrate as recommended by vets for diabetic cats. Most vets agree to do best when they feed well on canned food. Also, feeding diabetic cats with dry foods should be prevented because no dry food is low in carbohydrates and Carbohydrates causes fluctuation of blood sugar levels. A cranberry-based urinary supplement is also advisable for diabetic cats since “diabetic cats are prone to bladder infections.” Most importantly, changing cat’s (which happens when the cat is fed with a different food) must be done by first talking to your veterinarian. Oftentimes, a wrong diet and insulin can result in serious and fatal complications.
Measuring and tracking blood glucose
Another good way to detect when your cat’s diabetes is well managed or not is by measuring and tracking blood glucose by carrying out a regular check of blood glucose of the affected cat with a glucometer (a machine that helps to accurately and easily measure blood glucose) and giving your veterinarian on a regular basis the test records. Glucometers are affordable and easy to use. You can check your cat’s blood sugar by following these steps:
- Quickly prick a clean, hairless part of the ear with a sterile hypodermic needle or lancet and Collect the Blood Sample onto the glucose test strip. most cats accept the feeling of a quick prick on the paw or edge of their ear.
- Stop the bleeding by Gently and firmly pressing some clean cotton or gauze onto your cat's ear until it stops bleeding.
- Read the test strip by inserting the blood sample into the glucometer and Compare the reading to the normal glucose level in cats.
Paying close attention to the litter box
Diabetic cats, even those that are well controlled, are prone to a condition called “glucosuria,” (i.e. glucose in the urine) because diabetes causes an abnormal increase of glucose level in the blood, the body has to eliminate the excess glucose in the urine thereby causing a production of sugar-filled urine which can lead to infections if not properly managed and aggravates the condition. As a result of this, it is very important for the cat’s owner to keep an eye and make frequent trips on the litter box, and make sure the cat is using it normally. signs of a possible infection are urinating outside of the box area.
Paying attention to cat daily exercises
Engaging the cat in playing, exercises and environmental enrichment such as “catification” projects or outdoor catios also helps to keep your cat’s weight down, reduce his stress level and strengthens the bond between the cat and the owner. giving the cat things to do and play with when the owner is away from home also goes a long way to keeping the cat lively.
Annual or semiannual, (if your cat is a senior) checkup is of great importance in maintaining a cat’s good health as it will help illnesses to be detected early enough. It helps you figure out if a cat is gaining or losing weight, which is important signs and symptoms of feline diabetics.
Feline diabetes isn’t a dreadful diagnosis as it can be avoided if follow the steps above. You only need to be educated about it and have a good vet.
Check out How To Entertain Your Cat!
— Meow for now —