General Question

trypaw's avatar

What are signs and symptoms of diabetes in cats?

Asked by trypaw (332points) December 20th, 2012

Hello, let me start by explaining my dog died this year from diabetes it was too late before I noticed her symptoms and she was put down to.. I have my cat Spike now and I worry for him (I have bad anxiety), I mean he eats a lot and is kinda chubby he is eight years old nurtured male. He urinates normally and drinks a lot of water, he doesn’t make much bowel movements, but he seems healthy to me. I just don’t want to re live what happened to my dog because my cat is my best friend. What are the chances of him developing diabetes? I had him tested in probably July or September. Negative. But I see him eat 2x a day (when I feed him he eats a little then stops, then comes back in a couple minutes and finishes it until gone, he doesn’t wolf it down right away) and he pees a lot in his litter-box. He also is always playing/splashing in his water dish so I can’t tell if he’s drinking it or just playing in it. I was just hoping for some answers.. I don’t want to run him to the vet every 3 months for a diabetes check if he doesn’t have it.. I just worry for him. Also his coat is clean and nice, not sure on his weight but I will get back with that answer. I would appreciate any suggestions or feedback or experiences with this and how likely is it my cat will develop diabetes.?

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20 Answers

trypaw's avatar

I also feed him Blue buffalo Adult sensitive stomach dry cat food, because he vomits with almost any other food. Poor kitty tummy. I also feed him wellness canned sometimes but mostly the dry buffalo product. Is this food good for him, can It prevent Diabetes?

gailcalled's avatar

“The symptoms of feline diabetes are as follows: weight loss, lethargy, excessive thirst, increased urination, poor skin and coat condition, vomiting.”

Read more: Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats |

The vet should have weighted the cat. So that is your norm.

Your vet should be advising you on the proper diet for your cat. Call and ask. Usually someone in the office wlll take a short phone call and give you some advice without your having to make a trip.

JLeslie's avatar

Same as humans, thirsty all the time and urinates a lot.

trypaw's avatar

My cat still uses his litter-box, is this a good sign? Would he be urinating outside his box if he had diabetes and was sick? Would his attitude change? Would he be mess mobile at all? Any behavioral changes? I’ve scoured online and just finding eating,drink excessively and urinating.. That doesn’t help me to much..

JLeslie's avatar

No, it wouldn’t probably change. You can home test him for sugar levels if you feel comfortable sticking him. Check him once a month or once every six months, if it makes you feel better. You need to learn how to do it correctly though. Don’t be paranoid, I think it would be rather obvious if your cat was drinking and peeing a lot more.

gailcalled's avatar

@trypaw; Call your vet, please. He knows your cat.

syz's avatar

Overweight kitties seem to be more prone to becoming diabetic. Often the first signs are PU/PD (polyurea/polydypsia, or drinking and peeing a lot), sudden weight loss, lethargy, and general malaise.

trypaw's avatar

@JLeslie That sounds like a good idea, where would I buy a home test? Also how to I go about using the test?

trypaw's avatar

@gailcalled I have taken my cat to the vet, some months ago as I had mentioned. But I have had a bad experience with my dog, so I worry about him. He is my baby boy, I just wanted to have someone with a “diabetic cat” or who has had experience with diabetes cats to help me. I can look on Google all day. I just wanted some personal opinions. I’m going through a hard time right now, and just making sure my cat is okay.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s a page of clear directions and instructions with photos.

Here’s a Youtube:

trypaw's avatar

@gailcalled Where would I buy some of these tests?

gailcalled's avatar

Sorry. I can’t help you with that.
A quick call to your vet’s will give you the answer. They won’t charge for that kind of advice.

JLeslie's avatar

@trypaw Probably best to have someine show you. My sister is a nurse and she actually had a hard time getting the stuff to do testing if I remember correctly. Her vet seemed to imply people usually don’t test their cats. I don’t know if my perception was wrong about that though. Anyway, she did get a hold of testing supplies and does test him, although not nearly as often as people would test themselves.

I think you should talk to your vet. Don’t make the poor thing a pin cushion. Not every person or every animal that is overweight becomes diabetic.

Coloma's avatar

If the cat ain’t broke, no need to fix him, test him.
If he is not losing weight with a ravenous appetite and consuming a ton of water, as well as his coat looking scruffy, don’t borrow trouble that doesn’t exist.
On a side note, cats will also drink more in extreme heat or cold. Cold weather is dehydrating coupled with indoor heating. My one big male drinks a LOT in winter, and he is very healthy, big, robust and just has a large appetite and thirst due to his bigger body needs.

I think you need to work on accepting that everything will die of SOMETHING, sooner or later, and try to not stress out over things beyond your control.
Diabetes is also more common in older animals, 10 years and over, when they are considered seniors. I am sure your cat is probably just fine.
You have time on your side at the age of 8,he is in his prime years.

bolwerk's avatar

FWIW, most cat food is absolute shit. Low-carb food is really great for cats, and grain-free wet food is probably about as close to ideal you can get without feeding your cat live animals. It’s more expensive than feeding your cat run-of-the-mill crap, though I suspect preferable to vet bills to treat diabetes later on. My friend’s cat actually stopped being diabetic on such a diet, after being maintained by insulin for a long time. He went from 18lbs to closer to 8. This would vary depending on the cat, but his diet was something like a half can of Wellness wet food in the morning and half in the evening. For a while he was on some pricy prescribed food.

Beware of organic cat foods. Idiot hippie types often want to feed their cats the same “all-natural” foods they eat. Cat food should not have grain or veggies in it. It should be meat, with maybe some added nutrients for cats.

All that said, I’d talk to a vet about deciding on an ideal diet. And don’t let him sucker you into one brand (because vets often have deals with pet food/drug companies). Actually know a few options that are healthy for your cat.

Coloma's avatar

@bolwerk I feed the Taste of the Wild dry and my cats are SO healthy!
They love it and I am very pleased with the switch from about 6–7 months ago. I think it is a very good choice for the price. I have to say though that feeding a less than primo diet is still preferable to a homeless cat.

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when all that was available was Purina and Friskies dry, and the canned was ALL cereal fillers.
The cats still lived 15–16 years even with what we might consider cat junk food these days.
When I was really little in the early 60’s I remember my mother bringing home chopped horse meat from the butcher and the cats went wild for that.

bolwerk's avatar

@Coloma: yeah, I feed mine dry food too (Wellness though). I’m not always around to feed her wet food, and sometimes need to pile up a little extra. It’s not ideal, but dry food can still be good – probably better than canned garbage like Friskies or Purina.

My original choice was Science Diet. When I switched to Wellness, her coat got shinier and more lustrous.

Coloma's avatar

@bolwerk Yes , I switched from S.D.too and they are the picture of bright eyed and bushy tailed and their poo is much smaller and less smelly and soft too.
Bonus…but, thank god the litter boxes are in the garage anyway. haha

Akua's avatar

My cats flourished on a raw meat diet. As @bolwerk stated, cats are carnivores and only need meat with some feline nutrients. I diced up chicken parts, liver and gizzards, lamb and beef scraps from the butcher and fed it to my cats. They love it. But I had to give them specific vitamins to supplement that diet which isn’t hard. The hard part for you may be that your cat is 8 years old and may not be able to get accustomed to the new diet. I urge you to seek only the advice of a vet as they have spent a great deal of time and study in animal science. Get a second and third opinion if your not happy with what they tell you. We can give you advice but if you love your baby boy, get a vets opinion about diet and how to keep your cat healthy. Also, exercise is crucial to a cat just like humans. Play with him, use a cat dancer, balls, toys and strings of yarn to get him moving and jumping. This will keep the weight off and lower the chances of diabetes.

bolwerk's avatar

Do you give the cat the parts raw, or do you cook them? I sometimes give mine raw fish.

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