diabetes in cats and dogs
Written by Dr. César Giral

Felis Catus is the scientific name of one of the most popular pets in the world, the domestic cat. In Ancient Egypt cats were worshipped as deities and were a symbol of grace and poise. Today the cat maintains that same charm, captivating attitude and air of royalty.

Cats must have done something special to make themselves so irresistible, unpredictable and cuddly to the extent that they exceed dogs as the most popular pet: 96 million in U.S. and 64 million in Europe. However, like their canine friends, their health has been influenced by human behavior.

Diabetes is a leading disease in cats. Few know this, but there are many similarities between human diabetes and diabetes in cats and dogs. Lifestyle changes do not just affect people, but also our pets.

Feline obesity can increase the risk of developing diabetes by up to five (5) times. It is estimated that approximately 1 in every 500 cats develop diabetes, meaning about 500,000 cats have the disease in the U.S.

Cats are typically diagnosed in their middle to older ages; however, they can get the disease at any age. If your cat is a neutered males, then you should have them checked more frequently. Experts believe that the “feline diabetes” is caused by a combination of different factors. Obesity and physical inactivity are two of the primary .

Cats with diabetes usually require insulin injections (at least initially), as well as a carbohydrate-restricted diet. After a period of time, which can range from a few weeks to a few months, many cases of feline diabetes do not require administration of insulin and can be controlled with proper diet and exercise. Treatment varies on a case by case basis, so make sure to see your vet. Teamwork between the pet, his human friend and their veterinarian is vital to establish which regimen is most convenient.

With consistent and effective treatment combined with some adjustments in lifestyle and adequate monitoring, a cat with diabetes can have the same quality of life as a non-diabetic cat. Just like in humans.


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Dr. César Giral

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