Managing diabetes mellitus in cats

With a healthy lifestyle, a suitable diet and insulin therapy you can successfully manage the health of your diabetic cat.

Can diabetes be cured?

Diabetic cats usually require lifelong treatment with an insulin preparation.

Clinical Remission of Diabetes Mellitus in Cats

Some diabetic cats no longer need insulin after a few weeks or months of treatment. This is known as clinical remission.

Diabetic cats that go into diabetic clinical remission have remaining functional cells in the pancreas which are able to produce sufficient insulin once persistently high blood glucose concentrations are treated adequately with insulin.

The time to remission is variable and likely depends on how long the the diabetes was untreated and if there are still functional insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Remission may be seen may be shortly after the start of treatment (e.g. around 2 weeks) or take up to 3-4 months or longer.

It is important to remember that remission does not mean cure and care must still be taken with your cat’s diet and lifestyle.

Aim of Treatment of the Diabetic Cat

Restoring your diabetic cat’s quality of life is the aim of treatment. This means minimizing diabetic complications without causing hypoglycaemia and stopping the signs of diabetes mellitus (drinking lots of water, urinating frequently, increased hunger and weight loss).

Poorly managed or untreated diabetes mellitus may result in diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition. This must be treated as an emergency requiring prompt treatment. Read more under Emergencies

Long-term complications of diabetes mellitus, such as hind limb weakness in diabetic cats, can also be minimised by insulin therapy.

How are Diabetic Cats Treated?

Successful diabetes management is dependent upon a regular routine.

Helping your cat regain its quality of life through the effective treatment of diabetes is very rewarding.

managing diabetic cats