The most important thing you can do as a cat owner is to get them regular checkups. While diabetes isn’t terribly common in felines, generally about 1 in 400 will be diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetime. Most can be treated with a diabetic cat food, with a lowered carbohydrate content (less than 9% of daily calorie intake).
It can be sometimes hard to tell when diabetes grips your cat, but most symptoms are similar to humans. A cat who seems to spend a lot of their time around their water dish and other water sources around the house should be cause to investigate. Extreme weight gain, or loss is another common symptom to watch out for.
Bitter-smelling breath that smells like nail polish remover and wobbly legs (especially the rear legs) are all signs that you need to get your cat in for an exam and possibly put them on insulin and/or a quality diabetic cat food immediately.
Your veterinarian may recommend insulin treatment via pill or insulin treatment. Diabetic cat food, with a “proper” feeding schedule will also be necessary. Many people let their animals feed as desired; with a full dish of food and water available at all times. While it can seem inhumane to put them on a schedule and limit the availability of food: It’s really how animals feed in nature.
A wild animal gets food from hunting and may go days without food, so while you may want to spoil your cat — it isn’t good for their digestive system and often is the reason diabetes starts in the first place. Humans get diabetes primarily from over-eating, with a small amount of us who get it from genetic predispositions and cats are no different. Regular trips to your veterinarian will help early diagnosis, to prevent increased risk to your cat’s health.
Find out more on diabetic cat food and pet health care.