Diabetes is hard to detect by just observing certain changes in behavior, but suspecting its symptoms in your pets makes it imperative for you to take them to the vet. The general perception that diabetes affects those who eat too much sugar has long been changed. One’s lifestyle, genetics, and food habits play a huge role in the development of the condition. The same applies to animals, specifically cats. Cats and dogs are at high risk of diabetes mellitus and their owners must take extra precautions to ensure the condition is managed properly if detected.
Diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas is not producing enough or any insulin, which is a hormone that regulates the body’s sugar levels. If this happens, the sugar levels shoot up, leading to diabetes. In a cat, the condition is a worrisome disease for owners and cat parents and a harrowing experience as there is no cure yet. It is a chronic condition needing regular care and treatment. If left untreated, it can lead to other complications, some of which are life-threatening. While there are lots of medications to treat diabetes mellitus in cats, the right diet and exercise are crucial to making sure it is under control.
The first step towards finding out if your cat has diabetes is to watch out for these symptoms:
- Does your cat urinate more quantity than usual and frequently?
- Do you find your cat to be more lethargic than usual?
- Is your cat craving more food than normal?
- Does your cat drink more water than usual and do they look as if they are thirsty all the time?
If you observe the above symptoms, these could indicate diabetes. Take your cat to a vet and get the necessary tests done. Only a blood and urine test can confirm or rule out if your cat is diabetic. Apart from regular medication, here are a few diet tips for cats with diabetes mellitus you can ensure your pet follows:
- Include a protein-rich diet and reduce the level of carbohydrates in their food. This helps to control diabetes mellitus in cats.
- Canned food, frozen chicken, or salmon are better alternatives.
- Weight loss for cats is recommended to improve overall health.
- Cats that are obese should be served food at regular intervals, but in smaller portions, which helps to maintain the right blood sugar.
- Giving them regular insulin shots is necessary to stabilize their hormone level.
- Constantly be in touch with your vet and never miss appointments to ensure that you can manage diabetes mellitus in cats.
- Try a few dehydrated diet options, which have fewer carbohydrates and more protein. Do not change the diet frequently.
- Always watch the portion size of food served for the cats with diabetes mellitus. An increased food intake might spike the blood sugar level and affect the cat’s metabolism.
- Take your cat or cats out for a stroll. Fitness exercises like walking, running, or doing simple physical workout will help to maintain the condition.
Following these tips can help your cats live a longer, healthier life. Tending to a cat with diabetes is a lot of hard work, needs commitment and planning. After a week or two, you are likely to be more assured about managing their new diet and medication with ease.