Traveling Dog Lady: A to Z Challenge, Day 4: D is for Diabetes in Cats #atozchallenge

Friday, April 4, 2014

A to Z Challenge, Day 4: D is for Diabetes in Cats #atozchallenge

Our cat, Pointy, was diabetic.  Pointy was only with us for a short while.  Someone had "dumped" him at our house.  Back in those days, shelters were few and far between, and we were known (worldwide ha ha) as "the cat people".  One day, he showed up on our doorstep, and he never left.  My guess is that he was already a senior when he got dumped.  He was a very large Tomcat.  He adored me and Gil, and he bossed around the other pets.  They all respected Pointy.  I think he was only with us for two, maybe three years.  Here is the only picture I have of him.  This was back in the day when digital cameras were new, so I think I got accidental photos of him while I was playing with the camera when it was new.






Feline diabetes affects approximately one in every 400 cats.  That, to me, is a surprising statistic.  I thought the number would be higher... but then again, we've had about 40 cats altogether between the two of us, and Pointy is the only one I can remember who actually was diagnosed diabetic.  Male cats are at twice the risk of female cats for developing diabetes.

The disease affects all of the cat's organs.  Just like diabetes in humans, the problem is an inadequate production of insulin, or an inadequate response of the body to insulin.  As the condition becomes worse, a telltale sign of diabetes in a cat is frequent urination.  I can remember Pointy spending an inordinate amount of time in the litter box, and us having to constantly change and clean the box.  It was thought that he had a urinary tract infection, but that was not the case.  Frequent urination is a sign of diabetes, as is the need to drink a lot of water.  Just like in people.

At diabetic onset, the cat will eat a lot.  I remember Pointy seemed "ravenous".  Once the illness has taken hold, though, appetite loss is characteristic along with weight loss.

Gosh, just reading back at this, it all sounds so depressing!  But, just like with humans who have diabetes, it can be treated.  The problem with diabetes in cats is, we humans may not realize anything is wrong until it is too late to treat.  Have you ever tried giving a cat insulin injections at home?  Not fun!

Meow!!

Here's more info about feline diabetes.




I am not a veterinarian, medical professional, canine or feline professional or specialist.  I have owned and parented nine dogs and more than 40 cats in my lifetime. I write this blog based on my own experiences as a pet owner/pet parent.  Please consult a professional if you need help with a canine or feline medical or behavior problem.  Thank you.  

10 comments:

  1. I had no idea feline diabetes was so prevalent; our cat has heart disease but has tested negative for everything else so far.

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    1. Heart disease... how interesting. That's one I haven't had to deal with, yet, in any of our pets. How did it get diagnosed?

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  2. I worry about my cat Buttons eventually developing diabetes because he's a fatty and no matter how much I try and restrict his diet, he just steals Pebble's food. Having said that, he has managed to lose a little weight but it's tough!

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    1. I have a food stealer... Tux. He is getting chubby. We have to watch out for him or he will be fed by both humans because he behaves as if he hasn't been fed yet!

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  3. Great information. I wonder why males are twice as likely to become diabetic than females. Did you have to test his blood frequently like human diabetics have to do?

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    1. I know, isn't that a strange statistic?! I looked online and I can't find any explanation. All articles just say males are twice as likely to become diabetic than females. Poor Pointy deteriorated very fast, so we took him to the vet a few times (where he would get tested each time) but it was a rather rapid decline. Could have been the reason the other family dumped him... perhaps he was already sick. He was only with us 2 or 3 years, and he was already a senior when he arrived. We were lucky to have him, such fond memories. He was a very cool dude!

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  4. I have noticed an increase in the diagnosis of diabetes and thyroid diseases in cats and dogs over the last decade. I personally think that it is a combination of folks taking their pets to the vet more often, as well as an increase in the actual diseases themselves.
    I am enjoying your blogs a lot. Great info!

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    1. I think you're right. Years ago, I didn't take my pets to the vet as much as I do now. Probably has something to do with the foods fed, too. Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback :)

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  5. I have friends who have cats with diabetes. My furbaby is almost 4, she's only had an eye infection so far. If she ever got sick, it would break my heart :(

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