Cat Diabetes Symptoms

Cat diabetes symptoms can vary, but in general the hallmark symptoms of feline diabetes are:

Cat Diabetes Symptoms

>Polyuria (urinating a lot)
>Polydypsia (drinking a lot)
>Weight loss
>Poor coat condition
>Lethargy and depression
>Urinary tract infections

What causes cat diabetes?

Cat diabetes is a type 2 diabetes almost always (versus type 1). Type two diabetes is when the cat’s pancreas produces insulin, but the cells of the body don’t respond to it. This leads to a high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia), which leads to a high urine glucose level.

The glucose in the urine which normally shouldn’t be there leads to an increase in urine production, which leads to the cat drinking more water. Also the glucose in the urine promotes bacterial growth leading to more frequent urinary tract infections.

What type of cats normally get diabetes?

Obese older cats are prone to diabetes, which is why it is important to keep your cat in shape. By the way, obese people are also prone to type 2 diabetes, so stay in shape!

Male obese cats are affected slightly more often than females, but not by much. Give your cats lots of exercise and a healthy diet. This can prevent diabetes from developing.


Feline diabetes is diagnosed by your vet. A high fasting blood glucose level and a high urinary glucose level is all that is needed to determine if your cat has diabetes.


Treating cat diabetes consists of several approaches, diet, insulin, weight loss, and possible oral hypoglycemics.


Your vet will put your cat on a high fiber, complex carbohydrate diet.


Most cats are maintained on one or two shots of insulin a day. This varies by the type and concentration of insulin your vet decides to give to your cat.

Weight Loss

Gradual weight loss is a must to help maintain your cat

Oral hypoglycemics

This is an oral medication that might replace insulin injections in some cases, but is often used only for mild cases.


Make sure you follow your vet instructions on diet, insulin injection doses, and frequency. Make sure you roll the insulin bottle before filling the syringe, and keep the bottle refrigerated. If you give your cat too much insulin it could go into shock. If you suspect this is the case, call your vet and give your cat some Karo syrup, by rubbing it on the inner gums.


Most cats can be maintained several years on a properly regimented program. It often needs to be constantly adjusted by your vet so frequent communication and visits are a must to keep the cat diabetes symptoms under control.

Be sure to check out our other pages about: cat health, free ask a vet, and our veterinary blog.