It Is Pet Diabetes Month
Diabetes occurs when a cat’s body produces very little insulin or stops producing it completely and can’t utilize it properly. Diabetes Mellitus can ultimately impair your cat's quality of life and decrease its lifespan.
Diabetes usually affects less than 1% of dogs and cats. Symptoms of diabetes in a cat may include:
● Excessive thirst
● Increased urination including sudden incontinence or accidents
● Increased appetite as the cat is unable to metabolize its food efficiently
● Weight loss
● Unsteady walking
● Lethargy and depression
If you think your cat may be showing signs of diabetes, contact your vet immediately.
5 ways to prevent diabetes in cats
Here are certain things that you can do to improve your cat's overall health and reduce its risk of developing diabetes.
Offer your cat a high-protein, low-carb diet
Cats are designed by nature to eat high-protein diets and very few carbohydrates. Always check ingredient labels on different cat food brands to make the best choices.
Help your cat maintain a healthy weight
Obesity is the main cause of diabetes in cats. A healthy weight won’t only help prevent diabetes, but it will also help protect your cat against many other health conditions.
If you do offer your cat treats, reduce their meal size accordingly to control their overall calorie intake. It's better to weigh your cat regularly to adjust their diet if needed.
Provide plenty of exercise and physical activity
Regular exercise is crucial for keeping your cat fit and as healthy as possible. Exercise will also help with weight management. Different cats can manage different amounts of exercise.
Playing with the cat everyday helps prevent diabetes. Add playtime into the daily routine so you can interact with your cat with pouncing and other games to keep the kitty active. Exercise will burn off excess calories and keep the cat's blood sugar levels balanced.
Minimize steroid treatments for other conditions
Steroids can be effective treatments for some conditions like allergies, asthma, certain cancers, and inflammations. However, improper use of steroids can also increase the risk of a cat developing diabetes. Minimize steroid treatments, especially if your cat is overweight. During steroid treatments, work closely with your vet and do regular monitoring of your feline’s blood and urine.
Get regular veterinary checkups
Make sure your cat gets regular vet checkups. Your vet has the knowledge, training and experience to be able to identify diabetes and other health problems which could increase the likelihood of your kitty developing diabetes. The money you spend on regular checkups saves you twice as much in the long run.
Treatment of diabetes in cats requires time and money from pet parents. Keep in mind that prevention of the disease is well worth the investment!
Maintaining the overall health of your cat, offering a good diet, providing exercise, reproductive health, and regular vet check-ups reduce the incidence of diabetes in cats.
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