Signs & symptoms of diabetes in cats

Diabetes is a serious but treatable disease that can affect cats. Work with a veterinarian to properly diagnose and treat feline diabetes.


There are two types of diabetes in cats. Type 1 diabetes is the most common form and is related to the body's inability to produce insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not process insulin correctly.

Risk Factors

Older and overweight cats are most at risk for feline diabetes, although the disease can affect any cat at any time.


Cats with diabetes might show signs of drinking more than usual, refusing to use the litter box, sudden weight loss, inability to keep down food and a decrease in activity levels.


A veterinarian will begin with a physical examination. Blood and urine samples also will be taken to measure glucose levels and liver enzymes.


Upon diagnosis, a veterinarian will recommend treatment. A controlled diet is often the first step, but medication is usually indicated. Insulin treatment in the form of daily shots or oral medication can control the cat's diabetes.

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