Feline Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Aimee Beck
6 min readJan 15, 2023

Diabetes is a common health condition found in middle-aged cats (and dogs). It is a disease of the pancreas (not to be confused with pancreatitis).

Feline Pancreatitis Facts:

  • Histological abnormalities consistent with pancreatitis were found in 22–57% of diabetic cats and in 60 and 67% of non-diabetic cats.
  • Pancreatitis is not considered to be a frequent cause of diabetes mellitus in cats. Pancreatitis does, however, seem to be a frequent co-morbidity in diabetic cats.

The pancreas has two groups of cells: one that produces enzymes to help your cat digest food, and the other produces the insulin hormone, which regulates how much glucose (sugar) is in your cat’s bloodstream and delivers it to the necessary tissues.

Feline diabetes mellitus (FDM) occurs when the pancreas fails to regulate blood sugar. Feline diabetes is often a lifelong condition. Controlling the disease may require a fair bit of time, effort, and money.

Fortunately, many diabetic cats can lead long and happy lives as long as the condition is properly managed. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you along the way. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about feline diabetes, including:

  • What is feline diabetes mellitus?
  • How many types of diabetes are there?
  • What causes diabetes in cats?
  • What are the symptoms of diabetes in cats?
  • How is feline diabetes diagnosed?
  • How do I treat my cat’s diabetes?
  • Feline diabetes mellitus warnings

What is feline diabetes mellitus?

According to veterinary medicine, diabetes refers to two unrelated conditions: diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) and diabetes insipidus (water diabetes). Since diabetes mellitus is more common in both cats and dogs, that’s what we’ll focus on today.

Blood sugar in the body is called glucose. It carries important nutrients that your cat needs to absorb into his cells. But that doesn’t happen without the help of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas as part of the body’s natural blood sugar…



Aimee Beck

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