In detail

Cat Diabetes: What Risk Factors Are There?


Diabetes in cats is favored by certain risk factors. The metabolic disease (diabetes mellitus) ensures that the velvet paws constantly have to fight with an increased blood sugar level. The causes and risk factors for cat diabetes are similar to those in humans. Obese cats live with an increased risk of developing diabetes - Shutterstock / Kristi Blokhin

The most common cause and therefore also the greatest risk factor for cat diabetes is incorrect feeding and the associated excess weight. For example, cat nutrition with sugary or inferior cat food can greatly increase the risk of diabetes mellitus. Below you can read more about the most common risk factors and how you can minimize them. Important: This guide does not replace a detailed discussion with the veterinarian.

Cat Diabetes: A Brief Explanation

Diabetes mellitus (diabetes), also known as Feline diabetes in relation to cats, is a metabolic disease that arises either from the lack of the hormone insulin or from a so-called insulin resistance. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. The hormone is released so that it can transport sugar (glucose) from the blood into the individual cells. If the disease produces too little insulin or the receptors for insulin are disturbed (insulin resistance), the blood sugar level rises and the cells are not adequately supplied with energy. The disease is treated by the regular and permanent injection of insulin. If you want to learn more about the causes and symptoms, you can find all information in the guide: "Diabetes in cats: causes and symptoms".

Risk factors for diabetes in cats

A cat can already carry the risk of developing diabetes in the genome. Some breeds of cats, including the Burmese cat, develop diabetes mellitus more often than others. However, nutrition and lifestyle also play an important role in the development of the metabolic disease. Overweight cats in particular run the risk of developing diabetes. Below are more of the most common risk factors for diabetes in cats.

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Improper cat nutrition increases the risk of diabetes

Improper feeding is one of the biggest risk factors for diabetes mellitus. Diets containing feed containing table sugar or fructose should generally be avoided. Dry food also plays a role in the risk of cat diabetes and should, if at all, only be a supplement and a change, instead of staple food. Feed your cat with high-quality wet food that contains a high percentage of meat and as little grain as possible, or cater for it. Chemical additives should have no place in species-appropriate feeding.

Obesity as the main cause of diabetes mellitus

This risk factor is mostly a result of improper cat feeding. As with humans, obesity has a decisive influence on the development of diabetes in cats. Fat blocks the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, so to speak, so that sometimes too little insulin gets to where it is needed - in the body cells. If your cat is too fat, you should discuss a diet with the veterinarian. You can find more information in the guide: "How to fight obesity in cats".

Too little movement

Lifestyle also plays a role and is also a cause of obesity. A lack of exercise and underutilization can increase your cat's risk of developing diabetes. Therefore, make sure that your cat is always busy and keep your house tiger busy. Tips for domestic tigers can be found in the guide: "Appropriate husbandry of a house cat".