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Published: Dec 16, 2011

Finding out a cat has feline diabetes mellitus can be shocking to an owner.  Although the news can be upsetting, understanding how to help a cat deal with diabetes is key to ensuring it continues to live a long, fulfilling life.

VCA Animal Hospitals reports a vet will typically perform blood and urine tests to reach the diagnosis of diabetes.  After a diagnosis has been made, a vet will likely make recommendations for insulin therapy and a change in food.  Most diabetic cats respond best to a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates.  This type of diet is capable of decreasing a cat’s blood sugar to the level where they may not require additional insulin therapy.  This diet may not be appropriate for every cat—especially ones with other health problems—and your veterinarian will help you make the right choice for your cat.

Many newly diagnosed diabetic cats managed with this feeding strategy and insulin therapy may revert to a non-diabetic state (called diabetic remission) within the first several months after diagnosis.  Many vets will recommend close blood sugar monitoring—either at the veterinarian clinic or even at home with a blood glucose meter used by an owner.  According to VCA, it is also important to monitor a cat’s eating habits, water consumption, energy levels and urine output. If significant changes are detected, an owner must contact their vet so he or she can make proper adjustments.

Follow your veterinarians recommendations for follow-up closely in order to give your cat the best chance of going into diabetic remission.