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Published: Jun 27, 2012

It is important to understand the clinical signs of diabetes in cats, but to get a proper feline diabetes diagnosis, you must bring your cat to the veterinarian for testing.

There are several steps involved in feline diabetes testing. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, the recommended tests to diagnose this condition are a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemistry profile and a urinalysis. These tests, when performed together, give veterinarians the best assessment of the severity of the diabetes and any complicating conditions that might also need to be treated.

The CBC is a test that evaluates the cat's red blood cells, white blood cells and the platelets. In an uncomplicated case of diabetes mellitus, these components may be at normal levels, but changes in the range of red and white cell values are occasionally seen, too. This blood test can also indicate dehydration, which is common in diabetic pets, even though they drink a lot of water.

The serum biochemistry profile tests the liquid portion of the blood for substances like glucose, enzymes, fats, proteins and other indicators of the cat's health. The elevation of glucose is a main indicator of diabetes in cats. Abnormalities in the other components may be present in complicated cases of diabetes.  

The urinalysis is necessary to diagnose diabetes as well because it shows whether there is glucose present in the urine which is not normal in healthy cats. Many cats with diabetes will also have complicating urinary tract infections which the urinalysis will help identify.

A proper diagnosis of feline diabetes is the first step toward successful treatment of this manageable condition.