10 Signs of Diabetes in Cats

| Published on November 5, 2018

One of the most common diseases in cats is diabetes. Those most at risk are overweight house pets, particularly males. According to Diabetic Cat Care, it can take weeks or even months for symptoms to show up and possibly longer for a owner to notice. Meanwhile, their cat’s health is deteriorating. Diabetic Cat Care gives the following as symptoms to watch for as signs that your cat may have diabetes.

#1 – Increased Thirst

This can be hard thing to notice, since most of us have multiple bowls and even automatic waterers; if you have more than one cat, it’s even harder. If you think you are refilling the bowls more frequently, separate the cat you think may be doing it so you can monitor them, as this can be a sign of several illnesses that need to be addressed by a vet.

Image source: @CelloPics via Flickr

#2 – Increased Urination

Of course, if your kitty is drinking more, she will also be urinating more. Again, you may have to separate your cats to figure out which one is going, unless you notice your cat make more trips to the litterbox than usual.

Image source: @AllishaVargas via Flickr

#3 – Increased/Decreased Appetite

Kitties can be fussy eaters or gluttons by nature, so you are going to have to take into account your cat’s normal dinner behavior. The important thing is to notice anything out of the norm for your cat.

Image source: @ayako via

#4 – Weight Loss

If you have a skinny cat that just is not gaining weight, or is losing it, regardless of how much you feed him, it’s time to take a trip to the vet. It could be something as simple as worms, or it could be something much more serious. Better safe than sorry.

Image source: @littlemoresunshine via Flickr

#5 – Poor Coat

Again, there are many things that can cause a poor coat – food, shampoo/conditioner, allergies, lack of grooming, etc. But if you notice your cat’s coat is just the same as it used to be (dull, flakey dandruff, etc), and you haven’t changed any of your habits, it’s time to see the vet.

 Image source: PaulLong via Flickr

#6 – Behavioral and/or Mood Changes

Just like us, cats can become grumpy when they are not feeling well. If your cat is not acting like herself – grumpy, doesn’t want to be touched, sleeping often – there is probably something wrong. Even if it ends up not being diabetes, you should have her checked out.

Image source: @Tambakothejaguar via Flickr

#7 – Diarrhea/Vomiting

Neither of these are ever a good sign. If your cat starts having chronic diarrhea or is throwing up, go to the vet.

Image source: @QuinnDombrowksi via Flickr

#8 – Breathing Abnormalities

Diabetic cats will sometimes have trouble breathing and/or have breath that smells fruity or like nail polish. If your cat is having issues breathing, go to the vet immediately.

Image source: TheGrimAtheist via Flickr

#9 – Lethargy

Lethargy may be the hardest symptom to notice in a cat. After all, most adult cats sleep up to 20 hours a day. But, if your cat normally plays and is no longer interested, or doesn’t even get up at the sound of dinner being served, something may be wrong.

Image source: @IanBarbour via Flickr

#10 – Weakness in Hind Legs/Limping

Although many older cats develop arthritis, look for a marked weakness in the hind end, especially when walking or jumping. If you notice your cat having problems, go to the vet.

mage source: Christmatos via Flickr

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