Pet Education

Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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Feline Diabetes

Diabetes is a pancreatic disorder. There are two types:

Your cat needs insulin to absorb glucose and convert it into energy.

Untreated, your cat's health will gradually decline and end in an early death.


Diabetes is common in cats that have the following combined factors:


Initial signs include:

Advanced signs for untreated diabetes include:


To diagnose your cat with diabetes, your veterinarian will review medical history and signs. The veterinarian will also perform blood and urine tests to check glucose levels.


Most veterinarians will agree that diabetes is not curable, but can be controlled by:

Change in diet:

Insulin injections:

Insulin is used to keep the cat's blood glucose levels under control. You will be able to learn to give injections, as the insulin needles are tiny. Giving an injection is usually easier than giving a pill.

Be aware of behavioral changes that signal:

Cats with diabetes must eat regularly to guard against insulin overdose, but be careful to control the amount of food your cat eats to prevent obesity.


While there is no way known to prevent type 1 diabetes, proper weight management can reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.


The prognosis for a diabetic cat depends on your commitment to treat the disease, good communication between you and your veterinarian, and good control of the blood glucose with an appropriate diet and dose of insulin.

With a strict diet, insulin, and exercise, your cat can be happy and live a healthy life, even with diabetes.

Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM

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