How do cats get diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that strikes not only humans but pets as well. Living with a diabetic cat is no joke. The cat owner has to make sure that the pet is provided with a kind of diet needed by a diabetic cat. The pet owner would not only need to provide the cat with drug and hormone therapy but also ensure that drug is administered properly to ensure the normal functioning of the pancreas. Proper management of the disease is very necessary to give the pet a happier and healthier life. Unlike other feline diseases that are caused by infectious agents, feline diabetes can be considered as a human-created disease. A lot of cat owners are not aware that the pet can get diabetes from the manner the cat is fed. A diet that is high in carbs plus low activity level would result to obesity. The incidence of diabetes is high in obese cats.

Cats can get diabetes by consuming a terrible diet. Sugar or glucose, insulin and pancreas are important players in the disease known as diabetes. Glucose is what fuels the cat’s body. The level of sugar in the blood is regulated by a hormone called insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces insufficient amount of insulin. This metabolic disorder can also happen if the body cannot use the insulin produced by the pancreas leading to buildup of sugar in the bloodstream. Glucose not used by the body will be eliminated by the kidneys. Increased urination is one of the symptoms of diabetes. And so is excessive thirst. Cats are poor water drinkers but because they need to compensate for the increased urination they would need to drink more water.

The causes of feline diabetes are unknown. However, this metabolic disorder is prevalent in aging and obese cats. It is therefore believed that the kinds of diets cats have are the most likely culprits. Cats are obligate carnivores. Domestic cats’ ancestors that lived in the wild and consumed a diet of raw meat of the hunted prey were not stricken by this complex metabolic disease. Domestic cats are provided with dry kibble that contains high carbohydrate levels. We often hear cat experts recommend canned or wet diet. This kind of cat food though may have low carbohydrate contents but it would still be different from the ideal all-meat food cats should have. The diet is not the only reason why cats can get diabetes. Who wouldn’t want to have a roly poly pet? Fat cats are cute cats! However, the caloric intake of cats must be controlled lest the pet would get obese. The carbohydrate level as well as the amount of food given to the pet must be controlled. Calories have three sources – fats, proteins and carbohydrates. With the furor made by pet owners about cereal fillers in pet foods, manufacturers have leaned towards adding more fats to the formula of pet foods. If the carbohydrate level is reduced, manufacturers would opt to add more fat rather than to increase protein level given that protein sources would be expensive. Again, the pet provided with this kind of diet is most likely to get obese more so if it is free-fed or given large portions. Cats, unlike dogs are not really very energetic animals. The calories that should have been burned if the cat has high activity levels would build up and cause the cat to get fat. The fat cells will produce a substance that will make the body cells resistant to insulin.

Feline diabetes is a man-made disease that can be prevented by giving the pet the kind of diet nature intended cats to have. A raw meat diet for the pet is gaining acceptance among cat owners.

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